Footage from today's funeral in Bahrain of 57-year-old Salma Abdul Muhsen of Barbar --- activists claim she died from tear gas inhalation last night
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Bahrain Propaganda 101: The Countess of Wessex, a New PR Firm, and a Former British Ambassador br>
Bahrain Document: A List of 56 People Killed Since 14 February 2011 br>
Saturday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A University Under Curfew
2045 GMT: Claimed footage of Bahraini police vehicles charging female protesters in Barbar, after today's funeral of Salma Abdul Muhsen:
2005 GMT: Claimed footage of a massive explosion in Insha'at in Homs Province today:
1705 GMT: Claimed footage from Kafarouma in northwestern Syria of regime forces shooting at demonstrators awaiting the arrival of Arab League observers:
Protesters cheer and chant, "Allah Akbar (God is Great)" as a military vehicle moves through Jabal al-Zuwiya in northwestern Syria:
A mass rally in Tafas in Daraa in the south:
1600 GMT: A Saudi Arabian regime spokesman said unknown gunmen opened fire on a Saudi police patrol in Qatif Province in the east, two days after a man was killed when security forces raided the town of Awamiya.
Saudi forces clashed with Shia protesters in Awamiya, according to authorities after a police patrol was attacked with a petrol bomb.
1545 GMT: In contrast to Al Jazeera English's article highlighting the promises in the speech of Bahrain's King Hamad (see 1250 GMT), its correspondent Gregg Carlstrom is downbeat, "All of the proposed reforms are small in scale." He writes:
[These] will do little to stop the nearly year-old uprising in the island kingdom, activists and opposition leaders said on Sunday.
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa delivered a televised address on Sunday morning in which pledged to limit the power of the executive branch. Under the proposed reforms, members of parliament would have more power to question cabinet ministers, and more protection from dismissal by the king.
But the speech will not be a breakthrough for the Bahraini government as it tries to stop a nearly year-long uprising. Members of Al Wefaq, the country's largest opposition party, quickly dismissed the changes as "cosmetic" and demanded much wider reforms.
"Nothing was new. The opposition was expecting something like this from 10 years before," said Ali al-Aswad, a member of Al Wefaq. "This is not the demand of the street. The demand is different now, after what has happened in all the Arab countries."
1445 GMT: Claimed footage of the use of tear gas by Bahraini security forces to disperse the funeral procession for Salma Abdul Muhsen, who allegedly died last night from tear gas inhalation (see top of entry):
1415 GMT: Claimed footage has been released from Homs in Syria of the "Ali bin Abi Talib Battalion" of the Free Syrian Army:
1400 GMT: An activist reports a "strong and assertive move" by opposition political societies, following King Hamad's speech, in refusing a Royal Court invitation for a meeting this evening.
Meanwhile, regime media cheerleads, "Arab League Chief Praises HM King Hamad’s Pioneering and Constructive Reforms," as the Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil El Araby held a press conference with the Bahraini Foreign Minister. El Araby reportedly applauded the King's plan for an “Arab Human Rights Tribunal” and "expressed the Arab League’s appreciation of HM the King’s sound and constructive ways in dealing with last year’s incidents".
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa promised "new safeguards" to limit his ability to dissolve the lower house of parliament: He would have to consult with leaders of both houses, and the head of the constitutional court, before dismissing lawmakers.
The reforms would also require Khalifa to issue a "royal order" explaining the process for appointing members of the Shura Council, the 40-member upper house, which is entirely appointed by the king.
Parliament would also play a larger role in determining the state budget.
All of these changes are in proposed constitutional amendments which Khalifa said will be transmitted to the parliament.
Almost 50 European and Arab activists participated in the convoy of two tons of medical supplies, worth approximately $500,000, and ambulances, vehicles modified for use by the disabled, and electric scooters.
1050 GMT: Syrian State news agency SANA announces a decree by President Assad granting a general amnesty "for crimes committed in the context of the events taking place since March 15, 2011". These includes "crimes related to the laws on peaceful demonstration, carrying or possessing unlicensed weapons and ammunition, and draft evasion".
To receive the amnesty, the accused must turn themselves in by 31 January.
