US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on the Bahraini regime to stop discriminating against Shias residing in the Persian Gulf country.
“In Bahrain, the government continue to question, detain and arrest Shia clerics, community members and opposition politicians,” said the top diplomat Tuesday.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the tiny kingdom in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
“Members of the Shia community there continue to report ongoing discrimination in government employment, education, and the justice system,” adding that “Bahrain must stop discriminating against the Shia communities,” Tillerson (pictured above) said.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown on anti-regime activists.
Tillerson further asserted that “Bahrain must stop discriminating against the Shia communities,” which compose the majority of the country’s population.
Bahrain, which is home to the US Fifth Fleet, has recently stepped up crackdown on critics in part by barring two main political groups, revoking the citizenship of the spiritual leader of the Shia community, Sheikh Isa Qassim, and jailing rights activists.