Jordan, Algeria, Yemen, ….Bahrain, Iran

Posted on | februari 16, 2011 | No Comments

Tehran (AP)

The Tunisia/Egypt effect is also felt in the kingdom of Bahrain where particularly the Shia majority, which is ruled by the family of Al-Khalifa and the Sunni minority, has long been campaigning for more rights and democracy.

And also in Iran protest demonstrations were held, as the Green Movement seems to have gotten a new impulse from what happened in Egypt. 

Several clashes were reported in Bahrain during the ‘Day of Rage’ protests which took take place on Monday. Helicopters circled over the capital Manama, and police used teargas and rubber buillets to disperse protesters. Police was present with great numbers in Shia villages.Two people died. One of them was a 22-year-old protester from Daih village who died from bullet wounds in his back. Another was in critical condition with a fractured skull. The second person who died was a 31-year old man, who was hit by birfdshot, after police fired teargas and birdshot at the funeral procession of the first victim. 

In the village of Diraz, authorities dispersed with teargas about 100 Shi’ite protesters who had squared off with police, demanding more political rights. Also the police dispersed a march in the mostly Shia village of Newidrat in the southwest region of the island kingdom. The marchers were demanding the release of those detained during earlier protests, among them blogger Ali Abdulemam. Here some 10 protestres were wounded. 

Nabeel Rajab of the Bahrain Centre for human rights told Al Jazeera that the protests only aimed at political reforms, right of political participation, respect for human rights, and a halt to the systematic discrimination against Shias, but stopped short of making demands with regard to the ruling family and their regime. 

In Iran tens of thousands (some say at least 100.000) were out in streets of Tehran in what waa announced as a solidarity demonstration with the people of Egypt. Although Iran’s establishment officially supported the Egyptian popular protests, it said the rallies were a ‘political move’ by the two opposition leaders Karroubi and Moussavi. 

They were right. By seeking the pretext of demonstrating in support of the people of Egypt, the opposition was in fact protesting against the regime of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, thereby at the same time unmasking the hypocrysie of this regiem as it were. 

Tehran was full of police, which used teargas and batons to disperse the crowds. Scores of people were arrested. One man died and an unknown number of peoplewere wounded. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi was placed under house arrest in what appears to be a move intended to block him from attending the rallies. Earlier also Mousavi’s fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi was put under house arrest. The same happened to others with links to the Green movement. 

Acces to internet sites was blocked, satellite news channels were jammed and cell phone service interrupted.. It’s clear the authorities did their utmost to stop opposition groups from using the Egypt rally as a means to re-ignite anti-government protests like in 2009 against the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

 AUTHOR: Martin Hijmans


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