Bahraini regime forces have clashed with demonstrators holding a rally to denounce the death of a 17-year-old teenager who succumbed to injuries he sustained in a police chase.
Protesters on Tuesday took to the streets in the town of Shahrakan, located on the outskirts of Manama, to condemn the killing of Ali Abdulghani, who died of his wounds in a hospital in the capital four days after he was reportedly overrun by a police vehicle.
The demonstrators blocked a road with a large waste drum which they set ablaze and hurled stones at security forces. Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters.
According to witnesses and a report from the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), police on March 31 stormed a property belonging to the victim’s aunt while Abdulghani was present. Abdulghani fled the scene as the police attempted to arrest him.
Later in the day, he was seen and photographed while lying on the ground “with blood spilt from a serious head injury”. The victim was then transferred to the Bahrain Defense Forces Hospital.
Bahrain’s Interior Ministry has made no comment about the incident yet.
Bahrain’s main opposition group, al-Wefaq, has described the circumstances surrounding Abdulghani’s death as “vague.”
Prominent opposition figures, including senior member of al-Wafaq Seyyed Jamil Kazim, issued a message, saying the teenager 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.
Rights organizations, including the European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights, have demanded an immediate and impartial investigation into Abdulghani’s death, saying the injuries had been inflicted during his arrest.
On Sunday, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) condemned the ruling Al Khalifah regime for its policy of impunity for the abusers of human rights in the country.
The rights group has documented acquittal or reduction in the sentences of security forces involved in the torture or killing of activists.
The center expressed outrage at what it called the courts’ “blatant protection for abusers” while “human rights defenders and protesters receive harsher sentences” for practicing their right to free expression.
The BCHR further called on the Bahraini regime to comply with international human rights standards and to end the systematic torture of detainees.
It also urged Manama to halt the impunity of security forces and demanded that human rights violators be brought to justice regardless of their position or connections.
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.