People in Bahrain have held a mass anti-government protest rally against the ruling Al Khalifa regime’s continued repression of dissent, Media reports.
Bahrainis poured into the streets in the capital, Manama, on Friday and chanted slogans in condemnation of sham elections in the country and the regime’s continued crackdown on political activists.
A prominent Bahraini dissident and human rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, earlier told Press TV that at least 200,000 Bahraini people, or one-third of the country’s population, are expected to turn up for the rally.
He added that the protesters would express their opposition to the government’s policies, discrimination against the majority of the population and systematic torture of prisoners.
They would call for the release of all political prisoners and an end to the monarchy’s repression, Rajab said.
Demonstrators said they would continue protests despite the ruling regime’s heavy-handed crackdown.
Bahrain has been the scene of almost daily protests against the Al Khalifa dynasty since early 2011 when a pro-democracy uprising began in the kingdom.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have held numerous rallies in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.
Bahrain has been severely criticized by human rights groups for its harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters, which has claimed the lives of scores of people so far.
On November 29, the Manama regime held a runoff parliamentary vote amid a widespread boycott by main opposition groups, including the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the Manama regime in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.