Video roundup

A selection of amateur footage shot over the past 24 hours. The opposition Feb 14 Media site has additional photographs and videos.

Al Qadem – A family try and resist their son’s arrest. Police ultimately respond with tear gas (via @alaashehabi):

Sitra – Anti-F1 protesters on Friday evening say: “Your race is a crime” and “Your race will fail“. (via @MARYAMALKHAWAJA)

Footage of similar anti-F1 protests from Al Dair, Markuban and the capital Manama, where protesters also chanted: “Let your palaces hear, your prisons we do not fear.”

Sitra – Street battles Thursday night (via @alaashehabi)

Sitra – Birdshot bellets, fired by security forces, being removed from a man’s leg (via @alaashehabi)

Sitra – A young man sets fire to a car on the street on Thursday in broad daylight as a protest against the F1 race. VIDEO.

Barbar – Young men spray the English slogan “No F1 – Don’t race on our blood” on a wall.

Buri – Young men block the road on the main highway by Buri with burning tyres, then proceed to burn all the F1 chequered flags flying from posts along the road.


Injuries by police in Sa’ar and Abu Saiba

Said Yousif Almuhafda, Head of Monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, tweeted two images tonight of injuries sustained from police firing shotguns and tear gas respectively. Specific details of the respective incidents are currently unknown. I have combined the images into one graphic below:


Individuals who suffer such injuries rarely receive medical treatment in national hospitals, which are said to have become “militarized”, for fear of arrest. Last week, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights issued an important new report covering this subject: Limited Medical Access and Breach of Medical Neutrality in Bahrain (see pp25-30 especially). As a consequence of the fear instilled by the current state apparatus, underground clinics have been set up to treat people injured by police. As the report notes:

those injured by excessive force from security forces do not go to hospitals out of fear. As a result, secret clinics have been set up in different residential areas with portable first aid clinics. Those who volunteer to work are a few doctors, a few qualified nurses and volunteers who received training on first aid. At times, even fractures and open wounds have been treated at these clinics. The advantage is that these clinics provide basic medical care for civilians who fear going to the hospital. These medics and volunteers treat civilians at their own risk as they become targets of the authorities, and have very limited resources. (p28)

Opposition societies “Protest for Democracy”

At 4pm local time, an authorised protest organised by opposition societies began on Budaiya Highway. The societies have held daily mass protests for democracy since last Friday. The BBC reported that “tens of thousands of anti-government protesters” demonstrated today. Footage of the march:

The largest opposition society Al Wefaq tweeted the following images of today’s march:



A family prepare for the march:


A protester dressed as a detained medic, holds up a rose and shows that he is “sumood” (steadfast), despite being in handcuffs:


Meanwhile, just as the march was taking place, masked police arrived in Sanad, a village near to the Bahrain International Circuit:


Three journalists deported

Bahrain state media has just confirmed earlier rumours on social media that 3 foreign journalists have been deported. In a statement, the Information Affairs Authority claimed that the journalists had violated Bahraini “laws and regulations”. The IAA claims that the journalists had been warned “more than once” about breaking media regulations (h/t @marcowenjones).

The 3 journalists are from ITN a (specifically, ITV News) and were deported “after being questioned at a local police station”.

Update: 16:14BST – Bahraini journalist Nazeeha Saeed, who is a correspondent for France 24 and Monte Carlo, was working with the ITN crew. She has tweeted the following (I have removed hashtags for clarity):

Bahrain deported ITN team in their second day in the country, they get arrested while shooting AlSadiq mosque in Qfoul

My press card was withdrawn (Information Security) after that I was asked to leave the police station with the driver after the detention of ITN team

Police pulled my security media card and asked me to leave the police station with the driver after arresting ITN team

We asked [Ministry of Interior] & [Information Affairs Authority] why the ITN team been deported, no answer was given.

Update: 16:45 – A report in The Independent carries further details, including a statement from ITV News (note: ITN produces ITV News):

The group, who had the necessary visas permitting them to work there, were then again questioned and taken to a police station today, before being told they must leave the country or face going to prison.


An ITV News spokeswoman said: “Our news team were on assignment with visas approved by the Bahraini authorities.

“Having filed a report last night, they were stopped while filming this morning and taken to a local police station for discussions with officers.

