Archive for August, 2011

Bahrain renames former Pearl Roundabout

Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
May 29, 2011

Al Farooq Junction is new name for area that used to be the location for the 300-foot monument in Bahrain.

Manama: Bahrain has renamed the area of the former Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Roundabout, popularly known as the Pearl Roundabout, as the Al Farooq Junction.

The 300-foot monument, six swords representing the six GCC countries holding a pearl at the top, erected in 1982 in tribute to the GCC as Bahrain hosted, for the first time, the annual Gulf summit, was turned into the epicenter of demonstrations and protests in February and March.

However, the authorities on March 18 demolished the monument and removed the huge roundabout, replacing it with a crisscross of roads where the movement of vehicles is to be controlled by traffic lights.

In comments about the demolition of the roundabout, Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister, said that the monument had been brought down because “it was a bad memory.”

“We are not waging war, we are restoring law and order,” Shaikh Khalid said.

The roundabout was used initially as a symbol of Manama, the capital, but was superseded in 2008 by the Bahrain World Trade Center, the first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design.

Source: Gulf News.
Link: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/bahrain/bahrain-renames-former-pearl-roundabout-1.814302.

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Bahrain’s mercenary security forces hound protesters in villages

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bahrain’s mercenary security forces backed by Saudi troops on Friday hounded protesters in villages across the country.

The forces physically attacked the anti-regime protesters. Witnesses say regime troops used tear gas and concussion bombs to disperse protesters in Diraz, Bani Jamrah and some other villages on Friday.

The protesters called for an end to the Al Khalifa rule and the immediate release of detained anti-government protesters.

According to witnesses, Bahraini protesters in recent days have their faces covered to avoid recognition by regime forces.

Saudi-backed Bahraini troops have arrested hundreds of anti-government protesters during overnight operations after identifying them based on pictures taken from opposition rallies.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or arrests on Friday.

Since the beginning of anti-regime protests in Bahrain in mid-February, Manama has launched a harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters, rounding up senior opposition figures and activists in dawn raids and arresting doctors, nurses, lawyers and journalists who have voiced support for the protest movement.

While the whereabouts of many detainees are still unknown, Bahraini authorities have begun to try a number of detained activists in what the opposition calls kangaroo courts.

Protesters have been charged with several counts such as attempting to overthrow the monarchy, and they are being tried in a special security court set up under martial law.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized the Bahraini government for its brutal crackdown on civilians.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which visits detainees in conflict situations, has been trying to see and contact Bahraini detained activists since mid-March. But so far Manama has refused to grant it permission.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s state news agency says that military prosecutors have asked the country’s highest court to review death penalties issued against two anti-regime protesters.

Human Rights Watch as also called on the country to stop trying civilians in military courts.

Source: Tehran Times.
Link: http://old.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=241583.

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Qatar suspends Yemen embassy oper.

Thu May 26, 2011

Qatar has temporarily suspended the operation of its embassy in Yemen and has withdrawn its diplomatic staff members from the country due to violence.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the decision was made because of the lack of response to the initiative and appeals to resolve the crisis in Yemen, Xinhua reported.

The diplomatic mission would return after the demands of the Yemeni people and their choices are met, the ministry said.

Qatar has taken the decisive step after Britain announced a similar move on Thursday to trim down its staff as the situation in Yemen is worsening since March 23.

The United States on Wednesday said it had ordered all non-essential embassy staff and family members to leave the Arab state.

More than 40 people were killed in clashes in the Libyan capital, Sana’a, on Thursday after President Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to sign a power transition deal brokered by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council for the third time.

The deal calls on Saleh to step down within 30 days after signing the deal in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Saleh said on Wednesday that he is prepared to escalate the campaign against anti-regime tribesmen, who are calling for his immediate ouster after almost 33 years of authoritarian rule.

“I will not leave power and I will not leave Yemen. I don’t take orders from outside,” Saleh said.

Source: PressTV.
Link: http://www.presstv.com/detail/181916.html.

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Bahraini forces attack villages

Fri May 27, 2011

Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have attacked anti-government protesters in several villages across the Persian Gulf sheikdom.

Witnesses say regime troops used tear gas and concussion bombs to disperse protesters in Diraz, Bani Jamrah and some other villages on Friday.

