Bahraini Forces Clash with Peaceful Protesters in Sitra +Video
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Bahraini security forces attacked peaceful protesters on the northeastern island of Sitra as the ruling Al-Khalifa regime continues its crackdown on the opposition groups.
According to Tasnim dispatches, dozens of Bahrainis late on Saturday took to streets in Sitra, south of the capital Manama, and chanted anti-regime slogans in solidarity with opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, who has been in detention for nearly three weeks.
The demonstrators, who carried the pictures of the cleric and other political prisoners, called on the Bahraini regime to immediately release them.
The peaceful protests turned violent after security forces attacked the protesters and fired tear gas and birdshot to disperse them.
The protests came after the Al Khalifa ruling regime rejected on January 4 an appeal to free Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary general of al-Wefaq, and extended the detention of the prominent cleric by 15 more days.
Bahraini authorities detained Sheikh Salman on December 28, 2014, after long hours of investigation.
Following the massive anti-regime protests held on December 26, Bahrain's Interior Ministry had ordered Salman to appear before police investigators without providing any explanation as to why the summons was issued.
The 49-year-old cleric has been charged with “promoting regime change by force, threats, and illegal means, and of insulting the Interior Ministry publicly."
Tensions have been running high across the Persian Gulf monarchy since Salman’s arrest.
The uprising in Bahrain began in mid-February 2011. Protesters initially called for political reforms and a constitutional monarchy. However, the demand later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.
Scores of people have been killed in the crackdown and security forces have arrested hundreds including doctors and nurses. Dozens of demonstrators have also been sentenced to jail terms for attending street protests.
International human rights organizations have repeatedly criticized the Manama regime for its excessive use of force against peaceful protesters.