Bahraini riot police attacked anti-government protesters with teargas on Monday after the funeral of a teenager killed by police last week, as violence in the Gulf state increases in the run-up to the anniversary of the uprising.
Bahrain’s Shi’ite Muslim majority has become fed up at the lack of reform and constant repression, this time blocking off streets and throwing petrol bombs. The protests began after the funeral of Mohammed Ibrahim Yacoub, was severely beaten by riot police after he was already taken into custody.
The Bahraini government is a long-time U.S. ally receiving continued economic and military support from the Obama administration, despite an extended reign of repression in response to pro-democracy demonstrations. A recent independent probe into the government’s response concluded also that torture was systemic for hundreds of detained Bahrainis.
The Obama administration has quietly moved forward with a new package of arms sales to the regime in Bahrain, after international pressure forced them to delay its planned $53 million arms sale. Using legal loopholes, they moved forward with the new sales without notifying the public.