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Of the new revolutionary eruptions, post-Egypt, perhaps the most problematic for Washington is the upsurge in Bahrain, where a Sunni king has long ruled over his predominantly Shi’ite subjects. King Hamad is a corrupt tyrant whose disregard for basic human rights was underscored by the actions of his security forces in storming a protest encampment in the capital city’s main square, murdering 5 protesters in a surprise assault in the dead of night, and wounding over 200. There are indications that at least some of the assailants were Saudis. Bahrain, a small island kingdom in the Persian G
But that reputation for being a cutting-edge capitalist hub – Bahrain is the only country in the Gulf region to have signed a free trade agreement with the US – comes at a heavy social and ecological cost. And it’s a cost that seems to have pushed a large section of the population too far, to the point where they are emulating the protests in Tunisia, Egypt and other parts of the Arab world to demand long-overdue democratic rights.
Nada Alwadi, reporting for USA TODAY in Bahrain, reports that the crown prince, speaking on TV, ordered the immediate removal of armed forces from Bahrain's roads in wake of the shooting and says "both parties are wrong and I consider this a betrayal to the country." See additional news link.
At least four people were killed Thursday after riot police used buckshot, tear gas and clubs to drive protesters from a main square in Bahrain's capital Manama, where they had been been demanding political change in the tiny kingdom. Kristof said in a series of Twitter messagesthat the Bahrain government had ordered ambulances to stop going out, citing a hospital. He said 10 ambulance paramedics had been attacked by Bahrain police. "I interviewed them, saw their injuries," he wrote."Nurse told me she saw handcuffed prisoner beaten by police, then executed with gun," Kristoff added.He said that an ambulance driver had said a Saudi Arabian army officer "held gun to his head" and threatened to kill him if he helped the injured.Kristoff also reported that the hospital had seen more than
Blood flowed the in the streets of Libya, Bahrain and Yemen Friday as a wave of protest and revolt continued to rock the Arab world.
"Scores" have been killed in Libya as thousands of protesters defied a government clamp down Friday and fought pitched battles with security forces in several Libyan cities.
I am deeply concerned by reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen.
The United States condemns the use of violence by governments against peaceful protesters in those countries and wherever else it may occur. We express our condolences to the family and friends of those who have been killed during the demonstrations.
Wherever they are, people have certain universal rights including the right to peaceful assembly.
The United States urges the governments of Bahrain, Libya and Yemen to show restraint in responding to peaceful protests, and to respect the rights of their people.
This is a battlefield," says Dr. Umm Haicham, who asked to be named by her honorific rather than her name because she no longer trusts her government. "No one wants to see this. This is an overreaction. The protesters want simple things. They are asking for what the King has already offered."