Zayd Al-Isa, a London-based Middle East expert, said in an interview with Press TV that a “Wahabi Salafist establishment” gives religious legitimacy to the Al Saud regime, while a majority of Saudis are Sunni Muslims.
“And those people have been deceived for a long time by the Saudi regime’s claims that it is the guardian and the defender of Sunnis,” Isa said.
The analyst added that the popular uprising in the Arab world “shows that the Saudi regime is supportive of dictatorship; supportive of tyrants against the world of Sunni Muslims who are the dominant force in those regions.”
Isa described spreading sectarian divisions as the Al Saud regime’s defense to quell the Arab uprising.
He made the remarks days after a Saudi prosecutor demanded the death penalty for prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on charges of ‘aiding terrorists’ and ‘instigating unrest’ in the kingdom.
Sheikh Nimr was attacked, injured and arrested by Saudi security forces en route to his house in the Qatif region of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province on July 8, 2012.
Isa described the charges as “groundless”, saying, “The evidence is always fabricated and it is extracted using the worst types of torture.”
“Those who are accused, particularly the Imam, have been denied any access to a lawyer or indeed to any legal representation,” the analyst added.
Since February 2011, demonstrators have held anti-regime protests on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province, primarily calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.