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Entries in Ibrahim Sharif (13)


Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Regime Shuts Away Its Political Prisoners

See also Syria Live Coverage: Has the Insurgent Advance Stalled?

1900 GMT: Bahrain. The European Union has reacted to the regime's re-assertion of long prison sentences on 13 political prisoners with a call for their release. Spokesman Michael Mann said, "The EU has repeatedly asked the Bahraini authorities to consider an amnesty for all those arrested last year and tried on charges relating to the expression of their political opinion."

Mann said the European Union "fully respects the independence of the Bahraini judiciary" but "remains concerned about the lack of advancement of national reconciliation". He continued, "All sides should engage in a peaceful, inclusive and constructive dialogue, abstaining from all forms of violence and intimidation."

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Bahrain Live Coverage: Will High-Profile Activists Receive Court Verdicts Today?

Sunday night's rally in Bilad AlQadeem in support of political prisoners

See also Bahrain Opinion: You Can Imprison the 13 Activists. You Cannot Imprison Their Ideas.
Tuesday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 250 Civilians Die on Monday

1606 GMT: Zainab AlKhawaja's mother reports that her trial was adjourned again today, with a resumption on 10 September. Zainab is also in court tomorrow on separate charges.

The case of Ammar Ali Mansoor AlSawad (see 0535 GMT), along with 16 other boys accused of rioting and burning a police jeep, has been adjourned until 1 October.

1509 GMT: The BBC's Frank Gardner quotes a British minister as saying that the UK is "very disappointed" at today's verdict on the 13 political prisoners and has called for an urgent appeals process. This is a strong --- and rare --- public response from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, signaling a recognition that "reforms" in Bahrain are not going as its allies had planned.

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Bahrain Live Coverage: Activist Alkhawaja Ends His 110-Day Hunger Strike

Claimed footage of a convoy of security forces scattering a demonstration by women in A'ali on Sunday

See also Monday's Bahrain Live Coverage: Activist Nabeel Rajab Released from Detention

1525 GMT: Activists are reporting that their colleague Zainab Alkhawaja, detained since 21 April, has been released.

Alkhawaja, the daughter of detained human rights activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, has been briefly held on several occasions since the start of mass protests in February 2011, but this was her first extended stay behind bars. She was fined last week for alleged assault of a policewoman and was being held for participation in illegal marches.

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Bahrain Live Coverage: The Regime's Strategy of Rolling Detention

See also Bahrain Feature: Seeing the Crisis Through Children's Cartoons
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Amidst the Assassination Rumors, 60 Die
Sunday's Bahrain Live Coverage: Regime Says, "This Protest Good, This Protest Bad"

Carlos Latuff cartoon featuring Nabeel Rajab0935 GMT:. Maryam Alkhawaja reports that the detention of her sister and fellow activist Zainab has been extended until Thursday, when her next court hearing is scheduled.

Zainab Alkhawaja was imprisoned on 21 April after she staged a sit-in protest in the middle of a Bahraini highway.

0825 GMT:. The United Nations Human Rights Council is considering Bahrain's record and situation this morning.

The British representative has cited ongoing human rights violations, while the American delegation has called for accountability of all perpetrators of torture. Denmark has sharply criticised the Bahraini Government for lack of action on rights, while emphasising the case of Danish-Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, who has been on hunger strike for 102 days.

The Bahraini envoy, unsurprisingly, has said there are no issues, as the regime has implemented the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.

We hope to have a summary of proceedings later today.

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Bahrain Interview: 4 Activists Analyse "The Story That Should Be Covered" (Rajab/Mohammed/Khalaf/Shehabi)

Ala'a Shehabi with FamilyAl Jazeera English interviews Nabeel Rajab, the head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, before his detention on Saturday; "Mohammed", an activist; Abdulhadi Khalaf, professor of sociology at Lund University in Sweden; and Ala'a Shehabi, economist and activist:

What is the story that's not being covered?

Mohammed: The scale of the ongoing and continual violations of human rights are not being explained by the media. Even compared with Syria, the numbers of Bahrainis who have been tortured and otherwise abused and killed is quite high.

Nabeel Rajab: The problem is still that most commentators focus on the Sunni-Shia split as the most important issue, when the real story is about a nation fighting for democracy and a proper political and economic system, free from corruption.

Ala'a Shehabi: If we want to get away from general terms and move to more specific stories about people's daily lives during the uprising, the way people are living with being tear-gassed on a daily basis and the long term effects of tear gas on people's health is an important story.

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Bahrain Live Coverage: Detaining Activists --- The "Twitter Excuse"

See also Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Elections Today --- Sham or Substance?
Bahrain Live Coverage: Prominent Activist Nabeel Rajab Arrested

Cartoon: Carlos Latuff1653 GMT: The regime-linked Gulf Daily News has announced police reforms, including the construction of a state-of-the-art forensic laboratory, a "crime academy" to train officers, and 500 additional "community officers".

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Bahrain Feature: Polemic and "Analysis" --- Exorcising Ed Husain's Demons (Carlstrom)

Funeral march for activist Salah Abbas Habib, slain by security forces, 26 April

You can criticize Husain for several sins of omission — like the scant attention he gives to the excessive use of tear gas in Bahraini villages, the ongoing torture of detainees, the near-complete impunity enjoyed by members of the security forces. He criticizes the "language of Shiite sectarianism," but says nothing about the state-sponsored sectarianism directed against the Shia community.

The central issue with his analysis, though, is the framing, and the focus on Sheikh Isa Qassim. It's true that Qassim can mobilize large numbers of people: his endorsement was one reason for the huge turnout during the March 9 protest on Budaiya highway. But don't confuse that with ideological influence; the protesters carried signs calling for democratic reforms, not vilayet-e-fiqh. In four trips to Bahrain since the uprising began, and hundreds of interviews with opposition members, I have never met one who endorsed theocracy.

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Bahrain Opinion: No Reform, So Why is the Grand Prix Going Ahead? (Lubbock/Rajab)

> The Bahrain International Circuit, a palm-lined, glitzy race track in the middle of the desert, is due to host Formula One in April. Behind the facade, however, lie tales of misery, blood and torture.

Last year, the head of security at the BIC raided its offices alongside plainclothed police with a list. The list contained the names of every Shia employee. One by one they were dragged from their desks and beaten in front of colleagues [see footnote]. In total, 27 were arrested, and many were left in jail for months. The BIC is responsible for purging its own people. It is hardly a place that deserves to host this race again.

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Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A Return to Violence in Tahrir Square

A protester in Cairo's Tahrir Square last night

2055 GMT: Back to the lead story to wrap up today --- Ahram Online's video recording the clash in Cairo's Tahrir Square between security forces and protesters:

See also Egypt Feature: Clashes in Cairo

2100 GMT: Bahraini authorities have released 20 more medical staff who were detained in connection with the uprising against the regime, but they will still face military trial.

The 20 are among 48 doctors, nurses, and paramedics who were arrested. All by 14 have now been released, although the court proceedings, which have taken place over the last two weeks, will continues.

The release comes days before a "national dialogue" hailed by the regime as a chance for reconciliation.

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Bahrain Snapshot: The 21 Prison Sentences and the Regime's Strategy (Desmukh)

If the government did have evidence to prove its claims, you can be sure that it would have already been broadcast on Bahrain's state TV network during the televised witch trials that take place every night in parallel to the one in court.

So why have these individuals been specifically targeted and not some other opposition leaders? From the regime's point of view, these individuals pose far more of a threat than the mainstream Shiite opposition group al-Wefaq, which held 18 of 40 seats in the lower house of parliament, prior to resigning in protest in February.

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