A Saudi activist has died of injuries sustained in a police shooting in the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province.
Saudi Arabia’s official news agency SPA said on Sunday that regime forces opened fire at Morsi Ali Ibrahim al-Rabah when they tried to arrest him over allegations of involvement in anti-regime protests. An interior ministry spokesman said that Rabah was on a list of 23 Shia activists wanted in connection with protests in Awamiyah. “He was wounded and died in hospital,” the spokesman said. Rabah was the 18th victim of the Saudi regime’s crackdown on protesters in the Qatif region since 2011. On June 21, Saudi regime forces killed a young man during a raid on the houses of anti-regime activists in the village of al-Tubi in Qatif. Police shot the 19-year-old in the head and shoulder. On the same day, human rights activists told Press TV that more than 120 prisoners in Saudi Arabia had gone on hunger strike to express their anger at inhumane prison conditions. The hunger strikers are also objecting to their detention without charge or trial, the activists said. More than 70 inmates stopped eating last week in a bid to draw international attention to their plight. Recently, around 50 more have joined the campaign. The strike will continue for at least five weeks, according to human rights activists. More than 40,000 political prisoners, mostly prisoners of conscience, are reportedly in jails across Saudi Arabia. Families and relatives of political prisoners have held several public gatherings in major cities, including Riyadh, Mecca, Medina and Buraidah. However, their protests have failed to bear any results. In Saudi Arabia, protests and political gatherings of any kind are prohibited. Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and Awamiyah, primarily calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination. However, the demonstrations turned into protests against the repressive Al Saud regime, especially after November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in Eastern Province. According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”