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Toronto: Protesters Demand An End To Us-Backed Oppression In Saudi Arabia

By: 
Yusur Al-Bahrani

July 21, 2012

Protesters gathered outside the US Consulate in Toronto yesterday, demanding an end to oppression in Saudi Arabia and condemning the US government’s role in backing the Al-Saud monarchy.

Demonstrators echoed the demands of protesters in the eastern province of Qatif and other Saudi cities: an end to oppression, release of all prisoners of conscience, and an end to the Western support of the Saudi government.

The Saudi government propagandists attempt to view the pro-democracy movement in Saudi Arabia as a sectarian one. However, protesters made it clear that this is not the case. Many were carrying banners saying: “Sunni and Shia are brothers” and “Divide and conquer will not work.” Speakers included activists from different religious and political backgrounds echoing the same message of activists on the ground; that is, unity and solidarity. They not only protested against the brutality of the Saudi regime, but all dictatorships backed by the West and the US in specific.

More than a week ago, Saudi security forces arrested progressive anti-regime cleric Nemr Al-Nemr after an attempt to assassinate him. He is on hunger strike now, and there are reports that he has been ill-treated and shackled to a bed. According to recent reports there are more than 30,000 of prisoners of conscience in Saudi prisons. Protesters in Qatif, Al-Nemr’s homeland, protest daily and the number has increased to thousands despite the systematic oppression.

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