Security forces loyal to the Saudi regime today opened fire on protesters in the town of Qatif, causing a handful of injuries but apparently no deaths, a day ahead of what is expected to be the largest protests the nation has yet seen.
Today’s protest was said to include only about 800 demonstrators. Similarly small protests have been reported in Shi’ite dominated Qatif over the past week, and have led to the arrests of a number of protesters by the government.
Friday’s “day of rage” is expected to draw a large number of protesters, though the monarchy’s hostility toward protests on general principle has many pessimistic that they will actually accomplish anything, at least at first.
The Saudi Interior Ministry has issued a ruling declaring protests illegal as well as “un-Islamic,” and that ruling was backed by top regime clerics. This will make protesting all the more dangerous in the nation.
Though at the same time, grievances against the regime extend far beyond the Shi’ite majority, and the massive unemployment levels (reportedly 40% amongst people in their early 20s) and widespread corruption is fueling unrest nationwide.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Latest US Navy Collision Fuels Speculation About 'Hacking' - August 22nd, 2017
- US, North Korea Clash at UN Forum Over Nuclear Arms - August 22nd, 2017
- NATO Chief Declares Alliance 'Fully Committed' to US War in Afghan - August 22nd, 2017
- Haley Demands IAEA Launch New Inspections of Iran Military Sites - August 22nd, 2017
- No End in Sight for US War in Afghanistan - August 22nd, 2017