BEIRUT, July 15 (Itar-Tass) —— Saudi Arabia is surprised with the statement made by Konstantin Dolgov, Russian MFA Representative on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, which refers to the situation in the Eastern Province of that country.
"The Government of the Kingdom sees this statement as hostile and would like to remind to the Russian representative, that the Saudi authorities have always respected and tend to respect international rules, sovereignty and independence of states, and also have refrained and desist from interfering with their internal affairs, including those of Russia," the SAP quotes a high-ranking source at the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia as saying.
The statement of the Russian Ombudsman for Human Rights, according to Riyadh, "contradicts diplomatic norms and is an outspoken and unwarranted interference in internal affairs." "The Kingdom hopes that the appearance of this strange statement is not intended to divert attention from the barbaric massacre of the Syrian regime of its own people, which it does with the support of well-known parties, preventing the sincere efforts to stop the bloodshed in Syria," the comment reads.
On July 12, Konstantin Dolgov expressed concern about the situation in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. He gave the information according to which on July 9 at the administrative centre of El Katif there were clashes between security forces and a group of peaceful demonstrators who were protesting against the taking place, in their opinion, cases of infringement of rights of the Shia community by the authorities of the kingdom. "The incidents seem to risk a negative impact on stability and harmony of civil society in Saudi Arabia," the Russian diplomat said.
In El Katif, died two demonstrators, more than 20 protesters were injured. Among the victims of a Shiite religious leaders was Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was arrested by the police. Shiites make ten percent of the population of Saudi Arabia and live in the east of the country, where the main oil reserves and industrial facilities are concentrated.
Moscow hopes that "the government of the Kingdom will undertake all measures to normalise the situation in its eastern regions, to prevent conflict, including those on the inter-faith basis, and to provide a guaranteed universally of accepted human rights, including rights for freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and freedom of associations, as provided by law," Dolgov said.