Monday, February 14, 2011

Mideast unrest roundup (video)

From TheJournal.ie:
AUTHORITIES IN IRAN have fired tear gas at anti-establishment protesters gathering Tehran in a show of solidarity with protesters in Egypt.

“Severe clashes” between protesters and police have broken out in the capital and many have been arrested, reports the BBC. The main opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi has been placed under house arrest, according to his official website. Fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi has also been placed under house arrest.

Internet sites and satellite news channels have been blocked by the authorities, according to reports.

Iran has officially supported the Egyptian revolution and has dismissed the Tehran protests as “political” moves instigated by the opposition leaders.

Meanwhile, protesters and police have also clashed in the capital of Bahrain, Manama. At least 14 people have been injured in the conflict so far -with breaking up one protest with teargas and rubber bullets, according to Reuters.

The majority Shia population of the tiny country is ruled by the Sunni al-Khalifa family, and analysts have said that an uprising in Bahrain could spark similar protests amongst Shias in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

On a statement in Twitter, activists wrote: “February 14th is only the beginning. The road may be long and the rallies may continue for days and weeks, but if a people one day chooses life, then destiny will respond.”

Likewise, hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of the Yemeni capital Sana’a – with rocks being thrown by police and protesters, according to Reuters.
The Sydney Morning Herald/AFP  gives us a rundown of other emerging hotspots:

ALGERIA: Opposition leaders planned a second protest march in the capital despite a long-standing ban on demonstrations, and France called on Algiers to allow anti-government protests to take place freely and without violence.

BAHRAIN: Bahraini police used tear gas to disperse dozens of protesters in the eastern village of Nuwaidrat, as security forces deployed in the tiny Gulf kingdom following Facebook calls for a February 14 "revolt."

EGYPT: The new military regime called on workers to end a wave of strikes and civil disobedience that has threatened to paralyse the country in the wake of the fall of Hosni Mubarak's government.

IRAN: Thousands of defiant Iranian opposition supporters in Tehran staged what they said was a rally supporting Arab revolts as riot police fired tear gas and paint balls to disperse them, witnesses and opposition websites said.

IRAQ: Baghdad will on March 29 host its first annual Arab summit since the US-led of invasion of 2003, in the wake of popular uprisings that transformed the political landscape of the volatile but long autocratic region.

JORDAN: Justice Minister Hussein Mujalli joins a sit-in held by trade unions and describes a Jordanian soldier serving a life sentence for killing Israeli schoolgirls in 1997 as a "hero," demanding his release.

LIBYA: Facebook groups numbering several hundred members have called for demonstrations to mark a "day of rage" in Libya on February 17 modelled on similar protests in other Arab countries.

MOROCCO: Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi was to meet the opposition to discuss parliamentary polls, with the impact of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia weighing heavily on the talks.

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas reappointed Salam Fayyad as premier and tasked him with forming a new government after his cabinet resigned.

SYRIA: Woman blogger Tal al-Mallouhi, 19, gets five years in prison after being found guilty by a security court of "divulging information to a foreign country." Her blog focuses on the Palestinians, not Syrian politics.

TUNISIA: The country marked a month since the overthrow of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

YEMEN: Pro-democracy protesters clashed violently with police and supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, with clashes also reported in Taez south of the capital, where thousands of people joined anti-Saleh demonstrations.