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Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: An Activist Tries to Re-Enter the Kingdom

See also Syria Live Coverage: The End of the Brahimi Mission?
Thursday's Turkey (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Three Kurdish Officials Killed in Paris Attack

1748 GMT:Tunisia. Hundreds of protesters demanding jobs and the reopening of a border crossing with Libya set fire to a police station and cars, as security forces used tear gas and fired shots into the air to disperse them.

Demonstrators in Ben Guerdane want the Ras Jedir crossing reopened so that trade with Libya, on which most of the population depend, can resume.

Tunisian and Libyan authorities opened the crossing briefly on Thursday but shut it when four days of protests in Ben Guerdane turned violent.

1818 GMT: Bahrain. Zainab AlKhawaja's reaction:

Maryam and Zainab Alkhawaja:

1740 GMT:Bahrain. Human rights activist Maryam AlKhawaja has landed at the international airport and has been allowed to enter the country for a two-week visit --- her Twitter account, operated by friends, reports:


1328 GMT:Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today that Thursday's execution-style slaying of three Kurdish activists in Paris bore the marks of an internal feud.

One of the slain women, Sakine Cansiz, was a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which took up arms in 1984 for Kurdish self-rule in southeastern Turkey.

"The place [Kurdistan Information Centre] was protected not by one lock but many coded locks," Erdogan told reporters. "Those three people opened it (the door). I do not assume they would open it to people they didn't know."

The Turkish leader also maintained his earlier suggestion that the slayings could be aimed at derailing peace talks between Ankara and the PKK's imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan: "The killings could be the result of an internal feud or steps aimed at disrupting the steps we are taking with good intentions."

Meanwhile, several hundred mostly-Kurdish demonstrators protested in front of the French Consulate in Istanbul, chanting, "Sakine Cansiz is immortal."

1327 GMT:Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah has issued a decree that allows women to become members of the kingdom’s advisory Shura Council.

The order permits 20% of the 150 Council seats to be occupied by women. The King immediately appointed 30 women to the consultative assembly.

1142 GMT:Palestine and Israel. 250 Palestinian men and women have established a new village called Bab Alshams (meaning “Gate of the Sun”) in the area known within Israeli circles as E1.

The group put out a statement declaring their intentions:

For decades, Israel has established facts on the ground as the International community remained silent in response to these violations. The time has come now to change the rules of the game, for us to establish facts on the ground - our own land. This action involving women and men from the north to the south is a form of popular resistance. In the coming days we will hold various discussion groups, educational and artistic presentations, as well as film screenings on the lands of this village. The residents of Bab Al Shams invite all the sons and daughters of our people to participate and join the village in supporting our resilience.

This new development is a clear effort to pre-empt further Israeli settlement expansion and raises the question of how the Israeli government – and military – will respond: with dialogue or force.

Regular updates about the developing situation in Bab Alshams, including photographs of the camp and Israeli police delivering an eviction notice, can be found via Occupied Palestine.

1110 GMT: Turkey. Constanze Letsch of The Guardian profiles Sakine Cansiz, one of the founders of the Kurdish insurgency PKK, who was among three Kurdish officials assassinated on Thursday in Paris.

1010 GMT: Bahrain. Maryam AlKhawaja's mother, Khadija AlMousawi, tweets a series of messages as her activist daughter tries to re-enter the kingdom::

0950 GMT: Bahrain. The Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Maryam AlKhawaja, will try to re-enter the Kingdom today.

AlKhawaja has been outside Bahrain for most of the period since mass protests began in February 2011, serving as a leading spokesperson of the opposition's call for reform, rights, and justice.

The activist hopes to see her father Abdulhadi, the founder of the BCHR, whose life sentence was upheld by Bahrain's highest court --- thus ending the appeals process --- this week. He was one of 20 prominent activists and opposition leaders given lengthy prison terms by a military tribunal in June 2011.

BCHR President Nabeel Rajab has been in prison since July, and BCHR Vice President Said Yousif AlMuhafda was detained last month. Rajab is serving a two-year sentence for his dissent, while Yousif's next hearing is later this month.

AlKhawaja's sister Zainab has been imprisoned on several occasions. Last month she was arrested at Bahrain's main hospital, as she was trying to see a teenager seriously injured by security forces.

AlKhawaja is expected to arrive at Bahrain's internanational airport at 8 p.m. local time. She hopes to stay for two weeks, although it is possible that authorities will not let past immigration and passport control.

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