News / Middle East

Anti-Government Protests Continue in Bahrain

Protesters at the Pearl Roundabout in Bahrain, February 15, 2011
Protesters at the Pearl Roundabout in Bahrain, February 15, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Opposition supporters in Bahrain have held protests for a third straight day, calling for more rights and for the prime minister to step down.

Wednesday’s demonstrations passed without incident, in contrast to earlier in the week when two people were killed during crackdowns by riot police.

Bahrain’s interior minister said those involved in the killings have been arrested.

In a television address on Tuesday, King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa vowed to investigate the deaths.

Some demonstrators are calling for the ouster of the king, while all are demanding the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has been in power for nearly 40 years.

Protesters also want a new constitution, more representation in parliament, more jobs and housing and for political prisoners to be released.

Most of the people participating in Bahrain’s demonstrations have been Shi’ite Muslims, who represent about 70 percent of the country’s population, but say they are treated like second-class citizens by the ruling Sunni minority.

A Bahraini national who only wanted to be known as S.Y. says many Bahrainis are aggravated by the division of wealth in the country.

"This divide that we have between the people that live in the villages and the people who live in these villas, these beautiful villas, and work in banks and studied in England and America, this has got to stop," said S.Y. "This has got to end. We are a quarter of a million people and you don’t know what’s happening down the road from you. It’s absolutely disgusting."

Bahrain is one of several Middle Eastern nations experiencing unrest in the wake of the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Director of Research and Development at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, Theodore Karasik, says it is impossible to predict when the regional tensions will begin to ease.

"I liken this to a tsunami sweeping the region and it is of historical proportions," said Karasik. "I don’t think it is going to go away anytime soon. And as Egypt progresses in the coming weeks and months, that will have reverberations across the region too. We’re in a new order now."

Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, and Washington has expressed concern over the recent violence in the Gulf kingdom.

A U.S. State Department spokesman urged Bahraini authorities to follow through on promises to investigate the two killings as soon as possible.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
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