Bahraini senior Shiite cleric orders to free prominent activist Zainab al-Khawaja

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The leader of Bahrain's main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq has called for the release of a prominent human rights activist, a day after she was detained during a protest rally.
A video posted online by the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights shows Zainab al-Khawaja is being roughed up, handcuffed and dragged away by security forces in Bahraini capital Manama, AFP reported on Friday.
Zainab al-Khawaja was put under arrest on Thursday, when she refused to leave a sit-in at a roundabout on the Budaiya highway in the west of Manama after other protesters were dispersed.
"We support Zainab and call for her release," Al-Wefaq leader Ali Salman said during a visit to London.
Criticizing the Bahraini regime's crackdown on the peaceful protest, Salman said that the new arrests of demonstrators showed that Manama was not serious about the promised reforms.
Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, set up to investigate reports of rights abuse during the months-long crackdown, announced last month that the regime had used ''excessive force'' to crush the uprising.
"After the report, they return to the same methods... they kill more people they put more people in prison," said Salman.
On Friday, Saudi-backed Bahraini forces attacked anti-government protests across the kingdom, injuring dozens of protesters demanding an end to the rule of Al Khalifa dynasty.
The latest round of violence comes on the heels of a low-key visit by Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to Britain, where he met with UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
King Hamad reportedly went to Britain to seek further advice from London on the regime's security.
The demonstrators have, however, pledged to keep up their protests until the downfall of the regime.
Dozens of people have been killed and many more arrested since the beginning of Bahrain's popular revolution in mid-February.