MANAMA – A young female journalist was gunned down in the street as her six-year-old son looked on in horror from inside their car in the Bahraini city of Riffa.
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Eman Salehi, a 28-year-old, was a sports journalist for Bahrain’s state-run television broadcaster.
She was known for her piercing blue eyes and friendly demeanor. The motive is yet unclear for the December 23 shooting on the Arabian island off the coast of Saudi Arabia.
Salehi’s car was stopped in Riffa, a community popular with members of the ruling Al Khalifa family and the military, and a gunman then appeared and shot Salehi once in the head.
The shooter immediately turned himself to the police.
Bahrain’s Interior Ministry issued only a terse statement on Twitter saying there had been a ‘murder of a female.’
The murder shocked the small island and has sparked controversy over who carried out the killing.
Activists allege that a member of Bahrain’s royal family serving in the military pulled the trigger.
Eman Salehi headed an official sport media committee and the media/PR committee for the Arab Youth Society. Killed for being a woman. pic.twitter.com/JCnpYTVIUo
— Ala’a Shehabi (@alaashehabi) December 25, 2016
The Bahrain government has launched a crackdown on dissent following the Arab Spring protests five years ago.
Arab Spring protests began in Bahrain in February 2011 and were backed by the Shia majority and others. They were aimed at demanding more political freedoms from the ruling Sunni Al Khalifa family.
The government put down the demonstrations with help from Saudi and Emirati troops, and later pledged to reform.
While low-level unrest persisted for years, things remained largely peaceful until April this year, when Bahrain’s military announced it was ‘ready to deal firmly and with determination with these sedition groups and their heads’ after a gasoline bomb killed a police officer.
In a past statement, Bahrain’s government said ‘no individual in Bahrain will, or can be, prosecuted for his or her political views due to the freedom of expression protections explicitly stated in the constitution,’ despite several cases to the contrary.
Source: Mail Online