Bahrainis were on Saturday marking the fourth anniversary of February 14 revolution when regime police fired tear gas to disperse them.

The Bahraini people have taken to the streets across the country to mark the fourth anniversary of the popular uprising amid a heavy-handed crackdown by Al Khalifa regime forces to curb the undying anti-government rallies.

Police fired tear gas and sound bombs and beefed up security around several villages and along major roads across the country, witnesses told AFP.

The security forces deployed heavily to prevent the demonstrators from advancing towards the center of the capital Manama, where the 2011 uprising was focused.

On Friday, people took to the streets and staged mass demonstrations in Manama and several towns and villages across the kingdom, including Sitra, Belad al-Qadeem and Diraz on the eve of the anniversary of the revolution.

The February 14 Coalition, a cyber youth group, had urged demonstrations and strikes across the kingdom under the slogan “Strike of Defiance”.

But the public security chief, Major-General Tariq al-Hassan, had issued a warning alledging that peaceful protests may put security ‘on stake.’

“Action will be taken against those who spread terror among citizens or residents, put the safety of others at risk or try to disrupt the nation’s security and stability,” Hassan said.

Head of Bahrain’s main opposition party Al-Wefaq Sheikh Ali Salman was arrested on December for allegedly trying to overthrow the regime.

“The movement has reached its four years with the situation only getting worse and deteriorating with citizens threatened by losing their nationalities any minute,” Al-Wefaq said on Twitter.

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Bahrain has revoked the citizenships of scores of activists over the past few years, drawing condemnation from human rights groups.

Al-Wefaq described February 14, 2011 as the start “of the peaceful movement… demanding a democratic nation in which the people will be the source of powers and which is built on partnership and equality”. It insisted that “peaceful” protests must continue “until a political solution is reached”.

Amnesty International has called on Bahraini officials to observe the citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly and rein in security forces as thousands of protesters are taking to the streets ahead of the fourth anniversary of the uprising.

 

Al-Manar

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