Tens of thousands of Bahrainis have held an anti-regime protest rally to demand democracy in the tiny Persian Gulf island country. The mass demonstration was staged in the west of the capital, Manama, on Friday. Chanting slogans against the Al Khalifa regime, the protesters demanded the release of political prisoners.
"We insist on real democracy", "we want freedom", and "free (human rights activist) Nabeel Rajab", they shouted."The movement in Bahrain will continue and the people will not leave the fields. They are out demanding freedom and democracy and will not back down unless either by victory or martyrdom," Abdul Nabi al-Hamar, an anti-regime protester said. Bahrain, which is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has been the scene of anti-regime protests since February 2011. Scores have been killed and hundreds more injured in the regime crackdown. A report published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 said regime forces "resorted to the use of unnecessary and excessive force, terror-inspiring behavior and unnecessary damage to property" during popular protests in the country. Bahraini protesters hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the death of the demonstrators during the uprising. DB/MA/AZ