Bahrain cracks down on country's Shiite majority

April 5, 2011

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(Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Navy)
Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa requested assistance from Saudi troops in the crack down on anti-government protesters.

For awhile, it looked like Bahrain’s Sunni minority government might negotiate with the Shiite protesters camped out in the capital city Manama. That window of possibility closed after security forces fired on a crowd of demonstrators in March. The Bahraini government also demolished a monument in Pearl Square that was the symbol of the pro-democracy movement.

Toby Jones, a professor of Middle East history at Rutgers University, lived in Bahrain in 2006 and has studied the Gulf kingdom’s politics. His latest article on Bahrain's crackdown appeared in Al-Masry Al-Youm, an Egyptian newspaper.