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Bahrain

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Bahrainis are calling their government’s intensified repression of all opposition “the Egyptian strategy”, believing that it is modelled on the ruthless campaign by the Egyptian security forces to crush even the smallest signs of dissent. In recent weeks leading advocates of human rights in Bahrain have been jailed in conditions directed at breaking them physically... Read More
The authoritarian kingdom where doctors are tortured is a strange place for this £15m investment
The British decision to spend £15m establishing a naval base at Mina Salman Port in Bahrain is being presented as a "symbolic" deal to increase stability in the region, guard against unnamed threats and strengthen Britain's partnership with the states of the Gulf. The agreement will identify Britain as an old colonial power strongly supporting... Read More
Tom Malinowski met with leaders of the al-Wifaq party, who claim the order shows that those opposed to reform and...
Bahrain has ordered a top US diplomat visiting the island to leave the country after he met leaders of the main Shia opposition party. The government said that the US assistant secretary for human rights, Tom Malinowski, was “unwelcome” and he should end his official three-day visit to Bahrain “due to his interference in its... Read More
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Kingdom that represses its Shia majority is to receive seal of approval from the Duke of York
The Duke of York will be the keynote speaker at a conference in London this Friday celebrating Bahrain as a place of religious freedom and tolerance of divergent opinions. Speaking during a visit to Bahrain last month, he said: "I believe that what's happening in Bahrain is a source of hope for many people in... Read More
As US-Iran rapprochement inches toward at least partial consummation in Geneva, I wish to offer a few observations: 1) The Iran nuclear weapons threat has always been a McGuffin, an excuse for various powers to advance an anti-Iran agenda. 2) Chief among the usual suspects is, of course, Israel under PM Netanyahu. If the Israeli... Read More
Amid claims that torture is 'the norm', cultural chasms are creating a repressive island of hate
Two-and-a-half years ago the Bahrain government bulldozed the Pearl Monument, whose tall, graceful pillars held a giant pearl as a symbol of the island kingdom, because it had become the rallying point in the capital, Manama, for pro-democracy protesters. The authorities have never chosen a new symbol to replace the one they destroyed, but, if... Read More
The Latest Crackdown
The Bahraini authorities are to intensify repression by banning demonstrations and meetings to ensure public safety and prevent violence, according to the state news agency. The Sunni al-Khalifa monarchy crushed pro-democracy protests by in the island kingdom's Shia majority last year with Saudi military help, amid allegations of widespread use of torture. There have been... Read More
First, Your Double Standard
Double standards have notoriously marked Britain and America's response to the Arab Spring. But nowhere is the hypocrisy more glaring than in their reactions to the uprisings in Bahrain and Syria, where both countries' governments have used the full might of their security forces to crush peaceful protests and jail and torture their opponents. When... Read More
High Price of Freedom
Bahrain's military court has sentenced 20 doctors, nurses and paramedics who treated protesters injured during pro-democracy rallies earlier in the year to up to 15 years in prison. The defendants say they were tortured during interrogation to extract false confessions. The harsh sentences, handed down by a military judge, are likely to anger Bahrain's Shia... Read More
Power Struggle Deepens Divisions Among Bahraini Royal Family
Senior Bahraini police officers suspended for torturing detainees are being swiftly reinstated in a sign of a growing struggle for power within the al-Khalifa royal family over the extent of the repression to be used against pro-democracy protesters. In addition, 90 Jordanian officers, serving in the Bahraini police force and alleged to have mistreated prisoners,... Read More
Institutionalizing Instability
Sometimes I think there must be a fatal connection between the initial letter "B" and places torn apart by struggles for power between different religious communities. I started as a journalist in Belfast in the early 1970s when the city was convulsed by sectarian warfare between Catholics and Protestants. In later years, I moved to... Read More
"Like Belfast at its Worst in the 1970s"
Bahrain A young man, his face masked by a red cloth so that only his eyes are visible, strides defiantly at the head of a crowd of protesters down the street in the Shia village of Nuwaidrat in Bahrain. The people behind him look edgy, as if they expect an immediate confrontation with the police.... Read More
Ayat's Ordeal
A female member of the al-Khalifa royal family in Bahrain repeatedly beat Ayat al-Gormezi, the 20-year-old student poet, when she was in prison accused of reciting a poem at a pro-democracy protest rally criticizing the monarchy. In an interview Ayat, who became a symbol of resistance to oppression in Bahrain, said that, although her interrogators... Read More
Mrs. Clinton, You Have No Right to Remain Silent
Doctors and nurses put on trial in Bahrain last week told relatives that they had been beaten with hoses and wooden boards with nails in them as well as being forced to eat feces. They were also compelled to stand without moving for long hours or even days and were deprived of sleep in order... Read More
Journalist Tortured in Bahrain
Bahrain is seeking to stage the Formula One motor race, whose organizers meet today in Barcelona to decide where it will take place, despite police arresting and abusing a quarter of the local staff of the event. The race was postponed in February because of pro-democracy protests and the government is eager to have it... Read More
No NATO Bombs for King Hamad al-Khalifa
Bahrain's security forces are increasingly targeting women in their campaign against pro-democracy protestors, despite the official lifting of martial law in the island kingdom yesterday. The ending of martial law and a call for dialogue from King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, appear to be part of a campaign to show that normal life is returning... Read More
Not Even a Bleat, Mrs. Clinton?
"Let us drown the revolution in Jewish blood,” was the slogan of the Tsars when they orchestrated pogroms against Jews across Russia in the years before World War1. The battle-cry of the al-Khalifa monarchy in Bahrain ever since they started to crush the pro-democracy protests in the island kingdom two months ago might well be... Read More
Bahrain Sentences Four Men to Death
A Bahraini national security court has sentenced four men to death for killing two police officers during the pro-democracy protests that were crushed by the authorities last month. The sentences are likely to deepen divisions between Bahrain's Shia majority, which has been demanding greater political and civil rights, and the Sunni monarchy, backed by Saudi... Read More
Attack on the Shia
Bahraini government forces backed by Saudi Arabian troops are destroying mosques and places of worship of the Shia majority in the island kingdom in a move likely to exacerbate religious hatred across the Muslim world. "So far they have destroyed seven Shia mosques and about 50 religious meeting houses," said Ali al-Aswad, an MP in... Read More
Great minds—or at least the editors and writers of Asia Times—think alike, in this case agreeing that there is something fundamentally creepy about the crackdown on Shi’a demonstrators in Bahrain. Ever since the Peninsula Shield Force moved over the King Fahd Causeway, the Sunni hardliners have asserted that the Shi’a demonstrators are fundamentally disloyal, stirring... Read More
Update: Justin Gengler, a University of Michigan graduate student, did demographic work in Bahrain and is blogging on his findings at Religion and Politics in Bahrain. According to Gengler, the government of Bahrain has been engaged in stealth naturalization of Sunni immigrants (and, if I read the article correctly, naturalization of Sunnis resident in the... Read More
A Venture Into the Unknown
The King of Bahrain has declared martial law, giving the military authority to end pro-democracy protests with the backing of 2,000 troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Some 10,000 Bahraini demonstrators marched on the Saudi embassy in the capital, Manama, yesterday to protest against the Saudi intervention, which an opposition statement said... Read More
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