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Saudi regime detains top Shia scholar in Eastern Province Saudi regime's security forces have arrested a prominent Shia cleric over his anti-regime comments as Riyadh continues its crackdown on the minority sect. Media reports said on Tuesday that security forces arrested Ayatollah Hussein al-Radhi shortly after he led prayers in the al-Ahsa oasis region of Eastern Province. The detention came after the senior cleric wrote an article in which he criticized the House of Saud for jailing and executing critics and dissidents, including Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr who was beheaded in January. Al-Radi had also infuriated the monarchy by denouncing the ongoing deadly Saudi airstrikes which have claimed lives of more than 8,000 civilians in Yemen Riyadh has been under fire from international organizations and rights groups over the rising number of civilian casualties in Yemen. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has recently said that Saudi Arabia and its allies may be committing crimes against humanity due to their indiscriminate killing of civilians in Yemen. The senior cleric had also strongly denounced a decision by the Saudi-led [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council to brand Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia has been denounced by rights groups for its grave human rights abuses and harsh crackdown on all forms of dissent. The Shia-dominated Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners. They want an end to economic and religious discrimination against the region. Reports on protests in Qatif are scant, as Saudi authorities allow foreign news media to visit the region only if accompanied by government officials, claiming it is to ensure journalists' safety. Shia Muslims have long complained of entrenched discrimination in a country where the semi-official Wahhabi school condones violence against them. They face abuse from Wahhabi clerics, rarely get permits for places of worship and seldom get senior public sector jobs. Shia religious centers have also been target of a series of terror attacks across the region over the past few months. Those basic complaints have over the years been aggravated by what residents across the Shia-majority call a heavy-handed security measures against their community They accuse the authorities of unfair detentions and punishments, shooting unarmed protesters and torturing suspects. http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/03/22/457060/Saudi-Arabia-Shia-Ayatollah-Hussein-alRadi-Eastern-Province-Sheikh-Nimr-alNimr/ Saudi Shia Cleric Jailed for Remarks in Support of Iran, Hezbollah Ayatollah Hussein al-Radhi, a prominent Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia, was arrested by regime forces after a recent speech in support of Iran and the Lebanese Resistance Movement, Hezbollah, local reports said. In his recent remarks in a mosque in the al-Ahsa region of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, Ayatollah Radhi had denounced the Saudi-led Persian Gulf Cooperation Council’s recent move to put Hezbollah on its so-called terror list, saying the Lebanese group’s crime is to fight against the Zionist regime of Israel and Takfiri militants from the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group. He further described Israel as the enemy of Muslims and called on Riyadh to stop its hostilities toward Hezbollah and Iran and to unite with the two against the Tel Aviv regime. The top cleric went on to say that Saudi Arabia should avoid interfering in the internal affairs of Yemen, Syria, Libya and Bahrain and “leave them alone”. Riyadh has been under fire from international organizations and rights groups over its heinous crimes in Yemen and its meddling in the affairs of several other Arab countries. Media reports said on Tuesday that security forces arrested Ayatollah Radhi shortly after he led prayers in al-Ahsa. The cleric had also written an article criticizing the Al Saud for jailing and executing critics and dissidents, including Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr who was beheaded in January. The Shiite-dominated Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners. They want an end to economic and religious discrimination against the region. http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia/archive/2016/03/24/742900/story.html
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