DUBAI - More than 200 Shi'ite Muslims protested in Saudi Arabia's oil-producing east on Friday in solidarity with fellow believers in nearby Bahrain, who are facing a rolling crackdown, two activists said.
The gathering in the towns of Awwamiya and Qatif defied a call by leading Shi'ite clerics last week for an end to rallies in the conservative desert kingdom's Eastern Province, in an apparent bow to government pressure.
Shi'ite activists in the area have held weekly protests over the past two months without major clashes with police.
"There was a protest of over 200 people in Awwamiya, with the same demands as previous weeks. Police were present but far from the protesters," one activist in Awwamiya told Reuters by telephone.
The protests also called for the release of some Saudi detainees, he added. The march lasted for over one hour, another activist said.