Tag Archive | "Protests"

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Shi’ites Stage Protest in Saudi Oil Province

Posted on 04 March 2011 by hashimilion

Shi’ites staged a protest in Saudi Arabia’s oil-producing Eastern Province on Thursday, demanding the release of prisoners they say are being held without trial, witnesses said.

Mostly young men marched through the small town of Awwamiya, near the Shi’ite centre of Qatif on the Gulf coast.

“Peaceful, peaceful,” the demonstrators shouted, holding up pictures of Shi’ites they say have been long held without trial, while policemen stood by without interfering.

Last month, Saudi authorities released three prisoners after a previous protest by Shi’ites in Awwamiya.

“They demand the release of prisoners, only this,” Zaki al-Saleh, an Shi’ite activist and resident told reporters, although he did not participate in the demonstration.

A group of women also followed the protest.

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy without an elected parliament that usually does not tolerate public dissent.

Saudi Arabia’s Shi’ite minority mostly live in the Eastern province, which holds much of the oil wealth of the world’s top crude exporter and is near Bahrain, scene of protests by majority Shi’ites against their Sunni rulers.

Saudi Arabia applies an austere Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam and Shi’ites say that, while their situation has improved under reforms launched by King Abdullah, they still face restrictions in getting senior government jobs.

The government denies these charges.

The demonstration was much smaller than protests staged in Awwamiya in 2009 after police launched a search for firebrand Shi’ite preacher Nimr al-Nimr, who had suggested in a sermon that Shi’ites could one day seek their own separate state.

The secessionist threat, which analysts say was unprecedented since the 1979 Iranian revolution, provoked anti-government protests, and was followed by clashes between the Sunni religious police and Shi’ite pilgrims near the tomb of Prophet Mohammad in the holy city of Medina.

Since then, Shi’ites say the situation has calmed down but they are still waiting for promised reforms to be carried out.

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Saudi Protests In Qatif

Posted on 01 March 2011 by hashimilion

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Two Killed as Clashes Escalate in Yemen

Posted on 18 February 2011 by hashimilion

Two antigovernment protesters in Yemen’s southern port of Aden died in fresh clashes Thursday, witnesses said, bringing the death toll in a recent spate of violent demonstrations against President Ali Abdullah Saleh to at least four.

In the capital San’a, thousands of protesters squared off with Saleh supporters in violent clashes at a main intersection Thursday morning and afternoon, according to witnesses.

The demonstrations in the capital were the latest and most raucous in a series of daily melees here, triggered by the resignation of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Opposition parties organized much larger, but peaceful, protests in San’a earlier in the month amid unrest elsewhere in the Arab world, following the January revolt in Tunisia. In response, Mr. Saleh has pledged economic and political reforms, including a promise not to run again in 2013.

Opposition leaders had called off more protests, but students and young activists have stepped into the void, organizing a series of smaller, impromptu demonstrations across town, which have drawn in crowds of armed government supporters.

Uniformed security forces weren’t in the vicinity during the San’a scuffles, in which protesters tore down a median barricade between the two sides and clashed with sticks, clubs, chains and makeshift weapons, like desk legs and pipes. Occasional shots rang out from guns fired into the air, but there were no reports of fatalities.

About two thousand took up positions on either side of one of the capital’s main intersections. Government supporters lobbed repeated volleys of stones, injuring dozens of protesters, many of whom retreated to a nearby hospital.

The two sides made occasional charges at each other, according to witnesses. Dumpsters and tires were set ablaze.

Pro-government demonstrators chanted “With our soul and our blood, we will sacrifice for Ali” as they clashed with opposition who shouted “The people want the regime to fall” and “After Mubarak then Ali.”

In the early afternoon, most antigovernment protesters marched out of the area toward San’a University, where about 200 gathered for another rally, according to witnesses. But about 20 minutes after they arrived, government supporters, armed with sticks, clubs and pipes, charged the group, sending the protesters fleeing for the gates of the university.

Many were caught trying to get through the narrow entrance and were beaten. Others fled into side streets.

The clashes marked the seventh consecutive day of violence in the capital. After a few hours, protesters and government supporters regrouped in front of San’a University in opposing rallies, but the atmosphere was much more festive, with both sides dancing at times. It was the first time that demonstrations in the capital extended into the night.

But in Aden, a restive town home to an active secessionist movement, protests have careened on through the evening. On Wednesday, witnesses said security forces opened fire on demonstrators in the city’s al Mansora neighborhood, killing two.

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Protesters killed in Yemen clashes

Posted on 16 February 2011 by hashimilion

Police shot and killed two protester in Yemen’s main southern city of Aden, medics said, while unrest in the capital Sanaa against the rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president, continued for a sixth straight day.

Mohammed Ali Alwani, 21, was shot dead after clashes broke out between police and demonstrators, his father said. The other victim has not yet been identified.

Police in Aden fired shots into the air to try to break up around 500 protesters. Medics said one of the victims had been hit in the back.

The demonstrators hurled stones at police, set tyres and vehicles on fire and stormed a municipal building where heavy gunfire was heard.

Security forces, heavily deployed in Aden, arrested at least four people as they fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse protesters who had gathered at the Al-Ruweishat bus station in the Al-Mansura neighbourhood of Aden.

Protesters chanted “The people want to overthrow the regime” and “It’s time to leave, Ali”.

Several hurt

In the capital Sanaa, at least 10 protesters were hurt amid clashes between students demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and supporters of his ruling General People’s Congress.

Hundreds of students had set off for Al-Sabiine square near the presidential palace, only to be attacked by a like number of Saleh loyalists armed with batons, stones and daggers.

The protesters responded by hurling stones, and when the violence spread into the campus of Sanaa university, where the march began, police fired warning shots.

“The thugs and supporters of the ruling party … want to massacre” the students, the head of the university’s student union, Radwan Masud, said, adding that 10 students had been hurt.

He vowed that the students would “continue their revolt and will not be hindered by the ruling party’s actions.”

Elsewhere in Sanaa, a sit-in by judges demanding greater independence for the judiciary and the sacking of the entire Supreme Judicial Council, including the justice minister, went into its second day outside the justice ministry.

The judges, who have poured into Sanaa from all over Yemen, also want higher salaries.

In other protests, workers in Sanaa gathered at several state-owned companies to demand that their managers to step down. They too also called for higher wages.

On Tuesday, police in Sanaa stepped in when supporters and opponents of the president clashed, leaving three injured. In Taez, south of the capital, the two sides also clashed.

On Monday, rocks and batons flew in the capital as protesters – mainly students and lawyers – confronted police and Saleh’s supporters. Police also clashed with around 2,000 protesters in Sanaa on Sunday.

In the face of the unrest, Saleh has postponed a visit to the United States that had been planned for later this month, after the opposition agreed on Sunday to resume talks suspended since October.

Yemen is the poorest Gulf Arab state strategically located at the southwest corner of the Arabian peninsula.

Source Al Jazeera

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