Searched the resource database for : All Results AND Regions=Bahrain
Haven't found what you are looking for? To further refine your search: Click on the 'advanced search' menu to filter by title, abstract, source, and/or publication date; to include or exclude multiple resource categories, regions or topics.
Abstract: Following a spasm of violence, Bahrain faces a critical choice between endemic instability and slow but steady progress toward political reform. The most sensible way forward is to launch a new, genuine dialogue in which the political opposition is fairly represented and to move toward changes that will turn the country into a constitutional monarchy. In order to create an environment in which such talks could succeed, the regime should take immediate steps to address the human rights crisis, including by releasing political leaders jailed for peacefully expressing their views, and reverse the alarming sectarian polarisation that has occurred.
In February and March 2011, Bahrain experienced peaceful mass protests followed by brutal repression, leaving a distressing balance sheet: over 30 dead, mostly demonstrators or bystanders; prominent opposition leaders sentenced to lengthy jail terms, including eight for life; hundreds of others languishing in prison; torture, and at least four deaths in detentions; trials, including of medical professionals, in special security courts lacking even the semblance of due process of law; over 40 Shiite mosques and other religious structures damaged or demolished; the country’s major independent newspaper transformed into a regime mouthpiece; a witch hunt against erstwhile protesters who faced dismissal or worse, based on “loyalty” oaths; serious damage to the country’s economy; a parliament left without its opposition; and much more. More significant for the long term perhaps, the violence further polarised a society already divided along sectarian lines and left hopes for political reform in tatters, raising serious questions about the island’s stability.
Abstract: The recent political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa region have exposed growing concerns about conflict risk, political stability, and reform prospects across its societies. Given the prevalence of oil and gas resource endowments in the region, which a voluminous literature suggests can be associated with adverse development consequences, this paper examines the interplay between their associated rents and political economy trajectories. The contribution of the paper is threefold: first, to examine the quantitative evidence of violent conflict in the region since 1960; second, to provide a nuanced review of the regional case study literature on the relationship between resource endowments, political stability, and conflict risk; and third, to assess how prospective political transitions have implications for the World Bank Group's work in the region on public sector management and private sector development. The authors find that resources and regimes have intersected to provide stability and limited violent conflict in the region, but that these development patterns have yielded a set of policy choices and development patterns that are proving increasingly brittle and unsustainable. A major institutional challenge for reforms will be to consolidate a requisite degree of inter-temporal credibility and stability in these regimes, while expanding inclusiveness in state-society relations.
Abstract: This policy brief focuses on a case study. It is suggested that an environmental disaster during the summer of 2010 in the Black Sea region triggered in winter 2011 a food crisis in the Arab World; in turn, this led to massive riots, revolts, political instability, a NATO operation and, alas, an oil crisis that accentuates an already suffering global economy. Coextensively, it may be suggested that an environmental crisis triggered a political crisis, which escalated in a series of conflicts that are of major concern for traditional security structures in Europe and beyond. In sum, the argument is made that as a result of this experience, the human security agenda must have a direct effect on our traditional security agenda. The question addressed at this point is how these interrelated chains of events affect the security establishment and our notions of a ‘high strategy.’
Abstract: This report documents serious government abuses, starting in mid-February 2011. These include attacks on health care providers; denial of medical access to protesters injured by security forces; the siege of hospitals and health centers; and the detention, ill-treatment, torture, and prosecution of medics and patients with protest-related injuries.
The government violations were part of the violent response by authorities to largely peaceful pro-democracy and anti-government demonstrations that began in February and continued months after military and security forces began a massive crackdown in mid-March, which led to the armed occupation of Bahrain’s main public hospital, the Salmaniya Medical Complex, on March 16.
Abstract: On June 2, 2011, Peacebuild, with the financial support of the International Development
Research Centre, convened a day-long discussion on the tumultuous changes taking place in the
Middle East and North Africa.
Objectives for the roundtable were to share up-to-date information on current and longer-term
political issues and dynamics, to assess areas for possible support for democratic transitions in
the region, identify areas of relevant Canadian expertise – diaspora, NGO, academic, business
sector, governmental -- and, based on the discussion, generate a set of policy options and/or
recommendations for people-to-people support, NGOs, academics and the Government of
Participants in Cairo, Ottawa and Montreal were linked into a wide-ranging discussion, which
first focused on hearing activist and expert views from the epicentre of regional change – Egypt.
