Bahrain opposition calls for mass demonstrations
Azerbaijan , Baku, Sept. 21 / Trend A. Isgandarov /
An opposition group has called for a mass protest on Wednesday in the centre of the capital Manama amid a stern warning from the authorities, dpa reported.
Activists of the February 14 Youth Coalition, named after a day when pro-democracy demonstrations started in the small Gulf kingdom, plan to bring the traffic in central Manama to a standstill by parking thousands of cars in major streets in the capital, according to broadcaster Al Jazeera.
The organizers said the protest was aimed at pressuring the government into halting what they described as daily oppression of demonstrations and reinstate employees reportedly sacked for joining in pro-democracy protests, according to the television report.
The protest comes days before partial parliamentary elections due to be held in Bahrain on September 24.
The Interior Ministry has warned it will not tolerate Wednesday's protest.
"The authorities will take legal measures against anyone found violating the traffic rules," said the ministry in a statement. "Violators risk penalties of jailing and fines."
Sunni-ruled Bahrain has accused Shiite-led Iran of meddling in its internal affairs and inciting the unrest. Both the opposition and Iran have denied the accusation.
Bahrain has been rocked since February by a series of anti- government protests that has claimed over 30 lives. The country is scheduled to hold by-election on Sept. 24 for 18 seats left vacant by parliament members from the largest opposition group Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, who resigned in protest against the alleged killing of anti-government protestors.