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Archive for the ‘Protests in Bahrain’ Category

Bahrainis use traffic jams to protest

Tue Oct 4, 2011

Anti-government protesters continue to cause huge traffic jams on the streets of Bahrain’s capital, Manama, in a protest campaign against the repressive policies of the Al Khalifa regime, Press TV reports.

As part of the protest campaign, which is dubbed “Manama Storm,” protesters have created massive traffic jams in Manama, according to Press TV sources.

The campaign continues in defiance of an Interior Ministry’s warning in late September that warned the protesters of losing their driver’s licenses for up to one year if they deliberately created traffic jams.

Meanwhile, a Bahraini court handed out three-month jail terms to two people on Tuesday and fined each USD 265 for blocking traffic.

This comes following Monday rulings of a Bahraini military court which sentenced 14 protesters to life imprisonment and handed long jail terms of up to 18 years to 22 others.

The military court, however, rejected pleas by attorneys of those sentenced for an independent probe into the reported torture of defendants.

Earlier on Thursday, the Bahraini court also sentenced 20 medical workers to jail terms of between five and 15 years for treating injured anti-government protesters.

Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging regular demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling on the US-backed Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.

On March 14, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist Bahraini rulers in their brutal crackdown on peaceful anti-government protesters.

According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested in the regime crackdown.

Source: PressTV.


Fresh protests held in Bahrain

Mon Sep 26, 2011

Fresh anti-regime protests have been held in several villages in Bahrain despite the country’s heavy-handed crackdown on people, Press TV reports.

Bahraini regime forces clashed with the protesters in several villages including Dair, Sitra, Nuwaidarat and Muqaba on Sunday night.

Witnesses said on Monday that protesters also created massive traffic jams in the capital Manama, ignoring threats of confiscating driver’s licenses and barring protesters from driving for up to four years.

Hundreds of Bahrainis flooded the roads with their cars during the morning commute on Monday.

The Bahraini opposition had organized the gathering, which was named the “the Second Dignity Blockade.”

Meanwhile, Bahraini clerics have condemned the massive arrests and the disrespectful treatment of Bahraini women by regime forces over the past few days.

The protests intensified after the opposition boycotted last week’s parliamentary elections. Less than one in five Bahrainis reportedly participated in the country’s by-elections.

The Al Khalifa regime held the polls to fill 18 seats abandoned by members of the largest opposition party, al-Wefaq.

Al-Wefaq said that the 40-member parliament has lost its legitimacy and that it does not represent the will of the Bahraini people.

Bahrainis have been holding anti-government rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty.

Source: PressTV.

Bahrain activists call for mass protest amid warning

Sep 21, 2011

Cairo – An opposition group has called for a mass protest on Wednesday in the centre of the capital Manama amid a stern warning from the authorities.

Activists of the February 14 Youth Coalition, named after a day when pro-democracy demonstrations started in the small Gulf kingdom, plan to bring the traffic in central Manama to a standstill by parking thousands of cars in major streets in the capital, according to broadcaster Al Jazeera.

The organizers said the protest was aimed at pressuring the government into halting what they described as daily oppression of demonstrations and reinstate employees reportedly sacked for joining in pro-democracy protests, according to the television report.

The protest comes days before partial parliamentary elections due to be held in Bahrain on September 24.

The Interior Ministry has warned it will not tolerate Wednesday’s protest.
‘The authorities will take legal measures against anyone found violating the traffic rules,’ said the ministry in a statement. ‘Violators risk penalties of jailing and fines.’

Sunni-ruled Bahrain has accused Shiite-led Iran of meddling in its internal affairs and inciting the unrest. Both the opposition and Iran have denied the accusation.

Source: Monsters and Critics.

Bahrain medics continue hunger strike

Wed Sep 14, 2011

More than a dozen Bahraini nurses and doctors have entered the second week of their hunger strike as the anti-regime protesters await trial in a martial court, a report says.

Irish-trained surgeons Ali al-Ekri and Bassin Dahif along with 11 other doctors, nurses and paramedics are on a hunger strike in a Bahraini prison, Prof. Damian McCormack, who heads an Irish delegation of doctors and human rights activists to Bahrain, wrote in a letter to the Irish Times.

Among the detained protesters, one is diabetic and seven have already collapsed and are in need of intravenous fluids while one has attempted suicide and been prescribed anti-psychotic medication; they all refuse to take their medication, according to the document.

McCormack, who is affiliated with the World College of Surgeons and the World College of Physicians, also referred to a chronic compartment syndrome in another detained surgeon, who is at risk of “deep clots and embolism.”

“All continue to suffer from the physical and psychological effects of prolonged detention and torture,” he stated, adding that one consultant ophthalmologist recently released had suffered a stroke in detention.

The Dublin-based pediatrician recalls a royal decree issued by Bahrain’s embattled King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in late June, which orders all protester cases referred to civilian courts.

“However, international human rights organizations are shocked to learn that the trial of the 20 medics who are accused with felonies will continue in a military court,’” the letter reads.

It further censured the continued brutal suppression of peaceful protests in Bahrain and the August 31 killing of teenage boy, struck by a tear gas canister at close range, on Eid al-Fitr.

McCormack accused the Bahraini regime of employing international lobbyists such as Jo Trippi and PR companies such as Qorvis in Washington and Bell Pottinger in London to conceal its continued violations of human rights.

