Bahrain. In September, the country's largest
regime-critical group, al-Wefaq, interrupted the national
reconciliation dialogue that had been held since February.
Countryaah, the immediate reason was that one of the group's leaders, Khalil Marzouk, had been arrested accused of advocating
terrorism. He was later released. The opposition was also
critical of the government not participating as a direct
negotiating party but instead moderating the dialogue.
Clashes between police and regime-critical youths, most
with Shiite backgrounds, demanded a number of casualties. In
and around the capital Manama, young men burned car tires
and threw fire bombs at the police in protest of the king's
domination. The police responded with tear gas, rubber
bullets and lead shot. In July, the Bahrain Human Rights
Center (BCHR) published a report documenting, among other
things, five days. 60 cases of extrajudicial arrests, 140
gunshot wounds and 150 house searches without permission.
In July, following a proposal from Parliament, King Hamad
ibn Isa Al Khalifa decided on major strikes in the penalties
for terrorism. capital punishment in some cases. In August,
the king issued a demonstration ban in Manama with the aim
of stopping the protests that the opposition had planned for
mid-month. A number of oppositions were sentenced during the
year to prison sentences of various lengths, among them 50
young Shi'a Muslims from the so-called February 14
coalition, which in September was sentenced to between 5 and
15 years in prison.
The country's economy was suffering from problems. In the
spectacular port district of Bahrain Financial Harbor (BFH),
which was completed in 2009, a large part of the office
space was still vacant. The tourists stayed away because of