Monday, July 11, 2011

Bahrainis defy Saudi-backed crackdown

Anti-regime protests in Bahrain (File photo)

Source: Press TV

Bahraini protesters have taken to the streets across the country once again, defying the Saudi-backed crackdown on peaceful demonstrations and calling for the downfall of the regime.

Bahrain's Saudi-backed security forces have clashed with anti-government protesters that demand an end to the autocratic rule of Al Khalifa regime across the tiny Persian Gulf sheikdom, Press TV sources report.

Regime forces struggled to disperse protesters who staged rallies in several areas late Sunday. The nightly clampdown came after groups of young men and women chanted slogans against the Al Khalifa family rule, calling for its ouster.

Similarly, security forces fired tear gas and live rounds on Saturday to disperse protesters in the northeastern village of Nuwaidrat, who rejected the call for talks with the government.

Anti-regime demonstrators also staged rallies in the villages of Dair and Musalla, renewing their calls for the regime to give up power.

Saudi-backed security forces have been suppressing Bahraini protesters on a daily basis since Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates deployed military forces to the tiny country to assist the Bahraini government in its brutal crackdown on popular protests.

Bahrain's main opposition group, al-Wefaq, is currently in talks with Bahraini officials as part of the so-called “national dialogue.” It agreed to participate in the talks after the government pledged to allow an independent inquiry into the violent crackdown on protesters.

But the opposition bloc is not satisfied with the process, saying participants in the dialogue do not fairly represent the entire society and those in attendance are not allowed a fair chance to speak during the sessions.

On Friday, senior Bahraini cleric Sheikh Issa Qasim ruled out negotiations with the Al Khalifa regime, calling them meaningless and accusing Manama of using ongoing reconciliation talks as an instrument to delay democratic reforms.

In February, massive protests broke out in Bahrain, with people taking to the streets and calling for a constitutional monarchy -- a demand that later turned into calls for the regime's collapse.

Scores of protesters have been killed -- many under torture -- and numerous others detained and transferred to unknown locations during the regime's brutal onslaught on dissidents.

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