Female activists have taken to the streets in Saudi Arabia to demand the release of women and children arrested in demonstrations against the ruling Al Saud regime.
The protesters staged the rally on Saturday in the city of Buraydah, calling for the release of their relatives who are in jail on political charges.
According to the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, more than 30 thousand dissidents have been jailed across the kingdom. Many detainees are in prisons without trial and large numbers of others have ended their jail terms, but are still in custody.
Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in the Qatif region and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province. They demand the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.
However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province.
The country’s officials warned in October, 2012 that they would deal “firmly” with anti-regime demonstrations. Amnesty International slammed the warning, and urged authorities to “withdraw their threat.”
According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”
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