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Saudi regime forces raid executed activist’s home in Shia-populated Qatif

This file picture shows Saudi Arabian police officers in Riyadh. (Photo by Reuters)

Saudi regime forces have stormed the family home of an executed Shia activist in the kingdom’s Shia-populated and oil-rich Eastern Province as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its brutal clampdown against pro-democracy campaigners and political dissidents.

Local sources, requesting anonymity, told London-based and Arabic-language Nabaa television news network that Saudi soldiers blocked a number of roads in Tarout Island early on Monday, before raiding Zaher al-Basri’s home and violently ransacking it for nearly two hours.

Basri was executed nearly a year ago at the hands of the Saudi regime after being convicted on "terrorism" charges.

Meanwhile, Saudi forces have arrested Shia cleric Zuhair Hussain bu Saleh on charges of organizing congregational prayers at his home in al-Thuqbah neighborhood of al-Khobar city.

Bu Saleh’s arrest comes as Saudi authorities do not allow Shia Muslims in Khobar, to set up a mosque and converge at the place of worship.

Imprisoned Shia cleric Zuhair Hussain bu Saleh (Photo via Twitter)

Back in 2015, a criminal court in Saudi Arabia sentenced the Shia clergyman to six months in prison and 50 lashes. Bu Saleh did not appear in the court hearing, and described the ruling as “devoid of any legality.”

Saudi Arabia has lately stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution, and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.

Saudi officials have also intensified security measures in the Shia-populated and oil-rich Eastern Province.

Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime. Security forces have increased security measures across the province.

Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to also target activism.

In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime. Nimr had been arrested in Qatif in 2012.

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