SHAFAQNA – Saudi forces have shot dead a youth during a raid on the village al-Awamiyah in Saudi Arabia’s Shia-populated Qatif region.
Nimr Media Network reported that Saudi forces raided the al-Masoura neighborhood of al-Awamiyah in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province and surrounded the entire village for more than three hours.
They reportedly attempted but failed to destroy residential buildings in the village.
According to the report, gunshots were later heard, and at least one young man was killed.
The Shia-populated Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.
The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime. Security forces have ramped up security measures across the province.
Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws so as to also target activism.
In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime. Nimr had been arrested in Qatif in 2012.