Saudi protesters have staged a protest sit-in to demand the release of political prisoners, including women, in the central town of Buraidah. Protesters gathered in front of the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution on Saturday as part of a growing wave of demonstrations over the detention of protesters across the kingdom. Reports say security forces were deployed to the area as protesters defied a ban imposed by the Saudi regime on protests and political gatherings.
The sit-in came only a day after Saudi security forces arrested over 300 people, including 15 women, in a similar protest in Buraidah.Amnesty International condemned on Friday the arrest of protesters who were holding a peaceful demonstration for the release of “more than 50 women and children” detained after a similar protest on February 27. “This cat and mouse game authorities in Saudi Arabia are playing is, simply, outrageous,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Instead of persecuting peaceful protesters, what the Saudi authorities should do is listen to their demands and release all those held solely for exercising their human rights,” he added. Saudi activists say there are more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly prisoners of conscience, in jails across the Kingdom. According to the activists, most of the detained political thinkers are being held by the government without trial or legitimate charges and have been arrested for merely looking suspicious. SAB/HGH/SL