Fact File: Bahrain
Friday 18 May 2012
Among the nations of the Arab Spring, Bahrain is an unusual case.
The base of the US Navy’s 5th Fleet and the only Gulf state to be caught up in the pro-democracy uprisings, the fate of this tiny island is of keen interest to the rest of the world - and still hangs in the balance.
While uprisings in Tunisa, Egypt and Libya have ousted autocratic regimes, the Bahraini authorities have retained power since the February 2011 ‘Day of Rage’ with a mixture of concessions to reform and force. In the latter, they are aided by their powerful neighbour Saudi Arabia, another Sunni-ruled state, with reason to fear the growing confidence of a Shiite majority.
Amnesty International have questioned the government’s commitment to democratic reform, pointing to the plight of hunger-striking activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and poet Ayat al-Gormezi, but the ruling Al Khalifa family enjoy the continued support of foreign governments.
Britain has demonstrated particular loyalty to its former protectorate. The 2012 Formula One Grand Prix (held in Bahrain since 2004) went ahead despite a backdrop of protest, the British government continues to sanction arms exports to the area and the King of Bahrain apparently remains on the Queen’s invite list. He has RSVP-ed to attend the Diamond Jubilee lunch at Windsor Castle.
256 sq miles – Area of the island kingdom of Bahrain - or about the size of South London. Source: Foreign & Commonwealth Office
1783 – The year the Khalifah family, members of the Bani Utbah tribe defeated Nasr Al-Madhkur to become rulers of Bahrain. Source: Foreign & Commonwealth Office
1971 – The year H.R.H. Prince Khalifa bin Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the current king’s uncle, was appointed prime minister. Source: Kingdom of Bahrain, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
35 – Estimated number of deaths during the February-March 2011 protests, including five security officers. Source: Amnesty International
4000 – Estimated number of protestors dismissed from their jobs for taking part in anti-government protests. Source: Amnesty International
Human Rights in Bahrain, Amnesty International, 2012
Bahrain – an uprising on the verge of revolution, Robert Fisk, The Independent, 2012
Britain’s craven silence over Bahrain stinks of hypocrisy, Emmanuel Stoakes, The Independent, 2012
Witness to an Uprising: Expelled from Bahrain for posting to Facebook, Tony Mitchell, the Atlantic, 2012
Ali Hasan: The 11 year-old feeling the wrath of Bahrain's regime, Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, 2012
650AD – the Arabian Peninsuala including Bahrain comes under the rule of the followers of the prophet Mohammed
1783 – The Al-Khalifa family take Bahrain from Persia
1820 – Bahrain becomes a British protectorate
1932 – Bahrain becomes the first Gulf country to discover petroleum
1971 – Bahrain announces its independence from the UK
1996 – A spate of anti-government protests culminate in the bombing of hotels and restaurants. Over a thousand people are detained without trial.
2011 – A February Day of Rage sparks off anti-government protests
July 2012 - Bahrain's Interior Minister is entertained at the Foreign Office on the same day as 20 countries issue a UN statement expressing concern about human rights in Bahrain.
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...