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Feb 12, 2012

Bahraini police break up protest, deport US activists

Manama (Reuters) – Bahrain expelled two American rights activists on Saturday after police used teargas and stun grenades to break up a protest on Saturday that tried to march towards the roundabout at the centre of a failed pro-democracy uprising last year.

The activists had come as part of a group called Witness Bahrain which says it wants to observe events on the eve of the February 14 anniversary of protests led mainly by the Shi’ite majority for democratic reforms in the Gulf Arab state.

Feb 11, 2012

Bahraini police fire teargas at protesters

Manama (Reuters) – Bahraini police fired teargas and stun grenades to stop mainly Shi’ite protesters trying to march towards the roundabout at the centre of a failed pro-democracy uprising last year and detained two American rights activists who came to monitor.

The activists had come as part of a group called Witness Bahrain which says it wants to observe events on the eve of the first anniversary of protests led mainly by the Shi’ite majority for democratic reforms in the Gulf Arab state.

Feb 9, 2012

Bahrain activists recreate roundabout protest at nightly rallies

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahraini activists dreaming of a return to the roundabout in Manama at the heart of a popular uprising last year have tried to recreate the electric atmosphere in a makeshift “Freedom Square” ahead of next week’s anniversary of the unrest.

Pearl Roundabout – focal point of a month-long movement that the Gulf Arab state crushed in March 2011 – was reconfigured on a plot of land in an outlying district where the government approved opposition party rallies, while sending police to break up nightly demonstrations by youths in other districts.

Feb 8, 2012

Violence in Bahrain escalates ahead of February 14 anniversary

MANAMA (Reuters) – The funeral march for Mohammed Yaacoub had barely ended last week when police and protesters faced off in the town of Sitra, an impoverished district of Bahrain that has borne the brunt of a year of unrest.

Teenagers using scarves to mask their faces went on a rampage wielding iron bars and petrol bombs, and riot police in their prim blue uniforms and white helmets fired off teargas rounds and stormed down alleyways in their trademark jeeps.

Feb 5, 2012

Bahrain opposition launch week-long rally for reform

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahraini opposition parties, launching a week-long ‘sit-in’ for political reforms at a mass rally, swore on Sunday to take their campaign to the centre of last year’s democracy protest in the capital Manama.

“This is a dress rehearsal for the return. We will return! We will return! Soon our sit-in will not be here but at the Pearl Roundabout,” said poetess Ayat al-Qormozi, who became a face of the Arab Spring movement after she was jailed for reading out a poem criticizing the king at Pearl Roundabout.

Feb 4, 2012

Bahrainis hold independent dialogue over political crisis

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrainis of different political stripes faced off in a rare forum on Saturday to try to bridge deep rifts against a backdrop of continued disturbances outside the Gulf Arab state’s capital.

Bahrain, a key U.S. and Saudi ally in their stand-off with Iran across the Gulf, has been in turmoil since the Arab Spring protest movement first erupted. Saudi troops helped Bahraini authorities crush the uprising last March.

Feb 2, 2012

Bahrain police break up opposition protest in capital

MANAMA (Reuters) – Anti-government protesters clashed with Bahraini police in Manama on Thursday, a rare protest in the capital as majority Shi’ite Muslims try to sustain pressure for more reforms ahead of the February 14 anniversary of a pro-democracy uprising.

Bahrain, led by the Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa family, has been in turmoil since an Arab Spring protest movement that erupted last year followed by a government crackdown. Clashes have continued in districts populated by Shi’ites but have worsened in recent weeks as the anniversary approaches.

Feb 2, 2012

Tense Bahrain under spotlight again over uprisings

MANAMA (Reuters) – The academic who investigated abuses during Bahrain’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests last year returns this week to a Gulf Arab country still racked by violence, to assess how far the government has followed through on reforms he recommended.

Cherif Bassiouni, an Egyptian-American professor at DePaul University in Chicago, surprised many with his withering assessment of abuses committed under martial law imposed after protests inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

Jan 31, 2012

Bahrainis on hunger strike, official favours release

MANAMA, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Fourteen jailed opposition
figures in Bahrain have gone on hunger strike ahead of the Feb.
14 anniversary of a failed pro-democracy uprising, activists
said on Tuesday, and a government official said he favoured
releasing some of the men.

“They demand an end to the political crackdown. They are
protesting against the unfair trial they faced and they want the
release of all prisoners of conscience,” said Mohammed
al-Mascati, head of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights.

Jan 31, 2012

Bahrainis on jail hunger strike, official moots release

MANAMA (Reuters) – Fourteen jailed opposition figures in Bahrain have gone on hunger strike ahead of the February 14 anniversary of a failed pro-democracy uprising, activists said on Tuesday, and a government official said he favored releasing some of the men.

“They demand an end to the political crackdown. They are protesting against the unfair trial they faced and they want the release of all prisoners of conscience,” said Mohammed al-Mascati, head of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights.

    • 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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