Bahraini police forces fired tear gas and water cannons at hundreds of protesters who tried on Tuesday to walk to Pearl Roundabout, the epicentre of last year's Shi'ite uprising, after the funeral of 22-year-old Mohamed Mushaima who died on Tuesday morning.
Thousands of mourners gathered on Tuesday afternoon for the funeral procession of a 22-year-old who had been sentenced by a Bahraini Court to 7 years in prison for participating in pro-democracy rallies. His lawyer claims that his client, who suffered from sickle cell anemia, died because he did not receive proper medical treatment whilst in custody.
Pearl Roundabout in the capital of Manama became the symbol of the Bahraini revolution after police forces entered the location on February 17, 2011 in an attempt to disperse protesters who were camping there. The crackdown led to many injuries as well as the deaths of at least four civilians.
Last Saturday violent clashes erupted between protesters and police forces after the funeral procession of 17-year-old Ali Hussein Nemat, who was reportedly shot dead by police forces the day before in the village of Sadad, outside Manama.
The Gulf Arab state, which is ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy and hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has been in turmoil since activists mainly from the Shi'ite community began protests in February 2011, inspired by successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
The Shi'ite community, which constitutes the majority of the population, say they feel marginalized by the Sunni ruling family and demand democratic reforms.
According to activists more than 80 people have died since the beginning of the uprising. This number cannot be verified as foreign media and rights organizations are regularly denied entry into the country.