1000 GMT: Two pointed responses from Nabeel Rajab, the head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, to King Hamad's speech --- first, he tells Al Jazeera English that protests will continues, "I don't think [the speech] changes anything on the ground":
And on Twitter, Rajab suggests that listening to two minutes of this song is time much better spent than hearing 20 minutes of the King:
0840 GMT: Sheikh Ali Salman, the head of the opposition society Al Wefaq, has responded via Twitter to King Hamad's speech that the proposed Constitutional reforms do not meet the condition that "the people are the source of authority".Abdul Jalil Khalil of Al Wefaq added, "The reforms are just cosmetic. We wanted an elected government and fully elected legislative bodies. These changes are not enough."
The King emphasised the National Dialogue and proposed Constitutional amendments to "greater harmony in the relationship between the Executive and Legislative Branches in order to achieve greater balance among them".
The King declared, "Democracy is a culture and practice, commitment to the rule of law, respect for the international principles of human rights, coupled with serious national political action that represents all spectrums of society without exclusion or quotas." However, he made no specific reference to the behaviour of the security forces, detentions, deaths from tear gas, and other aspects of the crackdown on dissent.
Instead, the King announced, "We call upon all segments of society – the community and the family – to work together to ensure that our young people respect the law."
0710 GMT: Saturday in Syria was marked by mass rallies in some parts of the country, although there was little news from Damascus and Aleppo. Activists said security forces killed at least 12 people, among them a child and a woman.
0650 GMT: In Bahrain, King Hamad gives a "keynote speech" soon. It is the monarch's first major statement since he reacted on 23 November to the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.
Since then, the regime's promises to fulfil the BICI's recommendations, with statements of a "zero tolerance" policy towards torture and the appointment of American and British police chiefs to advise the security forces, have been offset by almost-daily confrontations in which those forces have used tear gas and flash grenades, sometimes with resulting deaths.
The propaganda battle has also not eased. Saturday offered an example, as activists said that Badriya Ali, a 59-old mother and grandmother, had died after setting herself on fire. They asserted that she was depressed at an April 2011 raid on her house and the ongoing situation of her son, recently released after five months in detention and still facing trial.
The Ministry of Interior, without naming Ali, said the victim "had been receiving medial [sic] treatment at the Psychiatric Hospital" and had "a history of suicide attempts, having tried to kill herself by drinking detergent and also by taking medicines".
At Ali's funeral last night, her family offered a different portrayal. Her son told the crowd, "[King Hamad] Alkhalifa killed my mother, she was fine until the attack on our home," when she fainted as riot police seized her son, banging his against the corner of a wall. Though there was some improvement after her son's released, her daughter said, "She was in constant fear that he would be re-arrested". Ali was also haunted by an incident when security forces raided her village and chased an old woman down the street.
According to her children, Ali said two weeks ago, "I can't take this anymore, let me go to the riot police, let them kill me"
Boazizi in# Tunisia set himself on fire cuz of his frustration from all the oppression, Badriya too was scared and frustrated
One of Badriyas neighbors says the day her son was arrested we could hear his screams even 10 houses away
25 yr old Ahmed says his head was hit against Airconditioner until he was covered in blood #bahrainhttp://twitpic.com/879cs3
Badriya screamed at riot police as they beat her son 8 months ago "leave him, he didn't do anything"
An officer shouted at Badriya "shutup, we arrest women too!"
Then they pulled her old sick husband from bed to arrest him, but he was so weak he fell to the ground, so they left him there
Be4 leaving, the riot police wrote on the walls of the home with broken doors and spilt blood "long live khalifa"
Badriya who had always told her daughter she wished for a granddaughter, when her grandchild was born she had no reaction
Badriyas frnds say "she became a different person. If ur in a room with her its like ur in an empty room"
2days ago badriyas daughter was stopped by police at Salmaniya hospital, becuz her last name is mshaima
When Badriya heard her daughter was stopped she became hysterical shouting "they will take all my children, my heart hurts"
Badriyas husband who fell to the ground when masked civilians gov thugs were arresting him #bahrainhttp://twitpic.com/879mwo
Badriyas grandson Ali who doesn't understand why his grandmother is no longer with them #bahrainhttp://twitpic.com/879p0o