Bahraini police forces have attacked protesters in several regions across the Persian Gulf kingdom, a few days after large crowds of demonstrators marked the seventh anniversary of their uprising against the ruling Al Khalifah dynasty.
The demonstrators on Friday called for the release of political prisoners, and expressed solidarity with prominent opposition cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, who is now living under house arrest since Manama revoked his citizenship in June 2016, prompting protests and sit-ins in his home-town of Diraz.
There were no immediate reports of possible casualties or arrests during the crackdown on Friday.
The rallies came two days after Bahraini people marked the seventh anniversary of their popular uprising with massive protests across the country. Police used tear gas against the demonstrators in several areas, injuring several of them in the ensuing clashes.
People are staging nationwide rallies amid a general strike against the Al Khalifah ruling family, drawing a heavy-handed response from security forces.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since the uprising began in the capital Manama in mid-February 2011 and snowballed into a full-fledged movement sweeping the whole Shia-dominated country. They demand that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and let a just system representing all Bahrainis be established based on political reforms and equality.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
Bahrain has also stripped hundreds of its citizens of their nationality, and has jailed dozens of high-profile activists and religious clerics over the past seven years.