SHAFAQNA – Mercenaries Bahraini security forces backed by Saudi troops have attacked anti-regime protesters marking the death anniversary of two people killed in regime crackdown. On Monday, police forces clashed with protesters on the island of Sitra, southeast of the capital city of Manama, and fired toxic gas to disperse them. The protesters were holding a rally to remember anti-regime protesters Issa al-Radhi and Jawad Ahmed al-Haawi. Radhi, 47, was killed during a raid by regime forces in 2011. His body was returned to his family with a broken skull, shotgun wounds to his legs and multiple bruises. Forty-nine-year-old Haawi died in 2014 after developing respiratory complications due to the inhalation of poisonous teargas that riot police used during a protest. Also on Monday, demonstrators in the villages of al-Daih and al-Musalla demanded the release of political prisoners, including Sheikh Ali Salman, who is the secretary general of Bahrain’s main opposition bloc, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.
Salman was arrested on December 28, 2014 on charges of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers. He has strongly denied the charges. His arrest has triggered massive condemnation inside and outside the monarchy, with leaders, governments and international organizations across the world calling for his immediate release. The popular uprising in Bahrain began in February 2011. Since then, thousands of protesters have been staging regular mass rallies in the Persian Gulf country. The protesters are calling for reforms as well as the downfall of the Al Khalifa ruling family and the establishment of a democratically-elected government.