Fri May 27, 2011
Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have attacked anti-government protesters in several villages across the Persian Gulf sheikdom.
Witnesses say regime troops used tear gas and concussion bombs to disperse protesters in Diraz, Bani Jamrah and some other villages on Friday.
The protesters called for an end to the Al Khalifa rule and the immediate release of detained anti-government protesters.
According to witnesses, Bahraini protesters in recent days have their faces covered to avoid recognition by regime forces.
Saudi-backed Bahraini troops have arrested hundreds of anti-government protesters during overnight operations after identifying them based on pictures taken from opposition rallies.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or arrests on Friday.
Since the beginning of anti-regime protests in Bahrain in mid-February, Manama has launched a harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters, rounding up senior opposition figures and activists in dawn raids and arresting doctors, nurses, lawyers and journalists who have voiced support for the protest movement.
While the whereabouts of many detainees are still unknown, Bahraini authorities have begun to try a number of detained activists in what the opposition calls kangaroo courts.
Protesters have been charged with several counts such as attempting to overthrow the monarchy, and they are being tried in a special security court set up under martial law.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized the Bahraini government for its brutal crackdown on civilians.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, which visits detainees in conflict situations, has been trying to see and contact Bahraini detained activists since mid-March. But so far Manama has refused to grant it permission.
Meanwhile, Bahrain’s state news agency says that military prosecutors have asked the country’s highest court to review death penalties issued against two anti-regime protesters.
Human Rights Watch as also called on the country to stop trying civilians in military courts.