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February 15, 2012

Opposition calls for mass protests in Bahrain

Opposition calls for mass protests in Bahrain

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bahrain
Other stories from Bahrain
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  • 3 September 2013: Airlines plan reroutes around Syria as potential for US military intervention increases
  • 15 February 2012: Opposition calls for mass protests in Bahrain
  • 9 August 2011: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait recall ambassadors to Syria
  • 20 May 2011: Obama supports Middle East protesters in speech
…More articles here
Location of Bahrain

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To write, edit, start or view other articles on Bahrain, see the Bahrain Portal
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In Bahrain, tension is building between the opposition protesters who want to revive last year’s marches, and government authorities who are trying to maintain control over protest activities. A planned march by the February 14 Youth Coalition to Manama’s former Pearl Roundabout, to mark the beginning of last year’s protests, was overwhelmed by the security surrounding the site on the eve of the anniversary as well as the day itself.

Since the Bahraini uprising in 2011, the roundabout became a touchstone of opposition. Authorities responded by clearing the site and renaming it al-Farouq Junction. Whilst initially blocked to traffic to prevent any more protests, Bahrain’s police now occupy the area and are demonstrably equipped to repel opposition.

Over 10,000 Bahrainis attended last week’s “sit in” protests for reforms.
Image: Bahraini Activist.

Clashes around the site between security forces and Bahraini youth took place Monday as one of the largest crowds yet moved close to the symbol of last year’s protest movement. Again, on Tuesday, crowds were repelled from Pearl Roundabout with police using tear-gas and arresting protesters throughout the city. Security forces also detained six U.S. citizens who took part in the protests; the activists, who entered the country on tourist visas, agreed to leave the country without charges being pressed.

With activists and political parties called for mass protests a few days prior to the one-year anniversary, the government now says it may bring charges against organizers for encouraging the disorder.

Nabeel Rajab, a prominent human rights activist in Bahrain, announced his intention to take part in marches to the Pearl Roundabout. He led several hundred pro-democracy activists in Manama’s old market area before suddenly marching towards the Pearl Roundabout. The protest ended a few hundred meters away from the roundabout with police firing tear gas and stun grenades after using megaphones to warn protesters the march was unauthorised and they should disperse. Two women from US-based rights group Witness Bahrain taking part in Sunday’s march were arrested and deported.

Cquote1.svg We will return. We will return. Cquote2.svg

—Ayat al-Qormozi

Five opposition political groups headed by Al Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest political opposition party, organized an authorized sit-in in a yard, dubbed ‘Freedom Square’, in Al Muqsha village outside of Manama. This is the same location as the opposition’s week-long ‘sit-in’ for political reforms. At that sit-in last week, Ayat al-Qormozi, a Bahraini female poet and visible leader in the opposition movement, called for the crowd in Al Muqsha to march to the symbolic roundabout and chanted, “We will return. We will return.”

Most clashes between police and protesters occurred in the Shia neighborhoods. About 70 percent of Bahrainis are Shia and they form the base of the youth activists and Al-Wefaq protesters.

The Sunnis have organized counter-demonstrations in support of the ruling Al Khalifa family. They control the government’s cabinet, and are also Sunni. The formation of the cabinet is one of the key debates between the opposition Al Wefaq and the Sunni minority in country. Al Wefaq wants elected politicians to name the cabinet, whilst the Sunnis prefer the royal family to retain that power.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa denied that there was an opposition in his country similar to those in Western nations but accepted that there are “people with different views.”



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March 16, 2011

King of Bahrain declares state of emergency

King of Bahrain declares state of emergency

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bahrain
Other stories from Bahrain
  • 9 April 2014: Hamilton wins ‘incredible’ Bahrain race, F1’s 900th Grand Prix
  • 3 September 2013: Airlines plan reroutes around Syria as potential for US military intervention increases
  • 15 February 2012: Opposition calls for mass protests in Bahrain
  • 9 August 2011: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait recall ambassadors to Syria
  • 20 May 2011: Obama supports Middle East protesters in speech
…More articles here
Location of Bahrain

A map showing the location of Bahrain

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Bahrain, see the Bahrain Portal
Flag of Bahrain.svg

A state of emergency was declared in Bahrain on Tuesday by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as protests in the country escalated further, leaving at least two dead.

The declaration was announced on state television, and “authorized the commander of Bahrain’s defense forces to take all necessary measures to protect the safety of the country and its citizens.” The state of emergency will last for three months.

Further protests took place Tuesday in both the capitol of Manama and the nearby city of Sitra. Two people were reported to have died, one of whom was part of the Bahraini security force. These deaths come in addition to seven people killed since the protests began in February. Protesters have reportedly blocked all roads into the main financial center in the capitol, and number in the tens of thousands in Manama alone. Marches took place near the Saudi Arabian embassy, with protesters wearing masks as a defense against tear gas.

According to a doctor near the fighting, there are “many, many casualties … People are coming in with bullet wounds and injuries caused by rubber bullets … We received one major case—a man whose skull had been split open by something.” One protester said that security personnel “started attacking the villages and the towns. If there is anybody in the road they will shoot them. If there is nobody in the road they will enter the houses.”

The declaration comes one day after other Middle Eastern countries sent troops into Bahrain at the request of the Bahraini government.



Related news

  • “Middle Eastern troops enter Bahrain after protests” — Wikinews, March 15, 2011

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Six killed and hundreds injured in Bahrain

Six killed and hundreds injured in Bahrain

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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…More articles here
Location of Bahrain

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Government security forces and Saudi Arabian troops have killed at least six protesters and injured around a thousand others in Bahrain.

