Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saudi Arabia urged to investigate Shi’a protester death

Amnesty International
13 January 2012

"The Saudi Arabian authorities should launch an independent investigation into the death of a Shi’a protester who was killed during a demonstration in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

Issam Muhammad Ali Abu Abdullah, aged 22, was shot dead and three others were reported to be wounded at a protest on Thursday evening in the town of Awwamiya.

The Ministry of Interior said that the killing occurred during an exchange of gunfire between the security forces and individuals who had also attacked them with Molotov cocktails. Sources in the area told Amnesty International that Issam Mohammad Ali Abu Abdullah was killed by multiple bullet wounds fired by security forces.

Thursday’s protest urged the authorities to release political prisoners and called for an end to discrimination against the Shi’a minority in the Kingdom.

“This is the latest of several disturbing protester deaths in Saudi Arabia in the last couple of months,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s interim Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“The need to immediately launch an independent investigation into the death of Issam Abu Abdullah is underlined by the fact that investigations that were announced into previous protester deaths in similar incidents do not appear to have gone anywhere,” he added.

In November 2011, four members of the Shi’a minority were killed by the security forces in three separate incidents in the al-Qatif region, three of them during protests....."

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