Bahraini protesters have staged a mass sit-in in Manama to mark the second anniversary of their revolution against the ruling Al Khalifa family.
Protesters from across the tiny Persian Gulf island nation gathered near the capital’s Freedom Square on Saturday to call for freedom and democracy.
Bahraini activists have been staging demonstrations across the country over the past few days and plan to go on a general strike on February 14.
The Bahraini revolution began on February 14, 2011, when the people, inspired by the popular revolutions that toppled the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, started holding massive demonstrations.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country, upon Manama's request, to help the Bahraini regime quash the uprising.
The protesters initially said they wanted political reform and a constitutional monarchy. However, following the regime’s brutal crackdown on the popular protests, the Bahraini people began demanding that the ruling Al Khalifa family step down.
Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others arrested in the crackdown, but the protesters are undaunted and have refused to back down on their demands.
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.
Physicians for Human Rights says doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have "evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.