Thousands of Saudis attend opposition protesters’ funeral
The mourners gathered for the funeral ceremony in the town of Awamiyah in the oil-rich Eastern Province on Sunday and chanted slogans denouncing the House of Saud for the brutal crackdown.
The three protesters, including a sixteen-year-old boy, died in Awamiyah on Wednesday when the regime forces opened fire on demonstrators.
The latest deaths bring to fifteen the number of protesters killed since anti-regime demonstrations broke out in the Eastern Province last year.
Since February 2011, protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and Awamiyah in the Eastern Province, to call for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination against Shias.
Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia. Most of them are held without charge. Human rights groups have accused the House of Saud of imprisoning political dissidents.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”
On August 13, Swedish Defense Minister Karin Enstrom criticized Saudi Arabia for its human rights violations, describing the kingdom as “an authoritarian regime and an absolute monarchy, where serious human rights crimes are committed.”
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