Last updated: 14 July, 2013

Bahrain warns against Egypt-inspired protests

Bahrain’s Shiite-led opposition on Sunday slammed the Sunni-ruled government for warning people against joining protests that are planned for next month and named after Egypt’s “Tamarod” rebellion movement.

“The people have the right to protest peacefully” on August 14 to mark the 42nd anniversary of British forces pulling out of the Gulf kingdom, said the Al-Wefaq movement.

Al-Wefaq urged the authorities not to use the demonstrations as a pretext to crackdown on the opposition and launch widespread arrests.

“This will not solve the political crisis. The solution is in satisfying the people’s aspirations for liberty, social justice and democracy,” said the Shiite movement.

In a statement issued late on Saturday, Bahrain’s interior ministry warned anyone against taking part in “illegal demonstrations and activities that endanger security”.

It referred to calls for demonstrations to be held on August 14 under the slogan “Bahrain Tamarod” — rebellion in Arabic.

The calls were made by the Bahrain Rebellion Movement which issued its first communique online on July 3 — the day Egypt’s Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi was ousted in a military coup after a grassroots movement called Tamarod organised massive nationwide demonstrations demanding he resigns.

The interior ministry warned security forces would “deal with any attempt to disturb security and stability”.

Protests are frequent in the Shiite-majority kingdom ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty, despite a 2011 crackdown on mass protests inspired by Arab Spring uprisings.

At least 80 people have been killed in Bahrain since the protests erupted, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.