Among the questions explored with human rights activist Hossam Baghat, strategic analyst
Mustafa El-Labbad, activist author May Telmissany and IDRC regional expert Roula El-Rifai were
the makeup of the reform movements in the region and their objectives, what is the real extent
of political Islam’s influence in the Middle East and what has been the role of the armed forces
in the transitions?
Abstract: Thousands of protesters in the small island Kingdom of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf took to the
streets calling for government reform in February and March 2011. The Government’s response
was brutal and systematic: shoot civilian protesters, detain and torture them, and erase all
evidence. On the frontline, treating hundreds of these wounded civilians, doctors had first-hand
knowledge of government atrocities.
This report details systematic and targeted attacks against medical personnel, as a result of
their efforts to provide unbiased care for wounded protestors. The assault on healthcare workers
and their patients constitutes extreme violations of the principle of medical neutrality and
are grave breaches of international law.
While in Bahrain, PHR investigators spoke with several eyewitnesses of abducted physicians,
some of whom were ripped from their homes in the middle of the night by masked security
forces. For each doctor, nurse, or medic that the government disappears, many more civilians’
lives are impacted as patients go untreated.
Physicians for Human Rights uncovered egregious abuses against patients and detainees including
torture, beating, verbal abuse, humiliation, and threats of rape and killing. Our report also includes documentation of other violations of medical neutrality including the
beating, abuse, and threatening of six Shi’a physicians at Salmaniya Hospital; government
security forces stealing ambulances and posing as medics; the militarization of hospitals and
clinics that obstruct medical care, and rampant fear that prevents patients from seeking urgent
Abstract: The Combating Terrorism Center is an independent educational and research institution based in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point. The CTC Sentinel harnesses the Center’s global network of scholars and practitioners to understand and confront contemporary threats posed by terrorism and other forms of political violence.
This volume contains the following articles:
- The Death of Usama bin Ladin: Threat Implications for the U.S. Homeland, By Philip Mudd
- Terrorist Tactics in Pakistan Threaten Nuclear Weapons Safety, By Shaun Gregory
- The Syrian Uprising: Evaluating the Opposition, By Mahmud Hasan
- Can Al-Qa`ida Survive Bin Ladin’s Death? Evaluating Leadership Decapitation, By Jenna Jordan
- Hizb Allah’s Position on the Arab Spring, By Benedetta Berti
- Israel, Hizb Allah, and the Shadow of Imad Mughniyyeh, By Bilal Y. Saab
- The Taliban’s Conduct of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, By Ben Brandt
Abstract: This issue includes the following articles:
- Saudi Arabia Moves to Maintain Regime Stability - Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Reaction to Revolution in the Middle East - How the Arab Spring Could Embolden Extremists - Are Islamist Extremists Fighting Among Libya’s Rebels? - Bahrain: Crushing a Challenge to the Royal Family - JI Operative Umar Patek Arrested in Pakistan - The Implications of Colonel Imam’s Murder in Pakistan - Recent Highlights in Terrorist Activity
The Sentinel is a monthly, independent publication that leverages the Center’s global network of scholars and practitioners to understand and confront contemporary threats posed by terrorism and other forms of political violence.
Abstract: Protests that erupted in Bahrain following the uprising that overthrew Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak on February 11, 2011, demonstrate that Shiite grievances over the distribution of power
and economic opportunities were not satisfied by previous efforts to include the Shiite majority in
governance. Possibly because of concerns that a rise to power of the Shiite opposition could
jeopardize the extensive U.S. military cooperation with Bahrain, the Obama Administration
criticized the early use of violence by the government but subsequently praised the Al Khalifa
regime for its offer of a dialogue with the demonstrators. It did not call for the King to step down,
and Administration contacts with his government are widely credited for the decision of the
regime to cease using force against the protesters as of February 19, 2011. However, as protests
escalated in March 2011, Bahrain’s government, contrary to the advice of the Obama
Administration, invited security assistance from other neighboring Gulf Cooperation Council
countries and subsequently moved to end the large gatherings. Some believe the crackdown has
largely ended prospects for a negotiated political solution in Bahrain, and could widen the
conflict to the broader Gulf region.
