Saudi Police Open Fire At Protest

by
Mikki
Government warns it will take strong action if activists take to the streets

From Carbonated TVs Editor's Desk

Protests seem like a new fad in the Middle East to bring about democratic reforms. Religious leaders of Saudi Arabia have declared popular protests a violation of Islamic Laws and the government officials have warned that they will take serious actions if activists take to the streets after increasing calls for large protests around the oil-rich kingdom to press for democratic reforms. Unrest in Saudi, a key oil exporter can actually shake world markets.

These protests are rare in the ultra-conservative kingdom and are much smaller in scale than their predecessors in the region. These are mostly driven by social media forums. Facebook pages calling for the Saudi ruling family to introduce reforms. One such page has generated over 30,000 supporters already.

In an apparent escalation to stop planned protests Saudi police have opened fire at a rally in the kingdom’s eastern part. A witness scared of government reprisal spoke on the condition of anonymity in the eastern city of Qatif saying that gunfire and stun grenades were fired at hundreds of protesters marching in the city on Thursday. They opened fire and he saw that at least one protester was injured.

Saudi Shiite protesters chant slogans during a protest in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, March 10, 2011. Saudi police have opened fire at a rally in the kingdom's east in an apparent escalation of efforts to stop planned protests. Government officials have warned they will take strong action if activists take to the streets after increasing calls for large protests around the oil-rich kingdom to press for democratic reforms. A witness in the eastern city of Qatif says gunfire and stun grenades were fired at several hundred protesters marching in the city streets Thursday. The witness, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared government reprisal, said police in the area opened fire. The witness saw at least one protester injured.
 

Washington Post

Saudi police have opened fire at a rally in the kingdom's east in an apparent escalation of efforts to stop planned protests.

Government officials have warned they will take strong action if activists take to the streets after increasing calls for large protests around the oil-rich kingdom to press for democratic reforms.

Complete coverage: Anger in the Arab world

A witness in the eastern city of Qatif says gunfire and stun grenades were fired at several hundred protesters marching in the city streets Thursday. The witness, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared government reprisal, said police in the area opened fire. The witness saw at least one protester injured.

Unrest in Saudi Arabia, a key oil exporter, could rock world markets.

Protests are rare in the ultra-conservative kingdom. Saudi religious leaders have declared popular protests a violation of Islamic laws.

There have been a few gatherings in recent weeks, patterned after similar protests in the region but on a smaller scale.

The protests are driven by social media. Facebook pages have sprung up, calling for the Saudi ruling family to introduce reforms. One such page has garnered more than 30,000 supporters.