Bahrain's opposition group calls for civil state with elected government

14:57, June 18, 2011      

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Protesters attend a demonstration called by Al Wefaq National Islamic Society in Sitra, near Manama, capital of Bahrain, June 17, 2011. Thousands of Shiites took part in a gathering organized by Bahrain's largest opposition group on Friday to raise their demands for a civil state with elected government. (Xinhua/Mahmood Alsaleh)

Thousands of Shiites took part in a gathering organized by Bahrain's largest opposition group on Friday to raise their demands for a civil state with elected government.

"We want a civil state with an elected government," said Shaikh Ali Salman, leader of the group Al Wefaq National Islamic Society.

"Sacking staff from companies and students from universities is unacceptable. National unity is important at this stage despite media attacks. Security personnel who committed crime should also be held accountable," he said in a speech during the gathering, which was held in Sitra under the theme of "A country for all".

The speech called for more rights and mentioned the role of Crown Prince in the national dialogue which is scheduled to begin on July 1.

Traffic was slow on all the main roads leading to Sitra as people thronged to the gathering. The participants carried pictures of political leaders and people who were arrested during the anti-government protests in March. Hundreds of women waving Bahraini flags also attended the gathering.

The director of the central governorate police said in a statement that the organizers from Al Wefaq submitted a request for the gathering and were granted permission.

According to the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions, the country's main union body, nearly 1,900 Bahrainis have been sacked for participating in the nationwide strike called by the unions and being absent from work to take part in illegal protests.

Source: Xinhua

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