By Ali Al-Bassam
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East
MANAMA, Bahrain — A teenager was killed on Thursday morning while participating in a protest that took place in the village of Daih. The protest itself took place during the second anniversary of the demonstrations for democratic reforms.
Bahrain’s Interior Ministry confirmed via Twitter that a person had died, but offered no further details beyond this. The Interior Ministry tweet stated that “Operations Room received call from SMC [Salmaniya Medical Complex, the country’s largest hospital] reportain an injured individual pronounced dead.” Al Wefaq,Bahrain’s largest opposition group, said in a report that the deceased teenager was 16 year old Hussain al-Jaziri, and that he was killed by shotgun fire at close range. Al Wefaq’s report stated that al-Jaziri sustained a serious injury to his stomach.”
Throughout the villages of Bahrain, clashes occurred after several hundred demonstrators, mostly comprised of Shi’ite youths, blocked the roads to Manama and hurled stones and firebombs towards police forces. Protesters reported that teargas was used in several locations. Three photojournalists were arrested while reporting in Daih.
The current clashes are the most violent in recent months and have the potential to mar talks that were initiated last Sunday between mostly Shi’ite Muslim opposition groups and the Sunni dominated government in an effort to end the political deadlock that has dominated Bahraini politics.
The Chief of Public Security, Major-General Tariq Hassan al-Hassan, issued a statement reporting that “[t]he worst clashes occurred in Daih where around 300 people at around 8 am attacked the security men stationed there to protect the area,” he said. Al-Hassan also mentioned in his reports that Police forces in Daih had to take action since they “had come under attack from rioters with rocks, steel rods, and Molotov cocktails. Warning shots were fired but failed to disperse the advancing crowd who continued their attack. Officers discharged birdshot to defend themselves.”
Al-Hassan said that he initiated an investigation, and intends to quiz several members of the unit involved in the incident. Al-Hassan also pleaded to demonstrators to not use al-Jaziri’s death as means to commit more violence. “I urge all citizens not to heed the calls to exploit this death to undermine public order and cause further loss of life and property,” he said.
Al Wefaq says that the death of al-Jaziri “exacerbated emotions” for demonstrators throughout the country who participated in protests. It has called for a massive demonstration to take part on Friday morning, requesting everyone to take part.
For further information, please see:
Al Jazeera — ‘Teenager Killed’ in Bahrain Protest — 14 February 2013
BBC News — Teenager Killed in Bahrain Anniversary Protests — 14 February 2013
Gulf News — Teenager Killed as Clashes Erupt in Bahrain — 14 February 2013
Reuters — Teen Killed in Protests on Bahrain Revolt Anniversary — 14 February 2013