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Apr 4, 2012

Sunnis seek own voice in Bahrain’s turmoil

MANAMA, April 5 (Reuters) – Bahrain’s Sunni Muslim minority,
fearful of Shi’ite political assertiveness, is spawning factions
that rail against compromise with the island’s sectarian
majority, while nursing their own grudges against its Sunni
ruling family.

The emergence of hardline Sunni groups is further evidence
of sectarian polarisation in Bahrain, where a Shi’ite-led
opposition movement persists despite the crushing of the mass
protests it organised during last year’s burst of Arab revolts.

Mar 27, 2012

Bahrain rejects Shi’ite teenager’s claim of police abuse

MANAMA (Reuters) – A Bahraini Shi’ite Muslim teenager said three men who appeared to be plainclothes detectives abducted him last week, dragged him into a garage and beat him into unconsciousness after he refused to spy on youths involved in clashes with riot police.

Ali Singace’s case has raised questions about rights reform in Bahrain after public prosecutors accused him of filing a false report about the alleged effort by police to force him to work as an informer.

Mar 24, 2012

Bahrain police battle to control streets in flashpoint town

SITRA, Bahrain, March 24 (Reuters) – Bahraini police clashed
with anti-government protesters on Saturday at a Shi’ite town
where residents tried to demonstrate against the Gulf Arab
state’s holding of a Formula One race next month.

Hundreds of riot police backed by dark blue armoured
vehicles and jeeps patrolled the streets of Sitra, a poor
district southeast of Manama where youths threw petrol bombs and
stones at security forces who responded with tear gas canisters,
Reuters witnesses said.

Mar 23, 2012

Bahraini protesters battle police outside Manama

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahraini protesters battled with riot police near Manama on Friday after the funeral of a woman whose family said she died after tear gas entered her home twice in the past week.

A U.N. rights body this week expressed concern over the use of excessive force and tear gas by Bahraini security forces.

Mar 22, 2012

Bahrain police install cameras to curb abuse

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain is installing video cameras in police stations to try to clean up its human rights image after crushing a pro-democracy uprising last year, but activists say off-camera abuse continues in other locations.

At al-Hoora station in Manama, closed circuit television will record police interrogations in rooms with padded grey walls. Rooms without cameras are set aside for detainees to consult lawyers. Other areas of the station are also monitored.

Mar 21, 2012

Saudi Arabia pushing Bahrain to solve crisis, fears Syria effect

MANAMA (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia wants Bahrain’s government and opposition to resolve a political crisis that it fears could worsen because of the sectarian fallout of fighting in Syria and destabilize its Eastern Province, a diplomat and opposition politician said.

Bahrain has been in turmoil since the Arab Spring protest movement first erupted a year ago. Clashes have become a daily occurrence, usually in districts populated by majority Shi’ite Muslims who have dominated the protests.

Mar 20, 2012

Bahrain to push on with medics trial, not drop cases

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain will go ahead with the prosecution of 20 medics who treated wounded protesters during an uprising last year, despite a statement suggesting most of the cases would be dropped, the justice minister said on Tuesday.

The prosecution of doctors drew international criticism, with rights groups saying the medics were being punished for helping civilians hurt by state forces during anti-government demonstrations.

Mar 20, 2012

Bahrain says significant progress made on reforms

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain’s king said on Tuesday his island state had rolled out real reforms in the wake of international criticism of its crackdown on protesters last year but now needed to prove it could put them into practice.

At least 1,000 people were detained when the Sunni Muslim kingdom crushed protests led by its Shi’ite majority demanding curbs to the power of the ruling family, an end to sectarian discrimination and democratic reforms.

Mar 14, 2012

Condition of Bahrain hunger striker seen worsening

DUBAI (Reuters) – The condition of a jailed Bahraini activist who has been on hunger strike for over a month is deteriorating and prison authorities may force-feed him, a lawyer who visited him this week said on Wednesday.

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is serving a life sentence for his role in a pro-democracy protest movement that erupted in February last year after uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia only to be put down by force one month later.

Mar 14, 2012

Bahrain opposition may be losing touch with the youth

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain’s main opposition movement Wefaq is making overtures to the monarchy on how to pursue democratic reforms but its efforts may be undermined by waning support from youth who seek more revolutionary change.

Three members of Wefaq, which dominates Shi’ite politics and has taken almost half the seats in parliament in past elections, recently met a prominent member of the ruling Sunni Al Khalifa family to discuss a way forward after a year of unrest following the bloody breakup of protests at the Pearl Roundabout.

    • 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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