Alwaght-The Saudi regime forces have ravaged a Shiite Muslim town in the country’s Qatif district as the world remains indifferent towards the crimes committed by the rulers in Riyadh.
New images on social media show the extent of the scorched-earth policy pursued by the Saudi regime against residential areas in the Shiite- populated in Al-Awamiyah, especially al-Mosara neighborhood on daily basis.
Saudi forces started their brutal attack on Awamiyah town on May 10, using helicopter gunships and heavy weapons. The Saudi regime claims the aim of the raid is to allow ‘renovation’ of the historic al-Mosara neighborhood to make way for a planned a new project.
Awamiyah, a town of 30,000 in the Shiite Muslim-majority Qatif district in the Eastern Saudi province, was the home of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a high ranking Shiite scholar who was unjustly hanged in January last year for demanding the legitimate rights of the region’s residents. The residents of Awamiyah are actually facing some sort of collective punishment by the Saudi regime for being the home of martyred Sheikh Nimr and the current crackdown is also meant serve as a warning to other Saudis especially Shiites.
Awamiyah under siege
Awamiyah town is now virtually besieged by Saudi regime forces conducting a brutal operation against residents of the region where no journalists are allowed.
Since the operation began, at least six security officers, and several civilians have been killed in a series of clashes and bombings with forsaken locals continuing to resist the regime's brutality.
Last month, Saudi regime forces shot and killed Amin al-Hani the president of the local Quran council as they torched his vehicle during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Saudi Arabia’s forces who had started the holy month of Ramadan by killing Fadhil al-Hamada and Muhammad al-Suimal ended the month of the Quran by assassinating al-Hani, a prominent Quran activist. Activists have condemned the brutal killing of the Quranic figure as an indication of Saudi authorities’ lack of respect for the lives of innocent people and civilians.
UN opposed ‘renovation’
The planned "renovation" of the historic 400-year old Almosara district has been highly controversial. In April, the United Nations called on the Saudi government to halt the project, warning that it threatened "the historical and cultural heritage of the town with irreparable harm".
“Residents have been pressured in many ways, including through power cuts, to vacate their homes and businesses without adequate alternative resettlement options, leaving them at best with insufficient compensation and at worst, with nowhere to go," said the UN Special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Leilani Farha.
Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, particularly Qatif, has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters, complaining of marginalization in the Wahabbi-ruled kingdom, have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination in the oil-rich region.
Riyadh has responded to the protests with a heavy-handed crackdown, but the rallies have intensified since January 2016, when the Saudi regime executed respected Shiite scholar Sheikh al-Nimr, an outspoken critic of the regime. According to conservative estimates, Shiite Muslims in Saudi Arabia are about 10 and 15 percent of the kingdom’s population.