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Bahrain State Of Emergency WIll Be Lifted June 1

Bahrain State Of Emergency WIll Be Lifted June 1

Bahrain, which was once seen in the West as one of the most safe and stable of the Gulf states, has become over the past few months an island of fear for many of its Shia citizens.

Here’s why: at least 30 people have died since Bahrain’s Shia majority took to the streets in February.

No More State Of Emergency

But apparently, things are improving. According to the BBC, Bahrain’s king has ordered the state of emergency imposed in mid-March during weeks of protests to be lifted from next month, the state news agency says.

From the BBC:

“The state of national safety is lifted across the kingdom of Bahrain from 1 June,” the agency BNA quoted the king’s decree as saying.

More than 20 activists are charged with attempting to oust the Sunni monarchy.

Emboldened by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, Bahrain’s Shias began protesting on 14 February demanding greater freedom and rights.

Some called for the overthrow of the monarchy.

The government imposed martial law and invited troops from Sunni-ruled neighbours such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to help quell the unrest.

Bahrain accused Iran of fomenting the unrest — a charge Tehran denied.

Crackdown On Doctors, Bloggers, Opposition Activists

In recent weeks, the government has cracked down on doctors, bloggers and opposition activists — some of whom have simply “disappeared,” according to reports from family, friends and rights groups.

It is difficult to verify the reports, as journalists are not being allowed to report freely from the tiny Gulf kingdom that has been shaken by a wave of pro-democracy protests since mid-February.

At Least 27 People Killed

At least 27 people have been killed in clashes with security forces, and the protesters’ makeshift camp at Pearl Roundabout has been razed to the ground. The Ministry of Interior says that four police officers have also died in the disturbances.

From the BBC:

Joe Stork of the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) described the apparent police beatings featured in the latest pictures as “extremely disturbing”.

“Bahrain is now a state where the police are acting with complete impunity. There is no accountability, not even an effort to cover up what is going on,” said Mr Stork, HRW’s Middle East and Bahraini expert.

Bahrain Has A Majority Shia Muslim Population

Bahrain is a country with a majority Shia Muslim population ruled by the Sunni Muslim al-Khalifa family.

According to activists, the government has discriminated against Shia for years: Shia villages are impoverished, housing is inadequate, schools are often dilapidated and unemployment is rampant.

Again from the BBC:

Activists who had been released by royal decree in the early days of the protest have either been re-arrested or gone into hiding. Six doctors who treated injured protesters are among the imprisoned.

And in a bizarre twist, photos of popular athletes — showing them at Pearl Roundabout supporting the call for democracy in February — were carried on state television.

The athletes were then called live to recant. “They grovel and say they are ready to die for the king,” said one journalist who cannot be named. “It is excruciating to watch.”

Let’s hope all this will improve when the state of emergency is lifted on June 1.

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Photo Credit: justDONQUE via Creative Commons

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12 comments

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5:00PM PDT on May 17, 2011

To: CHRIS HILES & MARILYN L. I am a citizen of Bahrain and I know how bad the regime of al-khara hamad bin isa the king is treating us !!! Please stop defending the dictator and oppressor so called (king)!!! you guys know nothing about SHIA or SUNNI of Bahrain. Any expatriate says anything pro-government is: either been paid or he/she is an agent !!
ALSO, this note is to: YASSER A. sorry to say that you are an AGENT of the corrupted regime of al-khara. or else you wouldnt defend the TORTURER government like hamad & khalifa. I advise you to go and work as a pimp in (SOUQ AL-MAGASIS), its better dignity to you than working for the killer invaders of Bahrain since 1783 !!! I am more of a Bahraini than you are. So stop bull shitting, and making foreigners believe you !!!
NOTE TO: MICHAEL M. God bless you for talking true and fact, yes you are absoloutely RIGHT !!! Kill the king and all who support him. Thank you MIchael. Last word: IRAN never ever had anything to do with Bahrain uprising, or the SHIA people. IF IRAN HAD anything to do in Bahrain or the G.C.C., Then, the entire GCC would have been ANNIHILATED and DISINTEGRATED in 1979 !!! Not even a CAMEL would have been saved for you to eat, you desert lizard eaters!!!!!

12:29PM PDT on May 16, 2011

thanks for sharing

4:29PM PDT on May 15, 2011

--part 2 of 2 ---
Those protesters whose are not the majority of Bahrain as they claimed tried to paralyze Bahrain, they tried to stop health services which is free in Bahrain with the help of the persecuted doctors and nurses, also they tried to stop educations which is free by the help of some teachers in the schools and taking students - from 8 to 18 years - from school to protests against the governorate
I don't expect you to believe me; all I ask is that you have to search the TRUTH by yourself before saying opinion or posting comments
"Michael M" you are very active member of Care2 and I really respect you and no hard feelings but saying (Kill the King and all who support him) is not human rights activist act

Thanks everybody, and sorry for prolongation :-)

--- end of part 2 ----

4:28PM PDT on May 15, 2011

---Part 1 of 2 ----
Thank you "Chris Hiles" for clarifying what exactly going on in Bahrain, because most people are having misleading information and think all demonstrations in every place in the world are right.
I'm Bahraini, born and living in Bahrain, I will not saying that I'm Sunni or Shai, or I'm Muslim, Christian, or Jewish, because in Bahrain there is religion freedom and respect for all, and there is democracy in Bahrain and respecting the minorities rights. In Bahrain we have parliament council whose its members are elected by citizen and Shura or State Council whose its members are chosen by The King from all specters and minorities that are living in Bahrain, so you can have Jewish, Christian in the council. Both of the councils are settings and modifying rules and regulations of Bahrain. In this way minorities can have voices to protect their freedom. This is going from 10 years now.
Those protesters whose getting helps from Iran - which is not only Bahrain governorate saying that even Hillary Clinton herself confirm it in one of her statement- tried to overthrow the regime and make Bahrain part of Iran. Iran who’s threating the world with its nuclear reactors, Iran who support terrorist organizations by money and weapons, Iran who hang the anti-gov protesters in streets
-- end of part 1 ---

11:49AM PDT on May 15, 2011

The only hopeful thing, act, tool, that we have is prayer. The power of it is tremendous!

12:17AM PDT on May 15, 2011

A dear friend of mine is a Bahraini Shia. I wish I could reproduce for you the e-mail messages I have gotten from her. They say things like: THEY ARE KILLING US! DOES ANYONE KNOW? WHY DOESN'T ANYONE CARE!!

In my blog, I have published her e-mails and I have also published some of the pictures she has sent me. Her pain is real.

I write this to show there are always at least two sides to every story.

The US should not intervene directly. Three wars going on at one time are enough. But there should be adequate news coverage so people in the USA could make up their own minds.

11:20PM PDT on May 14, 2011

I agree with Marilyn L. We don't know the truth. This mess in these countries were fomented by the big-money interests and they will support anyone who feeds their interests - no matter what it does to that country and it's people.

5:04PM PDT on May 14, 2011

The U.S. needs to stop "helping" other countries when we aren't asked to. We should let the middle eastern countries sort out their protester situations and take an approach where we don't tell every country with problems what to do and not let other countries tell us what to do. Imagine if we were not able to settle our own Revolution and Civil war. We managed to settle those ourselves, let other countries settle their own business until we are asked to help.

11:57AM PDT on May 14, 2011

Kill the King and all who support him. And get the US war machine out of everywhere except the US. Period . Or prepare to be annihilated.

9:51AM PDT on May 14, 2011

I don't think we really know the truth. But it is not hard to believe that Iran had a finger in this.

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