Leader of the Shia Haq movement Hassan Mushaimaa was arrested days after arriving in Bahrain from Britain
Source: Press TV
The Bahraini Center for Human Rights (BCHR) has announced that the number of detained opposition activists in the Persian Gulf state has exceeded 500.
According to BCHR, 17 women are also among the detainees and 18 other activists are reportedly missing, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Since the beginning of the uprising in Bahrain dozens of anti-government protesters have been killed and many others have gone missing. The bodies of the missing are frequently found days after.
The head of BCHR, Nabeel Rajab, says now one in every 1,000 Bahraini is in detention for political reasons.
Witnesses say regime forces are conducting house to house searches to detain opposition activists.
Six opposition leaders have also been arrested and the Manama government has so far refused to provide any information on their fate.
The opposition leaders, five Shia and one Sunni, were rounded up on March 17.
Among the opposition leaders is Hassan Mushaima, the head of the Haq party, who returned to Bahrain from Britain in mid-February after Manama dropped charges against him.
His family members say Saudi troops were among Bahraini forces taking part in the arrest operation.
Reports coming from Bahrain suggest that regime forces backed by Saudi troops have intensified their crackdown on opposition figures and anti-government protesters.
Witnesses say Bahraini forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters in several cities and villages and that pro-regime thugs have been sent to different villages to suppress protests.