Saudi Arabia: Netizens Use Online Activism to Draw Attention to Qatif Protests

The month of November marked the return of protests to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia in 2011, as the people of Qatif took to the streets to demand reforms, equality, the release of their detainees, and political freedom as many of their slogans and chants have expressed. So far, four protesters have been shot dead by security forces as a result.

One of the signs held in Qatif protests. Photo credit: Crowd Voice

One of the signs held in Qatif protests. Photo credit: Crowd Voice

The regime justified its acts saying protests in Qatif are plotted by a foreign agenda, hinting on Iran since the Eastern Province is inhabited by a large number of Shias.

The youth of Qatif used YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as their platform to spread the news from the protests by posting videos, pictures, and updates.

It was clear that the world and in specific Arab mainstream media supported the protests in just the same way the Bahrain protests were treated, especially when they first started back in February 2011. Following in this report are some of the videos posted from the Qatif protests.

Western media have reported four shot dead, however, through social networking, users from the Eastern Province claim that there were at least ten killed so far throughout November, including a seven year old girl, but they have not provided any evidence.

In this video, posted on 25 November, 2011, by YouTube user The Qatifi, protesters chant “We will not give up”:

Protesters chant against member of the Al Saudi Royal family Mohammed Bin Fahad, who is the Governor of the Eastern Province, as they get shot at in this video, uploaded on YouTube by Revolution2East:

In this video, posted on the 21 November, we can see anti-regime graffiti on the walls. The video was uploaded on YouTube by user NesrinMusaNM. In this video, the protesters are chanting: “We will only kneel to Allah (God).”

This next video shows a small group of men from Qatif marching and chanting against the regime. They have covered their faces to protect them from prosecution by the Saudi authorities, as protests and all forms of dissent are banned in the Kingdom. In this video, uploaded on YouTube by Revolution2East, the protesters are chanting: “Al Saud Out Out! The Arab Peninsula is Free!”

Here's a montage video [Warning: GRAPHIC. Viewer discretion is advised] of the protests, showing security forces shooting, and footage of a killed man before his burial.

On November 20, Qatif witnessed the shooting of its first protester. The authorities are said to have refused to hand his body to his family. His name is Nasser Al-Mheishi and he was only 19 years old. In reaction, protesters took to the streets again on November 21 and another young man called Ali al-Felfel was shot dead.

This video, posted on the 23 November by YouTube user NesrinMusa NM, shows footage taken from the funerals of both martyrs:

In the demonstration that followed on Wednesday, two more protesters were killed – Munib Al-Adnan and Ali Qarayrees. This video [Warning: GRAPHIC] shows the bullet in Al-Adnan's head.

Here, in this video uploaded on YouTube by AwamiaTV, the people of Qatif mourn Al-Adnan:

And in here, in this video uploaded on YouTube by YaShaheed33, they mourn Qarayrees:

In reaction, this video, posted on the 26 November by YouTube user Al Watani Al Hur, shows Bahrainis protesting in solidarity with the people of Qatif. The protests took place in the village of Nuwaidrat:

The protests also moved to Istanbul, Turkey, where this video, uploaded on YouTube by Mashe Hossein, shows angry Turkish protesters chanting against the Saudi royal family and burning pictures the Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud:


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