Bahrain’s Brutal Crackdown Continues Overnight; Libya “Day of Rage” Today
The video at right shows the start of the brutal attack in Bahrain that Jim White reported on last night. Police cars’ blue lights appear in the distance at the beginning of the video, and then the attack begins. As of 1:00 a.m. Eastern, the numbers of dead and wounded are still unclear (update: as of 8 a.m. EST, four are reported dead from the night’s attack); Al Jazeera now says the number of fatalities is increasing with clashes reported throughout the capital city of Manama though the central tent encampment has been destroyed.
Zeinobia of Egyptian Chronicles has photos of some of the victims and describes what you hear in the video:
Here is another video showing protesters before and at the beginning of the attack. At first you can hear them chanting the praises of Prophet Mohamed ¨PUBH¨and his family then they tried to stand in silence for the martyrs , then the raid started.
Angry arabiya provides a running account of the aftermath – she went running to find her sister who was sleeping in the square. After finding her, she’s been reporting overnight from the hospital where they were expecting a new attack at any moment.
@angryarabiya Protesters are walkin with the ambulances 2 pearl roundabout. The doc who ordered the ambulances 2 go will prolly loose his job 4 doin so.
@angryarabiya Ppl hearing there are injured in lulu and ambulances not allowed to get them. They wanna walk their and carry the injured. #bahrain #feb14
There are also reports of police attacks on ambulances as they attempted to help the injured.
A few western media were present including Miguel Marquez of ABC News who was beaten while broadcasting – it’s not yet clear how severe the beating was.
Nic Robertson of CNN reported on AC360 that he had visited the main hospital where they report around 600 casualties, unclear how serious the injuries are, saw severe wounds from what looks like buckshot and describes the hospital as in pandemonium as the doctors and nurses try to triage so many.
Robertson had been in the square shortly before the attack and said it was extremely peaceful with families picnicking, sleeping – including women and children. Now he is observing police actions as dawn breaks and reports:
@NicRobertsonCNN #Bahrain: Clashes reported between demonstrators and police near Salmaniya hospital, where most of wounded were taken after police attack
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights was reporting throughout the night that:
@BahrainRights “children missing after police fired tear gas/rubber bullets upon sleeping women/children #Bahrain sq.”
@BahrainRights RT @maryamalkhawaja: Paramedics: “we removed injured while they were being beaten by riot police who said they had orders to do so” #bahrain
@BahrainRights 3 hours from the attack ambulances still arriving at Salmanya hospital with injured victims #Bahrain
@BahrainRights “@angryarabiya: An 8 year old girl was trampled during attack, in ICU now. #bahrain #feb14 #lulu”
@BahrainRights Dr.Mansoor Aljamri reports attacks on doctors and nurses at Emergency room #Bahrain #feb14 #lulu
Andy Carvin of NPR has been translating some of the Arabic tweets from Bahrain:
@acarvin Uh oh RT @gfry: _TRANSLATED_ # Bahrain # lulu Saudi forces stationed near King Fahd Causeway on the Saudi side in case of any emergency
@acarvin _TRANSLATED_ RT @ Dr_Murtadha: over 60 tanks moving around the country # Bahrain # feb14 # lulu
@acarvin TRANSLATED_ URGENT: Bahrain calls for all hospital doctors and nurses to immediately go to the emergency departments
The Mideast Youth Center is providing a site where people can upload photos and videos from across the protests – this Crowdvoice is a remarkable resource for local updates throughout the day. Here’s the page with photos and videos from Bahrain.
With reports circulating that Bahrain is about to cut all phone and internet connections, information on the latest news may be hard to come by. Once again a brutal regime, deeply allied with the U.S., closes down access to the news of their crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators. [much more after the jump]
As Nicholas Kristof said:
@NickKristof King Hamad of #Bahrain will never regain credibility after attacking peaceful protesters as they slept. Blood is forever on his hands.
And as RedhaHaji of Bahrain said as he listened to the attack at 3:26 AM:
@RedhaHaji Let obama and the other useless int leaders continue to support such violence against its people #bahrain #lulu #feb14
Meanwhile in Libya, two protesters were killed in the demonstration shown in this video. Libyan activists have called for today the Uprising of Feb 17 and with demonstrations already reported in towns across the country on Wednesday, there are expectations that today will see major marches and protests. Al Jazeera is maintaining a liveblog of news from Libya but with media so tightly controlled by the regime and intermittent internet and social media blockages, news may be sparse.
In Yemen, two protesters were killed by police fire in Aden while protests continued as well in Sanaa.
In Iran, security forces have completely surrounded Moussavi’s home and no one is able to make contact with him or his wife. Gangs of “thugs” have been gathering outside late each night and chanting:
slogans in support for the Supreme Leader and against Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, Seyed Mohammad Khatami (former president), Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani (the head of Assembly of Experts and Expediency Council) and Ayatollah Khomeini’s grandsons – Seyed Hassan, Seyed Yasser and Seyed Ali. These thugs were chanting “Mousavi and Karroubi must be executed” and “Until Hashemi is not buried, this country will not have peace”.
Enduring America’s liveblog of events in Iran reports:
0620 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Opposition websites say more than 600 relatives of people detained during Monday’s rallies are still gathered outside Evin Prison in Tehran.
And finally, in Iraq:
Three people have been killed and dozens wounded in clashes between security forces and protesters in a southern Iraqi province, after around 2,000 people attacked government offices in protest over poor services…
A police source in Kut said three protesters were killed in clashes and about 30 wounded, including 15 policemen. A hospital source said one of the dead was a 16-year-old boy who suffered a bullet to the chest…
Demonstrators are demanding Latif Hamad al-Tarfa, the provincial governor, resign over poor basic services such as electricity and water.
They held up placards that said, “To all citizens: Electricity is only for officials,” a reference to Iraq’s dramatic shortfall in power provision.
“We demand that our rights be met, that we have better services and that the authorities fight corruption,” Ali Mohsen, a 54-year-old professor at Wasit university, said.
“We demand that the governor resign … all we need is services.”