The 2011 unrest, in which some opposition factions have escalated their demands in response to
the initial use of force by the government, comes four months after the October 23, 2010,
parliamentary election. That election, no matter the outcome, would not have unseated the ruling
Al Khalifa family from power, but the Shiite population was hoping that winning a majority in
the elected lower house could give it greater authority. In advance of the elections, the
government launched a wave of arrests intended to try to discredit some of the hard-line Shiite
leadership as tools of Iran. On the other hand, Bahrain’s Shiite oppositionists, and many outside
experts, accuse the government of inflating the intensity of contacts between Iran and the
opposition in order to justify the use of force against Bahraini Shiites.
Abstract: National security is normally seen in terms of military strength and internal security operations against extremists and insurgents. The upheavals that began in Tunis, and now play out from Pakistan to Morocco,. have highlighted the fact that national security is measured in terms of the politics, economics, and social tensions that shape national stability as well. It is all too clear that the wrong kind of internal security efforts, and national security spending that limits the ability to meet popular needs and expectations can do as much to undermine national security over time as outside and extremist threats.
It is equally clear that calls for democracy are at best only the prelude to dealing with critical underlying problems, pressures, and expectations. It is far from certain that even successful regime change can evolve into functional democracies and governance. Countries with no political parties and experienced leaders, with no history of checks and balances in government, with weak structure of governance led by new political figures with no administrative experience, will often descend into chaos, extremism, or a new round of authoritarianism. Even the best governments, however, are unlikely to change an economy and national infrastructure in less than half a decade, and existing demographic pressures will inevitably go on for at least the next decade.
Abstract: Health facilities in Bahrain have been drawn into the center of the country’s current unrest and clashes between government and opposition protestors that began in February 2011. The result is an unacceptable circumstance in which medical facilities — which are generally functioning well in terms of material, infrastructure and skilled staff — now no longer impartially serve the medical needs of the population.
Abstract: Manama’s crackdown and Saudi Arabia’s military inter-
vention are dangerous moves that could stamp out hopes
for peaceful transition in Bahrain and turn a mass move-
ment for democratic reform into an armed conflict, while
regionalising an internal political struggle. They could
also exacerbate sectarian tensions not only in Bahrain or
the Gulf but across the region. Along with other member
states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Saudi
Arabia purportedly is responding to dual fears: that the
takeover would be tantamount to an Iranian one. Both are
largely unfounded. It also is concerned protests might
inspire similar movements among its own Eastern Prov-
ince Shiites, oblivious that its involvement is likelier to
provoke than deter them. Bahrain’s brutal crackdown and
Saudi interference fan flames both want to extinguish.
The most effective response to the radical regime change
threat or greater Iranian influence is not violent suppression
of peaceful protests but political reform. Time is running
short and trends are in the wrong direction.
Abstract: While erstwhile authoritarianism and absolutist rule may no longer be possible, it
would be naïve to expect that the Middle East will undergo a metamorphosis. There
would undoubtedly be changes, greater openness, increased transparency, enhanced
governance and increased popular participation. Even these changes would not be
uniform and/or happen immediately. But the process would be on and the
governments, especially ruling elites, would be monitored more closely by the ruled.
Yet, it is extremely unlikely that the current wave of protests will transform the
Middle East into an oasis of democracy. Samuel Huntington’s third wave of
democracy is unlikely to sweep the region any time soon. Relaxing, increasingly
transparent and reforming status quo is perhaps the maximum that one can anticipate
from the current wave of unrest in the Middle East. This being so, what are the
options for the Indian Government? While individuals could demand a more liberal
and people-centric platform, governments have limited space for manoeuvre.
Though ideal, siding with the democratic aspirations of the Arab people is not a
viable option for a state. Wrong moves, missteps or ideology-driven actions would
bring misery for a vast majority of the Indian population.
Abstract: An animated map of recent protests in the Middle East as they spread from country to country, updated with the most recent events. Particular outcomes indicated with descriptions of the progression of events for each nation.
Abstract: Amnesty International today revealed evidence of the Bahraini security forces’ systematic use of excessive force in cracking down against protesters, as fresh violence left as many as eight people dead.
In a new report released today, Bloodied but Unbowed: Unwarranted State Violence against Bahraini Protesters, the organization documents how security forces used live ammunition and extreme force against protesters in February without warning and impeded and assaulted medical staff trying to help the wounded.
The report, which is based on first hand testimonies given to an Amnesty International team in Bahrain, comes as the country is gripped by further violence, after Saudi Arabian and UAE forces entered the small Gulf state three days ago and Bahrain's King declared a national state of emergency.
