Middle East

Let us protest, Bahrain’s opposition says

In this Saturday, June 29, 2013 file photo, Mahmoud Badr, a leader of the Tamarod, or rebel, movement calling for the ouster of Egypt's president talks as a member holds a red card during a press conference in Cairo. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

DUBAI: Bahrain’s Shiite-led opposition Sunday slammed the Sunni-ruled government for warning people against joining protests that are planned for next month and named after Egypt’s “Tamarod” movement.

“The people have the right to protest peacefully” on Aug. 14 to mark the 42nd anniversary of British forces pulling out of the Gulf kingdom, said Al-Wefaq.

The Shiite movement urged the authorities not to use the demonstrations as a pretext to crack down on the opposition and launch widespread arrests: “This will not solve the political crisis. The solution is in satisfying the people’s aspirations for liberty, social justice and democracy.”

In a statement issued late Saturday, Bahrain’s Interior Ministry warned anyone against taking part in “illegal demonstrations and activities that endanger security.”

It referred to calls for demonstrations to be held on Aug. 14 under the slogan “Bahrain Tamarod” – rebel or rebellion in Arabic.

The calls were made by the Bahrain Tamarod Movement which issued its first communique online July 3 – the day Egypt’s Islamist leader Mohammad Mursi was ousted in a military coup after grassroots movement “Tamarod” organized huge nationwide demonstrations demanding he resign.

The Interior Ministry said security forces would “deal with any attempt to disturb security and stability.”

Protests are frequent in the Shiite-majority kingdom ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty, despite a 2011 crackdown on mass protests inspired by Arab Spring uprisings.





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