He noted how Lualua TV, a Bahraini pro- democracy station based in London, is actively jammed from Bahrain via a European satellite and all internal electronic communications in Bahrain are monitored by “spy gear” provided by western companies such as Nokia Siemens.

“Over 1,400 protesters have been detained, 180 civilians have been sentenced in military courts, 32 people have been killed, over 60 journalists have been targeted or ejected and at least 22 opposition websites are censored in a country which would call itself civilized and peaceful,” McCormack went on to say.

The doctor further called on the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to seek return of the honorary fellowship they awarded to King Hamad in 2006.

Source: PressTV.

Cleric: Bahrain crackdown failed to end protests

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Associated Press

MANAMA, Bahrain — The harsh crackdown on anti-government protests in Bahrain has failed to silence people’s demands for greater rights, a senior Shiite cleric in the Gulf kingdom said Friday as thousands of opposition supporters rallied on the outskirts of the capital.

The latest demonstration was staged by people who say they were unfairly fired from their jobs simply for being members of the island nation’s Shiite community, which led the months of protests. Thousands of Shiite professionals accused of having a role in the protests have been fired from their jobs.

Shiites make up a majority of Bahrain’s people, but they have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the country’s ruling Sunni dynasty and a lack of economic opportunities.

A police helicopter flew over the large demonstration, which was backed by Bahrain’s biggest opposition party, Al Wefaq. The crowd chanted slogans against Bahrain’s 200-year-old Sunni monarchy. Some protesters demanded their jobs back and others urged opposition leaders not to compromise with the monarchy.

“Our revolution will continue,” the protesters chanted. They warned the rulers: “If you don’t want to listen then you have to leave.”

Bahrain is a strategically important nation in the Persian Gulf and is the home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

The U.S. has appealed to its ally to listen to protesters’ demands for more political freedoms, but a government-led national dialogue produced no compromise with the Shiite opposition, which only had token representation at the talks.

Bahrain’s senior Shiite cleric, Sheik Isa Qassim, said the “politics of fear” and the Sunni rulers’ refusal to reform has strengthened the resolve of Shiites.

“Those who refuse to reform and continue to ignore the people’s demands for rights should know that the masses will not submit to despots,” the cleric said during Friday’s sermon in the opposition stronghold of Diraz, northwest of the capital, Manama.

More than 30 people have died since February when protests inspired by other Arab uprisings began in Bahrain.

Hundreds of activists have been detained and brought to trial on anti-state charges in a special security court.

Bahrain lifted emergency rule in June. Since then, government opponents have clashed with police almost every night.

Friday’s protest dispersed peacefully, although groups of opposition supporters marched to Manama’s Pearl Square, the heavily guarded former epicenter of Bahrain’s uprising.


September 09, 2011

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Bahraini youth defies protest ban

Thu Sep 8, 2011

A young anti-government protester has defied tight security in the Bahraini capital of Manama in a symbolic move against the regime’s persisting brutal crackdown on popular protests in the kingdom, Press TV reports.

The young boy ran to the iconic Pearl Square carrying Bahraini flags and continued to protest even when he was arrested.

The Saudi-backed Bahraini forces finally detained the young man and took him away.

Protests against the despotic rule of Al Khalifa regime in the Persian Gulf kingdom have recently flared up in different parts of the tiny state despite the continuing crackdown on any dissent by the regime’s forces.

The Bahraini king has recently admitted that security forces have indeed abused anti-regime protesters, saying that compensation would be paid to abuse victims as well as the families of those killed during demonstrations.

Bahrainis, however, have rejected the monarch’s apparent concession, insisting that he was personally responsible for ordering the brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.

Massive protests broke out in Bahrain in February, with people taking to the streets and calling for a constitutional monarchy — a demand that later turned into calls for the ouster of the monarchy.

Scores of protesters have been killed — many under torture — and numerous others have been detained and transferred to unknown locations during the regime’s crackdown.

Source: PressTV.

Bahrainis demand downfall of regime

Wed Sep 7, 2011

Anti-government protesters have once again taken to the streets in Bahrain, demanding the downfall of the repressive Al Khalifa regime.

Chanting anti-regime slogans, protesters held a protest rally in Sanabis, a suburb of the capital city Manama, and called for the release of prisoners detained by the Saudi-backed forces of the despotic regime.

Protests against Manama rulers have flared up in different parts of the tiny Persian Gulf sheikhdom despite the persisting brutal crackdown by the regime’s Saudi-backed forces.

Earlier this week, government forces attacked several peaceful rallies.

Demonstrations intensified following the killing of 14-year-old Ali Jawad during an anti-government protest rally following Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, last Wednesday.

He was killed when a tear-gas canister fired by regime forces hit him in the head.

His family is planning to file a lawsuit against the Al Khalifa regime at an international court.

Meanwhile, over 200 Bahrainis imprisoned for participating in anti-government protests have gone on a hunger strike.

Last week, a number of doctors and nurses arrested for treating injured anti-government demonstrators went on hunger strike to protest their prosecution by a military tribunal.

Some of the doctors and nurses are reported to be in critical condition due to long detentions and harsh treatment by the Al Khalifa forces and have been hospitalized.

In February, massive protests broke out in Bahrain, with people taking to the streets and calling for a constitutional monarchy — a demand that later turned into calls for the ouster of the monarchy.

In mid-March, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates deployed military forces to Bahrain to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on the popular protests.

Scores of protesters have been killed — many under torture — and numerous others have been detained and transferred to unknown locations during the regime’s crackdown.

Source: PressTV.

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