Bahrainis hold anti-regime rally near Manama

343532_Bahrain-demoBahraini demonstrators have held an anti-regime protest in the village of Shakhora, west of the kingdom’s capital city, along with the leader of the country’s main opposition party.

On Friday, Sheikh Ali Salman, who is the head of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, also attended the protest to condemn jailing of photographers and activists by the Al Khalifa regime.

The rally came a day after Bahrainis held protest rallies across the Persian Gulf kingdom, calling for the downfall of the regime.

Over the past months, the Bahraini regime has stepped up its heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful protesters and activists in the country.

In late December 2013, a court in Bahrain sentenced five opposition protesters to 15 years in prison on charges of being behind two bomb attacks, including one during the 2012 Formula One race. Reports say the protesters told the court that they had confessed under duress.

On December 24, 2013, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights censured the Al Khalifa regime for arresting and torturing the youth and keeping them in detention for long periods.

Bahrainis have been staging demonstrations since mid-February 2011, calling for political reforms and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.

In October 2013, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “The [Bahraini] authorities simply slap the label ‘terrorist’ on defendants and then subject them to all manner of violations to end up with a ‘confession’.”

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