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Thu 24 Mar 2011 09:52 AM

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Bahraini activists plan 'Day of Rage' on Friday

Bahraini opposition activists plan to defy the ban on all public gatherings under martial law declared last week

Bahraini activists plan 'Day of Rage' on Friday
PROTESTS CONTINUE: Bahraini opposition activists are planning to hold a day of demonstrations throughout the tiny island country on Friday (Getty Images)
Bahraini activists plan 'Day of Rage' on Friday
Protester generic
Bahraini activists plan 'Day of Rage' on Friday
Bahraini activists plan 'Day of Rage' on Friday

Bahraini opposition activists are planning to hold a day of demonstrations throughout the tiny island country on Friday, in defiance of a ban on all public gatherings under martial law declared last week.

It was not clear which groups were behind the marches, plans of which were circulated by email and Internet. They did not appear to involve the mainstream Shi'ite Muslim opposition group Wefaq, nor the Feb. 14 Youth Movement which led protests at Pearl roundabout that were dispersed by riot police a week ago.

Western countries appeared to be taking the plans seriously.

The British Foreign Office updated its travel advice on Wednesday to warn against travel to Bahrain and to inform Britons going to the Gulf Arab country about the protests.

"Those who are doing so should be aware there are possible demonstrations planned on Thursday 24 March at 15:30 in the Sanabis area; and on Friday 25th March in a wide range of locations," it said on its website.

"The timings are not yet known but are likely to be during the afternoon. Whilst we seek to ensure the information we give is as reliable as possible, we cannot confirm that all such events will go ahead as listed." Bahraini security forces launched a crackdown on March 16 that drove protesters from the streets and saw troops and police fan out across Bahrain.

They also banned all marches and public gatherings though they have not dispersed the funeral processions of civilians killed in the crackdown, most of which turned into anti-regime protests. Security forces also turned a blind eye last week to a brief protest outside the Drazi mosque after Friday prayers.

"There is no Wefaq position over these protests. It appears to be the same way it began on Feb. 14, some calls on the Internet and on Facebook that draw significant support," said Wefaq spokesman Mattar Ibrahim Mattar.

"I expect there will be a lot of people protesting on Friday. Either the government does not use force and the protests return or they use force and there may be victims. Either way it will not calm the situation."

Nine demonstrations appear to be planned for Friday, across different parts of Bahrain, including one headed toward the airport and one that aims to "liberate" Salmaniya hospital. Security forces raided Salmaniya hospital during their crackdown last week, removing several tents set up by protesters in previous weeks. Doctors and human rights groups have complained that strict security has hampered medical access.

Four medical staff have been arrested at Salmaniya since the crackdown, doctors and opposition activists say. [ID:nLDE72M2HG]

"As long as people have legitimate demands, a security solution will not work," Mattar said.

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Jagan 8 years ago

These activists are Terrorists. They are not working for Democracy or Liberation. They are supported by Iran and Hisbulla like groups. They dont want to bring peace in Bahrain.

We have seen their Terrorism activities last week. What was they had done to so many expats ? What was happening in Salmaniya Hospital ? Doctors were acting as terrorists by forgetting their Oath.

We really supports governments steps taken towards their actions. We are staying in Bahrain and noticing these peoples actions.

How much govt is supporting these peoples by providing Job and Training ? How much govt is spending for these ?

But this peoples will not satisfy with any thing.

amoor jan 8 years ago

Reading recent articles in the arabian business about Bahrain situation, I feel that arabian business is too biased towards the protesters or at least some of the editors do or somehow hate Bahrain. you can see that these articles tend to fuel the situation even more. I dont see you cover much on Yemen, Libya etc why are you so focused on negatives about Bahrain.

John Churchilly 8 years ago

It is the same method all along their history. They study any society and funds research on each country to discover their weakness. They starts an unrest then they push to violence followed by response which ends in fatalities. Then the subject is changed by concentration upon the causalities rather their original unrest. The story goes on to keep on creating endless violence.

Marc 8 years ago

I am a foreigner who ones financial business here in Bahrain and I have been with my family here since the unrest launched. i have seen several activists provocation the Police on several locations and have not been only peaceful and friendly as the international press describe them.

I have been in my house close to the Pearl Square and followed the days of the occupation of this Square which has been a beautiful landmark before these activist ruined it. Is it a shout for democracy to attack Police men with cars and provoke a reaction, is it a sign of peaceful demonstration to damage cars, road signs, construction areas and public property and to occupy a central traffic point of the City for weeks to force down all the business around ( malls, shops, financial institutions ).

I stay here in the country and hold my business since I believe in the current government and their steps taken to protect the country, its citizens and the country's economy.