Bahraini regime forces have arrested prominent human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja as a wave of fresh anti-regime protests erupt across the Persian Gulf kingdom. The activist was reportedly arrested by the Saudi-backed forces at a demonstration held in capital Manama on Wednesday. Similar protests were also held in the villages of Diraz and Dar Kulaib, and the town of Sanad. The protests were staged over the Bahraini regime’s refusal to hand over the body of Mahmoud Issa al-Jaziri, an anti-regime activist killed at a demonstration in mid-February. Jaziri was hit in the head by a tear gas canister on February 14 after security forces attacked anti-regime demonstrators in Nabi Saleh, south of Manama, as they were marking the second anniversary of the uprising.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on the peaceful protesters. According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested. 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. NT/MHB