Scarcely Reported Conflict (01:57)
Protests erupted in the Eastern province of Qatif. Despite the existence of the largest oil field in the world, the people are impoverished. The government is determined to stop the protests.
Unprecedented Protests (01:57)
Journalist Safa Al Ahmad was born near the city of Qatif and returned home to investigate the discontent. Her goal is to discover who began the protests and why.
Abuse and Detentions (02:30)
The uprising began in early 2011. The Saudi government sent security forces to quell protests; people were arrested in hordes. Human rights advocate Ahmad Mshaiks describes the government checkpoints that still detain people.
Shia Discrimination? (04:32)
The Sunni run the government of Saudi Arabia. The Shia community, a minority group, lives mainly in the Eastern Province which sits on top of the world's largest oil fields. Ahmad interviews activists who speak of marginalization.
Protests Turn Deadly (01:09)
The protests were originally peaceful, but turned volatile and activists were killed in November 2011; the government downplayed the confrontations. Al Ahmad learns that activists want major reform, though unified demands have not been made.
Means of Defense? (03:42)
The Saudi government claims the protesters are violent and use weapons, but the protesters deny this. Ministry of Interior Spokesman Mansour Al Turki claims that investigations proved the protesters are accessing weapons. Activists throw Molotov cocktails at police cars.
Appeal to Clerics (03:31)
The Saudi Arabian government asked Shia clerics to call off the protests. A small number of clerics, including Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, openly support the protesters. Nimr al-Nimr, is currently in prison, facing the death penalty.
The impoverished town of has a history of being a place of conflict. Footage of a shooting in the city shows Morsi Al Ribh, one of the movement's most active leaders.
Military Zone (03:04)
In early 2013, military checkpoints surround Qatif. Security forces raid the houses of Al Ribh and another activist, but the activists successfully escaped. Ahmad arrives not long after the raid to meet with the wanted men.
Targeted Raid (02:30)
Ahmad arrives at the home of activist Fathil Al Safwani; his house was raided and his mother is in shock. The police demanded a key to Al Safwani's room and threatened his mother's life.
Wanted by the Police (03:01)
The police create a list of 23 wanted men. By September 2012, five were arrested and four voluntarily surrendered. Khaled Labad is the first wanted man who was killed. Ahmad visits Labad's mother.
Death of Protesters (00:35)
Sheikh Abdul Karim al-Hubail is one of the few clerics who still openly supports the protestors; he often speaks at the funerals. An activists describes discrimination against the Shia.
Unresolved Problems (03:51)
Al-Hubail recalls studying in Iran. He says that the Saudi government blames its issues on Iran. Ahmad decides to leave Saudi Arabia and reviews footage, where she sees activists firing guns in an altercation with the police.
Continued Conflict (03:03)
In October 2013, Ahmad returns to Saudi Arabia; people are reluctant to speak to her. She interviews a mother in Al-Awamiyah who fears the government and activists. Morsi Al Ribh was shot and killed by the police.
Sectarian Tensions (03:22)
Ahmad learns police officers killed two activists in Al-Awamiyah; two policemen were also killed. Saudi television broadcasts the police funerals. The Minister of Interior declares the violent protestors are terrorists. Clerics denounce the use of violence by protestors.
Credits: Secret Uprising (00:37)
Credits: Secret Uprising
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