IHRC is deeply concerned by reports it is receiving that young motorcyclists in the eastern Saudi town of Qatif are being systematically targeted by Saudi security forces. This step follows recent protests that took place earlier this month in Awamiyah, a village situated in the Qatif governate, in which some young motorcyclists followed the injured being transported in ambulances to ensure their safety.
IHRC has received reports that the Saudi security forces are currently engaged in a campaign to terrorise the local population and administer collective punishment in an attempt to crush the protest movement. This is being done by means of blanket arbitrary arrests targeting youth riding motorcycles, in addition to police opening continuous fire using live ammunition on motorcyclists approaching police checkpoints. There have been eight recorded incidents of this so far, with three victims currently hospitalised and being treated for their injuries. IHRC will release further details on the incidents as they are received.
Massoud Shadjareh, chair of IHRC, stated:
“These reports represent a very dangerous escalation on part of the Saudi government. Saudi forces have already shown their brutality by crossing the border into Bahrain to suppress protests there, but targeting their fellow citizens with live ammunition demonstrates their utter disregard for the most basic standards of morality and respect for human life.”
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