Middle East

Bahrainis gather at UN office in Manama

Bahrainis gather at UN office in ManamaBahraini protesters have gathered in front of the United Nations office in the capital Manama to hold an anti-regime demonstration.

Security has been tight in front of the UN office. 

The Tuesday demonstration was previously organized by the main Bahraini opposition party, al-Wefaq. 

Al-Wefaq organized a similar demonstration attended by hundreds of protesters in the northern village of Tubli on Saturday. 

Bahraini demonstrators continue protests against the ruling Al Khalifa regime despite the violent crackdown by the Saudi-backed security forces. 

On Monday, a Bahraini military court sentenced 25-year-old junior police officer Ali al-Ghanami to more than 12 years in prison for joining anti-regime protests. Ghanami had left his guard post and joined demonstrators on February 17, 2011. 

Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds more arrested or fired from their jobs since the beginning of the popular uprising in Bahrain in February 2011. 

Amnesty International said on Friday that reports about the torture of an 18-year-old student, Hassan Oun, in detention by Bahraini police “are yet another blow to Bahrain’s promises of reform.” 

“As such horrendous cases of human rights abuse keep piling up, the Bahraini authorities’ promises of change ring ever more hollow,” Amnesty added. 

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) issued a report on November 23, 2011, saying that the Manama regime had used “excessive force, including the extraction of forced confessions against detainees” in their attempts to choke the demonstrations in the country. 

Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said on Friday, “Every new case of abuse of protesters makes a mockery of the BICI findings. The Bahraini authorities need to show that they are going to take human rights seriously and must reign in their security forces.” 

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