Protesters have expressed their objection to any foreign intervention within Bahrain. One protester said that security forces “fired tear gas and then opened fire. … We lifted our arms and started saying ‘Peaceful, peaceful.’ Then we had to run away.”

Live ammunition was fired by soldiers both on the ground and in helicopters, who attacked people in at least five villages. According to a medical source speaking to AFP, buckshot was used against some of the victims. People have put up barricades in the capital of Manama in order to obstruct the path of troops.

In addition to protests elsewhere, several thousand demonstrators marched to the Saudi embassy, following the military intervention of Saudi Arabia. Chants of “[d]own, down with Hamad!” were made in response to Bahrain’s ruler’s actions against protesters.

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March 15, 2011

Middle Eastern troops enter Bahrain after protests

Middle Eastern troops enter Bahrain after protests

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bahrain
Other stories from Bahrain
  • 9 April 2014: Hamilton wins ‘incredible’ Bahrain race, F1’s 900th Grand Prix
  • 3 September 2013: Airlines plan reroutes around Syria as potential for US military intervention increases
  • 15 February 2012: Opposition calls for mass protests in Bahrain
  • 9 August 2011: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait recall ambassadors to Syria
  • 20 May 2011: Obama supports Middle East protesters in speech
…More articles here
Location of Bahrain

A map showing the location of Bahrain

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Bahrain, see the Bahrain Portal
Flag of Bahrain.svg

Troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have arrived in Bahrain at the government’s request after major protests on Sunday.

An estimated 1,000 Saudi Arabian troops entered the country early Monday, followed by around 500 troops from the UAE. The troops entered as part of a broader deployment by the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), a regional group of six countries. It is unclear what purpose the troops are serving, though speculation is that they will guard major infrastructure facilities.

Al Wefaq, the leading opposition party, said it considered “the entry of any soldier or military machinery into the Kingdom of Bahrain’s air, sea or land territories a blatant occupation” and that the presence of foreign troops “puts the Bahraini people in real danger, and threatens them with an undeclared war by armed troops.”

Statements from the US government, a major Bahrain ally, said that “[t]his is not an invasion of a country” and that it urged both the Bahrain government and the GCC “to exercise restraint” and “act in a way that supports dialogue instead of undermining it.”

An official of Iranian Foreign Ministry also criticized the Saudi invasion of Bahrain, saying “it is surprising to see that immediately after the recent trip of the US Defense Secretary [Robert Gates] we see the intensified use of violence against the people of Bahrain.”

The intervention came a day after the country saw the worst protests since February, as several dozen people were injured in clashes with police.



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February 24, 2011

Bahrain Grand Prix cancelled amid political turmoil

Bahrain Grand Prix cancelled amid political turmoil

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Bahrain
Other stories from Bahrain
  • 9 April 2014: Hamilton wins ‘incredible’ Bahrain race, F1’s 900th Grand Prix
  • 3 September 2013: Airlines plan reroutes around Syria as potential for US military intervention increases
  • 15 February 2012: Opposition calls for mass protests in Bahrain
  • 9 August 2011: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait recall ambassadors to Syria
  • 20 May 2011: Obama supports Middle East protesters in speech
…More articles here
Location of Bahrain

A map showing the location of Bahrain

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Bahrain, see the Bahrain Portal
Flag of Bahrain.svg

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bahrain Track Grand Stand.jpg

A week after Sunni and Shi’ite youth protesters marched on the capital city of Manama, the Bahrain government informed Formula One Management that it would withdraw from hosting the Bahrain Grand Prix. The decision was made in an effort to focus on the pressing national issues facing the country. Demonstrators, who are still holding Pearl Square, had threatened to target the Media attention if the event went ahead as scheduled. The race is the opening event of the 2011 Formula One racing season.

Bahrain’s Crown Prince, HRH Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, sent a statement to Formula One Management which said, “At the present time the country’s entire attention is focused on building a new national dialogue for Bahrain. After the events of the past week, our nation’s priority is on overcoming tragedy, healing divisions and rediscovering the fabric that draws this country together; reminding the world of the very best that Bahrain is capable of as a nation once again united.”

The Bahrain Grand Prix was to be held on March 13, with teams coming in within the next few weeks to prepare for the race. Formula One president and CEO Bernie Ecclestone issued a public statement saying, “It is sad that Bahrain has had to withdraw from the race, we wish the whole nation well as they begin to heal their country.” Ecclestone also noted that despite reported rumors, the Bahrain International Circuit would not be charged for their cancellation of the event, citing that he considered the political unrest to be a “force majeure” and that the events that took place could not have been predicted. “What has happened in Bahrain is desperately sad but one month ago everyone was looking forward to the race,” he said. Formula One Management will most likely have to absorb the costs related to the canceled race, estimated at around $40 million, unless it can be re-scheduled later in the season.

With the announcement from the Crown Prince that political issues would be addressed, exiled Shi’ite political leader Hassan Mushaima announced that he would return to the country. Mushaima, leader of the Haq Movement opposition party, was tried in absentia in 2009, accused of attempting to overthrow the government. Other Haq Movement members have also been arrested in recent years, but received royal pardons. While 23 members of the political movement are currently awaiting trial, on Tuesday the Bahrain government released a group of political detainees without comment, meeting one of the demands of the protesters.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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