Bahraini forces attack protesters calling for Salman release


Bahraini security forces have attacked anti-regime protesters calling for the release of a senior Shia cleric in an Island south of the capital, Mamma.

The regime forces fired rubber bullets and teargas at the demonstrators who had taken to the streets on the island of Sitra.

The protesters chanted slogans in support of senior Shia opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman and slammed the ruling Al Khalifa regime for the ongoing crackdown on the opposition voices in the country as the anniversary of the revolution in the Persian Gulf state approaches.

Demonstrators had also taken to the streets in Manama and Sitra on Sunday to censure the detention of Sheikh Salman, who is the leader of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society in Bahrain.

However, the demonstrations turned violent after security forces fired teargas to disperse the protesters.

Bahraini protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the country since Sheikh Salman was arrested on December 28, 2014 on charges of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers. The Shia cleric has denied the accusations.

His arrest has also triggered massive protests outside the monarchy, with leaders, governments and international organizations across the world calling for his immediate release.

Last week, Sheikh Salman urged his supporters to press ahead with protests over democratic demands in Bahrain.

The ruling Al Khalifa regime has launched a heavy-handed crackdown on the peaceful anti-government movement in Bahrain, which started in 2011.

Bahraini courts have sentenced more than 200 activists to long-term prison sentences on charges of involvement in terrorist activities and acting against national security. At least 70 activists have received life imprisonment since the uprising began in Bahrain in 2011.

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