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Jun 1, 2011

Bahrain lifts emergency law, military trials press on

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain lifted martial law on Wednesday in what the government hopes will be a sign to tourists and business of a return to normal, but the opposition fears repression will continue in the Gulf island kingdom.

Bahrain is especially keen to get back the Formula One race. The March Grand Prix opener was canceled because of unrest that erupted in February when pro-democracy protesters, inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, clashed with police.

Jun 1, 2011
via FaithWorld

Shi’ites say they endured reign of terror under martial law in Sunni-ruled Bahrain

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(Martial law troops at Salmaniya Hospital in Manama March 18, 2011/Hamad I Mohammed)

Bahraini Shi’ites say they have endured a reign of terror during 11 weeks of martial law imposed to break up a pro-democracy movement that for the first time threatened the control of a Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab dynasty. Martial law was lifted on Wednesday. The authorities hope this will show investors and tourists that the island state is back to normal.

Jun 1, 2011

Bahrain Shi’ites talk of abuse under martial law

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahraini Shi’ites say they have endured a reign of terror during 11 weeks of martial law imposed to break up a pro-democracy movement that for the first time threatened the control of a Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab dynasty.

Martial law was lifted on Wednesday. The authorities hope this will show investors and tourists that the island state is back to normal. Shi’ite dissidents fear repression will go on.

Jun 1, 2011

Bahrain martial law ends, military trials continue

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain lifted martial law on Wednesday in what the government hopes will be a sign to tourists and business of a return to normal, but the opposition fears repression is set to continue.

The authorities are especially keen to get back the Formula One race. The prestigious March event in the motor-racing calendar was cancelled because of unrest that erupted in February when pro-democracy protesters, inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, took to the streets.

May 31, 2011
via FaithWorld

Did Bahrain’s Shi’ite opposition squander its democracy chance?

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(Thousands of protesters gather at Pearl Roundabout in the heart of the Bahraini capital Manama February 15, 2011/Hamad I Mohammed)

As martial law comes to an end in the Gulf Arab state of Bahrain this week, opposition activists are wondering whether they threw away what might have been the first real chance for democracy in the Gulf Arab region.

May 31, 2011

Did Bahrain opposition squander democracy chance?

MANAMA (Reuters) – As martial law comes to an end in the Gulf Arab state of Bahrain this week, opposition activists are wondering whether they threw away what might have been the first real chance for democracy in the Gulf Arab region.

Shortly after young Bahrainis, inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, converged on a roundabout in early February, the government offered dialogue with opposition parties on political reforms. But the talks failed to get off the ground.

May 31, 2011

Bahrain’s king offers July reform talks

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa called for talks on reform involving all parties in the Gulf Arab state “without preconditions” from July 1, the state news agency said on Tuesday.

The offer comes as the government prepares on Wednesday to lift a state of emergency imposed in March to restore order and break up a pro-democracy protest movement following uprisings that brought down veteran rulers in Egypt and Tunisia.

May 30, 2011
via FaithWorld

Bahrain Sunni says majority Shi’ite opposition must change leaders

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(An anti-government protester waves a Bahraini flag during a rally in Manama March 3, 2011/James Lawler Duggan)

Bahrain’s opposition must change its leadership for the divided Gulf Arab state to move on with political reconciliation after crushing a pro-democracy movement led by majority Shi’ites, a Sunni cleric said on Saturday. Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Mahmoud said the democracy movement, which began in February when protesters inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt occupied a roundabout in Manama, had been hijacked by Shi’ite opposition leaders with a sectarian agenda who were in contact with Iran’s clerical leadership.

May 30, 2011
via FaithWorld

Bahrain Shi’ite leader backs the royal family, rejects alleged Iran links

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(Head of Al Wafaq Society, Sheikh Ali Salman, speaks during an anti-government protest at Bahrian's Foreign Ministry in Manama March 4, 2011/James Lawler Duggan)

The leader of Bahrain’s main Shi’ite opposition party said on Sunday his goal was to help bring political reform, rejecting accusations of taking orders from Iran or seeking to install Shi’ite religious rule. Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the opposition group Wefaq, said his party supported the Al Khalifa family as rulers and wanted to help the government with constitutional reforms.

May 29, 2011

Bahrain Shi’ite leader says backs royal family

MANAMA (Reuters) – The leader of Bahrain’s main Shi’ite opposition party said on Sunday his goal was to help bring political reform, rejecting accusations of taking orders from Iran or seeking to install Shi’ite religious rule.

Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the opposition group Wefaq, said his party supported the Al Khalifa family as rulers and wanted to help the government with constitutional reforms.

    • 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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