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Entries in Bahrain (677)


Middle East Today: Turkey --- Defiant PM Erdogan Returns to Istanbul

Supporters of Prime Minister Erdogan at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport last night (Photo: Reuters)

Turkey: New Speech by PM Erdogan Blasts Protesters and Social Media

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used a speech this afternoon to continue his challenge to protesters. He has also attacked social media, saying they carried out a "disastrous lie campaign with respect to" the demonstrations.

Erdogan has also asked, "Where was the outrage over [police use of tear gas?" in other cases like Occupy Wall Street --- where he said 17 people had been killed --- Greece, and London.

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Middle East Today: Bahrain --- 10,000s Protest Raids by Security Forces


Tens of thousands of Bahrainis have staged a sit-in to protest raids by security forces, including one on the home of the Kingdom's Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim.

The sit-in was called by Al Wefaq, Bahrain's largest opposition society, which has also suspended participation in a "National Dialogue" over the raids and detentions of dissenters.

Friday's sit-in took place in Diraz near Sheikh Qassim's mosque. An observer said police had made no attempt to stop protesters entering the town. A l Wefaq had called for a peaceful demonstration and there were no reports of violence.

Earlier in the day three pro-regime political societies issued a statement denouncing a meeting between Sheik Qassim and Rashad Hussain, a senior US State Department official, on Thursday.

The societies said the meeting, the first ever between a high-ranking American official and the Shia cleric, was evidence that "the position of the state department and the American government is increasingly exposed in its support for terrorist operations in Bahrain".


Middle East Today: Bahrain --- Amid Raids & Detentions, Opposition Suspends Participation in "National Dialogue"

Bahrain leading opposition society Al Wefaq has suspended its participation in the Kingdom's "national dialogue" after a wave of raids and detentions by security forces.

The Dialogue began in February, with the involvement of pro-regime and opposition groups, as well as Government ministers and MPs, in an attempt to resolve the issues of reform and justice highlighted by mass protests from February 2011.

However, other opposition factions have denounced the Dialogue as little more than a token gesture, and the discussions have made little progress.

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Middle East Today: Iraq --- Deadliest Day in More than 8 Months

Bahrain: Protests Against Raid on Senior Cleric's Home

Thousands of Bahrainis marched on Friday to protest the early-morning raid by security forces on the home of Sheikh Isa Qassim, the leading leading Shia cleric in the Kingdom.

Qassim, a supporter of the mass pro-reform demonstrations that began in February 2011, was not at home but his family was present during the operation.

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Middle East Live: Bahrain --- Security Forces Raid Home of Top Shia Cleric

Sheikh Isa Qassim Iraq: 32 Dead In Explosions Outside Sunni Mosque in Baquba

Reuters are reporting that at least 32 people have died in twin explosions outside a Sunni mosque in Baquba, about 50 km (30 miles) northeast of Baghdad.

According to Reuters, police and medics said the blasts occurred after Friday prayers --- when worshippers would have been exiting the mosque.

Bahrain: Security Forces Raid Home of Sheikh Isa Qassim

Security forces raided the home of Shiekh Isa Qassim early Friday in Diraz, about 10 kilometers (six miles) west of the capital Manama.

Qassim was not at home at the time, but his family members were present.

After the officers searched the home, police helicopters patrolled the area for hours.

Qassim has prominently supported the protests and calls for reforms that escalated in February 2011.


Middle East Today: Iraq --- Bombs Kill More than 35 on Wednesday

Photo: Ako Rasheed/ReutersIraq: Security Forces Raid Farm of Sunni Tribal Leader

Security forces have raided the farm of prominent Sunni tribal leader Sheikh Ali Hatem al-Suleiman, seeking to arrest him.

Al-Suleiman, emir of the Dulaim tribes, has been instrumental in setting up the "Army of Pride and Dignity", a tribal force in Ramadi and elsewhere in Anbar Province, west of Baghdad.

The emir said that dozens of Army of Pride and Dignity members later tracked down the Iraqi army convoy that conducted the raid and clashed with it, freeing three farmers who had been seized.

