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Al Khalifa regime at end of road: Saeed al-Shahabi

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A Bahraini human rights activist tells Press TV that the Al Khalifa regime has “reached the end of the road.”

Manama has finally handed over the body of a young protester killed by regime forces to his family for burial. Hundreds of Bahrainis attended the funeral procession in the town of Nabih Saleh, south of Manama, with mourners shouting anti-regime slogans. Scores have been killed, many of them under torture while in custody, and thousands more detained since the popular uprising in Bahrain began in February 2011.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Saeed al-Shahabi, with the Bahraini Freedom Movement from London. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Mr. Shahabi we are hearing of yet another victim to the regime crackdown, this has been ongoing since 2011 as you know.

What is keeping these protesters on the street and are you hopeful that these rallies and this uprising is going to get anywhere?

Shahabi: Of course the people are enthusiastic about the whole thing and it is clear that the people are not going back to their homes without any real change in the political hierarchy.

They have been calling for regime change. They have paid high sacrifices. Many people have been killed. Thousands of people have been in jail or detained and also the country is under occupation by the Saudi troops.

All the things that have happened in the past two years is not just going to go away. The people are there in the streets and we have seen today in the funeral of Mahmoud al-Jaziri, who was killed on the 14th, or was shot on the 14th of February and died ten days ago but his body had not been handed over to his family until yesterday. We have seen the thousands of people, their zeal, their enthusiasm, their revolutionary slogans, “Down With Hamad, Down With Hamad,” “The People Want Regime Change”.

These are all indicators that the Bahraini people are not going to accept to go back to where they were or to the situation that had existed prior to the 14th of February 2011.

They want regime change. The Al Khalifa has to go.

Press TV: Mr. Shahabi quickly if you can. A lot of people have been saying that King Hamad is interested in a negotiated solution to this situation. Would you agree?

Shahabi: He is not interested except in the use of bullets to kill our people. He is not recognizing the rights of the people to determine their own destiny or to keep the people as they are without their political naturalization… So the people are not interested in negotiating with killers. He has to go. His tribal rule has come to an end.

It is just the end of the road for them, because with the amount and the number of the people who are falling on daily basis – either being injured or killed or detained or tortured – there is no way that the people will accept to be ruled again by the dictatorship of the Al Khalifa, especially with the existence of the Saudi troops who have crossed into the country two years ago.

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