Bahraini security forces fire on unarmed protesters
Unarmed crowds of political protesters in Bahrain are being fired upon by Bahraini security forces. After the events in Egypt and Tunisia, several nations in the Middle East are experiencing massive political protests, with citizens calling for democratic reforms and for authoritarian rule to end. Bahrain has seen successive days of protest met with deadly force by security forces.
Protesters in Bahrain want reform
The Middle East is beginning to become increasingly volatile, as protesters in numerous nations have begun demanding democratic reforms. The Telegraph reports that there have been protests in Manama since Feb. 14. Protests started just days after Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned from his position. Bahraini security forces have dealt with protesters harshly, using force to dispel protesters, and have opened fire on several occasions. Protests on Friday, Feb. 18, were met with tear gas and firing of live rounds, which has led to at least two deaths. Protesters were also fired upon the previous day, which resulted in five deaths. In the peaceful protests by Bahrainis, they don’t hurt anyone or carry weapons.
Bahrainis demanding civil liberties and democracy
Protesters in Bahrain are demanding greater civil rights for the Shi’ite majority in the Middle East nation. King Hamad bin-Isa al-Khalifa and the royal family of Bahrain are Sunni, and Shi’ites are not legally treated as fully equal to Sunnis, according to the New York Times. Protesters also want the country to become a democracy instead of a constitutional monarchy. Even though protesters were told to stay out of Pearl Square, which is the center of Manama, Bahrainis entered the area in a “Day of Rage” on Thursday because of anger after the funerals of those killed.
Tunisia and Egypt protests spread
Protests started in Yemen, Libya and Bahrain after the rulers in Tunisia and Egypt both left. Protests in Libya have been going on strong. The people want Muammar al-Gaddafi, Libya ruler for some time now, to leave. Libyan forces have responded harshly, as 24 protesters from several cities in Libya have been killed by Libyan security forces over the past few days, according to USA Today.
New York Times