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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid