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Oct 13, 2011

Bahrain opposition unites to decry “police state”

DUBAI (Reuters) – In a defiant show of unity, Bahrain opposition parties have jointly denounced the Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab island as a police state and demanded a transition to a constitutional monarchy.

Five groups, including the main Shi’ite party Wefaq and the secular Waad party, vowed to keep up a pro-democracy campaign with peaceful rallies and marches — despite a Saudi-backed government crackdown that crushed similar protests in March.

Oct 12, 2011

Al Qaeda’s Zawahri calls on Algerians to revolt

DUBAI (Reuters) – Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri urged Algerians in a video released on Islamist websites on Wednesday to follow the example of Libyans and revolt against their leaders.

He also attacked military rulers in his native Egypt for maintaining close ties with Israel and doing nothing to back the Arab uprisings that brought down Tunisian leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January and Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak in February.

Oct 9, 2011

Yemenis ask “Where’s the catch?” in familiar Saleh vow

DUBAI (Reuters) – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s declaration in a speech on Saturday that he would leave power “in the coming days” is yet another act of brinkmanship from a leader who has spent much of the “Arab Spring” claiming he is about to step down.

Saleh’s words were taken almost universally as a ruse by Yemenis who have seen the famed wily operator survive through thick and thin since he took power in 1978.

Oct 8, 2011

Analysis: Yemenis ask “Where’s the catch?” in familiar Saleh vow

DUBAI (Reuters) – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s declaration in a speech on Saturday that he would leave power “in the coming days” is yet another act of brinkmanship from a leader who has spent much of the “Arab Spring” claiming he is about to step down.

Saleh’s words were taken almost universally as a ruse by Yemenis who have seen the famed wily operator survive through thick and thin since he took power in 1978.

Oct 5, 2011

Analysis – Bahrain risks more unrest, Shi’ite demands unmet

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain’s Sunni rulers hope their reform promises and tough punishments will deter more pro-democracy protests, but majority Shi’ites are still seething, seeing scant progress on their demands for change in the deeply polarised Gulf island.

In a sign of Shi’ite radicalisation, activists in the February 14 Youth Coalition have called for civil disobedience.

Oct 5, 2011

Bahrain risks more unrest, Shi’ite demands unmet

MANAMA, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Bahrain’s Sunni rulers hope their reform promises and tough punishments will deter more pro-democracy protests, but majority Shi’ites are still seething, seeing scant progress on their demands for change in the deeply polarised Gulf island.

In a sign of Shi’ite radicalisation, activists in the Feb. 14 Youth Coalition have called for civil disobedience.

Sep 30, 2011

U.N. condemns medic verdicts in restive Bahrain

DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Nations condemned on Friday prison sentences of up to 15 years handed down by a Bahrain military court this week to 20 medics who treated protesters during pro-democracy unrest in the Gulf Arab state.

The doctors and nurses, who had been released in June and September on bail after international pressure over the case, said they were waiting for a police order to head back to jail after they were sentenced on Thursday.

Sep 29, 2011

Bahrain jails 20 doctors after democracy protests

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain jailed 20 doctors on Thursday for between five and 15 years on charges including stealing medicine, stockpiling weapons and occupying a hospital during unrest in the Gulf kingdom this year, state news agency BNA said.

It also sentenced a man to death for killing a policeman by driving his car over him several times and joining illegal gatherings for “terrorist goals.” Another man was handed a life term for his involvement, BNA said.

Sep 29, 2011

Bahrain could still talk to Shi’ite opposition: official

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain’s government is prepared to hold more talks with the Shi’ite opposition on political reforms to try to end protests that threaten to hold up the economy, a government official said on Thursday.

Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Mubarak al-Khalifa, a senior adviser at the Information Affairs Authority, also said Bahrain had begun receiving some of the $10 billion in economic aid promised by fellow Gulf Arab nations.

Sep 28, 2011

Bahrain upholds life sentences for protest leaders

MANAMA (Reuters) – A Bahrain military court upheld life sentences on Wednesday against Shi’ite opposition leaders for organizing protests earlier this year that threatened the Sunni monarchy’s grip on power, but Amnesty International called the trial a “sham.”

The state news agency BNA said the eight men could still appeal the verdicts in the civilian Court of Cassation. They could be released via an amnesty from King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.

    • About Andrew

      "I write on Iranian and Gulf Arab politics, based in Dubai. I was previously based in Riyadh, in charge of Reuters Saudi small but growing editorial operation, and before that was based in Egypt. I have also reported for Reuters from Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Israel and the Occupied Territories. I am the author of two books, "Popular Culture in the Arab World" and "What the Arabs Think of America", and read Arabic, Farsi and French."
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