Bahrain: How the police recruit radicals
For a recent publication on Bahrain, I was forced to go back and forth with an editor over the question of whether the February 14th uprising should be introduced in the present or past tense. Is it correct to say that the uprising is over?, that is, or do the continued clashes between riot police and mostly-youthful protesters constitute a continuation, qualitatively-speaking, of the original movement of early 2011? I took--and do take--the former position: the uprising proper has ended. Religion and Politics in Bahrain: The Uprising is Over. But What Is the Price of Bahrain's Victory?
Bahrain's Triangle of Conflict - By Reza H. Akbari and Jason Stern The common media account of the crisis in Bahrain weaves a compelling narrative of a Shiite-majority people struggling to achieve their inalienable rights against a Sunni-dominant government. This "government versus the people" narrative implies that if only the government sheds its obstinacy or the people moderate their demands, then a political solution can be found in Bahrain. Yet the reality is far more complex. In fact, there are three main camps in Bahraini politics -- the government, the opposition, and the loyalist opposition -- that do not fall neatly along sectarian lines.
By Kristian Ulrichsen / 8 March, 2012 As the sporting world prepares to turn their attention to Bahrain on 22 April for its annual Formula One Grand Prix, Kristian Ulrichsen examines the impact of the race on the country World attention will focus on Bahrain on 22 April when the kingdom hosts its annual Formula One Grand Prix. The race was cancelled in 2011 owing to the violent unrest as the ruling Al-Khalifa family crushed a pro-democracy movement with the assistance of forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Following intense pressure from the Bahraini regime to get the race reinstated into the 2012 calendar, the announcement in January 2012 that twenty-nine workers sacked for participating in the 2011 protests would be offered their jobs back was seen as instrumental in reassuring the motorsports authorities that a semblance of normality had returned to the island state. Formula One: why we’re watching Bahrain for all the wrong reasons
There have been some people willing to forego the hyperbole. ‘It’s a car race’, said F1 driver Mark Webber: ‘There are a hell of a lot of people in the world who don’t have a clue there is a grand prix in Bahrain next weekend so let’s not get too wrapped up in our own bubble about how important it is.’ In fact, one of the few places where the Bahrain grand prix is not being trumpeted as the Most Important Sporting Event Ever has been among those involved in F1. Its chief executive Bernie Ecclestone offered a typically phlegmatic defence of F1’s willingness to go ahead with Sunday’s grand prix: ‘It’s another race on the calendar, it’s not our business running the country. If it was a pop singer they would be there. People are there carrying out their business as normal, I am told.’ The imperial narcissism of the F1 boycotters | Tim Black
Conservative figures within the Bahraini royal family are redoubling their efforts to subdue the opposition. This is plainly visible in new arrests, media censorship, warnings to Shia clerics, and more aggressive counter-demonstration tactics. As a result, the institutionalized non-violent opposition represented by the Shia political society al-Wifaq is losing ground to the more radical February 14 Youth Movement. Regime conservatives have been further emboldened by the Saudi proposal for the transformation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) into a so-called Gulf Union that would entail closer economic, political, and military ties. The March of Bahrain’s Hardliners
Bahrain in the "Arab Spring"
A Family Under Siege: The Khawajas in Bahrain An important aspect of many of the popular movements of the Arab Spring has been the emergence of different generations of activists from the same families. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his daughters Zainab al-Khawaja and Maryam al-Khawaja epitomize such cross-familial activism. Abdulhadi is among the most renowned human rights activists in Bahrain. A co-founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), a regional representative for Ireland-based Frontline Defenders, a consultant for Amnesty International, and a member of The Arab Group for Monitoring Media Performance, al-Khawaja has dedicated his life to achieving political freedom and human rights for all in Bahrain. After being forced to seek political asylum in Denmark for twelve years, following constant persecution by Bahraini authorities for his activism, the al-Khawajas moved back to Bahrain in 2001, based on promises of “democratic reforms” that would transform the hereditary emirate into a constitutional monarchy.
Bahrain - curators...
Bahrain's Sunni Awakening For background on the original uprising, see Cortni Kerr and Toby Jones, “A Revolution Paused in Bahrain,” Middle East Report Online, February 23, 2011. Bahrain’s bout with political unrest is nearing its one-year anniversary. Though there are multiple parties to the protracted conflict, analysts continue to focus almost exclusively on a single dyad, Sunni vs.
The authoritarian Gulf state is one of 65 national delegations invited to the DSEi arms fair, an enormous showcase of British military hardware which opens today in London. More than 30 people have been killed in Bahrain since February, when demonstrations inspired by the popular revolts across the Arab world broke out against the ruling al-Khalifa family. The authorities responded with tear gas and live ammunition. Saudi Arabia, a firm ally of the al-Khalifa dynasty, also sent troops to suppress the protests, some entering the country in Tactica armoured vehicles built by BAE Systems. It emerged last year that the Department for Business approved the sale to Bahrain of crowd control weapons including shotguns, teargas, stun grenades and rubber bullets. Come and buy our weapons, UK arms fair tells Bahrain - UK Politics, UK
Roots of civil unrest
The inside track: how lobbyists have helped launder Bahrain’s reputation Lobbyists and paid advisers have stepped forward to speak up for Bahrain’s government. Fast cars, cheering crowds and the sun. This is the image that the Bahraini government is eager to project to the world during the Formula One Grand Prix – which kicks off with team practice today.
US / Bahrain Relations...