Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bahrain tries 21 activists on trumped-up charges

By Niall Green,,  11 May 2011
On Sunday, authorities began the trial of 21 people involved in the recent anti-government protests in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain.

From February until mid-March, the island kingdom was rocked by massive protests and strikes involving hundreds of thousands of workers and youth. Many of the protesters were Shiite Muslims, who make up the majority of Bahrain’s citizens but are discriminated against by the Sunni Muslim royal family and government.

On March 15 Bahrain’s King Hamad al-Khalifa declared a state of emergency and imposed martial law. Backed by hundreds of troops from the neighboring Sunni kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Bahraini security forces unleashed a wave of violent repression against protesters.

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