Saudi Arabia has been perturbed over comments by Russia’s human rights envoy on violation of human rights in the eastern province of the kingdom. On Saturday, Saudi Arabia not only condemned the comments, but also alleged Russia of interference in the internal affairs of the kingdom.
Russian Human Rights envoy Konstantin Dolgov expressed great concern over the clashes between Saudi security forces and protesters in eastern Saudi Arabia. According to some news reports, as many as two protesters were killed, while 20 others received critical injuries. The situation is grave indeed and must be looked upon.
However, Saudi Interior Ministry said the security forces did not kill anybody and the two people killed were shot by unidentified assailants last Sunday. It is to be noted that most protests against Al-Saud family are being staged in eastern Saudi Arabia, where the minority Shiite Muslim population lives. Security agencies of Saudi Arabia suspect the protests against the kingdom were sponsored and funded by Iran. The kingdom considers Iran one of the biggest threats to its unity and integrity for a number of reasons. Saudi Arabia also believes that Russia and Iran are trying to distract the world’s attention from the bloody uprising in Syria.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters staged a protest against the repressive regime of Al-Saud and demanded release of political prisoners. The protesters largely gathered in Buraydah, around 380 kilometers northwest of Riyadh. The latest protests sparked after Saudi security forces killed an 18-year-old protester on July 13. The protest against the regime was held in Awamiyah near a police station. The charged protesters, who were also carrying placards against the regime, demanded the release of a prominent Shia cleric named Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr.
Nemr was arrested on July 8 under the charges of sedition and inciting people against the regime. Also on July 8, the Saudi police killed three protesters in Qatif, the city that has Shiite Muslims in majority. Saudi authorities believe that Iran is behind the demonstrations, as all the protests are started by Shiite Muslims. The Shiite community of Saudi Arabia alleges the regime of discrimination and prejudice; so they say they are left with no other option, but to stage demonstrations against the regime.
Saudi Arabia got its share of the Arab uprising in March last year. However, the kingdom has remained successful in quelling the protests and demonstrations by offering millions of dollars development and other welfare packages for the people. Once again, the protesters have taken to the streets against the ruling Al-Saud family and demanded social justice, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Women of the kingdom have also been struggling for the past couple of years to get their basic rights and one of them includes lifting ban on women driving cabs and cars.