News / Middle East

Bahrain's Latest Uprising Meets Security Clampdown

Bahrain Protesters Try to Copy Egypt Movementi
X
August 15, 2013 9:30 PM
Activists in Bahrain are stepping up their two-and-a-half year old campaign to push the Sunni ruling family into making democratic reforms in the Shi'ite-majority state. While the authorities appear to have kept a lid on the demonstrations for now, analysts say the opposition is trying to emulate the mass anti-government protests in Egypt, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Henry Ridgwell
Activists in Bahrain are stepping up their two-and-a-half-year-old campaign to push the Sunni ruling family into making democratic reforms in the Shi'ite-majority state.
 
While the authorities appear to have kept a lid on the demonstrations for now, analysts say the opposition is trying to emulate the mass anti-government protests in Egypt.
 
Bahraini security forces have been deployed across Manama and surrounding villages for weeks, and opposition calls for mass anti-government rallies Wednesday ended in only minor clashes.
 
The renewed drive to get protesters on the streets is being led by a group called "Tamarod" or "Rebellion," named after the Egyptian movement that helped organize huge protests leading to the military ousting of democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi last month, and which have been followed by the deaths of hundreds of his supporters.
 
But according to analyst Jane Kinninmont of London-based Chatham House, there are key differences in Bahrain's uprising.
 
"You wouldn’t have anything like the same scenario in Bahrain because the army in Bahrain doesn’t play the same role, and many of the security services don’t include Shi'ite Bahrainis, so you don’t get that same sense of solidarity," she said. "Egypt has proven though that people power is still a force."
 
With the army on its side, the Bahraini government is successfully suppressing all forms of dissent, she says.
 
“There’s been a pre-emptive crackdown going on for some weeks with house raids, arrests — including arrests of some bloggers — and an atmosphere of great tension."
 
In Bahrain, where Shi’ites form the majority, protesters want Sunni King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to step aside, but the Al Khalifa government insists it is listening to the opposition and is already undertaking democratic reform.
 
Bahrain is an important U.S. ally in the Gulf and home to the United States Fifth Fleet. In May, Britain was one of 40 nations that sent naval forces to the region for joint military exercises.
 
Lord Avebury, a Liberal Democrat lawmaker in Britain’s upper house, says his government is putting trade ahead of democracy.
 
"Since human rights have been an issue, we have tended to ignore them and concentrate on business. That’s the same now," he said. "Whilst the repression is getting more and more intense, there’s no response to it from the Foreign Office, and we see them trying to get more sales of arms and business generally."
 
British Prime Minister David Cameron says he has discussed human rights with Bahrain’s King Hamad — and pressed the need for ongoing democratic reforms.
 
A national dialogue between the Bahrain government and the opposition is due to resume at the end of this month.

You May Like

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: James Wheatley from: New York
August 16, 2013 1:42 AM
Don't be fooled by the so-called news of these reporters, who disseminate Iran propaganda from the comfort of their hotel rooms. Read The Bahrain Protocol, Kindle's new thriller, to find out the truth; how Hezbollah pays demonstrators to paralyze the economy and take down the Bahrain government. It is part of Iran's master plan of domination over the Arabian Gulf.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs