Bahrain, Oman pro-democracy movements continue

This video from 2006 is called Bahrain: Al Khalifa dictatorship tortures its people.

Opposition figures arrested in Bahrain – Relatives tell ABC reporter about the arrests [text+Audio]: here.

Amnesty International: Bloodied but Unbowed, Bahrain Human Rights Report: here.


Gangs with clubs attack Bahrain newspaper: here.

New York Times reporter Slackman was stopped & about to be shot by Bahrain security men, before he pulls his American passport: here.

The role of the Gulf Co-operation Council: Treating Bahrain differently from Libya: here.

Bahrainis cannot be subdued for ever: here.

Arrests follow deadly Bahrain crackdown: Several opposition figures arrested: here.

CNN: Rights group accuses Bahrain of using ‘excessive force’ on protesters: here.

UN slams military takeover of Bahrain hospitals: here.

Bahrain Feature: US Support of Bullets and Blackhawks: here.

Human Rights First: Obama Administration Should Speak Out Against Violence in Bahrain: here.

The World Federation of Trade Unions expresses its support and solidarity to the people and working class of Bahrain, who are struggling for DEMOCRACY, FREEDOM and JUSTICE. To stop the plundering of the resources of the country by capitalists, kings and emirs: here.

How the Arab revolutions gave women a voice: here.

Omani state oil workers have gone on strike to demand higher wages, joining other sections of workers who have launched strike action and ongoing popular protests against the regime of Sultan Qaboos bin Said: here.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Middle East tour, capped by a stroll through Cairo’s Tahrir Square, presents an unparalleled profile in hypocrisy: here. And here.

13 thoughts on “Bahrain, Oman pro-democracy movements continue

  1. Libya to honor contracts with ENI

    ENI’s CEO calls for halt to EU sanctions

    ANSA) – Milan, March 17 – Libya’s oil minister Shukri Ghanem on Thursday confirmed Libya would honor its contracts with Italian fuels giant ENI. Ghanem is also the head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), ENI’s main interlocutor in the country.

    The news came as Muammar Gaddafi pushed to regain complete control of the country and appeared set to resume oil production. ENI is the largest foreign player in Libya with billions of Euros invested there. Italy bought 500,000 barrels a day or roughly 20% of its oil supply before fighting broke out and production shut down.

    “We have an excellent relationship with ENI, a company that has worked here since the 1950s and is among the most important that operate in Libya,” said Ghanem. “We play a fundamental role for Italy’s energy security, a country to which we export a million cubic meters of gas. With respect to which, we confirm all of our contracts with ENI, and we hope that they do the same”.

    Ghanem added that Libya would also honor its contracts with all other foreign energy firms as well. France’s Total, Austria’s OMV, Norway’s Statoil, and a number of US firms have been active in Libya, but have expressed commitment to observe economic sanctions currently in force.

    Ghanem also expressed bitterness over the lack of foreign help to “quell the fires in some of the country’s plants during the unrest – installations that, had they exploded, would have caused a natural catastrophe in the entire Mediterranean”.

    ENI CEO Paolo Scaroni, for his part, has reported uncompromised ties in Libya and called for Europe to abandon its sanctions.

    “Whatever happens, imposing sanctions is shooting ourselves in the foot because by not taking gas, we are not ensuring our energy security,” Scaroni said Wednesday.

    In an Italian parliament briefing Wednesday, Scaroni reported solid relations in Libya, saying, “ENI does not deal with the Libyan government, but with the national company with which one makes contracts”.

    Speaking to the House budget committee, Scaroni said ENI continues to produce gas for the country’s own use, supplying three local electrical plants. He warned politicians to be “aware” that if it is decided European sanctions extend to this activity, “the lights will go out over a good part of Libya”.

    ENI’s Greenstream pipeline to Italy remains shut, however.

    Scaroni told the committee, “It is difficult to say when it will start up again,” because, “one wants to be sure not to engage in an activity that could be subject to sanctions”.

    Scaroni said oil production was still at a halt, in part due to “shipping problems”.


