Bahrain government cracks down on opposition with raids, arrests

Published November 4th, 2015 - 09:42 GMT

Bahraini security forces have stormed the homes of anti-government protesters in different parts of the capital, Manama, arresting dozens of people.

The raids happened in different districts and villages, including Sitra, Diya and Malkiya, in Manama on Tuesday night.

According to Bahrain's al-Merat website, 45 Bahrainis have so far been arrested by Al Khalifa security forces over the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, people took to the streets in Diya to denounce the regime’s apprehension of peaceful protesters.   

Manama continues to arrest anti-regime forces to silence opposition voices and intimidate people in a bid to put an end to rallies and protests.   

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations almost on a daily basis in the streets of the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the ongoing heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful rallies.

Courts in Bahrain have also handed down long-term sentences to protesters and activists in the country.

Last month, Human Rights Watch called on the ruling Bahraini regime to immediately release two prominent opposition leaders, saying dialog must replace suppression.

Joe Stork, the New York-based rights NGO’s deputy Middle East director, lashed out at the Arab sheikdom in a statement on October 8 for its treatment of Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary general of Bahrain's main opposition bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, and Ibrahim Sharif, the secretary general of the National Democratic Action Society (Wa'ad), the country’s largest leftist political party.

Salman was arrested on December 28, 2014 after Manama accused him of seeking a regime change and collaborating with foreign powers.   

Sharif was released from prison on June 19 after spending four years in jail over his involvement in the popular uprising, which began in the country in 2011. Opposition sources said Sharif was rearrested after he criticized the Bahraini regime during a memorial ceremony for a victim of the unrest in the kingdom. He is accused of “promoting political change through forceful means and threats as well as inciting hatred against the political regime.”

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