March 10, 2011
More than 100 Shiite demonstrators defied a ban on protests in Saudi Arabia and rallied in the eastern city of Qatif on Wednesday, calling on authorities to release Shiite prisoners.
A sprinkling of women were among the protesters, said Ibrahim Al-Mugaiteeb, president of the Human Rights First Society.
Police kept a watchful eye but did not intervene, he said. Earlier, Saudi authorities had authorized its security forces to “take all measures against anyone who tries to break the law and cause disorder.”
Last week, about 24 protesters were detained in Qatif as they denounced “the prolonged detention” of nine Shiite prisoners held without trial for more than 14 years, Amnesty International said.