Arrest of U.S. nationals in Bahrain may put rare rift in Manama's relations with Washington
Bahraini authorities arrested a U.S. national for "attacking" police Tuesday, according to Agence France Presse.
The U.S. national along with one other individual were accused of "attacking a police patrol using Molotov cocktails and iron bars" in the Shiite village of Maameer leaving two police personnel wounded, according to a statement issued by the public prosecutor.
The prosecutor thus charged the two individuals for "taking part in an unauthorized protest, rioting, and possessing petrol bombs," according to the statement.
The lawyer of the U.S. national has demanded his release, but Bahraini authorities are still holding the citizen in detention.
Shiite villages throughout the country have been sites of frequent protests against the ruling Sunni regime, often leading to violence clashes between Bahraini security officials and the protesting Shiite majority.
The U.S. has largely turned a blind eye to Manama's human rights record as well as the dynasty's dealings with protestors since major uprisings in 2011 largely due to the fact that Bahrain houses the US Fifth Fleet.
Bahrain has jailed major Shiite opposition figures on "terror" charges and reconciliation talks between the regime and the majority ended in deadlock last year.
The International Federation of Human Rights estimates that at least 89 people have been killed in the Gulf country since major uprisings began in February 2011.
- At least 11 more Shiites sentenced in Bahrain for protests this week
- Bahrain arrests opposition leadership over U.S. diplomat meeting
- Police, protestors clash in Bahrain in first day of anniversary demonstrations
- Bahraini police firebombed in Shiite village
- Arresting and attacking Bahrain's opposition won't help, activists say