Only a few days after National Day celebrations in Saudi Arabia, the House of Saud was keen on reminding the public about the real historical significance of this date.
The Interior Ministry raided the Showeika neighborhood in al-Qatif in the Eastern Region, shooting live rounds from inside civilian cars at a peaceful protest organized by a group of young men in support of arrested cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. About 10 protesters were injured; they fell to the ground, spilling their blood on the protest signs that they were carrying, as seen in photos shared online by local activists.
Social media activists said a young man by the name of Bassem al-Qadihi was injured and admitted to the hospital, but security forces soon checked him out of the hospital and took him to an unknown location, despite his serious health condition. Some parents, fearing their children’s arrest, did not take them to the hospital but treated them at home instead.
The Interior Ministry maintained silence for hours as a public solidarity campaign was launched along with fiery tweets by activist Hamza al-Shakhouri.
When the Interior Ministry finally spoke out, the ‘terrorism’ charge was used against the protesters as usual.
In a press release published by the Saudi news agency, the ministry’s security spokesman, General Mansour al-Turki said “concerned security bodies were able to track down fugitive Ali Mohammed al-Qadihi, involved in leading a number of terrorist operations that targeted citizens, residents and security forces, in the town of al-Awamiya during which firearms were used, and training and encouraging young people on using [these arms].”
But does the ministry have any evidence to support its claims? The answer is no as these claims remain mere accusations. The House of Saud has grown accustomed to fabricating accusations against the people of the Eastern Region ever since they started protesting peacefully three years ago to demand freedom.
In addition, the spokesman mentioned al-Awamiya region on purpose, although the incident took place in the al-Showeika neighborhood, as if he intentionally implicated al-Awamiya since the town has a heavy opposition presence, and has witnessed many bloody events in the past.The press release noted that al-Qadihi’s health deteriorated without giving any details, and it was announced later on Sunday that he succumbed to his injuries.
Al-Qadihi’s name was not among the 23 individuals announced by the Saudi authorities as dangerous fugitives; however, General Turki insisted that he was “one of the most dangerous individuals wanted by the security forces.”
How is he one of the most dangerous fugitives but his name is not on the most wanted list? Only the Saudi authorities can answer this question.
Following the incident, activist Hamza al-Shakhouri said on Twitter: “The Saudi regime is delusional for thinking that its assaults and fascism will terrorize our people and stop them from continuing their movement and demanding their rights. The oppressed will come out victorious, and triumph by virtue of their will, determination, and sacrifices, over the crimes and terror committed by despotic authorities.”
“It is not the first time that Saudi investigators and intelligence officials behave in such an insanely stupid manner that even children laugh at them, they think they are deceiving people,” al-Shakhouri said. He added, “psychological strain, frustration, and the crisis on the decision-making level are making the princes of the House of Saud reckless and crazy, if they had been sane, none of this would have happened.”