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Bahraini forces attack protesters demanding prisoners’ release

A protester throws stones at an armored riot police vehicle during clashes after the funeral procession of an activist in the village of Dar Kulaib, Bahrain, April 5, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

Bahraini forces have fired birdshots and tear gas canisters to disperse dozens of demonstrators who had taken to the streets across Bahrain to express solidarity with political prisoners.

Protesters staged a rally in the village of Karzakan, located 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of the capital Manama on Wednesday evening, shouting “We won’t leave prisoners alone” as they called for the immediate release of the inmates.

The demonstrators also censured the Al Khalifa regime over the “rampant” human rights abuses against opposition activists and political dissidents, vowing to continue their struggle for democracy in Bahrain.

Clashes broke out when regime forces intervened, firing shots and using tear gas to disperse the crowd. The protesters responded by throwing petrol bombs at armored police vehicles.

People also held a similar demonstration in the village of Abu Saiba, which lies west of Manama, demanding the freedom of all political prisoners.

Elsewhere in the northern village of al-Daih, people held a rally under the banner “You Are Not Alone” and voiced their solidarity with imprisoned activist Meqdad Jaziri.

Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous rallies on an almost daily basis in Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.

In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on the peaceful protests.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the crackdown.

Amnesty and many other international rights organizations have frequently censured the Bahraini regime over the rampant human rights abuses against opposition activists and anti-regime protesters.

The US, which has its Fifth Navy Fleet deployed in the tiny island, and other Western government mainly turn a blind eye to the crackdown. 

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