Is Bahrain Next?

The Bahraini opposition is calling for protests against the government on Aug. 14. 

al-monitor Islamic National Accord Association official Sheikh Ali Salman (C) holds pictures of political prisoners as he takes part in an anti-government rally in Budaiya, west of Manama, July 5, 2013.  Photo by REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed.

Topics covered

tamarod, egypt, bahrain

Jul 5, 2013

Two years and four months have passed since the outbreak of protests in Bahrain. The Bahraini government, backed by the US and Gulf states, has failed to put forward a solution to the crisis, which has been aggravating politically, socially, ideologically and at the security level.

Bahrainis have been keeping a close eye on the protests in Arab countries, where people have won the battles of democracy against dictatorships. They were inspired by and provided inspirations for these countries at the same time.

While the Egyptian Tamarod [Rebel] Movement continued to fuel "insurgency" in Egypt, some unknown parties have announced the organization of the "Bahrain Rebellion" campaign in the vein of the Tamarod model to be held on Aug. 14, which marks the country's independence day from British occupation. This same day marks the two and a half year anniversary of the outbreak of the Bahraini protests.

Activists have started to mobilize on social networking sites, as several Facebook and Twitter pages have started to call for this movement, amid much sympathy from the Bahraini street, as people have been moved by the achievement of the Tamarod movement in the face of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

Under the headlines, "Bahrain has Risen up," and "The August 14 Rebels," the first statement calling for mobilization in the streets was issued yesterday [July 4].

The statement justified the reasons behind this mobilization, stating that people want "a nation that embraces all its citizens. We want a Bahrain to which we can all belong — a completely independent Arab nation — for a free sovereign people who are the source of all powers. This movement is for freedom, for which Bahrainis have long yearned and made great sacrifices over many decades of struggle."

"We want to revolt against the authorities that have confiscated the people's value, undermined the people's decisions and sovereignty in favor of their own personal interests, monopolizing the nation's resources by unjust laws that confiscated the people's rights and restricted their movement and activities," the statement added.

The movement has urged Bahrainis to unify their ranks and eliminate their political, ideological and religious differences in order to safeguard the people's rights to freedom, dignity and sovereignty and to practice their freedom of expression in all available peaceful means.

The movement described itself on the Facebook page as "a movement calling for awareness, nationalism, sovereignty, independence and legitimacy, with a message of love, loyalty and dedication to all of the Bahraini people in rebellion against the authorities."

Although little time has passed since the movement has made its call, the Haq Movement of Liberty and Democracy — whose leader Hassan Mushaimeh has been sentenced to life in prison as he was charged with intending to overthrow the government — has declared its support for the Tamarod movement.

In a statement, the Haq movement said, "Let August 14 be the day of rebellion against the ruling gang in Bahrain."

For his part, the secretary-general of the Islamic National Accord Association, Sheikh Ali Salman, said, "We support any peaceful movement, at any time and from any party. Everybody has the right to protest. Local and international authorities ought to support the Bahrainis' right to protest." He stressed that over the past three months, there have been 932 demonstrations, "which reflect the spirit of revolution among the Bahraini people. Perhaps the call for protests on August 14 shows that the Bahraini people will not cease to demonstrate until they achieve their demands."    

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