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Bahrainis call for prisoners’ release

Press TV – March 2, 2011

Thousands of Bahraini protesters have gathered outside the building of the interior ministry in the capital, demanding the release of political prisoners.

Chanting anti-government slogans on Wednesday, the protesters in Manama marched to Pearl Square — the epicenter of the movement — demanding the ruling family to step down.

As the popular uprising entered its 17th day in Bahrain, the opposition groups in the Persian Gulf kingdom called for more private and public sector strikes and more rallies to oust the government.

They also urged protesters to block all main roads and take over government buildings to force the Sunni-dominated regime to respond to their demands.

Protesters demand major political reforms, including the establishment of a “real constitutional monarchy,” as well as the resignation of the government, which they hold responsible for the killing of peaceful demonstrators.

Many protesters, mainly Shias, have also called for an end to the rule of Al Khalifa dynasty which has been in power the country for over two centuries.

“230 years is enough, Al Khalifa leave,” read a banner, referring to the Sunni royal family which rules Bahrain.

Meanwhile, many protesters have vowed to continue to camp out in Pearl Square and have refused to enter talks with the government until their demands are met.

Last week, in an attempt to contain massive anti-government demonstrations, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa pardoned 23 political prisoners and ventured a minor cabinet reshuffle.

But the measures seem not to have been enough for the opposition who say hundreds of political activists are still in Bahraini jails, and for thousands of anti-government protesters who are still out, demanding the ruling family to step down.

March 2, 2011 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism

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