(AsiaNews/ Agencies) - Police used tear gas and stun grenades against hundreds
of demonstrators who took to the streets of Shiite villages in Bahrain on May
Day to demand their reinstatement in the jobs from which they were fired during
last year's Arab spring uprising. Dozens of demonstrators were arrested. The rallies
were organised by the 14 February youth movement.
According to the
Bahrain Labour Union, almost 600 workers were fired from private and public
sector jobs for taking part in the uprising.
rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja continues his hunger strike. He was
arrested almost a year ago and has been kept in isolation ever since.
According to Human
Rights Watch, the authorities have not yet provided any evidence that he was involved
in subverting the state or linked to terrorist groups.
said that he would pursue his hunger strike until the government releases all
the people it has arrested.
For its part,
the government announced plans to put on trial 20 medics on charges of
incitement to overthrow the government and trying to occupy a hospital. Rights
groups said that the 20 were arrested for treating protesters wounded by
security forces last year.
The majority of
the people of Bahrain are Shia, but the country is ruled by a Sunni royal
family, an ally of Saudi Arabia.
For more than a
year, people have demanded constitutional reforms and the removal of Prime
Minister Sheikh Khalifah ibn Salman al-Khalifah, who has been in office since
In March 2011, the
Shia opposition organised a popular revolt in the wake of the Arab spring.
In order to end
the demonstrations, the government called on its Saudi ally for help. Saudi Special
Forces were sent in with the power to use lethal force against demonstrators. Twenty-four
people, including four police officers were killed.
again on 18 April of this year during the Formula 1 Grand Prix. For days, thousands
of demonstrators took over the streets of the capital and in predominantly Shia
responded by imposing a curfew and arresting hundreds of people.