Bahrain: Dying to live

Thousands mourn the killing of a teenager on Friday amid growing outrage over continued government crackdown.

Thousands of Bahrainis came out to mourn the killing of 16-year-old Ahmed Jaber al-Qattan on Friday, October 9. Bahraini police sealed off roads and prevented people from attending the funeral in the Abu Saiba area where the funeral was held, and where the boy had been killed the previous night.

Local rights advocates say that al-Qattan was hit with bird shot fired by riot police from close range. On Friday, the Ministry of Information in Bahrain confirmed his death by bird shot after earlier claiming cardiac arrest as the cause of death.

Nightly anti-government protests in many of the country’s predominantly Shia villages have been increasing in recent weeks. Protesters told Al Jazeera they are outraged at the recent sentencing of more than 200 people to lengthy jail terms in military courts, and the government’s refusal to offer any real reforms.

“We’re protesting today for the same reasons as we were on February 14 [the date when the uprising movement first began],” one activist told Al Jazeera.

Read “48 hours in Sanabis”, Matthew Cassel’s report on the protests, by clicking here, and view the accompanying photo gallery here.


Youth from the area paste pictures of Ahmed Jaber al-Qattan on walls in the village


Friends and relatives stand near Al-Qattan’s body after it’s washed. Washing a body before burial is an Islamic tradition


A mourner carries an image of al-Qattan taken on the previous night soon after he died from bird shot


Mourners wait for the funeral procession to pass near Abu Saiba village


Mourners march in the funeral procession, reciting prayers and beating their chests, as is tradition in Shia Islam


A young boy carries a banner of the ‘martyr’ Ahmed Jaber al-Qattan


A mourner throws mashmoom (a local herb with a sweet fragrance) at al-Qattan’s coffin


Mourners chant ‘yasqut Hamad‘ (down with [King] Hamad) alongside the truck carrying al-Qattan’s coffin


Women gather in village alleyways waiting for the funeral procession to pass


The funeral procession passed through the village’s narrow streets


The procession also went on Budaiya highway, one of the main roads in the area


The procession stopped on Budaiya highway so mourners could pray over the body


Women chant against the killing of al-Qattan and against the regime


Mourners wait for al-Qattan’s body at the burial site


Mourners carry a flag bearing an image of the now-destroyed Pearl monument, once the epicenter of the protest movement. In Arabic, it reads, ‘we will return to Martyrs’ Square [what protesters called Pearl roundabout after it was destroyed]’


In the cemetery, al-Qattan’s father is brought through the crowd to see his son’s body one last time before it is buried


A sheikh says a prayer over the body of al-Qattan before burial

Immediately after the funeral, hundreds of mourners continued to march back out onto Budaiya highway, chanting against the regime. Hundreds of police already gathered on the road responded with tear gas, sound grenades, rubber bullets and bird shot.

The below images were taken for Al Jazeera by A. al-Fardan.


A protester kicks back a police tear gas canister [A. al-Fardan / Al Jazeera]


Some protesters blocked roads and threw stones back at the police [A. al-Fardan / Al Jazeera]

Follow Matthew Cassel on Twitter: @justimage

Source : Al Jazeera


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