Thousands of Saudi Shias attend anti-regime activist’s funeral

SHAFAQNA – People have taken to the streets in eastern Saudi Arabia to attend the funeral procession of an activist killed by the regime forces.

On Sunday, thousands of Shia mourners took part in the funeral procession of Abdullah al-Medad in the eastern town of Awamia.

Medad and four other anti-regime activists lost their lives after Saudi forces opened fire on their homes in the Shia-majority town of Awamia in the Qatif region last Saturday. Several activists were also arrested following the raid.

The massive funeral procession came after leading Shia clerics called on people in Saudi Arabia not to remain silent on the recent killing of pro-democracy activists.

There have been numerous demonstrations in the oil-rich Eastern Province since 2011, with the protesters calling for political reform and an end to widespread discrimination. A number of people have been killed and many have been injured or arrested during the demonstrations.

International human rights organizations have lashed out at Saudi Arabia for failing to address the rights situation in the kingdom. They say Saudi Arabia has persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly.

Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

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