Today in Middle Eastern history: Bahrain’s Bloody Thursday (2011)

Today marks the anniversary of Bloody Thursday, one of the largest of the several crackdowns carried out by the Bahraini government against opposition protesters over the past several years. It should be noted that Bahrain’s Arab Spring protests started out, on February 14, as a call for democratic reform and improved treatment for the country’s Shiʿa majority at the hands of the minority Sunni Khalifa dynasty. There was no widespread call for the monarchy to be overthrown. But King Hamad b. Isa Al Khalifa responded to the protests as though they were a direct threat to his reign. On February 17, before dawn, he sent 1000 police into Manama’s Pearl Roundabout to clear it of encamped protesters using, among other things, tear gas, clubs, and live ammunition. Four people were killed and 300 injured.

Source: Today in Middle Eastern history: Bahrain’s Bloody Thursday (2011)

Author: DWD

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