Small and sporadic demonstrations befell in Bahrain on Sunday amid a hefty police presence, marking 10 years for the reason that Gulf nation’s Arab Spring-inspired rebellion.
On February 14, 2011, tens of 1000’s of individuals took to the streets to demand an elected authorities and different reforms, briefly threatening the monarchy’s grip on energy, earlier than a lethal crackdown.
The protests had been attended largely by the nation’s majority-Shia residents who’ve lengthy accused the Al Khalifa monarchy of political persecution.
Nevertheless, the motion was crushed weeks later after the ruling household introduced troops from neighbouring Gulf states. The enduring Pearl Roundabout monument – the epicentre of the protests – was demolished.
Commemorating these occasions, activists on Sunday posted footage of small-scale demonstrations on their social media accounts from the outskirts of the capital Manama.
Some waved Bahraini flags, whereas others held aloft banners in opposition to the Al Khalifa household.
Marches had been organised from Saturday night in Shia-majority neighbourhoods close to Manama in addition to within the north and west of the nation.
However the variety of demonstrators was restricted in contrast with earlier years attributable to tight safety in addition to strict measures to comprise the unfold of the coronavirus.
Social media customers circulated the hashtag in Arabic “Perseverance till victory” and shared photographs of protests from villages together with al-Shakhoura and al-Diyya. The pictures posted on-line confirmed a decent police presence within the capital and at different Shia villages.
— Alwefaq Society (@ALWEFAQ) February 14, 2021
Translation: Bahrainis march in rallies marking the tenth anniversary for the reason that begin of the February 14 revolution in Abu Saiba and Shakhoura villages.
Maryam Alkhawaja, a Bahraini activist, informed Al Jazeera that the tiny Gulf kingdom holds a number of significance to regional and worldwide nations.
“Due to Bahrain’s geopolitical significance being [located] between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and internet hosting the [US Navy] Fifth Fleet and now additionally [hosting] a base for the UK, there are a number of pursuits which are primarily based in Bahrain,” she mentioned.
“After we took to the streets in 2011 we knew that we weren’t simply up in opposition to the Bahraini authorities, however quite the six GCC nations plus their allies – the UK and the USA.”
The 2011 rebellion, impressed by revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, resulted in a bloody crackdown with the assistance of Saudi and Emirati forces.
Dozens are believed to have been killed within the unrest, though the precise toll stays unclear.
In the present day as folks mark #ValentinesDay, we mark the ten 12 months anniversary of #Bahrain’s rebellion for rights, freedom and dignity.
And as we mark ten years, my household marks 3,599 days since my father was overwhelmed unconscious and brought away, nonetheless serving a life sentence right this moment#DKPol
— Maryam Alkhawaja (@MARYAMALKHAWAJA) February 14, 2021
The federal government denounced the protest motion as a plot by regional Shia energy Iran.
It banned opposition events, put civilians in entrance of army courts and jailed dozens of peaceable political opponents, triggering substantial worldwide criticism.
“Ten years after Bahrain’s widespread rebellion, systemic injustice has intensified and political repression … has successfully shut any house for … freedom of expression,” Amnesty Worldwide mentioned in a press release.
10 years in the past, protests started in #Bahrain, the place the federal government used extreme power and harmful crowd-control weapons that threatened the lives and human rights of civilian protestors.
We nonetheless see that is in too many nations right this moment – similar to in Myanmar and the USA. pic.twitter.com/Wq7QWRTasS
— Physicians for Human Rights (@P4HR) February 14, 2021
Ibrahim Fraihat, a professor on the Doha Institute for Graduate Research, mentioned there are three explanation why Bahrain’s rebellion was cracked down upon.
“One is that the revolution was crushed in its early days by Operation Peninsula Protect [the GCC’s military arm] despatched by Saudi Arabia,” he informed Al Jazeera.
“Second is that Bahrain is linked to a regional battle with Iran and Saudi Arabia. So for that cause, Bahrain protesters didn’t obtain any help from outdoors. And the third cause appears to be that royal political methods appear to be extra resilient and stronger in dealing with protests in comparison with republican political methods.”