Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thousands of pro-democracy Bahrainis have gathered in the capital Manama to protest the recent killing of two demonstrators by security forces.

Several hundred people took part in a funeral procession on Wednesday for Fadel al-Matrook, 31, who was shot dead a day earlier in clashes with security forces, Reuters reported. 

"We are requesting our rights in a peaceful way," twenty-year-old university student Bakr Akil said. "I am optimistic that our big presence will achieve our demands." 

Some 2,000 protestors -- demanding regime change in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom -- spent the previous night in tents at the Pearl Roundabout in the heart of Manama. 

Matrook was one of around 4,000 demonstrators who had attended a procession on Tuesday for another slain protester, 27 year-old Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima. 

Mushaima was shot on Monday when police fired a barrage of tear gas and live bullets in the village of Daih -- near the capital Manama -- to suppress a pro-democracy protest. He later succumbed to his gunshot wounds in hospital. Meanwhile, Bahraini lawmaker, Jassim al-Saeedi, has urged the government to use live ammunition against the protesters. 
The Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS), however, has expressed shock over the suggestion. 
“All I have to say is that thank God he is not in a position where he can order the country's police to use such force against citizens,” BHRS Secretary General Dr. Abdulla al-Derazi said. 
“It's strange that an MP, who has an important role in creating Bahrain's legislature, is for the use of violence. He should defend the dignity, integrity and humanity of people instead of calling for such an act,” he added. 
Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called on Bahraini authorities to order security forces to stop attacks on peaceful protesters and investigate the recent shooting deaths. 
Bahrain's king has also announced an investigation into the deaths of two Bahraini protesters killed in the recent tension, which has rocked the island nation. 

“The kingdom of Bahrain is a country of law and constitutional institutions. We have a law that organizes peaceful demonstrations that was decreed by an elected committee. The right to express one's opinion is a right that is given by the constitution and has been organized by the law which we must all follow,” Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa, stated on Tuesday. source

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