Saudi rights activist: protests in 2 Shiite towns

AP News
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Posted: Apr 08, 2011 12:55 PM
Saudi rights activist: protests in 2 Shiite towns

A prominent Saudi human rights activist says hundreds of people have demonstrated in two Shiite towns in the country's east.

Ibrahim Almugaiteeb (al-MuGAYteeb) of the Human Rights First Society said Friday that mostly young men gathered in the town of Qatif and the nearby village of al-Awamiya (al-aWAMiya).

He says they demanded security forces release dozens of men detained during earlier demonstrations.

They also demanded the Saudi government withdraw their troops from Bahrain, where they are leading a 1,500-man Gulf military force, to shore up the Sunni monarchy against mostly Shiite demonstrators demanding reform.

The protests passed peacefully.

Saudi's Shiites form some 10 percent of the kingdom's 23 million people, and complain of discrimination.