Bahrainis condemn S Arabia’s killing of activists

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Bahraini protesters have staged a rally to condemn Saudi Arabia’s recent acts of violence against people in the kingdom’s volatile Eastern Province.

Scores of demonstrators took to the streets on the northeastern island of Sitra to denounce the killing of five activists and arrest of several others in Saudi Arabia’s Shia-majority town of Awamia in the Qatif region on December 20.

They shouted slogans in support of the people in the Saudi Eastern Province while security forces fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse them.

There have been numerous demonstrations in oil-rich Eastern Province since 2011, with the protesters calling for political reform and an end to widespread discrimination.

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

International human rights organizations have criticized 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.

Bahrain has also launched a heavy-handed crackdown on anti-regime protesters since the uprising against the ruling Al Khalifa broke out across the Persian Gulf kingdom in February 2011. Troops from Saudi Arabia have been deployed to Bahrain to assist in its crackdown on the peaceful protesters.

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