"This is it; enough is enough. We will attack every Iraqi army checkpoint in Anbar if they don't withdraw from Anbar province immediately," Al-Suleiman said. "We will not accept any talks or negotiations with the government anymore."

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Middle East Today: Bahrain --- Cabinet Approves Bill to Stop US "Interference"

US Ambassador to Bahrain KrajeskiKuwait: 4 Sentenced to Life for Spying for Iran

The Supreme Court has upheld life terms on two Iranians, a Kuwaiti. and a stateless person on charges of forming a ring to spy for Tehran.

The court, whose rulings are final, upheld the acquittal of two Iranians, including the only woman among the defendants, and a Syrian.

In May last year, the appeals court reduced death sentences against three defendants to life and upheld the same term on the fourth.

The two Iranians and the Kuwaiti worked for the Kuwait's army at the time of their arrest in May 2010, while the stateless person was a former soldier.

The defendants were accused of passing information on the Kuwaiti and US military in the Gulf emirate to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and planning to blow up key oil pipelines.

The defendants denied the charges and insisted they had been tortured to extract confessions.

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Bahrain Special: How British Government Helped Regime Denounce Press Freedom...on World Press Freedom Day

Journalist Ahmed Hassan, Killed March 2012I suspect George Orwell would be impressed.

The headline on the British Government's website appears straight-forward: "British Embassy Bahrain Marks World Press Freedom Day". The introduction sounds promising: "The British Embassy asked Bahraini journalists and commentators to write a brief article outlining their views on the freedom of expression in Bahrain."

So who would the British government select to address this important issue and what would the answers be?

Would the British government open a discussion of how Bahrain's mainstream press and broadcasting is almost exclusively pro-regime outlets?

Would it allow comment from or pay tribute to those reporters who have tried to bring alternative views?

Would there be recognition of those journalists who have been refused entry to Bahrain, or asked to leave the country, or those who have been detained, sentenced to prison< terms, or even killed by security forces?

Well, no.

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Middle East Today: Iraq --- Results from Provincial Elections Inconclusive

See also Bahrain Special: How British Government Helped Regime Denounce Press Freedom...on World Press Freedom Day

Syria Today: Israel Airstrikes "Hit Military Research Centre"
Saturday's Middle East Today: Libya --- Tensions Continue Over Post-Qaddafi Laws

Bahrain: Protestors Sentenced

A court has sentenced 31 protesters to 15 years in prison each for alleged roles in firebomb attacks against security forces during a demonstration last year, according to defence layer Mohamed al-Tajir.

The defendants, aged 16 to 34, all come from Sitra Island, a centre of protests since the rising began in February 2011.

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Middle East Today: Palestine --- Assassination of "Bomb-Maker", Killing of Jewish Settler 

Iraqi troops inspect scene of car bomb in Baghdad (Ahemed al-Rubaye/AFP)

See also Syria Today: "US Moving Towards Supply of Weapons to Insurgents"

Bahrain: MPs Denounce US

Denouncing a US State Department report on the Kingdom's human rights record, Bahraini MPS have accused Washington of trying to "destroy" and "colonise" country.

The legislators said the report is based on "lies" and "false" information.

The report, released two weeks ago, criticised "citizens' inability to change their government peacefully", the arrest and detention of protesters on "vague" charges, and the torture of prisoners.

Latifa Al Gaoud, the head of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, said, "Countries that produce evil reports have intentions to blackmail our leadership for their own interests, disregarding their bloody history that gave them the power they are using against us now.

Hassan Al Dossary, the chair of the Public Utilities and Environment Affairs Committee declared, "The US policy, represented by US Ambassador Thomas Krajeski, clearly shows what is in store for the future of this country and we are clearly saying he is unwelcome in Bahrain."

MP Sameer Kadhim made a racist slur against President Obama, accusing him of trying to colonise Bahrain through the enforcement of ideologies.

Kadhim's comments were taken off Parliament's record after several MPs protested the racism.

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