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Entries in King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (65)


Bahrain Live Coverage: Activist Zainab Alkhawaja Gets 1-Month Sentence

See also Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Day 2 of a Presidential Election
Wednesday's Bahrain Live Coverage: A March in Sitra

1640 GMT: A policewoman charged with torturing journalist Naziha Saeed during last year's crackdown on protests will go on trial next month, prosecutors said today.

The unnamed officer is accused of "us[ing] force against the victim to make her confess to a crime". Saeed, the Bahraini correspondent of France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, was arrested on 22 May 2011.

The statement continued, "[The policewoman] beat her and caused her...harm...[by] slapping her, beating her with a plastic tubing, kicking her in all parts of her body, in addition to insulting her."

The first court hearing is set for 6 June.

Saeed recounted her experience earlier this week:

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Bahrain Live Coverage: Day 100 of a Hunger Strike

The march today protesting closer ties with Saudi Arabia

See also Bahrain Opinion: On Day 100 of a Hunger Strike, Thoughts About the Regime's Strategy
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Students Rise in Aleppo
Thursday's Bahrain Live Coverage: Playing the Iran Card

2008 GMT: After today's mass rally, the Ministry of Interior is trying to cap the show of oppposition:

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Bahrain Live Coverage: King Hamad Goes Through The Motions

Clashes in Sitra on Thursday night

See also Bahrain Propaganda 101: New York City Judge "Educates Local Cops"
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Deaths at the University
Thursday's Bahrain Live Coverage: The Regime Loses A Friend in US Congress

1600 GMT: Many thousands marching today in a call for significant reforms:

1442 GMT: Today's march, protesting the illusion of Constitutional amendments as "reform", on the Budaiya Highway:

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Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Is Hunger Striker Alkhawaja Still Alive?

See also Bahrain Follow-Up: The Regime's PR Mission and Formula 1 Journalist Joe Saward
Turkey Live Coverage (26 April): From the Kurdish Language to Iranian Banks
Syria Wired: The Latest from Social Media and EA's Readers
Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Shelling of a Damascus Suburb

2028 GMT: The Local Coordination Committees in Syria claims 33 people have died across the country today, including 13 martyrs in Deir Ez Zor, 7in Aleppo Province, and 7 in Homs Province.

In addition, two bodies of people slain on Wednesday were reportedly thrown on a public road in Aleppo Province.

Protesters in Inshaat in Homs Province chant to Syria's President Assad: "Get lost!"

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Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: 127 Die on A Syrian Saturday

Claimed footage --- near the end of the clip --- of the Free Syrian Army blowing up a regime tank in a convoy in Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province

See also Bahrain 1st-Hand: "She's Filth" --- Zainab Alkhawaja on Her Detention When She Called Out for Her Father
Bahrain Feature: Have "Hardline Sunni Groups" Overtaken the Regime?
Bahrain Feature: The Splintering of the "Regime" and "Opposition" Camps?
Bahrain Feature: A Call from Hunger Striker Abdulhadi Alkhawaja to His Family
Saturday's Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Free Alkhawaja

2015 GMT: Tonight activist Zainab Alkhawaja has told the story of how she was detained as she stood outside the military hospital where her father, detained hunger striker Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, is being held. We have posted her account in a separate feature.

1935 GMT: The Local Co-ordination Committees of Syria claim 59 people, including six children, have died in conflict today. Twenty-four deaths were in Idlib Province, including 10 unidentified bodies in Sahl Al-Rouh village. Thirteen were in Hama, including seven members from one family, and twelve in Homs.

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Bahrain Feature: The Splintering of the "Regime" and "Opposition" Camps? (Louer)

One of Friday's mass marches for the release of detained human rights activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja

In the wake of increasing street violence in Bahrain—a far cry from the peaceful rallies of February and March 2011 — the Bahraini regime is attempting to restart dialogue with the opposition. Initiated by a leading representative of the ruling dynasty’s hardliners, Royal Court Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the dialogue involves pre-conditions that the opposition is unlikely to accept — most notably the acceptance of the 2002 constitution which has deprived parliament of any meaningful power — and has yet to convince the opposition of its sincerity. If started, the dialogue will have difficulty in achieving genuine rapprochement, as the political scene has undergone increasingly prevalent fragmentation. In this environment, describing the actors simply as “the regime” and “the opposition” becomes problematic.

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Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Recognising Protest and Human Rights

A protest last night in the Kafarsouseh section of the Syrian capital Damascus

See also Syria Analysis: "Peace" Only Buys Time for All Sides
Turkey Live Coverage (28 March): Any Outcome from Tehran Talks?
Wednesday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Peace Plan Accepted?

2130 GMT: Another update from our correspondent in Bahrain, "At the moment protests have blocked Budaiya Highway and police are tear-gassing, trying to reopen the roads."

2055 GMT: Syria isn't the only place with protests, and problems, this evening. An EA correspondent in Bahrain reports in:

"It's almost midnight and clashes still going on?!"

In fact, a quick check on Twitter and it appears that there are widespread reports of teargas and clashes between protesters and police. This picture was reportedly taken just a little while ago in Abu Saiba:

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Bahrain Feature: Challenging the Regime's Claims of "Reforms" (Bahrain Watch)

King Hamad bin Isa Al KhalifaWhile al-Saleh and Hamad touted police training, and the establishment of a Code of Conduct for police officers on 30 January 2012, Bahrain Watch has documented numerous ongoing abuses, with the help of activists on the ground in Bahrain. Abuses include brutal arrests and torture, improper targeting of individuals in the head with tear gas canisters, and the mass nighttime tear-gassing of residential areas, even when there are no protests. These abuses have been documented on an ongoing basis in areas all around Bahrain, suggesting that these abuses are not individual actions.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Battle of Baba Amr

2127 GMT: A new Tweet by the activist "Sami" who is inside Homs:

Earlier, Sami spoke to NPR's Andy Carvin, and said that electricity, and water, was cut for much of the city.

2111 GMT: Reuters, citing several sources, says that wounded French journalist Edith Bouvier has arrived in Lebanon. French President Sarkozy also told Reuters that he spoke to Bouvier, and she will be flown back on a government plane.

Sarkozy sparked a false rumor earlier this week that Bouvier was free, but this seems like a legitimate report.

2103 GMT: An explosive allegation from a major opposition group in Syria tonight:

Qunaitara: Jabatha: Regime forces stormed the town which lies on Israel's border with Syria. They are not permitted to enter this specific area without an Israeli permission or without the observation of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) . The regime's forces killed 7 citizens during their operation, among them 3 brothers of the Marweed family and one woman with her daughter, as well as a man from the Hariri family.

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Bahrain Video Feature: Re-Visiting the Protesters, A Year Later (Al Jazeera English)

One of the activists was a young trainee engineer, Sayed Ahmed. He was arrested at a checkpoint at the height of the crackdown. Though initially he was told he would be quickly released, his plight became more serious when police learned of his appearance in the Al Jazeera film. "I was handcuffed and blindfolded," he said. "Badly beaten on my face and body. I was in so much fear." He would be held in prison for the next six months, until his release in December.

Another activist, Dr Nada Dhaif, who had served as a medical volunteer in a tent at Pearl Roundabout was also arrested. At the start of the protests she had been full of optimism, inspired by the "Arab Spring" and believing that change was coming to Bahrain. "This is our golden chance," she said in February 2011. "Either we grab it now or never!" But that optimism faded when police came to her home in the middle of the night. "It was 19th March around 3am. They raided my house, came into my bedroom, two dozen masked men. It was horrible. You are coming with us, they said. We are going to teach you a lesson."

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