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Bahrain: Snapshots from a Day of Protest and Injury

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Bahrain, Citizen Media, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Protest

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011 [1].

Today morning in Nuwaidrat [2]

@Awadhi4: Today morning in Nuwaidrat. #Feb14 #Bahrain http://yfrog.com/h25rhwkj

Bahrain was rocked by violence today as the latest country to stage protests in the so-called Arab revolution time-table [3] inspired by uprisings in Tunisa and Egypt. Police quashed demonstrations in various cities today, and both videos [4] and photos of the crackdown are dodging internet censors, and making their way around the web.

At least one person has died.

News began to circulate about a February 14 uprising [5] at the beginning of the month. Only days ago King Hamad, Bahrain's monarch, announced that the government would be giving each family in Bahrain a gift of BD1,000 (US$2,650) to mark the 10th anniversary of the country's return to constitutional rule [6].

Just Bahrain [7]Bahrain is an oil-rich country with approximately 1.2 million inhabitants, located near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. The country has a poor human rights record and very uneven distribution of wealth. Adding to the trouble is strong sectarian tension between Shiites (majority) and Sunnis (minority, power-holders). The bigotry is often visible on Twitter, as are also online efforts to quell disagreement [8]. Although Bahrain is small, it is strategically important to the United States [9] as the home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and a close neighbor to Saudia Arabia and Iran.

Snapshots from a day of turmoil

Throughout the day, there were messages and photos on Twitter showing the demonstrators’ perspective of events (See hashtag #14Feb [10]). Several people posted updates about major roads and intersections being closed. Najeel Rajab has posted photos [11] on Facebook showing multiple injuries sustained today.

[12]@ramyraoof [13]: protesters chanting “we are not rioting, we are demanding our rights” http://yfrog.com/h3ke6tj – http://yfrog.com/h7e06klj #Feb14 #Bahrain

[14]@maryamalkhawaja [15]: Man hit with sound bomb #feb14 #bahrain http://yfrog.com/gy43bigj

[16]@ba7ari [17]: Tear gas shots in Sanabis village #Bahrain #Feb14 #HRW http://twitpic.com/3zq9eh

[18]@ammar456 [19]: Things are getting crazy in Sanabis tear gas being thrown people running around #Feb14 #Bahrain http://twitpic.com/3zq0qi

[20]@bahraini14feb [21]: Pic from a protest today in Bahrain. See the bahraini flag!! http://twitpic.com/3zpwqr #bahrain #feb14

[22]@Awadhi4 [23]: Today morning in Nuwaidrat. #Feb14 #Bahrain http://yfrog.com/gyoqfvgj

[24]@Awadhi4 [25]: The only person injured. Today morning in Nuwaidrat. #Feb14 #Bahrain http://yfrog.com/h41f7ffj

[26]@Awadhi4 [27]: Today morning in Nuwaidrat. #Feb14 #Bahrain http://yfrog.com/hs6buajj

Official response

Bahrain's Ministry of the Interior created a Twitter account today [28]where they are sharing their own version of what happened in Arabic and in English.

@moi_bahrain [29]: What happened in Nuwaidrat today resulted in one person being injured. He is in hospital & is stable. He had suffered bruises in the face.

moi_bahrain [30]: Interior Minister met the father of the man injured in Karzakan. He directed that the injured be treated abroad & has ordered an inquiry.

moi_bahrain [31]: Illegal rally in Karzakan 3 policemen attacked, Police had to fire 2 rubber buttons. 1st as warning shot 2nd bounced & hit a demonstrator

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011 [1].

Paula Góes [32]contributed to the writing of this post.