Bahraini security forces have clashed with pro-democracy protesters after the funeral of an activist, who died in custody while serving a seven-year sentence for participating in anti-regime demonstrations,
Clashes broke out on Tuesday after Bahraini forces attacked a gathering of people who had attended the funeral of 24-year-old Mohammed Mushaima. Police used water cannons to disperse the protesters.
The opposition activist was pronounced dead at a government hospital in the capital Manama on Tuesday.
Bahraini officials say Mushaima was suffering from sickle-cell anemia and that he was admitted to the hospital on August 29. Some reports, however, say he lost his life due to “torture and medical negligence” by the authorities.
Lawyers say they had asked the court to release Mushaima because of his bad health but court rejected their request.
Several anti-regime activists have died of various illnesses while in custody over the past year and this has prompted Human Rights Watch to call for an investigation.
In September 2011, the authorities said a prisoner, whom the opposition claimed died after being tear-gassed, had passed away due to “acute respiratory” problems resulting from sickle cell anemia.
The Bahraini revolution began in mid-February 2011, when the people, inspired by the popular revolutions that toppled the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, started holding massive demonstrations.
The Bahraini government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring Persian Gulf states.
Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses accused of treating injured revolutionaries.
A report published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 found that the Al Khalifa regime had used excessive force in the crackdown and accused Manama of torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters.
The protesters say they will continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met.