Clinton urges Bahrain to allow peaceful protests

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Clinton urges Bahrain to allow peaceful protests

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday called on Bahrain to show restraint and “hold accountable” those who used deadly force against anti-government protesters.

Clinton said she told her counterpart Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa of “our deep concerns about the actions of the security forces” in deadly protests.

“We call on restraint from the government to keep its commitment to hold accountable those who have utilised excessive force against peaceful demonstrators,” said Washington’s chief diplomat.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon echoed Clinton’s comments, describing the violence as “deeply troubling.”

“It must stop,” Ban told reporters in New York. “Those responsible must be brought to justice.”

Bahrain’s military put tanks onto the streets of the capital Manama to restore order after anti-regime protests in the city’s Pearl Square.

Demonstrators, largely Shia Muslims, want constitutional reform and a greater say in how the country is run.

Bahrain has been ruled by a Sunni royal family since the 18th century, although 70 percent of its population are Shias.