The Arab spring of 2011 has entered a new phase. In this period, the emerging dangers to the fulfilment of its promise of transformation include the dynamics of inter-state power in the region, says Tarek Osman.
A leading Bahraini human rights activist, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, is standing trial in a military court, his daughter Zainab believes. She said he told her the date, time and place of the trial, but when family members came to the court officials denied any knowledge of the case. Mr Khawaja had called for the country's leaders to be held to account after a brutal crackdown on recent protests. He was seized from his home with two sons-in-law earlier this month.
Bahrain has stepped up the arrests of Shia Muslims, including many cyber activists, with more than 300 detained and dozens missing since it launched a crackdown on pro-democracy protests, the opposition has said.
Bahrain's Shiite-led opposition movement, which at one stage had a chance to topple the ruling al-Khalifa family, faces a struggle to regain momentum following a violent government crackdown and the arrest of key leaders and activists.
Critics of the Bahrain government have called for widespread rallies Friday in defiance of the country's recent imposition of martial law, raising the possibility of further violence nine days after a bloody crackdown on protesters and opposition leaders.
The international community is intervening to stop killing in Libya. But it is standing by as the Bahraini government - aided by the Saudis and broader Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - suppresses its own people with brutal force.
MANAMA (Reuters) - A Bahraini protester has been found dead after he went missing for days following a crackdown by security forces on mainly Shi'ite Muslim demonstrators last week, a member of an opposition
Bahrain needs to set about the hard work of healing societal cleavages, to build the truly sovereign and democratic country which the majority of its citizens appear so determined to achieve. If their much-touted ‘democracy promotion’ rhetoric is to have any real significance, western governments must help rather than hinder this process.
Observers who have been closely watching the unrest sweeping Bahrain argue that Iran is bestowing a sectarian aura on the protests calling for political reform in the Gulf nation in order to serve its agenda. They ask if the Iranian media are deliberately inciting anti-Bahrain sentiments.
The parliament of Bahrain has accepted the resignations of eleven Shia opposition politicians, thereby widening the gulf between the Sunni ruling elite and the largely Shia protest movement in the tiny kingdom.
While US and international attention is focused largely elsewhere in the region, especially Libya, the violent crackdown against protestors in the tiny island kingdom of Bahrain may well pose a bigger threat to the entire region's stability. The Bahrain situation is exposing long simmering tensions and rivalries between Saudi Arabia and Iran and carries the danger that it will trigger the next regional war.
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