(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - “Saudi Arabia believes that any democracy in Bahrain will move to Saudi Arabia,” said Hisham Jaber, the director of the Center of Middle East Studies in Beirut.
He made reference to the rising tide of anti-government protests in Bahrain as well as the eastern regions of Saudi Arabia and noted that although there is no coordination between the protesters in the two countries, both sides “are asking for democracy and freedom.”
The ongoing anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia have recently escalated in the Qatif region and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province following the arrest of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr, who was attacked, injured and incarcerated on July 8.
Jaber denounced the use of violence as an ineffective means for the settlement of the exacerbating crises in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and argued that “the only solution” for the Manama and Riyadh regimes is to “listen to the people and give them their rights.”
He also warned the Saudi and Bahraini governments not to rely on the US support, “because America at the end of the day, as we have experienced … may leave them and when they find that a regime is tired and ready to expire, they kick out the regime. That's the experience in Tunisia and Egypt and everywhere”
Bahrainis have been staging demonstrations since mid-February 2011, demanding political reform and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on peaceful protests.
Scores of people have been killed and many others have been injured in the Saudi-backed crackdown on peaceful protesters in Bahrain.
Since February 2011, protesters have also held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province, calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.
However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in Eastern Province.