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

    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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.