Bahraini security forces erect walls around besieged villages

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SHAFAQNA – Bahraini security forces appear to be tightening their siege on Diraz by deploying additional concrete barriers around the country’s northwestern village on Monday.

The structures normally used for military fortifications reinforced the already existing barriers and barbed wire in and around Diraz.

Earlier activists posted images online showing concrete barriers being placed across the Bahraini village of Adhari, which has also been cordoned off by security forces for years.

Rights groups have described these so-called ‘security’ measures as the collective punishment of the local population – the majority of which opposes the ruling elites.

Diraz’s 30,000 residents have been subjected to an unprecedented lockdown since rising up in support of Bahrain’s highest religious authority, Sheikh Isa Qassim.

On May 23, security forces launched a bloody attack on a peaceful sit-in near the cleric’s home, killing five protesters and placing Sheikh Qassim under house arrest.

But the raid has failed to quash both support for the senior Shiite cleric and opposition to the Manama regime.

Friday witnessed a fresh wave of nationwide demonstrations with hundreds calling for the lifting of Sheikh Qassim’s house arrest and an end to the systematic discrimination against Bahrain’s Shiite majority.

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