"It is alarming to see the Bahraini authorities now again resorting to the same tactics that they used against protesters in February but on an even more intensive scale,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“It appears that the government has decided that the way to deal with protests is through violent repression, a totally unsustainable position and one which sets an ominous example in a region where other governments are also facing popular calls for change."
Abstract: Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition force into Bahrain to help the government calm the unrest there. This move puts Iran in a difficult position, as Tehran had hoped to use the uprising in Bahrain to promote instability in the Persian Gulf region. Iran could refrain from acting and lose an opportunity to destabilize the region, or it could choose from several other options that do not seem particularly effective.
The Bahrain uprising consists of two parts, as all revolutions do. The first is genuine grievances by the majority Shiite population — the local issues and divisions. The second is the interests of foreign powers in Bahrain. It is not one or the other. It is both.
Abstract: The peoples of the Middle East are instituting profound changes that will affect us all. We in
Canada, and in the West, must be fully involved, in our own interests, and theirs, by responding
generously to viable requests for aid and assistance across a gamut of challenges: justice
mentoring, education, small business, civil society and unemployment.
They need to feel change in their conditions now. They need a Marshall type plan with
immediate impact. If not these revolutions in the sand could turn sour fast. Everything from
education in village schools, to the prospects for good governance, to peace in the region, is at
stake. Well established countries with homogeneous populations such as Egypt and Tunisia
stand a good chance of making it; others with little sense of national identity and little in the way
of civil society, like Yemen, do not. Some, like Bahrain, are ruled by minorities with an alienated
underclass. They are burdened by powerful neighbours, Saudi Arabia and Iran in this case, who
see their own conflicting interests directly at stake. The Americans are not indifferent.
Canada’s role is circumscribed by our politics, which rules us out from anything verging on the
political or strategic. But there is still plenty to do, if the will exists.
Abstract: After experiencing serious unrest during the late 1990s, Bahrain undertook several steps to enhance the inclusion of the Shiite majority in governance. However, protests erupting following the uprising that overthrew Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011, demonstrate that Shiite grievances over the distribution of power and economic opportunities remain unsatisfied. The new unrest comes four months after smaller protests against the efforts by the Sunni-led government’s efforts to maintain its tight grip on power in the October 23, 2010, parliamentary election.
Abstract: Human rights have come under increasing pressure and rising tension between the government and its critics. Hundreds of people have been arrested or imprisoned for participating in protests. In August-September 2010, the authorities swooped on 23 opposition political activists, detaining them incommunicado for two weeks during which some allege they were tortured. Meanwhile, the authorities have curtailed freedom of expression, closing critical websites and banning opposition publications. Years of progress and achievement could be erased unless urgent measures are taken to reverse the downward trend. This report is based on ongoing monitoring of developments in Bahrain as well as the
findings of an Amnesty International fact-finding visit to Bahrain in October 2010 prompted
by concerns over the arrests in August and September and about the treatment of detainees.
Abstract: The Muslim world, from North Africa to Iran, has experienced a wave of instability in the last few weeks. No regimes have been overthrown yet, although as of this writing, Libya was teetering on the brink.
In looking at the current rising, the geographic area is clear: The Muslim countries of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula have been the prime focus of these risings, and in particular North Africa where Egypt, Tunisia and now Libya have had profound crises. Of course, many other Muslim countries also had revolutionary events that have not, at least until now, escalated into events that threaten regimes or even ruling personalities.
The key principle that appears to be driving the risings is a feeling that the regimes, or a group of individuals within the regimes, has deprived the public of political and, more important, economic rights — in short, that they enriched themselves beyond what good taste permitted. This has expressed itself in different ways. In Bahrain, for example, the rising was of the primarily Shiite population against a predominantly Sunni royal family. In Egypt, it was against the person of Hosni Mubarak. In Libya, it is against the regime and person of Moammar Gadhafi and his family, and is driven by tribal hostility.
This brief analyses factors driving these risings, and compares them to similar situations in the past.
Abstract: Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in August 2010, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch.
The situation in Somalia continued to deteriorate as al-Shabaab stepped up its attacks and fighting intensified in Mogadishu.
Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government was further weakened in August. The month began with an attempted coup and culminated with the mayor of the southern city of Osh – the epicenter of June’s pogroms – defying the President’s orders to resign.
In Kashmir, anti-Indian protests that began in June worsened in August with at least 40 demonstrators killed in clashes with the police, bringing the total death toll to over 60.
