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Entries in Alwefaq (3)


Bahrain 1st-Hand: Former MP Matar Matar "It is Difficult to See an Internal Solution"

Matar Matar on release from prison, August 2011 (Photo: Reuters)We are just victims of this revenge policy. And it is very far fetched to expect the King will think about compromises if he has the space to maintain the power. The solution will never come from inside: it should be forced from outside after agreement by the regional powers, including the US. And the solution can start if all outsiders push for a new Prime Minister.

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Bahrain Special: The Killing of Hussam AlHaddad and the Unanswered Questions

Left: Hussam AlHaddad, killed by police Friday night. Right: Hussam's father says his final goodbye

Late Friday night, news began circulating on social media that 16-year-old Hussam AlHaddad was in critical condition after he was shot by security forces in Muharraq. Soon word came through that he had died in hospital from his injuries.

The circumstances of Hassam's killing remain murky, with allegations that he was beaten by citizens in civilian dress following the fatal shooting. Footage of Hussam's corpse shows that he was shot in the back and side, challenging the police narrative that the shooting was in self-defence. Marks on his back and shoulder also support the claim that he was hit as well as shot.

Late Saturday, the main opposition party AlWefaq announced a three-day state of mourning, with pleas to the people of Bahrain to abandon all joyful celebrations during Eid in respect to the martyr Hussam AlHaddad", adding that it will be lowering "flags to half-staff". The February 14 Youth Coalition called for further protest under the heading, "Our martyr Hussam ... Revenge will come".

The following account traces twenty-four hours in a country that US Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner recently described as "in a number of ways more stable than it was a year ago".

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Bahrain 1st-Hand: Friday's "Festival of Loyalty" Opposition Rally

The weekly opposition gatherings have resumed after stopping for one week due to the death of Ali Hassan Aldaihi, the elderly man who allegedly died after a police beating last week. Friday's gathering was hosted by five opposition parties --- Alwefaq, Waad, Alekha, Amal, and Altajamoa --- in the village of Ain-Athari and labelled as a festival of "loyalty to the martyrs, wounded, detained, and dismissed".

The festival, attended by 35,000 to 40,000 people, was distinctive from previous rallies for two reasons. The introductory speech was not given by a politician but by a journalist, Batool Alsayed, and another address cited the the human rights violations of the regime.

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