Saudi Online Activists Document Shiite Repression
February 20th - Saudi Arabian forces raided the town of Al Awamyia, located in the region’s Eastern province, which is inhabited by a majority of Shia citizens. Saudi troops opened fire, raided houses and damaged property. The raid is the most recent display of brutal persecution against the Shia minority in Saudi Arabia, who mainly live in neighborhoods like Qatif, Hofuf and Awamyia. The Shia community are denied equal job opportunities and banned from exercising their religious freedom. The Saudi Shia community have started to fight back with the emergence of the Arab Spring protest movements, and have organized a series of demonstrations, calling for equal rights. Online activists documented the raid with pictures and videos. A video posted online depicts Saudi artillery vehicles in the neighborhood of Al Jumjuma in Al Awamyia.
Below, a Shia citizen's bullet-ridden car:
A Saudi soldier humiliating a Shia citizen:
During the raid, the authorities have attacked and searched the houses of three activists Morsi, Al Robeh, Mohamad Issa Al labad, and Fadel Al Safawani. The Saudi Interior Ministry have placed the three activists, along with 23 others, on a “Wanted List,” since the first protest movement in Al Awamia in 2011. A fellow activist published a video on YouTube showing the raid on Morsi Al Robeh’s home:
Below, a video depicting the attack on Fadel Al Safawani’s home: