DUBAI — Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Shiite villages in Bahrain on Tuesday to demand being reinstated in jobs from which they were fired during last year's uprising, witnesses said.
"Returning to our jobs is a right," read the banners of the protesters who gathered for the May Day rally organised by the February 14 Youth Movement.
The protesters also chanted slogans against Asian policemen, notably Pakistanis, recruited by the kingdom's Sunni rulers.
In Manama, a crowd chanted slogans calling for the fall of the regime at a rally attended by opposition leaders and dozens of supporters, before security forces used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse them, residents said.
Some demonstrators were arrested, they added.
The interior ministry said on Twitter that police took "legal procedures" against the "illegal rally" after warning the protesters and asking them to disperse.
An independent probe into the month-long uprising said hundreds of Shiite workers were either dismissed or suspended indefinitely in the wake of a crackdown on a Shiite-led protest in February and March 2011.
According to Bahrain's labour union, 455 private and 116 public sector workers remain dismissed from their jobs. The labour ministry says the number is only a few dozen and that the rest have been reinstated.
Amnesty says nearly 60 people have been killed in the protest movement since February 2011.