News / Middle East

Bahrain Police Disperse Protesters

Riot police chase Bahraini demonstrators as they disperse a protest with tear gas in the village of Duraz, Bahrain, outside the capital of Manama, February 14, 2011
Riot police chase Bahraini demonstrators as they disperse a protest with tear gas in the village of Duraz, Bahrain, outside the capital of Manama, February 14, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Riot police in Bahrain used tear gas and rubber bullets Monday to break up widespread protests inspired by the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.  Human rights groups report one person was killed and at least 10 others hospitalized by nightfall.

Despite a heavy crackdown by police, thousands of demonstrators participated in what organizers called a "Day of Rage" across Bahrain, a strategic American ally in the Persian Gulf.

Their main demands are for a new constitution, the release of political prisoners, stopping perceived discrimination against the country’s Shi’ite Muslims, and putting an end to the naturalization of foreign citizens.

The vice president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab, monitored the situation through the day and says the demonstrators were peaceful. 

"None of them [protesters] even took a stone or anything to throw, but the police will not wait for us to do anything anyway, they will attack us with rubber bullets, tear gas, with shotguns," said Rajab. "Since last night, many people were injured, people transferred to hospital. The majority of people were not transferred to hospital because once they go to hospital the government will arrest them."

By Monday afternoon, gunshots could be heard in a number of Shi’ite neighborhoods. In the Bani Jamrah district, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets down a street filled with women and children.

A resident who only wanted to be known as Awal was among the crowd.

"See what this is doing? The police is to help the people, not to beat the people," said Awal.
Fifteen-year-old Zahra Abdul Ameer was also at the scene and needed to be rushed to a nearby house to be cared for.

"I was standing there and they threw something on us and this started to explode and we couldn’t breath the air," said Zahra Abdul Ameer. "Then I started running and I didn’t see anything.  The man brought me to this house and I was so tired. I was going to faint, then the woman gave me some water. I feel afraid."

The interior ministry confirmed via Twitter that security forces had fired rubber bullets at demonstrators.

Rajab believes the handling of events will only prompt further demonstrations in the coming days.

"Unfortunately, the government doesn’t know how to deal with such events, but this is going to continue for the coming days until we get our demand," he said.

Shi’ites make up more than 70 percent of Bahrain’s population and say they are not given adequate benefits by the ruling Sunni minority.

They also accuse King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of issuing Bahraini passports to foreign Sunnis to reduce the Shi'ite majority.

Before Monday’s demonstrations, authorities in Bahrain announced they would give each family in the country about $2,600 (1,000 dinars). But many people said the handout was insufficient and decided to protest anyway.

The protests were scheduled for February 14 as it marks the anniversary of Bahrain’s 2002 constitution, which brought some democratic reforms such as an elected parliament.   

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid