Hundreds of protesters gathered on Thursday in the village of Diraz, on the North West coast of the Gulf nation, to demand the right to self-determination and the release of political prisoners. Despite a deafening media blackout, the mobilization continues in Bahrain.
Pictures posted on the social networking site Twitter showed pro-democracy protesters carrying banners demanding the release of political prisoners, denouncing "dictatorship" and demanding democratic reforms. "No freedom of speech in Bahrain" could be read on one of the posters brandished by a young demonstrator. Some of the signs also referred to the deployment of Saudi forces in the Gulf kingdom last year when the government imposed martial law.
According to activists, the demonstration ended when riot police dispersed the protesters using stun grenades and tear gas. There were no reports of casualties.
Last night a four-year-old boy was reportedly injured after clashes erupted between pro-democracy protesters and Bahraini police in the capital of Manama.
According to activists the young Ahmed Nasser al Neham suffered birdshot injuries to his eye. The little boy's father was also reportedly injured. Both victims were rushed to hospital. A video showing police force carrying the injured child was uploaded on Youtube.
The exact circumstances of the shooting are not clear. The father and the son were reportedly selling fish on the streets at the time of the incident. Pictures posted by activists on the micro-blogging site Twitter show a freezer covered with blood and fish scattered on the floor.
The ministry of Interior said an investigation has been opened to determine the circumstances of the incident.
Bahrain, which is ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy and hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has been in turmoil since activists mainly from the majority Shi'ite community began protests in February 2011, inspired by successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
More than a year later, unrest persists with weekly mass rallies by opposition parties and clashes between youth activists and riot police.
Photo courtesy of Said Yousif - @AmalSocietyEN