Families of Bahraini prisoners staged a small protest during the Pope’s visit news
Activists say the protesters were taken away from the scene in a police car and then released.
Relatives of death row and life prisoners in Bahrain staged a small protest along the route of Pope Francis’ motorcade, calling for the release of the Gulf Arab state’s political prisoners.
It was not clear whether the grandfather saw the posters as his motorcade moved from his residence to Isa Town School where he later addressed the students and teachers. About 30,000 flag-waving worshipers attended the outdoor service on Saturday.
Video of Saturday’s protest, which included several women and children, was posted online by the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and the defunct Bahraini opposition group Al-Wefaq.
Hajer Mansour, the mother of jailed activist Syed Nizar al-Wadai, held a sign reading “There is no tolerance for us here in Bahrain.”
One of the posters read “Tolerance, coexistence is a practice, not just a slogan. #Free Hassan Mushaima #Free Political prisoners #End sectarianism”.
Opposition leader Hassan Mushaima was sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for anti-government protests led by the predominantly Shiite Muslim community. The Sunni monarchy suppressed the unrest.
In the video, it can be seen how the policeman tells the protesters, among whom was a little boy.
A government spokesman said the group of nine had been asked to disperse by uniformed police and had “complyed with the request”, Reuters news agency reported.
“No further action is being taken in this regard,” the spokesperson said in a statement, adding that “there have been no arrests or detentions related to the papal visit.”
“The protesters were released”
Earlier, BIRD issued a statement that the protesters were taken away in a police car and later released.
Ahead of the Pope’s arrival in Bahrain on Thursday, families of death row inmates asked him to speak out against the death penalty and protect political prisoners during the trip.
He did so in his first address to government officials and the diplomatic corps on Friday.
On Thursday, the first day of his four-day visit, His Holiness the Patriarch called for end discrimination and human rights violations.
It is vital that “fundamental human rights are not violated but promoted,” the pope said Thursday at the Sakhir Royal Palace during his first visit to the Gulf Arab country, where the Shiite Muslim opposition and rights groups accuse the Sunni monarchy of controlling the people. rights violations, a charge the authorities deny.
Bahrain was the only Gulf state to see massive Arab Spring upheaval. Since the uprising, it has jailed thousands of people, some in mass trials.
The kingdom has rejected criticism from the United Nations and others over its trials and detention conditions, saying its prosecutions comply with international law.
Last year, Bahrain released dozens of prisoners on parole under new rules that allow for electronic monitoring and instead of house arrest. Mushaima’s son said at the time that his father rejected an offer of parole.
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