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Police use teargas, stun grenades to disperse protesters on highway outside capital

BCHR

BCHR - 15 December 2011 - Occupy Budaya street, an initiative organized by activists in Bahrain, announced and organized through social media (twitter and facebook), a sit-in on the sidewalks of one of Bahrain's streets. Organizers and participants emphasized the peaceful character of the event. (#occupybudaiyaST). Like all peaceful protests in Bahrain, Occupy Budaya was obstructed and its participants were violently attacked by riot police.

Teargas, rubber bullets and a sound grenade were used to suppress the protesters. Many injuries have been reported. The majority of cases relate to choking caused by teargas inhalation. Some have also reported chest and head injuries. Customers in the nearby shopping mall were also reportedly affected by the teargas, with some cases of choking, due to teargas inhalation, and fainting.

Arrests

There are many reports of arrests among protesters. Human rights activist Zainab Al Khawaja, known on twitter as @angryarabiya, blogger and daughter of prominent human rights activist, Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, was among the arrested. She was sitting in one of the roundabouts when riot police roughly dragged her to one of their cars. Masooma AlSayed was also arrested from the area near the Country Mall. According to an eyewitness, she was beaten at the time of arrest.

Attacks on Journalists

Reporters Mazen Mahdi (EPA/DPA) and Hamad Moahmed (Reuters), present at the scene, were attacked and their cars were damaged. Both were clearly identified as press.

Adam Ellick and Lauren Bohn (NY Times) were directly shot at with teargas outside of Country Mall. Another 15 customers of the coffee shop at the mall were also tear gassed.
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