Story of Saudi child killers in besieged Awamiyah

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - On August 9, 2017, the 5-year old Sajjad Abu Abdullah succumbed to the two-month old injuries he sustained after a Saudi regime force attacked the house of his parents, shooting his little abdomen.

Sajjad became the youngest martyr of the three-month old crackdown against the Shia-populated town of Awamia in the Qatif eastern province.

The 40 square kilometers coastal town is a historic area that has been classified by the UNESCO as a unique heritage. This place, however, almost turned into rubble after the use of Saudi bulldozers, RPGs and all kinds of destructive weapons in it.

Awamia is the hometown of late Martyr Ayatollah Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, the Shia cleric the regime beheaded on the New Year's Eve of 2016 after speaking up against injustice in the Wahhabi kingdom.

In a futile attempt to silence the opposition's stances against injustice, oppression and human rights violations, the Saudi rulers gave a greenlight for their officers and mercenaries to get rid of the town and its citizens, no matter what are the costs and the casualties. Saudi bombs ruined mosques, schools and residential complexes. Saudi bullets penetrated the bodies of young and old citizens. And Saudi fire prevented people from removing dead bodies from burned cars and streets in Awamia.

Trying to justify the crimes against humanity, the forces as well as the media controlled by Al Saud are authorized to fake whatever story that claims everyone who was shot in the besieged area is a terrorist, wanted or militant.

A year before the Saudi-imposed siege on Awamia, the regime forces carried out a sudden attack against the al-Mosawara neighborhood, causing an injury for the 17-year old Walid Talal al-Arid.

Nevertheless, government-controlled Saudi News Agency published on June 12, 2017 a news entitled "Interior Ministry Spokesman: One of the Wanted by Security Forces Killed in Al-Mosawara Neighborhood, Awamia."

The news further claimed: "The security spokesperson of the interior ministry stated that as the security forces were performing their duties chasing the wanted persons who has used the houses of al-Mosawara neighborhood in Awamia, that were abandoned by their residents under a developmental project, for staying in and plotting their terrorist activities, the security forces has been subjected to heavy fire at 09:30 in the morning of Saturday, 12/6/1438 H, in the al-Mosawara neighborhood, in which they dealt with the issue as it is required. The incidents led to the injury of the wanted Walid Talal al-Arid, who was taken to hospital and died later"... the interior ministry claimed through this statement that Walid al-Arid was wanted to the security system.

However, people of Awamia reported that Walid opened the door of his house to see what was happening when he was hit with two bullets, one of which was situated in his head.

As the ministry's statement confessed, the bullets were fired by security men. This indicates that targeting Walid's head was intended to kill him. As for the issue that he was wanted, residents of the area stressed that Walid was completing his high school studies in the nearby Safwa city and he used to go there on a daily basis passing through the security checkpoint between Awamia and Safwa. Had he been wanted according to the ministry's claims, he had been detained on the checkpoint earlier!

It was not the first incident during which the interior ministry twisted the truth and fabricated charges against civilians to justify its violations in killing and detaining people. Another raid took place on March 28, 2017 in the Rams agricultural land in Awamia. The Saudi News Agency reported in the next day that: "Interior Ministry Spokesman: Two Terrorists Killed, Others Detained in a Farm North of Awamia in Al-Qatif."

The news further claimed that someone opened fire at the security forces in which clashes erupted killing Mohammed Taher al-Nimr and Meqdad Mohammed al-Nimr without showing any evidence about it. Some activists and Awamia residents stated that the Nimr cousins [relatives of Martyr Ayatollah Nimr] were inside a car when the regime forces raided the farm, and there are pictures that document that fire was opened at the car inside which they were martyred, noting that this fire came only from one side and not from the side of those being inside the car.

In all of the security raids and attacks conducted by the interior ministry forces since 2011, the ministry has never confessed any of its mistakes in killing innocent people.

It announced a trial or questioning for security forces committing those crimes, to be dealt with legally. Instead, the authorities tended to fabricate incidents and hide facts to implement their security and political agenda in dealing with those events. For the reason, it sends instructions for its media outlets to implement those plots.
In the same context, the British "The Independent" newspaper reported that it had received information about what is happening in Awamia according to local Saudi activists with whom the paper carried out exclusive interviews.

The British paper further stated that this "Secret Battle" started since the arrival of US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia in late May, 2017 amid shy media coverage of those events whether from inside the kingdom or abroad.

The Independent cited an Awamia citizen as saying that some 25 people have lost their lives due to the bombings of the city and the snipers' fire, noting that "it is difficult to verify the information about Awamia since the foreign media outlets are not allowed to be in that area without a governmental officials' supervision."

Local activists published photos of the streets covered with rubble and sewage, which appears to be some battlefield in Syria rather than a city in the oil-overstuffed Persian Gulf country.

The Independent stated that it has documented detailed testimonies of what is going on in the besieged Awamia from a local-based activist.

The unnamed activist said: "I was a peaceful protester; most of us live in Awamia, until the government decided to list us as wanted terrorists. All what we has demanded is to continue calls for reforms." The activist stressed that "the citizens of Awamia don't fear the regime, the entire city has been targeted."

He added that "The government forces stormed my house in the beginning of the siege. My wife has been hit in front of my eyes. They raised guns in front of my five-year old daughter. They threatened my wife to abort her eight-month old pregnancy. They told my daughter: We will kill your dad. And then they threw her under my legs."

Meanwhile, Adam Coogle, Human Rights Watch Middle East Researcher, commented on the incidents taking place in the Shia town: "I have documented the struggle in Saudi Arabia previously, but I haven't seen something like this. Details here are clear on the ground. It is unprecedented."

Additionally, a US-base activist from Awamia told The Independent: "People fear that many bodies have been left in the streets for several days. Hundreds have fled the town and some 3000 to 5000 people are still stuck there."

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