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Bahrainis stage anti-regime protests ahead of uprising anniversary

6 February 2016 9:17

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People in Bahrain have staged anti-regime protest rallies ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Arab country’s popular uprising.

On Friday, protesters in the northern village of Abu Saiba stressed that maintaining resistance is the best strategy in the face of the regime’s crackdown on dissidents.

Shouting anti-regime slogans, demonstrators in the nearby village of Musalla said they would heed an opposition call for a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience on the anniversary of the February 14 revolution.

Protesters at both rallies also demanded the immediate release of political prisoners, including renowned opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman.

Salman, the leader of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, was arrested in December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the ruling Al Khalifah regime and collaborating with foreign powers. He has strongly denied the charges, emphasizing that he has been seeking reforms in the kingdom through peaceful means.

In June 2015, a Bahraini court sentenced him to four years in prison on charges such as insulting the Bahraini Interior Ministry and inciting others to break the law. He was acquitted of seeking regime change.

On Thursday, the European Parliament condemned the “continuing use of torture by the security forces against prisoners” in Bahrain and expressed its “concern and disappointment over Bahrain’s return to the practice of capital punishment.”

Anti-regime protesters have been holding demonstrations on the streets of Bahrain since February 2011, calling on the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.

The ongoing heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful demonstrations has left scores of people dead, hundreds injured, and many more incarcerated.

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