12/27/2011

Al-Wefaq Headquarter Attacked In Manama

Media of Truth | Bahrain 2011.12.25
Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have attacked the headquarters of the country’s main opposition bloc, al-Wefaq, in the capital, Manama.
Al-Wefaq party was holding its weekly meeting at the time of the attack. The meeting was forcibly broken up by regime forces.
Bahrain’s Interior Ministry on Thursday banned al-Wefaq leaders from holding their weekly meeting.
“I was really shocked to see tear gas and rubber bullets hit our offices,” said vice president of the Al Wefaq party, Sheik Hussain Al Daihi. He said he was inside the building with foreign journalists when the security forces attacked and that a 13-year-old girl among those hurt had a serious injury to her thigh.
“We are a people that won’t be broken. All this repression and brutality is the source of our strength and determination to continue the struggle and defend our national rights,” Al Daihi said later in a statement.
Activists say several people, including an American journalist, were injured after regime troops attacked the building on Friday using tear gas.
“We will start a campaign to defend our religious sites and the first such activity starts with a protest at the end of the prayer at Diraz grand mosque,” senior Shiite cleric Sheik Isa Qassim said during his Friday sermon. Diraz is an opposition stronghold northwest of the capital.
“We demand democracy for one people, Sunni and Shiite, and we understand the approach of the government that aims to divide our people. We are the ones who insist on unity, and because of this we are targeted by the government,” he said.
Qassim called on international allies of Bahrain to exert pressure on the government because of what he said was it lack of will to reform.
Bahrain is a key U.S. ally in the Gulf and is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.
Since February, at least 40 people have been killed.
Regime forces also attacked anti-government protesters in several towns and villages near Manama, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.
Bahrainis have been holding street protests demanding an end to the rule of the Al Khalifa dynasty since mid-February. Peaceful demonstrators are attacked with live rounds and tear gas.
On November 23, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, set up to investigate reports of rights abuse during the crackdown, announced that the regime had used ”excessive force” to crush the uprising.
Bahraini opposition say nothing has changed since the government-authorized international investigation publicized last month found numerous human rights abuses.