[QODLink]
Middle East

Bahrain Shias protest against government

Thousands take to streets chanting "no to discrimination" in Sunni-ruled kingdom.

Last updated: 22 Mar 2014 03:50
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Protesters clash with a riot police during the protests [Reuters]

Thousands of Bahrainis, mainly from the Shia majority, demonstrated near Manama on Friday against what they described as sectarian discrimination in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

"No to discrimination," chanted protesters brandishing Bahrain's red-and-white flag as they marched along Budaiya main road, which links Shia villages with the capital, witnesses said. 

Some protesters later clashed with riot police, who replied with tear gas.

Ali Salman, the chief cleric of the main Shia formation Al-Wefaq, was among leaders of the opposition who participated, according to images the group posted online.

They carried posters of prominent opponents jailed over their roles in the short-lived uprising of February 2011, including the Sunni head of the secular Waed party, Ibrahim Sharif, who is serving a five-year sentence.

"Sectarian discrimination is eating into the body of Bahrain in a systematic way applied by authorities," opposition groups said in a statement at the end of the demonstration, referring to the Al-Khalifa dynasty.

The protest was held on the occasion of the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Bahrain remains deeply divided three years after authorities quashed a Shia-led uprising, with regular protests sparking clashes with police, scores of Shia jailed on "terrorism" charges and reconciliation talks deadlocked.

201

Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.