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Bahraini Police Quash Shi'ite Protest On Anniversary Of Arab Spring Uprising


UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq has voiced "concerns about restrictions on fundamental freedoms" in Bahrain

Antigovernment demonstrators clashed with police in Bahrain on February 14 on the sixth anniversary of the island kingdom's Arab Spring uprising.

The protesters chanted "Revolution until victory" and "No forgetting the martyrs" while holding up pictures of those killed in the government's brutal crackdown on the uprising in 2011.

In the capital Manama, protests ended when policemen fired tear gas and stun grenades to prevent demonstrators from reaching the main entrance to the capital.

Activists posted pictures of injured protesters online.

Sunni-ruled Bahrain has been rocked by low-level unrest since March 2011 when authorities backed by Saudi-led forces put down a month of Shi'ite-led protests demanding democratic reforms.

Since then, hundreds of Shi'a have been arrested and put on trial, and others have been stripped of their citizenship.

The country, ruled by the Al-Khalifa dynasty for more than two centuries, has a majority Shi'ite population which has long complained of marginalization.

United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on February 14 voiced "concerns about restrictions on fundamental freedoms, including rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of expression in Bahrain" and urged the government to reform.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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