Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology - Bahrain

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology - Bahrain

Article excerpt

Oct. 20: The US postponed a $53 million arms deal with Bahrain after expressing misgivings about reported human rights abuses related to the demonstrations. The US said that it would await the findings of an independent panel charged with investigating the abuses before resuming negotiations. [AJE, 10/20]

Nov. 12: Officials in the Bahraini Interior Ministry claimed to have broken up a terror cell that targeted Bahraini and Saudi facilities across the country. Upon arrest, the suspects were found to have a laptop with sensitive security information, as well as US and Iranian money. [CNN, 11/12]

Nov. 23: An independent panel of foreign academics and judges commissioned by King Hamad bin 'Isa Al Khalifa found that security forces used excessive force against protesters during the uprisings in February and March. In its report, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry presented evidence that government officials used torture to extract confessions from detainees. King Hamad vowed to replace and punish the officials cited in the report, and promised human rights reforms to prevent future abuse of protesters. [NYT, BBC, 11/23]

Nov. 26: King Hamad formed a new commission to study the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry's report and examine its suggestions. The new commission was expected to release its own recommendations in early 2012. Opposition groups, such as Wifaq, refused to participate, saying that the new commission had no real power to affect change. [AJE, 11/27]

Nov. 28: Twenty doctors and nurses accused of helping anti-government protesters and trying to overthrow the government began their new trial in a civilian court. Bahraini officials ordered the new trial on October 5 after an earlier sentence of 15 years by a special security court caused an international outcry. [BBC, 11/28]

Dec. 4: A bomb exploded in front of the British Embassy in Manama; no deaths or injuries were reported and no group claimed responsibility. The blast came days after Iranian protesters stormed the British Embassy in Tehran. While no officials in Bahrain publicly linked the two events, the government previously claimed on several occasions that Iran attempted to influence Shi'a protesters in Bahrain. [NYT, 12/4]

Dec. 23: Government security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to attack the headquarters of Wifaq, the largest Shi'a opposition group in Bahrain. Wifaq claimed that the security forces injured several children in their raid. …

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