A Bahraini youth has died of the injuries he sustained during an anti-government demonstration as protests grow in the wake of the kingdom’s hosting of a prestigious motor racing competition.
Local media said on Monday that Ali Abdulghani succumbed to his wounds in the hospital one week after he was overrun by a police vehicle in the capital, Manama.
The death of the activist came amid a series of street protests and social media campaigns against the Bahraini government’s hosting of the Formula 1 race, which the protesters said was staged to cover up the regime’s heavy-handed crackdown on the dissent.
Notable opposition figures, including Seyyed Jamil Kazim, a senior member of al-Wafaq National Islamic Society, issued a message on Abdulghani’s death, saying the youth died as a result of the government’s insistence on using security measures against political demands by the public. Kazim urged the government to heed popular calls for change.
Other Bahraini groups vowed to stage a mass funeral for Abdulghani, who was injured on March 26 during a police chase. The Wafa Movement, which broke the news of the death of the protester, urged the people to attend the procession, planned for Tuesday.
Demonstrations against the Formula 1 race continued across Bahrain late on Sunday with people in the village of Nuweidrat, a hub of anti-regime demonstrations over the past five years, clashing with security forces. Reports said police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters. A shop was also set ablaze with no information available on who was behind the fire.
Bahrain has been the scene of anti-government protests since a popular uprising erupted in the Persian gulf kingdom in early 2011. More than one hundred people have been killed in the demonstrations while hundreds more, including notable opposition figures, have been put behind bars for their involvement in the uprising. The ruling Al Khalifah regime has ignored international calls for political reform.