Protests against the Riyadh regime in several towns have increased in number over the past few days.
Demonstrators condemn the brutal police crackdown and demand the release of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr, who was attacked, injured and arrested on July 8.
Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in the Qatif region and Awamiyah in Eastern Province, calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.
An interview with Kamel Wazni, political analyst, to hear his opinion on this issue.
Q: Mr. Wazni, it has been a while now that the so-called Arab Spring has been in action. With these protests and the escalation from the Saudi authorities, is a Saudi-revolution of sorts beginning at this point?
Wazni: Well obviously it shows that there is large portion of the population especially in Qatif are not happy about the performance of the Saudi government in regard with what has been taken place of wide discrimination against the eastern part of Saudi Arabia. I think the Saudis cannot live in denial for very long time. They have to look at the issue and address what is taking place and by arresting and continue arresting Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr this demonstration will spread further into the rest of Saudi Arabia because there is a lot of dismay at the behavior of the monarchy and the way it is conducting its policy whether in the eastern part or throughout Saudi Arabia.
I think the liberal in Saudi Arabia have to look very carefully at what is talking place in Qatif in the eastern part and maybe start to actually raise their voices demanding the change that it deserves in a country that has such a position and such wealth where people should live in a democratic system that gives it people the right to live with dignity, without any discrimination or bias against a certain portion of its population.
And I am speaking here about the eastern part where there is widespread discrimination where people are not allowed to actually further their dreams and to have jobs that is supposed to be acceptable and move up the ladder in their government or in the police forces or to pray the way they want to pray or to build their mosque, Husseiynia and so on.
I think the Saudis if they continue to live in denial at one point things are going to catch up and will be too late for them to address the change that is needed.
Q: Mr. Wazni you know the Saudis have had their hands in the revolutions throughout the region, from their disapproval of Mubarak's ouster to their approval of arming the so-called Syrian opposition in order to overthrow President Assad. How much of their internal issues stem from their interference region-wide?
Wazni: Well I think the Saudis for very long time they had the fear that the revolution will hit their kingdom and I think for very long time they allocated certain money for other revolutions on one condition that the revolution would not spread to their borders.
I think they wanted to buy some of these revolutions. After the collapse of Hosni Mubarak they were against it, as you said king Abdullah pleaded with Obama but I think the will of the Egyptian people was the ultimate litmus test to change.
I think now not only Saudi Arabia are afraid, Arab Emirates actually they are fearing the change too and they are counting maybe the days, maybe where the Islamic Brotherhood probably will start their revolution inside Arab Emirates but I think the situation in Saudi Arabia is very serious because you have to see as we looked at those people you probably would not see that maybe a year ago. Today people are starting to actually being free to voice their demands loud and clear and I think the crackdown only will escalate the situation. Addressing the people, the grievance of the people is the answer and the immediate release of Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr.
And I think this is a worry that the American have in mind because they think after all that probably Saudi Arabia is a common wealth like Peurto Rico part of the United States because of the oil and the wealth of the oil and that is why we saw the head of the CIA actually was in Saudi Arabia and there was some articles in the Wall Street addressed the situation how the American managing the crisis as they call it in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi monarchy waiting to take orders about how to go and proceed with the situation.
It could be Bahrain all along in the eastern part and I think Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have the legitimate cause to continue and to have the start of the uprising to be very powerful and strong in the coming days.