Hundreds of people have staged separate demonstrations across Bahrain to honor slain political dissidents and pro-democracy campaigners, and denounce the ruling Al Khalifah regime’s repressive measures.
People took to the streets in the village of Sanabis in the suburbs of the capital, Manama, late on Friday, carrying national flags and banners in commemoration of those killed at the hands of Bahraini regime mercenaries.
The participants also demanded the downfall of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.
Elsewhere in the northern village of Abu Saiba, people waved the Bahraini national flag and shouted “Far from us is disgrace.” They also held up the pictures of distinguished Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim who has been stripped of his citizenship by the ruling regime.
The Manama regime has charged Sheikh Qassim with illegally collecting funds, money laundering and helping terrorism -- allegations which the cleric has strongly rejected.
Bahraini authorities stripped the cleric, who is the spiritual leader of the dissolved main opposition group al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, of his citizenship on June 20, 2016.
They later dissolved the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by Sheikh Qassim, in addition to the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.
Also on Friday night, people staged an anti-regime protest rally in the northwestern village of Bani Jamrah, chanting slogans like “Our pride lies in martyrdom” and “By our souls and blood we will glorify our martyrs.”
Clashes broke out when Bahraini regime forces used tear gas to disperse the crowd. The demonstrators hurled hand-made firebombs at armored police vehicles in response. There were no reports of arrests or injuries.
A similar demonstration was held in the village of Athari as well.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.