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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid