Saudi forces cordon off Shia town of Awamiyah: HRW

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Saudi forces have encircled the predominantly Shia town of Awamiyah and sealed it off since July, raising concerns about the humanitarian situation there.

The New York-based rights organization cited five Awamiyah residents and three activists as saying on Sunday that the town’s residents are at risk, with Saudi security forces “arbitrarily shooting at or arresting those who emerged from their houses.”

Since July 26, they said, Saudi authorities have prevented emergency services from reaching the wounded and failed to provide humanitarian assistance to trapped Awamiyah citizens.

The residents also noted that an order had never been issued for people to leave Awamiyah while their only chance out of the town had been short periods coordinated with local volunteers and activists.

Saudi forces turn away anyone who tries to return to Awamiyah to check on relatives or recover possessions, they added.

The residents further complained that the Awamiyah electricity grid have been damaged and all clinics as well as pharmacies have been closed since May.

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