Bahraini Shiite Muslim women hold portraits of opposition prisoner, Nabeel Rajab during a demonstration
Bahraini Shiite Muslim women hold portraits of opposition prisoner, Nabeel Rajab during a demonstration in the village of Karzakan on May 11. Bahraini security forces fires tear gas and birdshot on Saturday to disperse protests staged in Shiite villages in solidarity with jailed opposition activists, witnesses said. © - AFP/File
Bahraini Shiite Muslim women hold portraits of opposition prisoner, Nabeel Rajab during a demonstration
AFP
Last updated: May 12, 2012

Bahrain police disperse protests

Bahraini security forces fires tear gas and birdshot on Saturday to disperse protests staged in Shiite villages in solidarity with jailed opposition activists, witnesses said.

Dozens took to the streets in several villages following calls by the February 14 Coalition -- a youth group that works mainly on cyber social networks with no public leaders.

Witnesses said that some demonstrators burned tyres and garbage containers in the middle of the roads, and that some were hit by birdshot pellets and others hurt by tear gas.

Men and women carried posters of leading opposition figures who are behind bars, including Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike since February, and Nabeel Rajab, who has been held for a week pending investigations over tweets deemed insulting to the government.

"We shall never forget the jailed," they chanted.

"Khalifa, we shall never abandon Abdulhadi," they also chanted addressing Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman, who is widely despised by the Shiite majority of the kingdom ruled by the Al-Khalifa Sunni dynasty.

Amnesty International says 60 people have been killed since Shiite-led democracy protests began in February 2011, including a brutal mid-March crackdown last year.

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