TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A Bahraini activist deplored the ongoing crackdown on the people of al-Awamiyah in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, saying the Riyadh regime is trying to silence the voices of dissent by attacking the Shiite-populated city.

“Al-Awamiyah has always been well-known for its resistance against the Al Saud regime,” Ebrahim al-Aradi said in an interview with the Press Shia Agency News Agency.

“Al-Awamiyah was (the city where) protests against the Al Saud began and today, the regime is seeking to stifle the protests,” he said.

“These days, the Al Saud massively arrests young people in Awamiyah,” Aradi said, adding that the situation in the area has become more complicated since Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took power.

The remarks came as hundreds of residents in Awamiyah have been forced to flee their homes with the regime’s bulldozers razing to the ground the city and security forces killing more people in harsh attacks.

Al-Awamiyah, a town of 30,000 in the Shiite-majority Qatif region, was the home of Nimr al-Nimr, a Shiite cleric put to death in January last year over trumped-up charges.

The Shiite-populated Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime.