(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Protesters have demonstrated in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, condemning the regime’s brutality and the recent killing of a teenager in the Qatif city of the oil-rich province.
Anti-regime protesters staged overnight rallies on Saturday in Qatif after 18-year-old Hussain Yousef al-Qallaf died of his injuries, a day after being shot in the chest by security forces.
The Saudi authorities also say one policeman was also killed in the confrontation.
Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province has been witnessing growing anti-regime sentiments.
Interview with Syed Ali Wasif, the president of Society for International Reforms and Research, to further discuss the issue.
The video also offers the opinions of two additional guests: Ali Al Ahmed, and Fouad Ibrahim. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Q: Your take on that. We’ve seen that another demonstrator has been killed. How likely is this going to have an effect, sort of a rippling effect that usually we have seen in other countries when they wanted to bury that individual, that people would turn out in demonstrations? How likely is it, as the violence continues to increase in Saudi Arabia, that we’re going to see major escalations of demonstrations and of course reactions by the Saudi regime?
Wasif: I think the important matter is not that the gentleman was killed, the protester was killed. The important news is a policeman was killed, if he was killed. If a policeman was killed, this is a sign of a direct head-on collision with the Saudi regime.
Q: Why do you say that?
Wasif: Because it means that now the protesters are sick and tired of marching on the streets, taking to the streets day in and day out. Now they are ready to move ahead with the same force, with a similar force, with a similar kind of equal reaction to the Saudi brutality -- that is “an eye for an eye”. If this is exactly the case, then this is a doomsday scenario.
The Saudi authorities should now see and translate the writings on the wall. Those are somewhat a warning to the Saudi regime that enough is enough. It’s going to have an international repercussion as well.
I think what the demonstrators and the protesters have done now, they are now gradually moving towards an organized protest, an organized demonstration, an organized kind of a strategy which they elect before.
Whatever they are doing now, I think they are under a single leadership, under a single banner and they are moving ahead in the right direction to oust the Saudi regime in that region, especially from that region.
But they should take into confidence all other groups, those are from other parts of Saudi Arabia who have a kind of exile presence in Europe or in other parts of the world or in North America. They should contact them as well in order to boost up the morale of the Saudi dissidents and those who hate the Saudi regime and their brutality. I think they should form a single forum to oust this regime.
Q: What about that? We see this time and time again, especially with these dictatorial regimes in the Middle East, starting off from Tunisia and then Egypt, and continuing. Why hasn’t the Saudi regime learned from so many of these others that have fallen? Why haven’t they tried to bring about some type of changes? We know that King Abdullah, initially after the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, tried to put some money in certain parts of the society, certain sectors of society, but why not try to implement reforms?
Wasif: There are three reasons. First of all, you have to look at the infrastructure of the Saudi government, its historical background and its ideology. If you understand these three factors, you’ll be able to understand as to why the Saudi regime is unable to understand the language on the wall, the writing on the wall, and it’s unable to translate the writings on the wall.
Because first, the Saudi regime is an amalgamation of a vicious circle of some court mullahs and the royal family, first. A vicious circle. They are joined hand in hand in every kind of corruption and backing each other on different occasions. First, in the name of Islam, first.
What they are doing is they are betraying the common Muslims in the name of Mecca and Medina, and their sacredness. The sacredness of Mecca and Medina is being used by the Saudi regime to fool around, to fool the Saudi citizens and to fool the Muslim Ummah and the international community at large. So, this is the first problem.
The second, compared to other Middle Eastern regimes, Saudi Arabia is the richest among all of them. It takes advantage of its oil resources and it spent a lot of money to propagate its policies, and to buy and purchase some kind of dissidents, mullahs and people from different strata within the Saudi regime and outside of the Saudi regime as well.
The third is they are so brutal. The Saudi intelligence and the ministry of the interior is so brutal that as soon as they smell a dissident characteristic within a family, they just pick up those family members and, you know, the family members are vanished. This is a type of repression they are engaged in.
How would you expect a different scenario on the streets, different from, for instance, from Egypt, from Tunisia and Yemen and so on? This is the case.
Therefore, I think the solution -- now the solution -- the solution is, I think, kind of a unified opposition both from Eastern Province and from other parts of Saudi Arabia with a single point agenda and that is to oust this brutal regime.
Q: Syed Wasif, you were talking about possible solutions, let’s hear them. What will it take to ease the pressure on the people in Saudi Arabia? What is the answer?
Wasif: Well, the answer is simple. There are two parts of this answer. One is based on international legal norms and the other is based on Islamic norms.
First the international legal norms. Monarchy is basically a disgrace on the face of a nation under international law, under international human rights law, monarchy is not allowed.
The Saudi regime is totally in contravention with international legal norms, with international legal rights norms, first.
The second is the Islamic concept. The Saudi regime doesn’t even follow the basic Muslim Islamic tenets, the basic Qur’anic tenets of “Shurahom amra bainahom”, that is to have a kind of consultative status in the regime. You have just the princes, the 5,000 princes in the royal family members making the policies to their own ends, first.
The answer is a unified opposition. They should have their offices in Washington D.C. and in European capitals to muster international support to oust this regime.