Bahrain: News of Dawn Raid Provokes Rage and Disbelief

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

People across Bahrain woke up to go to work today (Thursday 17 February, 2011) to the news of a dawn police raid on anti-government protestors camped out at Lulu Roundabout in capital Manama.

Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter have been flooded with reactions of rage, horror and disbelief at the events that have unfolded:

@MrsNadiaCarter I'm saddened to hear that the riot police attacked sleeping protestors early this morning…please explain yourselves @moi_bahrain #Bahrain

@baderkamal No extra pressure intended, but I expect statements from any or all government officials on Twitter.

@SaudAlbuainain Force – not the answer!

@Salmaaaaaaaaaan If we want justice .. we act by what is just .. what is peaceful .. what is preserving unity .. what is granting a prosperous future ..

@BAHRAINIAC Whats happening to the country? Im so speechless. #Bahrain #Feb14

@M_Sharaf Someone pinch me please. I wan't to leave this terrifying nightmare. #Bahrain

@ahmedalsairafi Pray for the souls killed today, and Pray for unity #bahrain #feb14

@haythoo الشهيد خضير كان يجلس بالقرب منا بالمغرب،كان يمسك بإنبوب المياه لمن يريد الوضوء أو الغسيل،حين شاهدت صورته لم استطع تمالك نفسي #Bahrain #14Feb

“The martyr Khudair (52 year old man killed in the raid) was sitting near us before Maghrib prayers, he was holding a water hose for those who wanted to do ablution for prayer or washing up, when I saw his photo (in the hospital) I couldn't hold myself together”

Blogger Mahmood Al-Yousif posted on his blog:

Dialogue has no place in Bahrain at the moment.

And all space is left to the violence of a government that doesn’t seem to care about its citizens.

Dialogue is replaced with shotguns, tear gas and hundreds of riot police all exerting an inordinate amount of violence against unarmed civilians.

That was what faced unarmed sleeping civilians – men, women, children, old men and women – this pre-dawn residing in the Pearl Roundabout.

One would be forgiven for assuming that at least to those present there, and the families of the four more killed by riot-police shotguns at the roundabout this morning, not only the government has lost its credibility, but also the royal family.

This is a completely unnecessary escalation of events.


With the King appearing on national television offering his apology to those killed in the previous couple of days, one assumes by extrapolation that he would never have authorised nor condones such violence. So did the Ministry of Interior go it alone and completely against the king’s wishes and once again use an indiscriminate and an inordinate use of force?

Regardless. The royal family and the government aren’t gaining any friends now and lost quite a few too. If – and that’s a big – the government does want to restore calm, deep concessions must be offered. Unless we want to see the complete burning of the country unnecessarily.

God bless Bahrain. This time, it’s very difficult.

The February 14th Revolution Facebook Page [ar], which has now over 32,000 supporters, has called for strikes on Thursday in support of the protests and to honor the fallen:

ندعو الشعب للإضراب العام اليوم الخميس عن العمل و المدارس و المعاهد و الجامعات و المشاركة الحاشدة في تشييع الشهداء و الإعتصامات السلمية ..

We call on all citizens of Bahrain, to announce a nationwide strike on Thursday, from work, schools, institutes and universities to participate in the burial of the martyrs and in peaceful protests..

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

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