The centre of the Bahraini capital Manama has been filled with thousands of demonstrators calling for the government’s downfall – and to remember the victims of the past week’s violence.
Many majority Shi’ite Muslims claim they are the victims of long-term discrimination by the ruling Sunni elite.
Joining the protest was a small group of army and police officers, conscious that the military firing on protesters had contributed to the death toll of seven.
“We decided that our job is to protect people and not to beat them up,” said policeman Abu Noah. “The weapons that have been used against the people are weapons of shame, these weapons should be used to protect the people, and not be used against them. That’s why we’ve decided to be with the people.”
A key test will be the impact of the return from exile of a leading opposition figure, Hassan Mushaimaa of the Haq movement, one of a group of 25 on trial over an alleged coup plot.
“These peaceful Muslim people are coming today to raise the flag of the homeland,” said Sheikh Hussein Al-Deehi, deputy head of another opposition group, the Shi’ite Al-Wefaq Society. “We’ve been asking for freedom for decades and we’ve been denied it. We’ve lost blood but we’ll keep struggling, God willing.”
The royal family has offered concessions – announcing the release of some convicted prisoners for example – but it is not clear whether such moves will be enough to get opposition groups to agree to talks.
They have repeated demands for a constitutional monarchy to replace Bahrain’s ruling dynasty.
Copyright © 2015 euronewsMore about:
- 1EU call for unity as Spain and Portugal enter war of words with Greece
- 2Female pilot jailed in Russia proclaimed a ‘hero of Ukraine’
- 3Indian rapist says women to blame for being sexually assaulted
- 4Interview: The consequences of Boris Nemtsov’s murder
- 5Russia: floral tributes pile up at Nemtsov murder scene
- 1USA: Los Angeles police shoot homeless man dead
- 2Memorial march: “My hope for Russia has died with the death of Boris Nemtsov”
- 3EU call for unity as Spain and Portugal enter war of words with Greece
- 4Estonia votes in election amid concerns over Russia
- 5Skydiver has lucky escape after seizure at 9,000 feet
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Exclusive: CIA and Mossad are behind Boko Haram and ISIL, says Sudan president | euronews, world news
- 3eurovibes - a selection of Europe’s best music talent
- 4English and Spanish among happiest languages | euronews, world news
- 5Greek debt: who will pay if Greece fails? | euronews, world news
- 6Tens of thousands march in Moscow in memory of Boris Nemtsov | euronews, world news
- 7International news | euronews, latest international news
- 8Exclusive: Tsipras promises meritocracy, transparency for Greece, urges Europe to put people first | euronews, world news
- 9Watch: Ukraine MPs in fierce fist fight outside parliament | euronews, world news
- 10Dramatic dashcam video captures Taiwan plane crash | euronews, world news
- 11Data ‘mocks’ claims migrants try for Europe ‘expecting’ sea rescue | euronews, world news
- 12European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 13Kosovo emptying out, hopes for independent future exhausted | euronews, world news
- 14‘Blue’ dress causes internet confusion. Is it white and gold? | euronews, world news
- 15Live updates: follow the 2015 Oscars ceremony | euronews, world news
- 16euronews apps : iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Nokia S40, Nokia Asha, Smart TV and Google Glass
- 17Implanted RFID chip controls office access for Stockholm workers | euronews, hi-tech
- 18Barack Obama’s silly Buzzfeed video goes viral | euronews, world news
- 19Elastic road surface reduces motorway noise pollution | euronews, futuris
- 20Canada: Valentine’s Day mass shooting plot foiled say police | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 07:08 CET Israel’s Netanyahu to address U.S. Congress in speech that has…
- 07:06 CET India’s ‘smart cities’ would be stupid without disaster strategy
- 06:36 CET Japan PM Abe faces questions about political donations
- 06:28 CET Hillary Clinton may have broken federal record-keeping laws – …
- 04:40 CET Exclusive – Nemtsov killing sign of worsening climate in Russia…
- 04:28 CET North Korea reopens borders after months-long Ebola shutdown
- 03:58 CET Australia to send 300 more troops to Iraq on training mission
- 03:05 CET Video shows fatal Los Angeles police shooting of homeless man