Iran And Bahrain, What Do They Have in Common?
Answer: censorship, riot police and civilians shot by the state.
That theme is seen across the Middle East today, as the Toronto Star reports:
“MANAMA, BAHRAIN—As international leaders urged Bahrain to use restraint following a predawn raid that left five dead and hundreds more injured, its foreign minister justified the crackdown as necessary because protesters were “polarizing the country” and pushing it to the “brink of sectarian abyss.”
Khalid Al Khalifa told reporters the violence was “regrettable,” as soldiers and tanks patrolled the streets and public gatherings were banned in the capital.
However, the crackdown has only ignited more fury among the protesters who sought refuge in the parking lot outside the Salmaniya hospital Thursday.
Their calls to oust the unelected prime minister and his cabinet have grown to targeting a man long seen as untouchable in this Gulf island kingdom: King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.”
MSNBC describes what happens in Bahrain:
“Bahrain’s a small country with a large Internet population, and it hasn’t hesitated before to smack down websites or bloggers it doesn’t like, long before this week’s protests began. Internet service, though, had remained somewhat constant, at least until recent days, according to reports.
Bahranian users of Batelco’s high-speed Internet service, one of the more prominent in the country, said they were starting to notice “service degradation” as of Wednesday.“
Meanwhile in Libya:
“At one person has been killed in protests across Libya on Thursday in what anti-government activists described as a “Day of Rage”.
Amnesty International says a man was shot dead when security forces opened fire in the city of al-Bayda.
Police and protesters also clashed in Zentan and Benghazi, where one witness told the BBC at least 16 people are believed to have been killed.
This week’s protests are the first in Libya, where dissent is rarely allowed.”