Rights group: Bahrain targets wounded protesters

DUBAI (Reuters) – Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday that Bahrain authorities were harassing and isolating hospital patients wounded in anti-government protests when security forces began a crackdown in the kingdom two weeks ago.

Bahrain’s Sunni rulers this month imposed martial law and brought in troops from Sunni-led Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, to quell weeks of unrest during pro-democracy demonstrations led mostly by the state’s Shi’ite majority.

Twenty-four people were killed in the ensuing clashes, the government said Tuesday. The opposition Wefaq party says 250 people have been detained and another 44 have gone missing since the crackdown.

The security measures were condemned by Iran, the main Shi’ite power in a region dominated by Sunni Muslim rulers, which said they could lead to a wider conflict.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled al-Khalifa said Iran should stop its “offensive” against Bahrain, telling pan-Arab daily al-Hayat that political dialogue could only start once security had been restored in the island kingdom. Opposition parties reiterated denials of any foreign backing Wednesday.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said it was concerned Bahrain forces were targetin… >>>

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