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Sun Sep 9, 2012 5:11PM
Bahraini women shout slogans during an anti-regime protest in the capital Manama on September 7, 2012. (File photo)

Bahraini women shout slogans during an anti-regime protest in the capital Manama on September 7, 2012. (File photo)

Bahrain's main opposition party has accused the ruling Al Khalifa monarchy of covering up brutality against peaceful protesters. Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, in a statement issued on Saturday, described the Bahraini Interior Ministry’s latest communiqué as misleading and full of obviously blatant lies. The statement said protesters behaved peacefully throughout the Friday march and posed no threat of any kind to anyone. This is while the Bahraini security forces -- backed by masked militiamen and plainclothes -- violently attacked the demonstrators and used foul language, tear gas, stun grenades and batons to break up their rally, al-Wefaq pointed out. The statement further said that Saudi-backed regime forces were ready to attack peaceful protesters with different kinds of weapons. The Al Khalifa regime seeks to conceal committed “atrocities” against protestors in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom through a total ban on public protests. Such a move deprives the nation of the right to freedom of expression, al-Wefaq pointed out. The Bahraini Interior Ministry said on Saturday that it “holds al-Wefaq responsible for violating the law and encouraging their supporters to participate in a non-sanctioned event.” The statement came after the opposition party went ahead with a march in the capital Manama on September 7, during which six protesters were arrested. The Bahraini revolution began in mid-February 2011, when the people, inspired by the popular revolutions that toppled the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, started holding massive demonstrations. The Bahraini government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring Persian Gulf states. Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses accused of treating injured revolutionaries. A report published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 found that the Al Khalifa regime had used excessive force in the crackdown and accused Manama of torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters. The protesters say they will continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met. MP/JR/AZ
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