  2. Iraqis eyeing Bahrain protests with anger, caution

    By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press

    Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 5:05 a.m.

    An Iraqi soldier stands guard while protesters chant anti-Saudi government slogans and wave Bahraini and Iraqi flags during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 17, 2011. The banners in Arabic reads, “We condemn the sending of troops to fight the Muslim people of Bahrain” and “Yes, yes to the rebels Bahrain Champions” and “No, no, Saudi Arabia.” (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

    – AP

    Protesters chant anti-Saudi government slogans while wave Bahrain flag during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 17, 2011. The banners in Arabic reads, “We condemn the sending of troops to fight the Muslim people of Bahrain” and “Yes, yes to the rebels Bahrain Champions” and “No, no, Saudi Arabia.” (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

    BAGHDAD — Concerns over clashes in Bahrain between Shiite protesters and security forces from Sunni Arab states spilled over into Iraq on Thursday, as thousands of Shiite protesters converged on holy shrines to show support for their brethren in Bahrain.

    The Shiite-led uprising in Bahrain has galvanized Iraq’s Shiite population. The decision by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states to send forces into Bahrain also threatens to worsen relations between Baghdad and Riyadh, which already views Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government as a pawn of Iran.

    About 3,000 people in Karbala, 55 miles (90 kilometers) south of Baghdad, gathered between the city’s two main Shiite mosques in a demonstration that local councilman Hussein Shadhan al-Aboudi predicted will be dwarfed by much larger crowds after prayers on Friday. About 200 people took to the streets in downtown Baghdad, many of them spontaneously joining the demonstration in a busy shopping area.

    “I saw the demo and decided to … march with the demonstrators in solidarity with our brothers in Bahrain, with whom we are linked in religion and Arab ethnicity,” said Amir al-Asaadi, 35, a businessman from Basra.

    Parliament discussed sending $5 million in aid to Shiites in Bahrain and demanded that the Arab League and the United Nations immediately intervene.

    Former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite, criticized the U.S. response to the unrest against the tiny island’s Sunni monarchy.

    “The American stance on what is going on in Bahrain is indecisive and hesitant,” al-Jaafari told a press conference in Baghdad. “Their response was timid, and that was not enough.”

    He also called on Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, to denounce Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in letters to the Baghdad-based ambassadors of both nations. He suggested that Iraq recall its ambassador from Bahrain.

    The UAE and Saudi Arabia have sent forces to help Bahrain’s monarchy subdue anti-government protests.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said he fears clashes between Gulf forces and protesters could inflame sectarian violence across the Mideast. Two of Iraq’s most prominent Shiite clerics also have weighed in: Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called on Bahrain’s government to cease the crackdown on protesters.

    And Shiite anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stoked the discontent, telling his followers in Baghdad and Basra to hold demonstrations to protest the Saudi incursion. Afterward, thousands of Sadrists rallied in their Baghdad stronghold of Sadr City, and al-Sadr’s supporters also protested in Basra.

    Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi urged calm and said all foreign parties should stay out of Bahrain’s conflict.

    “We call on all to leave the Bahraini people – with all their ethnicities and social sects – to decide their fate by themselves without any intervention,” al Nujaifi said.

    The reaction Thursday from parliamentarians was one of the strongest outbursts so far by Iraq’ parliament, which remained largely silent as demonstrations swept through other countries in the Middle East.

    Iraq has grappled with its own internal tensions after years of sectarian killings that brought the country to the brink of civil war in 2005-2008 between majority Shiites and former Sunni ruling elite.

    Also Thursday, a Sunni lawmaker said she escaped an assassination attempt as she headed to parliament. Lawmaker Etab al-Douri, a member of the Iraqiya alliance, said three gunmen fired four bullets at her armored car. The attackers fled before they could be captured, and al-Douri and her guards were not hurt.

    Police and hospital officials said eight people were wounded Thursday by a bomb strapped to a bicycle in Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad.

    Violence has dropped dramatically in Iraq over the last three years, but deadly shootings and bombings still occur every day.

    Bushra Juhi and Lara Jakes in Baghdad contributed to this report.


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