IGOHR Condemns Terrorist Attack that Killed Two Civilians in Qatif Governorate, Saudi Arabia

IGOHR Condemns Terrorist Attack that Killed Two Civilians in Qatif Governorate, Saudi Arabia 14 May 2017

The International Gulf Organization for Human Rights (IGOHR) strongly condemns the recent terrorist attack at development projects in the eastern Qatif governorate in Saudi Arabia that left two people dead including a two-year-old child. IGOHR is deeply shocked at the attack and views such attacks as a means used by individuals with negative ideologies to undermine the peace, security, prosperity and stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The incident took place at Al-Masoura neighborhood in Al-Awamiya town in Qatif, where a group of armed assailants attack company workers and pedestrians at a development project by firing gun shots indiscriminately in a bid to stop the demolition of houses in the area. The also used explosive devices to stop the projects. As a result, two civilians were killed during the terror attack – a two-year-old Saudi child and a Pakistani resident – and 10 others were injured.

The main objective of the terrorists was to halt the demolition of abandoned houses in Al-Masoura district and other development projects which will bring sustainable growth and progress in the area. The houses were used by terrorists to perpetrate criminal activities such as kidnapping and drugs selling thereby terrorizing and instilling fear among the population.

The International Gulf Organization for Human Rights vehemently condemns the attack and considers that such terror attacks against unarmed civilians carrying out development projects are a blatant violation of international humanitarian treaties in times of peace. The 1997 Terrorist Convention describes as terrorist attack “the unlawful and intentional use of explosives in public places with intention to kill, to injure or to cause extensive destruction to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing some act.” The convention equally urges its member states to take measures to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of such terrorist acts.

 IGOH asserts that terrorist activities like the one that took place in Qatif governorate negatively impact on the human rights and freedoms of the victims such the rights to life, liberty, and their security of person. In addition, such acts of terrorism are conducted by terrorists with the aim of destabilizing the government, undermine civil society, jeopardize peace and security, and threaten social and economic development. It equally seeks to threaten regional and international peace.

Therefore, IGOHR calls on the Saudi government to promptly investigate the recent bombings and to hold accountable all organizers, perpetrators and financiers of these horrible acts and to bring them to justice. IGOHR further calls on the Saudi authorities to step-up their efforts in combating terrorism in the country that will enhance peace, stability, security of person and prosperity. They also need to activate its human rights mechanism and ensure the rights of their citizens and that of others by taking positive steps to protect them from threats of terrorist acts like the one that took place recently. IGOHR also extends its sincere sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Saudi government and people.