“They have since been asked to leave the country, which they are in the process of doing.”

Update: 16:53BST – ITV News reveals that one of the deported journalists was  ITV News special correspondent Rageh Omaar. He filed this report yesterday.

The Guardian has also covered the story.

Yesterday, Nazeeha and the ITN crew were stopped by police at a checkpoint and briefly detained at Budaiya police station.

This echoes a similar incident at last year’s Formula One when a team working for Channel 4 News (which is produced by ITN) were arrested, detained and deported.

This post will be updated as more information comes in.

Citizen journalist reportedly assaulted by police, pictures deleted

Said Yousif Almuhafda, Head of Monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, reports on Twitter about an attack against citizen journalist Nader AbdulEmam:

I just talked with blogger @NaderAbdulEmam who was taking pictures as usual when Riot Police stopped him in Jidhafs.

@NaderAbdulEmam stated that Riot Police beat and punched him and cursed him for only taking pictures in one of the villages!

Then he was taken to a checkpoint to see if he’s wanted, they deleted pics from his phone & threatened him with arrest if he took pics again

Our prayers with Formula 1 journalists that they don’t get beaten by Riot police while filming the race like @NaderAbdulEmam

This incident comes 24 hours after a Bahraini journalist and British news team were stopped at a police checkpoint and taken to a police station.

Yesterday, Reporters Without Borders launched a campaign in advance of the F1, titled: “Don’t Leave News Out of the Race” which aims “to draw attention to the government policy of orchestrating disinformation about Bahrain’s street protests and the ensuing crackdown, and to the way news and information have been the crackdown’s collateral victims.”

Sayed Yousif also reports that “27 people were arrested yesterday”. (See also this post on yesterdays arrest of 4 children from Bani Jamra.)

4 children arrested in Bani Jamrah reportedly beaten; another beaten in Karzakan

Maryam AlKhawaja, Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights at BCHR, reports that four children were arrested today in Bani Jamrah. They were released around 9pm local time “after reportedly getting beaten”.

One of the children arrested was Mahdi Salah AlKhawaja, aged 13. Mahdi is the nephew of Maryam’s father, Abdulhadi AlKhawaja, an internationally renowned human rights defender and current prisoner of conscience. Mahdi’s father, Salah AlKhawaja, is also a prisoner of conscience. Both men were arrested, tortured and sentenced in 2011 at the height of the government crackdown against the pro-democracy movement. Mahdi was present when his father was arrested. Khadija Almousawi, who is Abdulhadi’s wife, tweeted the trauma that he went through at the time, aged just 11:

We have just heard about the arrest of Mahdi Sala Alkhawaja, 13 years. My husband’s nephew. A very quiet kid. His father is in jail.

When Bader Ghaith came to arrest Mahdi’s father 2 years ago, he pointed his gun on Mahdi’s head and asked him: “Where is your father?” When they found the father in the next room they took him to the roof. The mercenary police asked Bader Ghaith: “should I bring him or throw him down?” Ghaith said: “Throw him.”

Mahdi was only 11 then. His father was thrown from the roof while Mahdi and his younger sisters were watching. Mahdi’s mother shouted at Ghaith. They went to her started beating and kicking her. And she was sexually harassed. All that and the four kids were watching and crying.

Now Mahdi’s mother has to suffer her little boys arrest when her husband is in jail. How will she spend the night only God knows?

In a separate incident, Said Yousif Almuhafda, head of monitoring and documentation at BCHR, reports that a “boy was beaten by riot police in Karzakan this afternoon”. He shared this picture:


Cartoon of police beating becomes reality in Sanad today

Said Yousif Almuhafda, head of monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, reported earlier that a “young protester” had been “beaten by riot police” this morning in Sanad. Said Yousif shared this picture of the beating:

Sanad 18-4-2013

A video was later uploaded by activists which reportedly shows him being arrested.

Lilly, an activist on Twitter who tweets as @iBitss, observed that the image was very reminiscent of a very popular anti-F1 cartoon drawn by Carlos Latuff last year. Lilly tweeted: “From a cartoon sketch to reality: a guy getting beaten after getting arrested. Welcome to Bahrain F1 Grandprix”.

Carlos Latuff F1 cartoon (2012)