People in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province have staged fresh protest rallies, chanting slogans against Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz.
The demonstrations were held on Friday although Riyadh had strictly banned any anti-government gatherings and other public displays of dissent across the country.
Demonstrations in Eastern Province began in February 2011 and turned into protest rallies against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province.
Riyadh has intensified its crackdown on anti-government protesters since the beginning of 2012.
The US-based Human Rights Watch called on Saudi authorities last October to stop the ”arbitrary arrests of peaceful protesters, relatives of wanted persons, and human rights activists” in Eastern Province.
According to the Saudi-based Human Rights First Society (HRFS), the detainees, held in Saudi custody, suffer from both physical and mental torture, Press TV reported.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have accused the Al Saud regime of silencing dissent through intimidation and the violation of the basic rights of citizens.
According to rights activists, hundreds of detainees are being held in Saudi prisons without trial or charge.
The arrests in Saudi Arabia have been carried out despite the fact that the authoritarian kingdom is a party to the Arab Charter on Human Rights, Article 14 of which prohibits arbitrary detention.