Protester Killed in Bahrain

(clashes between an angry population and those paid to protect the powerful)

Bahraini citizens witnessed a protester being killed during today’s pro-reform demonstrations. Across Bahrain, large groups of dissenters clashed with riot police, leading to dozens of injuries and businesses being closed.

Inspired by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, the Bahrani people held their own day of protest, demanding constitutional reform and  a government that listens to the population.

For too long, the Bahraini people have lived under the rule of an oppressive oligarchy. Bahrain’s royal family aren’t just figureheads, they’re the ultimate arbitrators of Bahrain’s government.

While such an arrangement might be good for those at the top, the further down the hierarchy one travels, the progressively worse the conditions. This leaves the bulk of the population feeling neglected by a system fundamentally lacking in democratic values.

Such injustice fuels the kind of uprisings we see today. As well, authoritarian governments, like those in Bahrain, almost always lead to egregious human rights violations.

For example, according to the US Gov’t, some foreign workers in Bahrain “face conditions of involuntary servitude after arriving… such as unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse.”

In a proactive attempt to squelch the uprisings, Bahrain’s monarchy mimicked a move done last month by neighboring Kuwait, gifting each family 1000 Dinars (approx. US$2650).

Clearly this pittance was not enough to silence all dissent, as thousands came out to show their dissatisfaction with the current regime. More protests are planned for tomorrow.

Hopefully Bahrain will be amongst the countries where a successful revolution brings more power to the people.

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