Bahrainis ‘drugged’ by foreign agents during uprising

The head of Bahrain’s Defence Force has pledged to reveal “detailed confessions” of alleged foreign agents blamed for a wave of unrest against the Gulf state’s government.

Commander-in-Chief Marshal Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said Bahrain had been the victim to a conspiracy funded and carried out by foreign agents, that included drugging young Bahrainis to engage them in the uprising.

“Detailed confessions along with photos and sound will be released once the judicial system finishes its work,” Al Khalifa was quoted as saying by state news agency BNA.

Activists at Pearl Roundabout “were given pills which affected their minds and made them do unusual things,” he said.

Bahrain banned protests when it imposed martial law in March and invited troops from Sunni-led Gulf neighbours to help quash weeks of protests by pro-reform demonstrators.

Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested since then while many more have been sacked from government jobs and state-linked companies, rights groups say.

At least 13 protesters and four police were killed during the clashes, at least three of whom were run over by cars around March 16.

Four activists have also been sentenced to death for the killing of two policemen, while a further three were handed life sentences. Twenty-one activists were charged last week with attempting to overthrow the Gulf kingdom’s government, trials that may continue until the end of the year, Al Khalifa said.

Bahrain’s King Hamad said last week he would lift the country’s state of emergency on June 1.

Al Khalifa said the crackdown had sent a clear message to the “foreign threat”.

“I say to those who did not get the message, if you return we will come back, stronger this time,” he was quoted as saying.

(www.arabianbusiness.com / 12.05.2011)

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