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Violent protests in Bahrain

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 02:18

Feb. 14 - Protests turn violent in Bahrain as demonstrators return to the streets to mark the one year anniversary of an anti-government uprising. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Marking the one year anniversary of the aniti-government movement in Bahrain. Many Shi'ites have taken to the streets, complaining that they are treated as second-class citizens. The police use tear gas to control the crowds. Containing the outrage is a complicated challenge for a Sunni ruling family in power for more than 200 years. Bahrain escaped severe international censure for crushing last year's revolt. The Gulf island monarchy is a Western ally, hosting the U.S. Fifth Fleet to counter Shi'ite Iran across the Gulf. Yet the United States suspended a $53 million arms deal until it sees "more progress" by the government on reforms. Some are wounded in the protests. Riot police move in. Demonstrators say they are in constant conflict with police who treat them harshly. After last year's unrest, the government granted parliament extra powers of scrutiny over ministers and budgets, but has not budged on the more far-reaching opposition demands. Bahraini authorities have hired U.S. and British police chiefs to help reform policing after revelations about torture and deaths of detainees during last year's crackdown. Opposition parties they see no improvement in police behavior. They accuse police of using harsh tactics for political reasons: to suppress dissent in Shi'ite villages that could produce a critical mass of protesters again. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Violent protests in Bahrain

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 02:18