Clashes Erupt in Bahrain as Regime Holds ‘Sham Elections’
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Reports coming out of Bahrain suggest that heavy clashes are underway between pro-democracy protesters and security forces as the tiny Persian Gulf monarchy holds its first parliamentary elections since 2011 revolution.
Regime forces used tear gas and rubber bullet to disperse protesters who have taken to the streets in the villages and towns across the Persian Gulf state.
The peaceful demonstrators are protesting against what they call sham elections.
Bahrain’s main opposition party, Al-Wefaq, and other groups are boycotting the polls, saying the vote lacks legitimacy.
The opposition groups have in turn held an anti-regime referendum.
“The referendum wants to send the international community the message that Bahrain could find a basic solution to the crisis and the 200-year-old problem,” Rashed al-Rashed, a leader of Bahrain’s February 14 movement told the Tasnim News Agency earlier this week.
The political activist noted that the necessary mechanism for the regime change will be provided and guaranteed if the UN supports the referendum in Bahrain.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling on the Al Khalifa royal family to step down from power. The protesters have also slammed the Manama regime’s arrest and torture of political activists.
Many Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.