Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifah regime has ramped up its repressive measures ahead of the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar of Muharram, the tenth day of which is known as Ashura that marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam.
On Wednesday, the Manama regime’s mercenaries, escorted by security forces, raided the villages of Shahrakan, Jid Ali, Malkiya and Karzakan, taking down Ashura banners and flags and removing black cloths that had draped walls in the areas, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.
Earlier on Monday, Bahraini regime forces had removed stalls set up to provide food and drinks to mourners in the northern villages of Abu Saiba and Shakhura, and removed Ashura signs in Eker area and in the island of Sitra, located five kilometers south of the capital Manama.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3.