Bahraini regime forces have arrested prominent members of the opposition February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition as part of the Arab kingdom’s attempts to quell more than two years of pro - democracy uprising.
"After an extensive investigation, several members of the February 14 organization were identified... (and) the main actors who took part in criminal acts have been arrested," Bahrain’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday. The ministry also identified the group's spiritual leader as Hadi al-Mudaressi who "provided divisive support to the organization." It named 11 of those arrested, saying they had played major roles in the coalition inside Bahrain, and said other members were still being sought. The ministry also named 13 people it said were leading the coalition from abroad, some of whom are living in London. Among them is Saeed Abdulnabi al-Shahabi. The Bahraini uprising began in mid-February 2011, when the people, inspired by the popular revolutions that toppled the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, started holding massive demonstrations. The Bahraini government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states. Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses accused of treating injured revolutionaries. A report published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 found that the Al Khalifa regime had used excessive force in the crackdown and accused Manama of torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters. Bahrainis say they will continue holding demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met.