Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • French journalists abducted in Syria freed

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • South Korea ferry captain defends decision to delay evacuation

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

Middle east

Bahrain's king orders state of emergency to be lifted June 1

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-09

The Bahraini monarch has ordered the country’s state of emergency to be lifted as of next month, state media reported on Sunday. Emergency law was declared in March in an effort to quell weeks of demonstrations demanding political reform.

REUTERS - Bahrain’s king has ordered a state of emergency to be lifted from June 1, after imposing it following weeks of Shi’ite-led street protests in the Gulf Arab kingdom, the state news agency said on Sunday.

Bahrain, where the Sunni king rules over a Shi’ite majority, declared emergency law in March before forcibly quelling the protests calling for greater political freedoms, a constitutional monarchy and an end to sectarian discrimination.
 
“The state of national safety is lifted across the kingdom of Bahrain from June 1, 2011,” state news agency BNA quoted the king’s decree as saying. It had been due to expire in mid-June.
 
As Bahrain moved to put down the protests, neighbouring Sunni-led Gulf states sent troops to back its forces, in turn boosting regional tension with nearby Shi’ite rival Iran, which Bahrain accuses of helping instigate the protests.
 
Since then, Bahrain has targeted demonstrators. Hundreds have been arrested and dozens put on trial in special courts.  Others have been fired from government jobs.
 
The main Shi’ite opposition group Wefaq welcomed the king’s move to lift emergency law as “very good news” and said it was the first sign authorities were relaxing their grip.
 
“The security forces can still do their normal business but we don’t have to have the army in the streets,” said Jasim Husain, a Wefaq politician. “I expect more gestures from the king in coming weeks. We have to get our house in order and move on as a nation.”
 
At least 29 people, all but six of them Shi’ites, have been killed since the protests started in February, inspired by Arab revolts against autocratic rule that toppled the rulers of Egypt and Tunisia.
 
The six non-Shi’ites killed were an Indian and a Bangladeshi and four policemen, several of whom were hit by cars.
 
Trial begins
 
Bahrain put 21 opposition activists on trial in special courts on Sunday, charged with trying to topple the government.
 
They included Shi’ite dissident Hassan Mushaimaa, leader of the opposition group Haq who has called for the overthrow of the Sunni al-Khalifa monarchy, and Ebrahim Shareef, the Sunni leader of the secular Waad group that has called for a constitutional monarchy but has not joined those seeking to oust the king.
 
The defendants, who also include a human rights activist who is a Danish citizen, were put on trial in a hybrid civilian-military court where military prosecutors try the case before a panel of one military and two civilian judges.
 
“Lawyers were called less than 24 hours before the trial started. They did not have time to prepare,” Nabeel Rajab of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights said. State media said the trial was later adjourned to May 12 to give lawyers more time.
 
The state news agency said the men were accused of involvement in an “attempt to overthrow the government by force and in liaison with a terrorist organisation working for a foreign country”. Seven were being tried in absentia.
 
The state news agency did not say what penalty military prosecutors were seeking in the case. Rights activists say Bahrain’s anti-terrorism law could make them eligible for the death penalty if convicted on the most serious counts.
 
In late April, a court sentenced four men to death for their role in killing two policemen during the unrest.
 
International rights groups have criticised the trials.  U.S.-based Human Rights Watch has said it received credible reports that one of the 21 defendants, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, was hospitalised after beatings while in custody.
 
Bahrain denies there is torture in its prisons and says all such accusations will be investigated.
 
Minister for Justice and Islamic Affairs Sheikh Khaled bin Ali al-Khalifa rejected the criticism and said all defendants would get fair trials and have the right to appeal verdicts.
 
“Bahrain is keen to honour its international obligations and respect human rights covenants,” he said in remarks carried by pro-government media on Sunday.

 

Date created : 2011-05-08

  • BAHRAIN

    Bahrain seeks to dissolve opposition parties

    Read more

  • BAHRAIN

    Shiite opposition leaders arrested

    Read more

  • BAHRAIN

    Violence flares as king declares state of emergency

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)