Bahrain: A Bloody day during the Public Strike on the Occasion of the Second Anniversary of Crushing the Protests

Mohammed Al-Maskati
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_al-Maskati

The 14 February Coalition – a political youth movement that was launched in 2011 after the protests began – called for a public strike on the occasion of the second anniversary of crushing the protests which began in the Pearl Roundabout on 14 February. The Peninsula Shield Force – Forces from the Arab Gulf Countries – had entered on 15 March, and on 16 March the Security Forces and army had stormed the Pearl Roundabout, and many citizens were wounded and killed.

The strike began in the morning of 14 March, where a group of youth blocked roads. The Security Forces attempted to reopen the roads by using excessive forces and bulldozers to remove the blockades. The strike continued in the villages until midnight.

At sometimes, violent clashes took place between the Security Forces and protestors which led to numerous injuries among the protestors.

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) used more than 20 field observers that were spread among the areas of Bahrain to document the human rights violations, and several observers faced various risks.

Injuries:

Hundreds of citizens and protestors were wounded with various types of injuries (in the head, hands, legs and rest of the body). The protestors were injured directly due to the use of “shotgun” by the Security Forces.

The BYSHR medical team observed 3 critical injuries that were taken to Salmaniya Hospital, and they are as follows:

Mr. Mutaylaq, at the hospital after surgery

1.Mr. Ridha Mansoor Mutaylaq (19 years old): he was hit in the village of Eker in the face with “shotgun” pellets from a distance of no more than 16 metres; he remains in hospital.

2.Mr. Hassan Matrook: he was hit in the village of Bani Jamra in the chest.
3.Mr. Mahdi Saeed Zuhair: he was hit in the village of Abu-Saiba in the head.

In addition to 5 other critical injuries who refused to go to the hospital out of fear of arrest, as Salmaniya Hospital – the main public hospital – is still under the surveillance of the Ministry of Interior since 16 March 2011.

The BYSHR medical team observed countless cases of suffocation due to the excessive use of teargas against protestors and citizens.

Arrests:

The Bahraini Authorities arrested 23 people from different areas; among them was Mr. Hussein Ali Ridha Al-Sanabsi (18 years old) – the Ministry of Interior’s statement read, “A vandal fell from the roof from a house in Dair. He was referred to hospital for treatment. Police at the scene to take the necessary measures” – from Dair area, he fell from one of the houses after the Security Forces attempted to arrest him. Members of the Security Forces took him to the police station and then were taken to the BDF hospital. He suffers from fractures in his hand, legs and jaw.

Subjected to torture by the security forces after his arrest

The observers and medical team stated that the Security Forces had arrested 6 people from the village of Makliya and they were brutally tortured and beaten with rods, bricks and sticks. They were released later.

The observers confirmed that the Security Forces raided several houses in different areas and damaged the insides of the house, with the pretext of searching for fleeing protestors.

Targeting private property:

The BYSHR observers observed the Security Forces targeting citizens’ private property (cars, houses and others) while they were dispersing protestors, and several citizens were affected because of that.

Separate incidents:

1.The Ministry of Interior said that a police car was burnt in Janabiya road by protestors. The Ministry of Interior published a photo on its account on Twitter of a burning car.
2.The BYSHR documented the number of teargas canisters that were fired in the village of Maamer, and they were 727 canisters from dawn until midnight.
3.The principal of Dair Elementary School refused to respond to the Ministry of Interior’s request to evacuate the school due the critical conditions in the area.
4.Many shops had to close in villages due to the bad security situation.
5.The riot police cars and armored vehicles were present in the entrances of villages since dawn.

Recommendations:

1.Allow freedom of expression and peaceful gathering.
2.Allow the wounded to receive the appropriate medical treatment in hospitals without fear of being targeted.
3.The immediate release of the detainees of peaceful gatherings or bring them to an urgent trial.

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