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Bahrain police battle to control streets in flashpoint town

By Andrew Hammond / Reuters SITRA: Bahraini police clashed with anti-government protesters on Saturday at a Shia town where residents tried to demonstrate against the Gulf Arab state’s holding of a Formula One race next month. Hundreds of riot police backed by dark blue armored vehicles and jeeps patrolled the streets of Sitra, a poor district …

DNE

Thousands march in Bahrain for reforms, say witnesses

By AFP DUBAI: Thousands of Bahrainis took to the streets of Shia villages around the capital on Friday to demand reforms, with some calling for the ouster of the Sunni-ruled regime, witnesses said. Muslim clerics, women, and elderly people, responding to calls from the opposition, set off from 10 villages near Manama, they said. But …

DNE

Bahrain police install cameras to curb abuse

By Andrew Hammond / Reuters MANAMA: Bahrain is installing video cameras in police stations to try to clean up its human rights image after crushing a pro-democracy uprising last year, but activists say off-camera abuse continues in other locations. At Al-Hoora station in Manama, closed circuit television will record police interrogations in rooms with padded grey …

DNE

Clashes flare in Bahrain on Arab Spring anniversary

By Andrew Hammond / Reuters DUBAI: Shia Muslims clashed with riot police in villages across Bahrain on Thursday, the anniversary of a government crackdown last year on a pro-democracy uprising in the Gulf Arab state. Witnesses said youths and police faced off in Shia areas including Sitra, Diraz, Malkiya, Saar, Jidhafs, Tubli and Bilad Al-Qadeem, all …

DNE

Mass pro-democracy protest rocks Bahrain

By Andrew Hammond/Reuters MANAMA: Tens of thousands of Bahrainis demonstrated outside the capital Manama on Friday to demand urgent political reforms, a year after the Gulf Arab state crushed an uprising, witnesses said. The protestors began marching along a highway near Manama in response to a call from leading Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim who urged …

DNE

HRW calls on Bahrain to release democracy activists

By AFP DUBAI: Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called for the release of hundreds of Bahraini pro-democracy activists arrested after last year’s uprising and for all charges against them to be dropped. “Grossly unfair military and civilian trials have been a core element in Bahrain’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests,” HRW said. Cases “against everyone convicted …

DNE

Bahrain king dismisses opposition as disunited

MAMAMA: Bahrain’s King Hamad dismissed the country’s opposition movement as disunited and said the threat of Iran had compelled him to call in foreign troops to crush last year’s uprising. "In a sense there is no ‘opposition’ in Bahrain, as the phrase implies one unified block with the same views," the king said extracts from …

DNE

Violence in Bahrain escalates ahead of Feb. 14 anniversary

MANAMA: The funeral march for Mohammed Yaacoub had barely ended last week when police and protesters faced off in the town of Sitra, an impoverished district of Bahrain that has borne the brunt of a year of unrest. Teenagers using scarves to mask their faces went on a rampage wielding iron bars and petrol bombs, …

DNE

HRW calls for Palestinian residency rights

RAMALLAH: A Gaza-born woman recently sneaked into her native land through a smugglers’ tunnel because the legal route was blocked. A car mechanic who settled in the West Bank 15 years ago to raise a family lives in fear of deportation because his ID card says he’s originally from Gaza. They are among thousands of …

DNE

5,700 people questioned in Bahrain unrest

MANAMA: Local media in Bahrain say the international panel investigating months of anti-government protests and crackdowns in the Gulf kingdom has interviewed more than 5,000 witnesses and alleged victims over the past three months. A report in Bahrain’s state-owned Gulf Daily News newspaper says investigators have spoken with 5,700 people about the unrest that began …

DNE

Bahrainis take protests to US embassy

MANAMA: Pro-democracy activists protested at the US embassy in Bahrain on Monday, calling for Washington to press the authorities for democratic reform after weeks of demonstrations. Dozens of activists gathered at a fence set up in front of the embassy, chanting slogans in English against the Gulf state monarchy. Demonstrators also chanted in Arabic, saying …

DNE

Bahrain’s Shia opposition set to talk to rulers

MANAMA: The Shia opposition groups in Bahrain seeking to loosen the Sunni monarchy’s grip on power said Thursday they are ready to negotiate with the Gulf nation’s rulers about political change after weeks of protests. The two-week standoff, in which seven protesters were killed, has rattled one of the wealthiest corners of the Middle East, …

DNE

Bahrain’s protesters struggle to define goals

MANAMA: Bahrain’s royal rulers have been saying for more than a week they are willing to talk with what has proved to be a resilient opposition movement. They have made little headway so far. Rather than sit down at the negotiating table, anti-government protesters have been amplifying their calls for change by staging thousands-strong daily …

DNE

Bahrain freed Shia activist warns of violence

By AFP MANAMA: A leading Shia activist jailed for six months and released last week warned of more bloodshed in the Gulf state ruled by a Sunni dynasty if popular demands for greater democracy were not met. “My anticipation is that the situation will lead to more bloodshed if they (the regime) continue to turn …

DNE

US supports ‘national dialogue’ in Bahrain, says Obama

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama extended US support Sunday for a "national dialogue" in Bahrain, and said it should be "inclusive, non-sectarian and responsive" to the people of the Gulf kingdom. Obama’s statement came a day after King Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa reshuffled his cabinet and allowed the return to the country of an exiled opposition …

DNE

Bahrain frees prisoners to mollify protesters

MANAMA: Bahrain has freed 23 people accused of trying to topple the island’s Sunni Muslim monarchy, along with other prisoners and people detained in last week’s protests, a Shia opposition lawmaker said on Wednesday. The prisoner release was a further concession to the mainly Shia protesters who took to the streets last week to demand …

DNE

Bahrain king orders release of political prisoners

MANAMA: Bahrain’s king ordered the release of some political prisoners Tuesday, conceding to another opposition demand as the embattled monarchy tries to engage protesters in talks aimed at ending an uprising that has entered its second week. The king’s decree — which covers several Shiite activists accused of plotting against the state — adds to …

DNE

Bahrain unrest seen as warning Gulf States not immune

DUBAI: Deadly protests in Bahrain in which some demonstrators have called for the overthrow of the pro-Western monarchy show that the oil-rich Gulf is not immune to the Arab wind of change, analysts say. Inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt which brought down two Western-backed strongmen, protesters in the Shia-majority island state which …

DNE

Bahrain protesters urge more pressure on rulers

By AP MANAMA: Protesters demanding sweeping political reforms from Bahrain’s rulers held their ground Wednesday in an Egypt-style occupation of the capital’s landmark square, calling for a third day of demonstrations that have brought unprecedented pressure in one of Washington’s most strategic allies in the Gulf. Security forces have pulled back sharply — apparently on …

DNE

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