BahrainMiddle East

Bahrain arrested 170 protesters in April: Al-Wefaq


Bahrain’s main opposition bloc Al-Wefaq says some 170 protesters, including 29 children, were arrested by regime forces in April.

The group said in a report posted on its website on Saturday that 89 of the arrests took place during home raids, 42 on the streets and 15 others at checkpoints.

Six other protesters were arrested through summons while the cases of the remaining 18 were unknown, according to Al-Wefaq’s Liberties and Human Rights Department (LHRD).

The LHRD also reported that some 837 sporadic demonstrations were held across the kingdom in April, while some 195 of them were repressed by regime forces. At least 58 protesters were injured in the crackdown, most of them being targeted by birdshots.

On April 3, two journalists were also injured during crackdown on protesters during a funeral of a protester in Eker Village.

Bahraini forces also raided 174 homes and other places in April, with inhabitants saying all were carried out without presenting legal permission and that in some cases doors were broken.

On April 23, the kingdom expelled Ayatollah Hussein al-Najati, the representative of Iraq-based Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Manama accuses Najati of not being transparent and says he did not have the official approval of the regime.

Two female activists were also sentenced to five years in jail for “plotting to disrupt the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix held in April 2013.”

The LHRD also documented 20 cases of vandalism of private properties, including cars being damaged by tear gas canisters fired by security forces during anti-regime protests. Some 12 cases of confiscation of private belongings, including cell phones, were also reported.

Last month, 12 anti-regime activists were sentenced to life in prison and two others to 15 years over charges of “spying for external parties.” Nine others were also given life sentences for being “involved in explosions.”

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.

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