Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Qatif, a city located in Saudi Arabia's Eastern province, on Wednesday afternoon to condemn the long-time rule of Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia and its suppression of protests.
The demonstration happened after two women were beaten by Saudi Forces.
Protests are strictly forbidden in the ultra-conservative kingdom. The Saudi interior ministry issued a statement on March 5, 2011, prohibiting “all forms of demonstrations, marches or protests, and calls for them, because that contradicts the principles of the Islamic Sharia, the values and traditions of Saudi society, and results in disturbing public order and harming public and private interests.”
Protesters also called for the withdrawing of Saudi troops from Bahrain. Bahrain's majority Shiites, who complain of political and economic marginalisation, led a protest movement that erupted in February last year, only to be crushed in mid-March when the government imposed martial law and brought in Saudi and United Arab Emirates troops.
The eastern part of Saudi Arabia, where live about 2 millions Shi’ite Muslims, has been experiencing turmoil since March 2011.They demand equality in employment and social benefits with Sunni Muslims, who make up the majority of the population in Saudi Arabia but also rights reforms, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners.