- Middle East
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Saudi Crackdown: Regime Forces Kidnap Three Youths in Eastern Province
Saudi regime forces arrested three young Shia men, including a minor, in the kingdom's Shia-populated and oil-rich Eastern Province as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its brutal crackdown against members of the religious community.
Local sources, requesting anonymity, told Arabic-language Ahrar television network that Saudi troopers arrested brothers, Hani and Ali al-Faraj, after they raided their house in Qatif region, located more than 420 kilometers east of the capital Riyadh, on Sunday afternoon.
Hussain al-Zanadi was rounded up in a street as well.
Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.
The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime. Security forces have increased security measures across the province.
Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to also target activism.
In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime. Nimr had been arrested in Qatif in 2012.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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