Bahraini opposition head to Twitter to call for protests

Bahraini opposition head to Twitter to call for protests
A hashtag calling for mass rallies in Bahrain on 14 August has been trending in Bahrain for days, but has been with criticism by some.
2 min read
13 August, 2015
Since 2011, Bahrain has been shaken by several waves of protests [Getty/AFP]

Activists in Bahrain are using the Arabic-language hashtag #MassRallies14August to call for anti-government protesters to head to the iconic site of the country's 2011 protest movement. 

The iconic Pearl Roundabout was the epicentre of the protests, which were crushed by the Bahraini authorities and neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

The rallies are intended to take place on 14 August, which marks the country's Independence Day, and are calling for the release of thousands of political prisoners.

Protesters are planning to march towards Pearl Roundabout carrying their own shrouds in an act of defiance and to show their apparent willingness to die for their cause.

Last week saw protests in various Bahraini villages in preparation for 14 August.

Translation: Calling all the people for the mass rallies on 14 August. We know no fear.

Translation: Using arrests as a tool of intimidation will only work if our number is small. We have done it before and we can do it again.

Many social media users however are criticising the call for protests, claiming that Iran is behind it.

In February 2011, Bahrain witnessed mass demonstrations demanding greater democracy and more rights for Shia, many of whom say they are subject to political and economic discrimination.

The demonstrations took place at Pearl Roundabout, which became known in the international media as the site of the Arab Spring in the Gulf, before being brutally suppressed by Bahrain and Gulf security forces.

One month later, the Bahraini government tore down the roundabout, as it had become a symbol for protest movements and dissent.

Since then, the country has been shaken by several waves of protests on different occasions; resulting in deaths, injuries, and arrests.

Amnesty International has accused the Bahraini government of gross human right abuses, including unfair trials, torture and lethal force to disperse demonstrations.