Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A Teenager's Death for the New Year

Claimed footage of the moment that Bahraini security forces opened fire today on the funeral procession of 16-year-old Sayed Hashim (see 1530 GMT)

See also Bahrain (and Beyond) Opinion: Does Sayed Hashim's Death Matter?
Happy New Year: 10 Predictions for 2012 --- From US Election to Syria to No War With Iran to EA WorldView
A Resolution for a 2012 WorldView: A Global Community Built On Communication, Not Conflict
Saturday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Protesting, Filming, Dying

2115 GMT: Video from Bahrain today of security forces chasing a young man and finally shooting at him:

2100 GMT: 1954 GMT: A mass demonstration in the Qosour section of Homs in Syria denounces the "Tyrant who murders his own people":

And a mass prayer in Deir Ba'alba:

1954 GMT: Video has been posted of an incident in Moadamiyah, a suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus, where a child tells an Arab League observer that he was detained for a day and has not seen his father for 5 months.

1938 GMT: An EA correspondent reports first-hand from a march in Mehazza tonight:

We were a few hundred with almost the same number of women marching behind. Protesters repeated a sad anthem, in the memory of the martyrs: "Mother, remember me every time you see a youth. They took my life....I am prevented from marriage".

As the protest moves inside the village, other youth watched roads to make sure that mercenaries would not launch a surprise attack. As the march progressed, more people joined. We reached about a thousand.

We ended the night with dinner in a home with a group of activists.

1838 GMT: The Arab Parliament, an 88-member advisory body to the Arab League, has called for the immediate withdrawal of the observer mission in Syria.

The delegates, drawn from each of the League's member states,,said that the monitors were inadvertently helping the Assad regime cover up continued violence, continuing despite the presence of the observers.

Ali al-Salem al-Dekbas, the Parliament's chairman said, "For this to happen in the presence of Arab monitors has roused the anger of Arab people and negates the purpose of sending a fact-finding mission. This is giving the Syrian regime an Arab cover for continuing its inhumane actions under the eyes and ears of the Arab League."

1820 GMT: Thousands in Dhamar in Yemen march today, calling for an end to the corrupt rule of President Saleh:

1800 GMT: Security forces fire on marchers in Ma'ameer, having prevented them from reaching the funeral procession of Sayed Hashim in Sitra today:

A picture of Hani Abdulla Al-Qumaish as he was wounded, possibly by a tear gas canister, when security forces fired on protesters after the procession:

1750 GMT: Activists have released footage of the mother of Sayed Hashim, killed by a tear gas canister on Saturday (see 0740 GMT), saying good-bye to her son before he was buried today:

Reuters reports on the use of sound grenades and tear gas by security forces against hundreds of protesters after Hashim's funeral. The news service also quotes the line of regime media and police, "Preliminary investigations show that the deceased was among those who took part in attacks on security forces by throwing petrol bombs."

1630 GMT: Reports indicate Egyptian political prisoner Maikel Nabil has ended his 4 1/2-month hunger strike and is being transferred to hospital to receive treatment.

Nabil, sentenced to two years for writing a critique of the post-Mubarak military regime, has been kept in solitary confiment and denied access to medical help. On Saturday, he was finally permitted a visit from his lawyer, a physician, and a member of the prosecutor's office. His lawyer immediately filed a complaint requesting his tranfer to a hospital and a different prison.

The news came eight days after several hundred protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court in Cairo, demanding Nabil's immediate release. The same day 30 different international human rights organisations wrote to the United Nations and the Egyptian government for Nabil's freedom.

1530 GMT: We return from a holiday break with disturbing reports from Bahrain.

The funeral of 16-year-old Sayed Hashim, killed yesterday after being struck by tear gas canisters fired by security forces, was held earlier today.

Subsequently, mourners were attacked by police with tear gas, sound grenades and other "non-lethal" weapons. Police in jeeps also reportedly tried to run mourners over, a troubling policing strategy we have seen increasingly over recent weeks.

The situation in Sitra currently appears tense. An EA correspondent tells us that the number of police is big and there is "news of many injuries". The sound of gun fire and helicopters overhead is prevalent.

This footage indicates the number of police forces in just one village in Sitra:

Zaynab AlKhawaja reports that one mourner, Hani Abdulla Al-Qumaish, suffered a serious blow to the head, possibly from a tear gas canister.

We have received multiple reports of Bahraini authorities blocking access to the funeral to mourners. The main road to Sitra was reportedly blocked, with some individuals resorting to boats in their determination to attend. There are also reports of police intimidating mourners travelling to the funeral. This footage reveals a police helicopter following citizens as they drove to the funeral:

Given the recent, troubling, escalation of violence and attacks on protesters, the announcement today that more security forces are being hired is concerning. AP reports:

Also Sunday, Bahrain's new police chief announced that the kingdom would hire an additional 500 police officers "from all sections of Bahrain society," according to a statement from the country's Information Affairs Authority. The official, Tariq Alhassan, said the extra officers would work only in communities from where they were recruited.

0925 GMT: With EA's Josh Shahryar asking in a separate feature, "Does Sayed Hashim's Death Matter?", a striking omission in the stories of AFP and Reuters on Saturday's protests and clashes in Bahrain....

Both mention the crackdown of security forces. AFP mentions injuries and arrests, but apart from Reuters' "Activists said in Twitter messages that a youth died", there is nothing about the death of the 16-year-old Hashim.

Reem Khalifa, writing for Associated Press, does write about the killing of the teenager, hit by a tear gas canister.

0755 GMT: What does this mean for 2012? Two Syrian opposition parties have signed a draft agreement to unite against the Assad regime, settting up a "parliamentary system for a democratic, pluralistic civil state and guarantee[ing] the exchange of power through elections".

The agreement of the Syrian National Council (SNC), whose leadership is largely outside the country, and the National Co-ordination Committee (NCC), a group whose majority is inside Syria came with the general reconciliation of "reject[ing] any military intervention that harms the sovereignty or stability of the country, without considering Arab intervention to be foreign".

The NCC had opposed the SNC's earlier calls for increased foreign involvement in the political and military situation.

0740 GMT: Saturday in Bahrain opened with the news of a new type of civil disobedience --- families and friends would gather outside, just to show their presence in the face of the security forces.

Saturday continued with the attacks of those security forces, using tear gas, as Sitra was covered in "clouds of tear gas mixed with black smoke of burning tires". And it culminated in the death of 16-year-old Sayed Hashim, shot in the neck with a tear gas canister (Warning: Graphic Video).

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« Iran Feature: Stumbling and Stalemate over Sanctions (Mills)b | Main | A Resolution for a 2012 WorldView: A Global Community Built On Communication, Not Conflict »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>