Thursday, August 3, 2017
SAUDI REGIME FORCES KILL CIVILIAN IN AWAMIYAH AS CLASHES CONTINUE
Saudi police forces have killed a civilian during their latest raid on the besieged Shia-majority town of Awamiyah.
The man died on Wednesday as the Saudis opened fire on a bus transporting people who were trying to flee the town located in the restive Eastern Province.
Flared-up clashes between the kingdom’s forces and activists over the past few days have forced many of the town’s inhabitants to seek refuge in the neighboring towns of Damman and Qatif.
Awamiyah has witnessed renewed deadly clashes between the military and residents since May, when Saudi forces began razing the town’s old quarter, known as al-Mosawara.
Saudi authorities claim that Mosawara’s narrow streets have become a hideout for militants suspected of being behind attacks on security forces in Eastern Province.
The UN, however, said Saudi Arabia was erasing cultural heritage and violating human rights through Mosawara’s demolition.
Since February 2011, Saudi Arabia has stepped up security measures in the Shia-dominated Eastern Province, which has been rocked by anti-regime demonstrations, with protesters demanding free speech, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination.
The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the Saudi regime. Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism law so as to repress pro-democracy movements.