The Kingdom of Bahrain, مملكة البحرين or Mamlakat al Bahrayn, is an island with about 1.2 million inhabitants in the Persian Gulf close to the east coast of Saudi Arabia and always famous for its oil and pearls but since a few weeks as well for its brutality against demonstrators. People are protesting because they have the same desire of many in the Middle East and Africa: Freedom and respect. Since the uprise begun in this country, ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, the security forces used unneccessary violence. When peaceful protestors camped on Pearl Roundabout in Manama with complete families the police cracked down the Square around 3 am in the morning, totally unexpected and many people died; men, women and children.
But as we have learned from the uprise in Egypt and Tunisia we know that every action by the government has a stronger reaction by the protestors and so it did in Bahrain. The protestors do not only ask for reforms now but they want the King to step down. We have seen the same scenario in the other countries and I am surprised over and over again. You can’t just use brutal force and then to expect from the people to go back to their homes and jobs and pretend nothing has happened.
The Bahraini state TV is spreading the news that it is an uprise by the Shia people, the second largest denomination in Islam, who are in majority in this state but the Royal family are Sunni,t he largest group within Islam but a minority in Bahrain. We have seen many signs in Arabic and in English held by protestors saying it is an uprise against suppression, organised by the people of the country and not driven by religion. A protest through the desire of Freedom.
The Government requested their big brother Saudi Arabia to send in extra security forces and on March 14th the bridge between both nations is carrying a convoy of 1000 troops crossing the border of Bahrain above the 500 security forces from the United Arabic Emirates. The bill so far since the Saudi forces entered: Several policemen and protestors killed during clashes. Security forces threatening doctors in hospitals not to help the injured demonstrators and ambulances are denied to assist the doctors in the streets. Heavily shaken patients seen in hospitals trying to breathe are hit by probably nerve gas.