Bahraini forces clash with protesters over Nimr execution
Bahraini regime forces have clashed with protesters demonstrating to condemn Saudi Arabia’s recent execution of prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
The Al Khalifah regime forces attacked the demonstrators in the northeastern island of Sitra on Saturday night, firing tear gas at them.
Some of the demonstrators reportedly sustained injuries in the violence.
The assault came a day after a similar demonstration was suppressed in Sitra, where the regime forces reportedly used toxic gas and birdshots to disperse protesters.
On January 2, Saudi Arabia announced it had executed Sheikh Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the regime in Riyadh. Forty-six other people were also executed.
The execution caused international outrage and sparked anti-Saudi demonstrations in many other countries, including Bahrain, Iran, Pakistan and India.
Sheikh Nimr was shot by Saudi police and arrested in 2012 in the Qatif region located in the oil-rich Eastern Province, where peaceful anti-regime demonstrations were being held regularly at the time.
The cleric was charged with instigating unrest and undermining the kingdom’s security. Nimr had rejected the charges as baseless.
The execution of Sheikh Nimr also drew condemnation from governments and human rights groups from all over the world.
Shia Muslims have long complained of discrimination in Saudi Arabia where the semi-official Wahhabi school condones violence against them.
They face abuse from Wahhabi clerics, rarely get permits for places of worship and seldom get senior public sector jobs.