facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Saudi protesters say no links with Iran

Oct. 19, 2012 at 2:05 PM   |   Comments

QATIF, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Human rights activists in Saudi Arabia are rejecting government claims Shiite demonstrators are tools of Iran and Hezbollah.

The outbreak of civil unrest, which the Washington Post Friday termed the worst in years in Saudi Arabia, was sparked by the fatal shooting by police of an outspoken critic of the government's treatment of Shiites and needed no provocation from the outside world.

"Show me one person here who has any connection to Iran. Where is the evidence? There is none," Waleed Sulais of the Adala Center for Human Rights in Qatif told the Post.

The Post said the government was sticking to its assertions outside agitators were stirring up trouble among Shiites, whom the Post said have been long relegated to second-class status by the Sunni elite.

Although the prospect of the Arab Spring uprising spreading to oil-rich Saudi Arabia is cause for concern inside and outside The Kingdom, the protesters have thus far not called for the overthrow of the royal family but rather seek basic rights such as religious freedom and an end to job discrimination.

Critics told the Post the government was taking steps to mollify the Shiite community with an ambitious public spending plan; however they doubted throwing money at the problems would cool things down. "If the government would answer some of these demands, people would calm down," said Ahmed al-Meshaikhes of the Adala Center.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
France holds up delivery of warships to Russia France holds up delivery of warships to Russia
2
North Korea publicly executes 10 people for watching South Korean soap operas North Korea publicly executes 10 people for watching South Korean soap operas
3
Suspected Pennsylvania cop killer Eric Frein nabbed Suspected Pennsylvania cop killer Eric Frein nabbed
4
Father upset over Islam history lesson barred from school over threats Father upset over Islam history lesson barred from school over threats
5
Actress Lucy DeCoutere becomes first public accuser of Jian Ghomeshi Actress Lucy DeCoutere becomes first public accuser of Jian Ghomeshi
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback