Thu Sep 1, 2011
Angry protesters in Bahrain have taken to the streets in several towns and villages to condemn the killing of a teenager by Saudi-backed regime forces.
On Wednesday, 14-year-old Ali Jawad was killed after he was directly targeted by a tear gas canister during a protest held following Eid al-Fitr prayers in the city of Sitra.
The city’s hospital reportedly refused to admit Jawad, who died shortly afterwards of the severe head injury he had sustained.
Human rights activists have warned about an increase in the number of deaths due to excessive use of force by Saudi-backed regime forces.
Meanwhile, families of detained protesters said Bahraini authorities have cancelled their appointments to meet their jailed relatives without giving any explanation.
Anti-regime protests, in place since mid-February, have seen a new hike in the past few days following a speech by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa about the months of anti-government protests in the Persian Gulf Sheikhdom.
The remarks outraged many Bahrainis believe that the king’s speech as a futile attempt to restore normalcy to the country which does not address their demands.
On Sunday, the Bahraini king announced in a televised speech that he would pardon some detained anti-regime protesters and called for the reinstatement of a number of employees fired from their jobs and students expelled from their colleges.
He also admitted that security forces had abused the protesters, saying that compensation would be paid to the victims of abuse and the families of those killed during anti-regime demonstrations.
Bahrainis, however, have rejected his speech, accusing him of ordering the brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators, which has left scores of people killed and many more injured.
Bahraini protesters have been calling on the ruling Al Khalifa family to release its decades-long grip on power.