Bahraini regime forces launch crackdown on protesters

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Bahrain
Saturday, 17 January 2015

Security forces across Bahrain have once again clashed with anti-regime protesters demanding the release of political prisoners.

Thousands of Bahrainis held nationwide rallies in a show of solidarity with political prisoners on Friday.

Media reports say angry demonstrators poured onto the streets in the capital Manama, Samaheej, Sitra, Bilad al-Qadim, and many other towns.

They chanted slogans against the Al Khalifa monarchy and demanded the release of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary general of Bahrain's main opposition bloc, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

Bahraini regime forces fired teargas and birdshot to disperse anti-government protesters.

Eyewitnesses say an unknown number of people were injured in the towns of Bilad al-Qadim and Sitra.

The rallies came after the Public Prosecutor's Office extended the detention of Sheikh Salman for an unlimited period. The extension came after an eight-hour interrogation.

Salman was arrested in late December 2014 over alleged anti-regime incitements.

The 49-year-old cleric is charged with “promoting regime change by force, threats, and illegal means, and of insulting the Interior Ministry publicly,” said Bahraini prosecutor Nayef Mahmud.

Tensions have been running high in the monarchy since Salman’s arrest.

Bahraini people have held many protest rallies ever since, demanding his release. The protests have mostly turned violent after intervention by regime forces.

On Thursday, security forces opened fire on the demonstrators demanding the release of the detained opposition leader. The forces also stormed into a mosque in Manama and arrested a number of protesters.

The arrests are part of Manama’s brutal suppression of anti-regime protesters since 2011. Scores of people have been killed and thousands more wounded during the crackdown.

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