Amnesty International has called on Saudi Arabia to free the prisoners arrested for participating in peaceful demonstrations in the kingdom's Eastern Province.
The rights group made the assertion in a report titled "Dissident Voices Stifled in the Eastern Province," which was released on Monday, AFP reported. The report also urged the ultraconservative kingdom to release the people detained without charges.
Amnesty said hundreds of people, including children, had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia since March 2011. The body went on to say that, though, "many of those arrested have been released, some continue to be detained, mostly without charge or trial and apparently solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression."
Saudi Arabia's east has been the scene of anti-government protests since February 2011, with demonstrators demanding respect for human rights, implementation of reforms, realization of freedom of expression, and release of political prisoners.
Anti-government protesters in the kingdom also want an end to economic and religious discrimination and the termination of the government's March 2011-present involvement in brutal crackdown on anti-regime protests in neighboring Bahrain.