* Protester's body had birdshot wounds, bruises-brother
* Protesters clash with police after funeral
* Opposition leader urges reforms to avoid impasse
* Channel 4 TV team released, deported
(Adds opposition leader interview, Amnesty statement, Channel 4
TV team deported)
By Warda Al-Jawahiry and Hamad Mohammed
MANAMA, April 23 A Bahraini protester found dead
on a rooftop after clashes with police during the Formula One
Grand Prix at the weekend was apparently killed by birdshot
rounds and his body bore several bruises, his brother said on
Salah Abbas Habib, 36, was buried on Monday after a funeral
attended by about 15,000 people, a Reuters witness said. After
the ceremony, hundreds of protesters threw petrol bombs and
stones at a police station in the district of al-Bilad al-Qadeem
in the capital Manama. Police fired teargas and sound grenades.
His brother told Reuters before the funeral that a coroner's
report had concluded that Habib died of birdshot wounds to the
chest and abdomen.
"We just got the body back. He had birdshot wounds in his
chest and abdomen," Hussein Abbas Habib said by telephone from
Manama, adding that the body also had bad bruises on the hands,
back and legs.
Ruled by the Al Khalifa family, Bahrain has been in turmoil
since mainly Shi'ite pro-democracy protests that erupted last
year, which were put down in March 2011 with the help of troops
from fellow Sunni-led Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia.
Majority Shi'ites complain they have long been marginalised.
Bahrain's Interior Ministry has already said it is launching
an investigation into Habib's death.
The dead man took part in overnight protests on Friday but
had to flee after riot police arrived to disperse demonstrators
and came after him, his brother said.
He hid on a roof, he added, citing witnesses. He was found
dead soon after that.
Mohammed al-Maskati of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human
Rights told Reuters that witnesses said Habib had been hit while
running away from police.
OPPOSITION SEES IMPASSE
The leader of the main opposition party warned on Monday
that the conflict in Bahrain would grow more violent if the
government did not undertake political reform.
"We want to sit down and talk to them, but they are refusing
to enter a dialogue with us. They put obstacles and diversions
to present a picture of reforms that actually only reconfirm and
reinstate the dictatorship," Sheikh Ali Salman told Reuters in
"We have reached an impasse. This government is not serious
about having a real dialogue, to listen to the demands of the
Bahraini people and implement those demands which cannot be
ignored," he said.
In a separate development, Amnesty International on Monday
criticised a Bahraini appeals court for delaying until April 30
a hearing for a group of protest leaders sentenced over last
year's uprising, including one who has been on a hunger strike
for more than two months.
"The Bahrain authorities' delaying tactics are toying with
the life of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who is on death's doorstep as
he enters his 75th day on hunger strike," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui,
an Amnesty regional deputy director, said in a statement.
Sponsors who ploughed money into Formula One have been left
squirming after the motor sport's organisers ignored opposition
calls to cancel the race.
But Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone said "there is no
such thing as bad publicity", putting a positive spin on the
race, which drew widespread condemnation from abroad and became
a focus for anti-government protests in the small island
Britain's Channel 4 said on its website on Monday that its
three-man news team had been deported after being detained on
While motor sports journalists were invited to cover the
race, reporters from Reuters and some other news organisations
who usually write about Middle East politics were denied visas.
Channel 4 said its team had been working without accreditation.
"So when we were caught filming a planned demonstration in
one of the Shia villages, they have not been particularly
pleasant," correspondent Jonathan Miller said in a posting on
(Additional reporting by Rania El Gamal and Andrew Hammond in
Dubai; Editing by Andrew Osborn)