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Teen Protester Shot in Chest in Bahrain

Tensions flare over F1, brutal crackdown

Common Dreams staff

Relatives of late 22-year-old journalist Ahmed Ismail attending his funeral procession (Photo: EPA)

A 15-year-old boy has been shot in the chest by Bahraini forces, among several other injured. The incident occurred as thousands of people attended a funeral procession on Friday for Ahmed Ismail, 22, a 'citizen journalist', outside of the capital Manama.

Several people were wounded by gun shots fired by police at the scene, the Al-Wefaq opposition group reported today.

Tensions have remained high in Bahrain. Clashes have intensified as demonstrators protest over hunger striker and activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who faces imminent death, and the recent announcement that the Bahrain Grand Prix Formula One race will still be held despite popular uproar.

The wounded teenager is now in intensive care, as opposition supporters and human rights groups express outrage.

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Al-Jazeera: Teen protester 'shot in chest' in Bahrain

A 15-year-old boy was shot in the chest by anti-riot police in Bahrain during a funeral procession for an activist killed last month, according to an opposition group.

Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Aziz was in intensive care and several others wounded when police fired on mourners with tear gas and live rounds, the Al-Wefaq group said on Saturday.

Thousands of people attended the funeral procession on Friday for Ahmed Ismail, 22, in Salmabad just outside the capital Manama. [...]

"Down with Hamad!" chanted some marchers on Friday, referring to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who brought in an independent commission last year to investigate alleged crimes during the crackdown and has since promised reforms to prevent abuses by security forces.

Security forces were on alert in case clashes between youths and police in Shia villages escalated and in case of a deterioration in the health of hunger-striking jailed activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.

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Agence France-Presse: Bahrain mourner shot amid mounting F1 concern

US-based watchdog Human Rights Watch said the decision to go ahead with the race would be exploited by the ruling Sunni dynasty.

The decision "gives Bahrain's rulers the opportunity they are seeking to obscure the seriousness of the country's human rights situation," HRW said in a statement.

"Formula One promoters say their decision to race in Bahrain should not be derailed by political considerations, but the ruling family will attempt to portray today's (Friday's) decision as a political statement of support for its repressive policies," said Tom Porteous, deputy program director at HRW.

"The FIA has played into the government's narrative to gloss over Bahrain's continuing human rights crisis."

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