A large number of people have taken to the streets in Bahrain to attend the funeral of a political dissident who reportedly died as a result of injuries sustained under torture while in regime custody.
Thousands of Bahrainis took part in the funeral procession of Hassan Hayki in the capital, Manama, on Tuesday despite desperate attempts by regime forces to force his family into holding a private service, Lualua television network reported.
Regime forces deployed dozens of armored military vehicles to the streets leading to the cemetery in Hoora district of Manama in an attempt to stop people from joining the procession.
The participants chanted slogans in condemnation of the Al Khalifah regime, holding the ruling dynasty responsible for Hayki’s death. Bahraini forces arrested a mourner following the funeral procession.
Hayki’s family attributed his death to the severe torture he was subjected to during criminal investigations over the past 20 days, which had left him unable to speak and move.
They said Bahraini regime forces had strung their son up by his hands for five days, and beaten him on the head and genitals during detention.
Elsewhere in Bahrain, in the village of al-Musalla, which lies on the western outskirts of Manama, people staged a demonstration in protest at Hayki’s death and ongoing brutal torture at the regime’s detention centers.
Regime forces fired tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd. There were no reports of casualties and arrests.
Also on Tuesday, Bahraini judicial officials summoned two Shia clerics, identified as Sheikh Ali Hamidan and Sheikh Ali al-Jufairi, on charges of incitement of hatred against the regime.
Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the Al Khalifah rulers to relinquish power.
In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — themselves repressive Arab regimes — were deployed to the country to assist Manama in its crackdown on protests.
Manama has intensified its crackdown on Shias, jailing their religious leaders and revoking their citizenships.