In Northern Ireland dissident Republicans launched a spate of bomb attacks throughout the month in an attempt to derail the peace process. Meanwhile, in Bahrain over 200 people, including high-level Shiite political leaders, have been reported arrested in a government crackdown ahead of October’s parliamentary elections, fueling almost daily clashes between security forces and Shiite opposition supporters.
CrisisWatch identifies a conflict resolution opportunity for Kosovo in September, as the EU makes intensive diplomatic efforts to produce a UN General Assembly resolution acceptable to both Serbia and Kosovo that could serve as a basis for a comprehensive settlement.
CrisisWatch also identifies a conflict resolution opportunity for Israel, as direct peace talks between Israel and Palestine – the first in almost two years – are due to restart in Washington on 2 September.
Abstract: After instability during the late 1990s, Bahrain undertook substantial political reforms that
include the Shiite majority in governance. However, unrest among Bahraini Shiites continues to
simmer over the Sunni-led government’s perceived manipulation of citizenship and election laws
and regulations to maintain its grip on power. In late 2008, the power struggle manifested as large
demonstrations and some arrests of Shiite opposition leaders. Smaller but frequent incidents of
violence continue to date, often resulting in Bahraini civilian injuries or occasional deaths. These
tensions are increasing in the run up to the next parliamentary elections, planned for November
2010, in which most Bahraini Shiites perceive they will again be deprived of election victory.
Underlying the unrest are lingering Bahraini government fears that Iran is supporting Shiite
opposition movements, possibly in an effort to install a Shiite led, pro-Iranian government on the
island. These fears are occasionally reinforced by comments from Iranian editorialists and
political leaders that Bahrain should never have become formally independent of Iran.
Abstract: This paper discusses the diverging perceptions
and responses of Middle Eastern Arab states to the
issue of climate change. It shows how these states’
policies at the regional and international level have
been shaped, even conditioned, by motivations of
economic security of the oil revenue-dependent
states in the region. It also points out the problems
of this kind of an approach and gives suggestions and
justifications for a more balanced policy approach to
climate change. It is argued that the Gulf oil exporting
monarchies need to take a more constructive and
balanced approach to international climate change
mitigation, as this is the precondition for achieving
functional regional cooperation in this area. In the
future, failing to cooperate regionally will exacerbate
climate change-induced problems and instability in
the entire region. Climate change is by its nature a transboundary
problem. The Middle East is considered to be one
of the most vulnerable regions in the world to its
negative impacts. This is even more significant given
that the Middle East is also one of the most volatile
regions in the world in terms of inter- and intrastate
conflict and instability.
Abstract: As the governments of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) undertake the difficult process of enacting social and political change, the unequal status of women presents a particularly formidable challenge. In Iraq, deliberations over women's legal status have been as contentious as negotiations over how to structure the government. In Jordan, measures to increase penalties for so-called honor crimes faced strong resistance by ultraconservative parliamentarians and ordinary citizens who believe that tradition and religion afford them the right to severely punish and even murder female relatives for behavior they deem immoral. These debates are not just legal and philosophical struggles among elites. They are emotionally charged political battles that touch upon fundamental notions of morality and social order.
In order to provide a detailed look at the conditions faced by women in the Middle East and understand the complex environment surrounding efforts to improve their status, Freedom House conducted a comprehensive study of women's rights in the region. The first edition of this project was published in 2005. The present edition offers an updated examination of the issue, with a special focus on changes that have occurred over the last five years. Although the study indicates that a substantial deficit in women's rights persists in every country in the MENA region, the findings also include notable progress, particularly in terms of economic opportunities, educational attainment, and political participation.
Abstract: At least 71 journalists were killed across the globe in 2009, the Committee to Protect Journalists announced Tuesday, the largest annual toll in the 30 years the group has been keeping track.
Twenty-nine of those deaths came in a single, politically motivated massacre of reporters and others in the Philippines last November, the worst known episode for journalists, the committee said.
But there were other worrisome trends. The two nations with the highest number of journalists incarcerated — China had 24 journalists imprisoned at the end of 2009 and Iran had 23 — were particularly harsh in taking aim at bloggers and others using the Internet. The number jailed in Iran has since jumped to 47, the committee said. Of the 71 confirmed deaths, 51 were murders, the committee said. The report noted that 24 additional deaths of journalists remained under investigation to determine if they were related to the journalists’ work. Previously, the highest number of journalists killed in a single year was 67, in 2007, when violence in Iraq was raging.