Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bahraini troops halt protests by violence

Source: Press TV

Saudi-backed Bahraini troops have attacked anti-government protesters in several villages near the capital Manama, witnesses say.

Despite the lifting of martial law in the tiny Persian Gulf sheikdom on Wednesday, regime forces are beating up people who had poured into the streets to stage protest rallies, Head of Foreign Relation Office of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights Maryam al-Khawaja wrote in an e-mail sent to Press TV.

According to witnesses, dozens of people were injured after regime forces fired birdshots and teargas on protesters in villages around Manama, including Diraz, Bani Jamrah and Karzakan.

Al-Khawaja says the wounded were shifted to their homes instead of hospitals because in Bahrain, being wounded by security forces has become a reason for arrest.

Opposition activists in Bahrain called for fresh wave of anti-government protest rallies across the country on Wednesday as a state of emergency imposed during a March crackdown on protesters has ended.

"The protests are to be in main streets and squares ... the movement must return to important places ahead of the imminent return, God willing, to Martyr's Square," said a post on "February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition" Facebook page, referring to the site of the demolished Pearl Square, which was the focal point of anti-government demonstrations from February until being destroyed during the government crackdown in March.

Bahraini activists say their protest campaign will continue until the nation's demands are met.

Amnesty International had called on Manama to allow the planned protest rallies to go ahead and stop using violence against peaceful protesters.

Bahraini protesters demand an end to the rule of Al Khalifa dynasty.

Since anti-government protests began in Bahrain in mid-February, regime forces, backed by a 1,000-strong Saudi military contingent, have abducted many people, including opposition activists, journalists, teachers, students, doctors, and nurses, and destroyed dozens of mosques and other religious sites.

Scores of people have been killed and many more arrested in the Saudi-backed crackdown on peaceful protests in Bahrain.

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