Bahraini security forces have fired tear gas and stun grenades as crowds of protesters gathered in the capital Manama. Some people were injured and arrested amid the preparations for a larger ‘Bahrainâ€™s Martyrs Day’ demonstration.
Some locals have reported witnessing extensive use of teargas, pellet shotguns and sound bombs that have caused severe and critical injuries to protesters.
Groups of protesters gathered and chanted slogans in the narrow streets of Manama’s traditional market district. Activists also blocked public streets in preparation for a mass demonstration to mark ‘Bahrainâ€™s Martyrs Day,’ an annual commemoration for two protesters killed in 1994.
Local witnesses reported that police made several arrests, including women.
Since 1994, December 17 has been marked by the people as ‘Bahrainâ€™s Martyrs Day,’ following the extrajudicial killing of two Bahrainis during the 90s uprising.
Local authorities have set up checkpoints and expanded patrols across Manama ahead of the rallies Monday.
Bahrainâ€™s security forces have been repeatedly condemned for heavy-handed crackdowns on protesters.
Though police regularly use violence to disperse crowds of protesters, Bahrainis have continued to protest, demanding greater rights and freedoms. Nearly 110 people have died in the unrest since the pro-democracy protests, led by the country’s Shia Muslim majority, erupted in February 2011.