Bahrain. In September, the country’s largest regime-critical group, al-Wefaq, interrupted the national reconciliation dialogue that had been held since February. According to 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 the unrest. See DIGOPAUL for map and location of Bahrain.