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Tear gas, stun grenades as Bahraini revolution anniversary gets under way

(File photo)

Al Manar

Bahraini police have used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of protesters in Manama, as they were marking the second anniversary of the revolution against the ruling monarchy.

Demonstrators tried to march to Pearl Square, the center of their peaceful protests two years ago when demonstrations against the royal family – rulers for over 40 years – first began.

“Square of martyrdom, we all still have the will! Down with the corrupt government!” chanted protesters carrying Bahraini flags.

The attempt to march to the square came after the main opposition bloc, al-Wefaq, organized a massive protest in which thousands took part in the village of Sanabis, near Manama.

The Bahraini interior ministry tried to justify its crackdown, claiming on Twitter that after the opposition’s rally ended, “a group of saboteurs caused riots and blocked roads, requiring authorities to take legal action against them.”

Opposition supporters have been demonstrating for more than a week ahead of the anniversary which is set for February 14.

During the revolution in 2011, protesters camped for one month at Pearl Square before being forcefully driven out in mid-March. Authorities later razed the square.

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since that moment, calling for freedom and social justice.

Around eighty people have been killed and thousands arrested since the revolution began. However, while Bahraini authorities claim the country has no problems with freedom of speech or democracy, many opposition figures have been arrested as prisoners of conscious and accused of trying to topple the government.

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