Iran Election Guide

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Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Asserting Command?

2045 GMT: In Bahrain, eyewitnesses said one protester was killed as police in fired teargas and rubber bullets to break up pro-reform demonstrations. As helicopters circled over Manama, more than 20 people were hurt, one of them critically, in clashes in Shi'ite villages that ring the capital.

The kingdom has a Shi'ite majority but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

In the village of Diraz, authorities dispersed protesters with teargas (see video at 1845 GMT) Ten protesters were injured in Nuweidrat by police firing teargas and rubber bullets at demonstrations calling for the release of Shi'ite detainees.

1915 GMT: Suppression of another march in Bahrain:

1910 GMT: In Algeria, Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said the 1992 State of Emergency will be lifted in the "coming days", amidst recent protests demanding reform.

Medelci said the step will mean a "return to Algeria, a rightful state which totally allows, the expression of opinions, but always with reference to the law".

The Foreign Minister downplayed protests, including a large gathering --- in which activists claimed 400 people were arrested --- "minority" movements: "And, I guess from march to march, they will not do better."

1845 GMT: Apologies that, because of our LiveBlog of the escalating protests in Iran, we have been limited in service here today. 

We will have a full round-up later tonight or in the morning, but here is footage of the suppression of a demonstration in Duraz in Bahrain today.

1145 GMT: In Yemen, about 200 anti-government protesters, rallying outside Sanaa University, have been confronted by about 300 counter-demonstrators carrying pictures of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The two sides threw rocks at each other, and later brandished daggers and knives. Some security forces at the scene tried to separate the groups, while others stood aside.

1030 GMT: Evan Hill of Al Jazeera English reports, "Ahmed Maher of April 6th [Youth Movement] & other youth leaders met directly with military supreme council last night; waiting to hear any notable results."

0935 GMT: In Cairo, military police have threatened the remaining protesters in Tahrir Square --- estimated at a "few dozen" --- with arrest if they do not leave.

0815 GMT: 1st video from today's protests in Bahrain:

0740 GMT: Egypt's Chief Prosecutor of Appeals will begin investigations today into the wealth of former President Hosni Mubarak, his wife Suzanne, and his sons Ala'a and Gamal.

The investigation follows a complaint filed against the former President by the Freedoms Committee of the Egyptian Bar Association over the "unjustified swelling of Mubarak's and his family's wealth".

0710 GMT: Ahead of today's "Day of Rage", the Bahrain Government has made another apparent concession. Media monitors began talks yesterday with publishers and others to draft new rules to limit state controls, and the official Bahrain News Agency launched a new multimedia service that includes social media applications to seek more outreach.

Last week, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa granted each Bahraini family the equivalent of $2650.

Pressure continues, however. Bahrain Youth for Freedom have issued a statement (see 0650 GMT) listing the requirements for political and economic change, and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights has posted an open letter to the King, seeking wide-ranging reforms to avoid a "worst-case scenario", including dismantling the security forces, prosecution of state officials for abuses, and the release of 450 jailed activists, religious leaders, and others.

0650 GMT: The statement of the Bahrain Youth for Freedom:

...What do we want on February 14?

We want a genuine political life in which the people alone are the source of powers and legislation. 

We want a constitution drawn up by the people, and agreed upon, which is the arbitrator and judge in the relationship of the ruler to the ruled.

We want genuine and fair elections based on fair foundations and the distribution of constituencies in which the vote of every individual Bahraini is equal.

We want genuine representation, without the accusation of treason whenever we go out to demand our rights.

We want a Council of Representatives that reflects the composition of the Bahraini people, without the majority being a minority and the minority a majority.

We want a government that is elected, based on people’s competencies rather than “loyalties”.

We want to fight corruption and stop the plundering of resources, and achieve a fair distribution of wealth.

We want to stop nepotism, and to prevent recruitment according to affiliation, and to open all sectors, especially the military, to all people.

We want an end to indiscriminate political naturalisation, which has increased the burden on services and oppressed people.

We want true freedom, without a law against “terrorism” and “gatherings”.

We want true media freedom, and the door to be opened for everyone to express their opinions freely and without fear.

We want security in villages and towns, and the release of political prisoners and the reform of prisons, and the end of oppression, torture and intimidation.

We want genuine solutions to the problems of unemployment, housing, education, and health.

We want the police to “serve the people”, and we want the army to be of the people.

This is truly what we want; we do not want to overthrow the regime, as many imagine, and we do not want to gain control of the government, we do not want chairs and seats here or there. We want to be a people living with dignity and rights.

0620 GMT: After almost two months of daily excitement, with even a slow Sunday escalating quickly amidst protests in Yemen and declarations in Egypt, a quiet start....

In Egypt, the military moved aggressively to establish its control on Sunday. On the streets, it tried to move traffic through Tahrir Square in Cairo; on the airwaves, it slapped down the Prime Minister --- whose press conference was ongoing --- and asserted its supremacy with Communique No. 5, setting out short-term arrangements and measures.

The Parliament has been dissolved and the Constitution suspended, as committees pursue reform. The military has pledged a handover of power within six months or at an election, whichever comes first.

The political steps, which were well-received by many activists and opposition figures, do not appear to the point of controversy today. Instead, there are rumblings on the economic front. Strikes have limited many sectors, and banks are closed today after worker protests. There are hints --- unconfirmed by official measures --- that the military might move to curb and even outlaw walkouts.

On the protest front, we will be watching Iran closely (see separate LiveBlog). A "Day of Rage" has been called in Bahrain. 


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