Saudi Arabia: Pro-Nimr activists begin hunger strike

SHAFAQNA - Political activists and supporters of Ayatollah al-Nimr in the al-Awamiyah region, east of Saudi Arabia have gone on hunger strike to protest the opposition leader’s detention which is now in its third day.

The protesters say they will continue the hunger strike for three days.

There have been numerous demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province since 2011, with 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.

The monarchy has intensified repression not only against Shia Muslims, but also against Sunnis and other dissident voices.

International human rights organizations have criticized Saudi Arabia for failing to address the rights situation.

On May 1, Amnesty International criticized Saudi Arabia for its grim human rights record, arguing that widespread violations continue unabated in the oil-rich country even though a new ruler, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has taken the helm of the absolute monarchy.

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