Last updated: 22 February, 2013

Bahraini protester dies of wounds

A Shiite protester died of wounds after he was shot during clashes with Bahraini police on the second anniversary of the February 14, 2011 uprising, the opposition said on Friday.

Mahmud al-Jaziri, 20, succumbed on Thursday to wounds suffered when he was “hit with a direct shot to the head by regime forces during peaceful protests” marking the uprising, the main Shiite opposition Al-Wefaq group said.

The shooting occurred on Nabi Saleh island, south of Manama, on a day that two other people died during demonstrations commemorating the uprising, which Saudi-backed Bahraini forces crushed in mid-March 2011.

Video footage posted on YouTube showed what was said to be a Bahraini policeman firing from close range at a protester hurling stones at advancing riot police.

Police in the kingdom, which is ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty, mostly use shotguns and tear gas to disperse protests by disgruntled members of the Shiite majority.

Jaziri’s funeral was expected on Friday afternoon but Wefaq said authorities did not release Jaziri’s body from the morgue.

The police says Jaziri’s family did not hospitalise him on the day he was wounded, pointing out that according to hospital records, Jaziri was “brought in by his family on February 15.”

Jaziri was “treated in an unknown location on February 14, 24 hours before he was hospitalised, so there has been a delay,” it said in a statement carried by BNA state news agency.

Wounded protesters avoid going to hospitals in fear of being arrested and tend to seek medical treatment in ad hoc clinics.

Another protester, Hussein al-Jaziri, 16, was killed on February 14 in the village of Daih, while a policeman was killed on the same day at Al-Sahla village, on the outskirts of Manama.

Bahrain has witnessed two years of political upheaval linked to opposition demands for a real constitutional monarchy, with the unrest claiming at least 80 lives, according to international rights groups.

Protests continue despite the resumption on February 10 of a national dialogue between opposition groups and the government.

The talks that also include representatives of Sunni political groups and members of parliament are being held twice a week. The government has said no statements will be issued on the progress of the dialogue.