The protesters called for an end to the Al Khalifa rule and the immediate release of detained anti-government protesters.

According to witnesses, Bahraini protesters in recent days have their faces covered to avoid recognition by regime forces.

Saudi-backed Bahraini troops have arrested hundreds of anti-government protesters during overnight operations after identifying them based on pictures taken from opposition rallies.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or arrests on Friday.

Since the beginning of anti-regime protests in Bahrain in mid-February, Manama has launched a harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters, rounding up senior opposition figures and activists in dawn raids and arresting doctors, nurses, lawyers and journalists who have voiced support for the protest movement.

While the whereabouts of many detainees are still unknown, Bahraini authorities have begun to try a number of detained activists in what the opposition calls kangaroo courts.

Protesters have been charged with several counts such as attempting to overthrow the monarchy, and they are being tried in a special security court set up under martial law.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized the Bahraini government for its brutal crackdown on civilians.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which visits detainees in conflict situations, has been trying to see and contact Bahraini detained activists since mid-March. But so far Manama has refused to grant it permission.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s state news agency says that military prosecutors have asked the country’s highest court to review death penalties issued against two anti-regime protesters.

Human Rights Watch as also called on the country to stop trying civilians in military courts.

Source: PressTV.
Link: http://www.presstv.com/detail/182019.html.

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35 mosques, 8 Husseiniyahs attacked in Bahrain

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The head of Bahrain’s Ja’afari Endowments, Ahmed Hussein, has said that Al Khalifa regime attacked 45 holy sites over the past few days.

In a letter to Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Hussein said that the troops had demolished 28 mosques, adding, seven mosques, eight Husseiniyahs (congregation halls for Shia ritual ceremonies) and two tombs were also attacked and damaged in the country, IRNA reported on Wednesday.

He expressed hope that the Bahraini regime would take necessary measures to reconstruct the destroyed mosques and compensate for the damage.

The regime has begun destroying mosques as well as houses of some dissidents since dispatch of Saudi Arabia’s military forces to the country.

Anti-government protests against the rule of the Al Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain began in mid-February. Since then, the Manama regime has unleashed a massive brutal crackdown on the protesters.

Scores of people have been killed and many more arrested in the Saudi-backed crackdown on peaceful protests in the Persian Gulf state — a longtime ally of Washington and home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

Bahrain’s peace ranking falls 51 places

Bahrain’s world ranking in the 2011 Global Peace Index has plummeted 51 places to 123 out of 153 countries, a new study says.

The study, carried out by the Institute for Economics and Peace, said on Thursday Bahrain’s score has deteriorated by the second-largest margin after Libya, which declined 83 places to 143rd position.

The fall was due to the growing unrest and Manama’s Saudi-backed crackdown on peaceful anti-regime protests since mid-February.

Source: Tehran Times.
Link: http://old.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=241491.

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Iran’s military gets new missile system

By REUTERS
May 22, 2011

TEHRAN: Iran’s military received a new ballistic missile system on Sunday, which it said demonstrated the country’s self-sufficiency in mass producing weaponry.

“The new surface-to-surface missiles, Qiyam (Resurrection) 1, were successfully tested and delivered to the armed forces today,” Iran’s Arabic-language state television channel Al Alam said.

It did not disclose the range of the missile, delivered to the aerospace wing of the elite Revolutionary Guards, but said it was designed to be less easily detected than older models.

“The mass production of the Qiyam missile, the first without stabilizer fins, shows the Islamic Republic of Iran’s self-sufficiency in producing various types of missiles,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

Iran is at loggerheads with major powers over its nuclear work, which it says is peaceful and intended solely for generating electricity but which Washington and its allies fear is aimed at making nuclear bombs.

Source: Arab News.
Link: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article422305.ece.

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Yemeni president refuses to sign GCC deal

SANAA, May 22 (Xinhua) — Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Sunday refused to sign a power-transition deal brokered by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders, an aide to Saleh told Xinhua.

“President Ali Abdullah Saleh sent a short message to visiting GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif al-Zayani, telling him his final word that he refuses to sign the deal that requires his resignation within a month,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Source: Xinhua.
Link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/22/c_13888377.htm.

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