Washington Post: After Assurances by Trump, Bahrain Mounts Deadliest Raid in Years on Opposition
2017-05-26 - 6:32 p
Bahrain Mirror: The American "Washington Post" newspaper described Diraz raid as the deadliest one carried out by the Bahraini government on opposition in years.
The newspaper said in a report published on Wednesday (May 24, 2017) that "a raid by government forces in Bahrain against a pro-opposition stronghold has left at least five people dead and hundreds detained in one of the deadliest crackdowns since protests erupted in 2011 against the Persian Gulf nation's Western-backed monarchy."
Opposition activists said that the police targeted a peaceful sit-in outside the home of Bahrain's leading Shiite cleric and that the dead included an environmental activist.
Protests and clashes have flared for years in the tiny but strategic island nation between the Sunni-led monarchy and Bahrain's majority Shiite population, which has complained of discrimination and other abuses.
The newspaper added that "the timing of the raid was striking, coming two days after President Trump publicly assured the king of Bahrain that their relationship would be free of the kind of "strain" that had occurred in the past - an apparent reference to the Obama administration's periodic chiding of Bahrain over its human rights violations."
Trump's widely anticipated speech, included assurances to the gulf's Sunni states that "our friends will never question our support."
In Bahrain, the government's opponents viewed the conference and Trump's appearance with the Bahraini monarch as providing tacit approval for the raid on Tuesday.
The Washington post went on to say that Bahrain's Ministry of Information Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for more details on the circumstances that led to the deaths or about the evolving U.S. relationship with Bahrain.
Political life and sectarian relations have steadily deteriorated since the government, with help from Persian Gulf allies, quashed a Shiite-led pro-democracy uprising in 2011. Since then, Bahrain's most prominent opposition figures have been imprisoned, fled the country or are facing prosecution.
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