Policemen injured in Bahrain riots

Published December 18th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

Several Bahraini policemen were wounded when demonstrators pelted them with rocks in the course of a march protesting alleged human rights violations, according to the official Bahrain news agency


An estimated 2,000 people participated in the march called by the National Committee for Martyrs and Torture Victims, which lobbies for compensation for dissidents who suffered maltreatment in the 1980s and 1990s, AFP said.  


The protesters chanted slogans demanding the prosecution of specific officials accused of practicing torture in the past and charging that a decree issued last year "shields" them.  


The organizing committee distributed a statement calling for the decree to be repealed and for the compensation of torture victims.  


Royal decree number 56, issued in October 2002, effectively means courts cannot take into account cases brought against individuals accused of crimes committed before a general amnesty declared in February 2001 as part of national reconciliation and political reform.  


According to BNA news agency, organizer Jaafar al-Alawi blamed "infiltrators" and "saboteurs" for the attacks on security men and public and private properties at the end of the march.  


"We denounce such attempts at sabotage and consider it a national duty to safeguard public and private properties," it quoted him as saying.  


The news agency added that an unspecified number of police officials were wounded when the marchers threw rocks and smashed some billboards and shop windows. (Albawaba.com)

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