Bahraini police clash with protesters

Police in Bahrain have clashed with supporters of a jailed human-rights activist demanding his release.

    The arrest of a rights activist has triggered off weeks of protest

    Witnesses said hundreds of anti-riot police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse more than 1000 protesters on a main highway to Saudi Arabia, demanding the release of the rights activist Abd al-Hadi al-Khawaja.

    Some 30 protesters were arrested, including a spokesman for a committee fighting for al-Khawaja's release.

    The clashes occurred around midnight as police set up road blocks around the capital Manama to stop cars displaying pictures of al-Khawaja.

    The protesters hurled stones and raised anti-government slogans.

    Controversial arrest

    Khawaja, head of the now-banned Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was arrested last month for calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, whom he blamed for the country's economic woes.

    His detention and the consequent closure of his human-rights centre has provoked criticism from international rights groups and the United States.

    Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has stood by the prime minister - who is also his uncle - and says he will not tolerate criticism of senior government officials.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.