The criminal court in Qatif in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a 20-year-old man to three months in prison on charges of participating in anti-regime demonstrations. Meanwhile, the Saudi criminal court sentenced 15 people accused of conducting terrorism to 34 years in prison for hiding individuals who seek to conduct terrorist attacks in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia has arrested scores of anti-government protesters since the beginning of the uprising in the country. Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in the Kingdom's east, mainly in Qatif and Awamiyah. The demonstrators called for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination. Anti-government protests have intensified since November 2011, when security forces opened fire on protestors in Qatif, killing five people and leaving scores more injured. Activists say there are over 40,000 prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia, many of them being held without trial or charges. According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”