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Massive Anti-Government Rally Held in Bahraini Capital Despite Protest Ban

© East News / Kyodo/FOTOLINKShiite Muslim protestors demonstrate in the suburbs of Bahrain's capital Manama
Shiite Muslim protestors demonstrate in the suburbs of Bahrain's capital Manama - Sputnik International
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The Bahrain's main Shiite opposition party Al-Wefaq reported that a large scale anti-government protest was held Friday in western Manama despite Bahrain's ban on protests.

Opposition leaders in Bahrain have called on supporters of pro-democracy reforms in the Gulf kingdom to take to the streets on Thursday, a day after police stomped out protests across the state, the country's opposition media reported. - Sputnik International
Bahraini Opposition Calls for Massive Pro-Democracy Rally
MOSCOW, December 26 (Sputnik) — A massive anti-government rally was held Friday in western Manama despite Bahrain's ban on protests, the country's main Shiite opposition party Al-Wefaq said in a statement.

The rally under the motto "Democracy is Our Right", ran its course, despite that two years ago the government prohibited opposition parties from rallying their supporters and threatened them with violence, Al-Wefaq said.

It stressed that the people of Bahrain, who are largely Shiites while the ruling Al-Khalifa dynasty is Sunni, "refuse to be marginalized and demand to be truly represented through truly elected government".

Bahrain's Supreme Criminal Court of Appeal has sentenced prominent human rights activist Maryam Khawaja to one year in prison on the charge of assaulting police officers. - Sputnik International
Bahrain Sentences Human Rights Activist Maryam Khawaja to One Year in Jail
This referred to the runoff parliamentary elections, held in the country on November 29 that the opposition boycotted as a scam vote. Demonstrators have been calling for the royal family to relinquish power and allow for a new democratic government to be elected.

The Bahraini government has been at odds with the Shiite-majority population since a wave of "Arab Spring" uprisings spread from Tunisia to Egypt, Bahrain and elsewhere across the Middle East in 2011.

Bahraini police have been accused by Human Rights Watch and other pressure groups of brutally clamping down on demonstrators, with the government in Manama using harsh counterterrorism laws to prosecute human rights defenders. The opposition has also accused authorities of abducting and torturing political prisoners.

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