News / Middle East

Bahrain to 'Forcefully Confront' Planned Aug. 14 Protests

A Bahraini woman and children pray in a street in Malkiya, Bahrain, after participating in call of "God is greater" that echoed through opposition villages nationwide, Aug. 12, 2013.
A Bahraini woman and children pray in a street in Malkiya, Bahrain, after participating in call of "God is greater" that echoed through opposition villages nationwide, Aug. 12, 2013.
Reuters
Bahrain's prime minister said on Monday his government would “forcefully confront” protests called for later this week, and warned those behind planned demonstrations that they would be punished, state news agency BNA reported.
 
Protesters inspired by youth-led protests in Egypt that pushed the army to oust Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last month called for rallies on Wednesday, at a time of escalating clashes between police and pro-opposition demonstrators.
 
“The government will forcefully confront the suspicious calls to violate law and order and those who stand behind them through decisive measures,” BNA quoted Prime Minister Sheik Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa as saying after a meeting to discuss preparations to confront the planned protests.
 
“It will punish [those] who stand behind them in line with the recommendations of the Bahrain National Council [parliament], which represents the will of the people of Bahrain,” he added.
 
Bahrain has banned protests in the capital Manama and toughened anti-terrorism laws, including imposing longer prison terms and stripping perpetrators of Bahraini nationality, which human rights groups said could lead to a crackdown on protesters.
 
August 14 marks the day in 1971 when Bahrain gained independence from Britain.
 
“Tamarrod” [rebel] is a loose grouping of opposition activists who came together in early July to push for a “free and democratic Bahrain” through mass anti-government demonstrations, according to social media, quoting the group.
 
Sunni Muslim-ruled Bahrain, which is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, crushed pro-democracy protests by majority Shi'ite Muslims in 2011.
 
But demonstrations continue to take place from time to time, often resulting in clashes between security forces and demonstrators.
 
The government and opposition groups have sought to discuss their differences in reconciliation talks launched in February, but the dialog has yet to produce results.
 
Sheik Khalifa on Saturday accused anti-government protesters of seeking to foment chaos and topple the government, and said Bahrain was being targeted in order to destabilize the Gulf - a possible reference to Iran, which Manama has accused of instigating the unrest.
 
Tehran has denied the accusations.
 
The opposition, mostly made up of members of the majority Shi'ite community, demands that the Sunni al-Khalifa ruling family introduces democracy in Bahrain, a close U.S. ally.
 
Many Shi'ites complain of discrimination in jobs and have been calling for a constitutional monarchy. The government denies discriminating against Shi'ites.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid