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Protests met with violence from Bahraini forces

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 2 December 2012 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the use of excessive force by the Bahraini security forces in response to demonstrations that took place in several villages near Manama on 30 November 2012.

Areas surrounding Manama witnessed mass demonstrations protesting the siege imposed by security forces on Mahza village, one of the Sitra island villages south of the Bahraini capital of Manama. The siege began three weeks ago and remains in place. The demonstrations were organised in response to a call by the 14 February coalition. Protesters carried banners and signs opposing the regime as well as pictures of Bahraini detainees in prisons across the country.

Bahraini security forces responded to the protests with tear gas, sound bombs and shotgun bullets, injuring several protesters in the process. Among them was Ahmed Mohamed El-Elwani, who was arrested with a group of friends in the village of El-Mosli. They were tortured while in custody, and his friends were later released. He remains in custody at El-Khamis police station.

In another incident, the Bahraini security forces destroyed some Shiite mosques, among them the Abutaleb mosque in the Hamd Dawar 19 city and the military mosque of El-Hussein in the city of Hamd Dawar 22. They also tore down the wall of the Fadak mosque.

"The repressive policy of the regime, which escalated recently, clearly discriminates against certain people. It is chasing down Shiite activists and entering villages, destroying their houses of worship and assaulting their special ceremonies. The regime also prosecuted certain preachers due to their sermons at Friday prayers in order to present the revolution as sectarian, and not popular, as well as increasing the intransigence of the regime in dealing with the legitimate requests of the Bahraini people”.

ANHRI calls on the Bahraini regime to respect the rights of all people to freedom of expression and freedom of belief.

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