Thousands of Bahraini demonstrators have staged anti-regime protest rallies across the country to renew their calls for freedom and democracy.
The demonstrations first began in Manama but soon spread to other towns and villages, despite a heavy-handed crackdown by the Saudi-backed regime forces.
The demonstrators also demanded an elected prime minister replace Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa. In power since 1974, he is uncle to King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa.
The Bahraini uprising against the Al Khalifa rule in the Persian Gulf island began in February 2011. The regime promptly launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states.
A report, published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011, found that the Al Khalifa regime had used excessive force in the crackdown and blamed Manama for torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters.
The Manama regime has arrested many rights activists, doctors, and nurses since the revolution began.
Last year, Amnesty International warned about the Bahraini regime’s misuse of tear gas against protesters and called for an investigation into the tear gas-related deaths.
On January 26, eight-year-old Qasim Habib died due to the inhalation of poisonous tear gas fired by regime forces during a demonstration in Karbabad village near the capital.
In the face of mounting pressure to end their popular revolution, Bahraini protesters vow to continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demand for a democratically-elected government is met.