The Kurdish flag is flying high in the wind from the rooftop of an old brick house inside Kirkuk’s millennia-old citadel, as Rashid – a stern-looking man sitting behind a machine gun – monitors the surroundings.
The lengthy prison sentences handed down to 50 Shia activists last week and the refusal of Bahraini courts to hear their allegations of torture once again confirm the regime’s continued repression of the opposition.
On Aug. 14, the 42nd
anniversary of Bahrain’s independence from Britain, an online group called Tarmarod (“rebellion” in Arabic) officially joined Bahrain’s democracy movement that began in February 2011.
The special session of the Bahraini National Assembly held on Sunday Jul. 28 was a spectacle of venom, a display of vulgarity, and an unabashed nod to increased dictatorship.
By continuing its repressive policies and refusing to engage civil society and moderate political groups in meaningful dialogue for genuine reform, the Khalifa family has squandered its legitimate right to rule Bahrain. King Hamad could still salvage his rule, but he would need to act boldly by taking the following steps.
Human rights groups here are calling for the United States and the European Union (EU) to exert more pressure on Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, to seriously engage its opposition and end its repression of its majority Shi'a population.
Driving into the city of Kirkuk, one is greeted by the view of a huge sea of grey concrete houses from which laundry has been hung out to dry in the wind and be blackened by smoke rising from the surrounding oil wells.
A poll released Tuesday shows a stark decline in favourability among Arab and Muslim citizens regarding the Iranian government and its policies.
On the eve of the second anniversary of the uprising in Bahrain, the administration of President Barack Obama is being urged to press the royal family to make genuine compromises with the predominantly Shi’a opposition.
Despite the start of a government-inspired dialogue with the opposition Sunday, the Bahraini government continues to jail dissidents, arrest demonstrators, and use a rigged judicial system to convict them.
Tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims blocked Iraq's main trade route to neighbouring Syria and Jordan in a fourth day of demonstrations against Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.