HR Groups: Saudi Arabia is Punishing Al-Awamiyah, Int’l Community Must Take Urgent Action
2017-08-02 - 5:06 p
Bahrain Mirror: A group of human rights organizations said that the Saudi authorities have continued their harsh security measures against the town of Al-Awamiyah in the Eastern Province, which have taken place since over 80 days ago. The Saudi authorities have increased these measures twofold over the past two days, committing abuses against the residents of the area.
The Saudi Organization for Rights and Freedoms, the Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, SALAM for democracy and human rights and the Bahrain Forum for Human Rights stressed that Saudi Arabia used military vehicles, rocket-propelled grenades and machine-gun fire, not to mention demolitions and electricity cuts.This led to paralyzing the civil movement in the town, also the authorities launched more arrests and tightened their grip on the residents, as the fire department and ambulance services did not respond to the people's calls for help in Al-Awamiyah, which led to a new wave of forcible displacement from the town. The number of civilian and military deaths exceeded 26, including children, in addition to large numbers of injuries and arrests.
The signatories to the statement expressed concern over Al-Awamiyah turning into an arena for human rights violations, especially that what the town has went through is part of a policy of retaliation exercised by the Saudi authorities against the Qatif region in general, and the Shiite component in particular, as systematic punishment for their demands of basic national rights and reform. This is evidenced by the sporadic arbitrary arrests of civilians residing in this area, let alone the dozens of death sentences issued based on political grounds, without paying any heed to the condemnations of the international human rights community.
The human rights organizations were shocked by Saudi Arabia's use of heavy weapons in its campaign against the besieged town, asking the international community not to be a bystander and turn a blind eye to the narrow political and financial interests that bind some countries with Saudi Arabia.
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