The government of Bahrain on Friday arrested 29 people as protesters sought to commemorate the third anniversary of anti-government demonstrations that briefly shook the country at the height of the Arab Spring.
Hundreds of young people had gathered in the capital city of Manama for the purpose of commemorating the three years since the anti-government demonstrations of Feb. 14, 2011, the Associated Press reports. Some of the people attempting to enter Pearl Square, the main nexus of the uprisings, were seen carrying Bahraini flags, metal rods and unlit Molotov cocktails. But the area had been sealed off by security forces, AP reports.
The 2011 protests against the country’s ruling Sunni monarchy were rooted in the desire for greater political rights among Bahrain’s Shiite population. Official reports say that 65 died in the ensuing crackdown by government forces, but campaign groups claim the figure is higher, and there are calls for the country’s more than 3,000 political prisoners to be released. Numerous rounds of talks have done little to bring about a consensus.