Protests in Manama on Monday to mark the annual “Martyrs Day” in Bahrain were brutally attacked, just one day after the King had made a speech saying he respect “liberties”.
The occasion marks the day in 1994 in which two activists were killed by security forces, who remain as brutal to this day. They began by blocking off roads and trying to prevent access into Manama through a huge security presence.
However, a number of protests managed to make it into Manama and were faced with a ferocious wave of repression and security measures from the masses of officers in the area.
In total 27 people were arbitrarily arrested as recorded by the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, including their acting President Said Yousif Almuhafdah. He has now been arrested several times in the past few months, with his colleagues Zeinab Alkhawaja, Nabeel Rajab and Abdulhadi Alkhawaja already in prison.
Following video shows 2 protesters being arrested:
Opposition party Al Wefaq said protesters were fired at directly with different types of weapons and Sayed Hadi Almusawi, Head of their Human Rights Bureau, cited the use of pepper spray directly in the face of women (as show below).
In a statement Almusawi said:
“While the authority claims that protests in the capital disturb security and stability, we find its forces terrorizing the residents there, and disrupting businesses and shops, arbitrarily arresting citizens and causing injuries that are absolutely unnecessary, solely for practicing their civil and political right. The excessive use of toxic teargas against has caused health damage to citizens and residents. The authority has distorted the image of Bahrain and has been slammed with international condemnations, and the world will not approve to the authority’s neglect of the people’s right to express opposition to injustice and oppression”.
Meanwhile Bahrain Centre for Human Rights issued a statement saying:
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the continuous crackdown on civilians who choose to exercise their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
The BCHR also calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the UN and all other allies and international institutions to put pressure of the Government of Bahrain to:
1. Stop its use of excessive force in response to the continued peaceful protests, and to consider a meaningful solution to resolve the persistent political issues of instability in the country.
2. Immediately release detained human rights defender Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah and drop all charges against him.
3. Immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience and activists including leading human rights defenders Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab, Zainab Al-Khawaja.