Saudi security forces raided Awwamiya village in Qatif today [July 30] to arrest Abbas Al-Mazraa. Al-Mazraa appeared on the 23 wanted persons list issued by the government for his participation in protests that swept Qatif with the beginning of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011. The raid lasted from 5.45am to 2pm.
Forces raided Al-Mazraa's house under heavy gunfire which started a fire that burnt down the house and the cars around it.
Some neighboring offices were also damaged. According to Twitter users, firemen were prevented from reaching the fire for over two hours.
This video, uploaded on YouTube, shows the damage left on the scene in the aftermath of the raid:
Along with Abbas Al-Mazraa, six of his brothers were arrested.
Dr Reema shares this tweet [ar]:
— Dr Reema (@DrReema2013) July 29, 2013
They burnt his house and his car, the source of his income, and tied up his brothers and arrested Abbas Al-Mazraa
It was also reported that Al-Mazraa's mother, aunt and sisters were taken to Awwamiya police station where they were held briefly then released.
It's not the first time for security forces to attack and fire arbitrarily in a residential area. Last month, they killed Ali Al-Mahrous and Morsi Al-Rebh in Qatif.
The spokesman of the ministry of interior told the official government news agency, SPA, [ar] that Abbas Al-Mazraa and eight other men are accused of drug trafficking and that's why they were arrested.
The 23 wanted persons are accused of causing disorder and riots, among other charges and were called to hand themselves over to authorities. Many of them denied all charges and said their only crime was protesting peacefully demanding their rights. Citizens in Qatif complain of the discrimination they face as Muslims of the Shiite sect, but the government denies such discrimination.
Since March 2011, at least 20 people have been killed in the eastern province by security forces and 850 people were arrested. Around 190 are still in jail.