Saudi Arabia has imposed a travel ban on three Shia clerics and a human rights activist as it continues to clamp down on the critics of the Al Saud regime.
The Interior Ministry on Sunday barred Sheikh Mohammed al-Obeidan, Sheikh Heidar al-Saeed, and Taher al-Shamimi as well as human rights activist Sadek al-Ramadan from leaving the kingdom. The three clerics are from different cities in the country’s Eastern Province. The fourth individual is the cofounder and secretary general of al-Adala Center for Human Rights. According to Human Rights Watch, the Riyadh regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.” Moreover, Saudi activists say most of the political activists in Saudi prisons are being held by the regime without trial or charges. Since February 2011, demonstrators have held anti-regime protests on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province, chiefly calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination. The demonstrations, however, have turned into protests against the Al Saud regime since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in Eastern Province.