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Foreign intervention in Bahrain – but not on the side of the protestors

It’s interesting to contrast the attitude of our Political Class toward Bahrain and Libya. Our ConDem coalition is gung ho to interfere in Libya, advocating arming rebels and intervening militarily with talk of no-fly zones and possible bombing. Yet on Bahrain they remain curiously silent.

The small kingdom with an increasingly alienated Shia majority has been swept by protests over the last several weeks. The protesters, alleging discrimination and lack of rights, are seeking political reforms.

Today least six people are reported dead and hundreds injured after security forces in Bahrain drove out pro-democracy protesters from the Pearl Roundabout in the capital, Manama. It is reported that the government used Apache helicopters to shoot at peaceful protesters.

A 12-hour curfew came into force at 4pm in areas of the city including the Pearl Roundabout, the Bahrain Financial Harbour, and several other buildings which have recently been targets of protests.

The country’s stock market said it had closed until further notice. Two of Bahrain’s main banks – Standard Chartered and HSBC Holdings – said they had closed all their branches.

Bahrain’s health minister (a Shia) has resigned in protest against the government’s use of force and Shia judges have resigned en masse.

Hundreds of Saudi-led troops entered Bahrain on Monday. It was not yet known if Wednesday’s security crackdown involved Saudi troops. The United Arab Emirates has also sent about 500 police to Bahrain.

Bahrain’s main opposition Wefaq party has called off protests, saying it is too dangerous to continue.

There are reports that the injured are being denied medical treatment and that Salmaniya hospital has been surrounded by Government troops who are preventing people from entering or leaving.

Ali Al Aswad, a Wafaq member, said: “The security forces are killing the people, we call upon UN to help us.”

Don’t hold your breath Ali your ruler is in favour with the West and human rights in Bahrain are therefore not much of a concern to them. That will not stop the hypocrites pontificating about Libya of course. They have no shame!


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