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Hundreds protest over prisoner's death from Covid in Bahrain

HUNDREDS marched through the streets of Diah in Bahrain on Wednesday night in a rare public protest sparked by the death of a prisoner from coronavirus.

Demonstrators shouted that they held King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa responsible for the death of Husain Barakat, a prisoner jailed for life in 2018 and stripped of his citizenship in a mass trial of dissidents.

Bahrain’s absolute monarchy was almost overthrown in a democratic uprising in 2011 connected to “Arab spring” risings across the Middle East, but the revolt was brutally suppressed by troops from neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Mr Barakat had apparently been vaccinated against the virus twice with Chinese vaccine Sinopharm. Studies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which also relied heavily on Sinopharm, have reported unusually low antibody responses, for reasons not yet understood.

The UAE is now offering booster shots of Pfizer to those already fully inoculated.

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