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Saudi Shia Clerics to the Nation: Don’t Keep Mum on Regime Killings

 

Leading Shia clerics have called on people in Saudi Arabia not to remain silent on the recent killing of pro-democracy activists by Riyadh regime forces in the Eastern Province.

Sheikh Abdul Karim al-Habil and Seyyed Hashem al-Shakhs condemned the atrocities and stressed that actions must be taken to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

“We should not stand watching as if we do not care about anything. All of us from every class or community should try our best to put an end to that tragedy,” said Sheikh al-Habil.

Al-Shakhs, for his part, said, “Shedding innocent blood, killing children and scaring people is not acceptable in any country, especially in the Islamic countries, according to our religion and principles.”

On December 20, at least five people were killed by Saudi forces in the Shia-majority town of Awamia in the Qatif region while several people were also arrested. The Saudi Interior Ministry has only confirmed four deaths.

Media reports suggest that the victims were pro-democracy activists and anti-regime campaigners.

There have been numerous demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province since 2011, with the protestors calling for political reform and an end to widespread discrimination. Several people have been killed and many others have been injured or arrested during the demonstrations.

Similar demonstrations have also been held in Riyadh and the holy city of Medina over the past few months.

The Persian Gulf monarchy has come under fire from international human rights organizations, which have criticized it for failing to address the rights situation in the kingdom. Critics say the country shows zero tolerance toward dissent.