Bahrain: youth killed on uprising anniversary

A teenage boy was killed in clashes with police at a Shi'ite village near Bahrain's capital Manama on Feb. 14, as hundreds took to the streets to mark the second anniversary of the uprising in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. The youth was hit by shotgun fire in the village of Dia, Bahrain's major Shiite opposition bloc al-Wefaq announced on Twitter. Strikes and protests to commemorate the uprising were called by clandestine online groups such as the February 14 Revolution Youth Coalition. Security forces used tear-gas to prevent protesters from marching on the former Pearl Square, where activists camped for a month before being forcefully driven out in March 2011 (after which authorities demolished its iconic monument and changed the plaza's name). The two years of unrest in Bahrain have left at least 80 dead. 

Amnesty International is calling for the release of Bahrain's more than two dozen "prisoners of conscience." Amnesty said: "It's time that people detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression be released." (Middle East Online, BBC News, Feb. 14)

  1. Bahrain court acquits police in protester death
    The Bahrain Higher Criminal Court on Feb. 26 acquitted two police officers in the shooting death of a Shiite protester during the nation’s pro-democracy protests in Manama that began in February 2011. Bahraini lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi who represented the protester’s family, said the Bahrain court concluded the two police officers fired shots at Fadhel Matruk but did not intend to kill him. The court’s decision came a few days after an appeals court affirmed the acquittal of two policemen accused of killing two protesters in a separate incident.

    From Jurist, Feb. 27. Used with permission.

  2. Bahrain activist sentenced to three months
    A court of appeals in Bahrain overturned the acquitta of Zainab al-Khawaja, who is accused of insulting a government employee, and sentenced her to three months of imprisonment on March 1, according to the Bahrain State New Agency (BNA). Al-Khawaja is the daughter of prominent Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, and has served previous jail terms for tearing up a picture of Bahrain’s king, destruction of government property and organizing anti-government protests. At the end of last year, al-Khawaja published an op-ed in the New York Times in which she described the human rights situation in Bahrain and some of the hardships her family and friends have faced.

    From Jurist, March 1. Used with permission.