Saudi Arabia will soon witness an escalation of public uprisings as the protests have entered an unprecedented phase in the run-up to the US Secretary of State’s visit to the kingdom, a political analyst tells Press TV. The protests in Saudi Arabia “in the coming few days are increasing” at the time of the visit of the new American Secretary of State John Kerry to Riyadh,” said Ali al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for [Persian] Gulf Affairs (IGA) in a Wednesday interview. The analyst noted that the people in Saudi Arabia will use the occasion “to take advantage of the international media attention on that visit so the people of Saudi Arabia would bring their voice to the world, to the international media which has been silent and blocking their voice.” “It is absolutely a new phase. You know, we saw both in Buraidah in the al-Qassim region and the Riyadh itself simultaneous protests today,” Ahmed said.
The IGA director pointed to the burning of the picture of the Saudi Interior Minister Mohammad bin Nayef in Buraidah during a protest by thousands of women and children and described it as “a huge development in the country.”“For the first time in Saudi Arabia the picture of a member of the ruling family, the interior minister, has been publicly burned in front of police,” Ahmed pointed out. Saudi protesters have staged fresh demonstrations against the Al Saud regime, calling for the release of political prisoners. In recent days, anti-regime protesters, including female demonstrators, took to the streets in the capital Riyadh and the central province of al-Qassim to show their outrage at the Saudi regime’s illegal detention of dissidents. Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province, primarily calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination. However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province. Amnesty International has called on Saudi authorities to stop using excessive force against the protesters. ASH/SS