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Entries in Pearl Square (2)

Tuesday
Feb222011

Bahrain Protests Continue; Direct Talks with Crown Prince Looming

Photo Courtesy - Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images(MANAMA, Bahrain) -- Anti-government protesters in Bahrain are expected to take the streets Tuesday following a massive pro-government rally the night before.

Tuesday's protests will be tied to the funeral of 21-year-old Abdul Reada Bomajeed, who died in a hospital Monday from wounds he suffered four days ago.

It is unknown if the opposition forces will be able to muster enough bodies to contend with the estimated 50,000 pro-government protesters that lined the streets on Monday.

Even if the anti-government protesters manage to get over 100,000 people on the streets, it appears the Bahraini government has firmly decided that negotiation and discussion is the best avenue.

Direct negotiations between the crown prince and the politcal opposition have not yet begun.  The crown prince has been meeting with business, political, intellectual and social leaders as a warm up for the talks.

Revered political opposition leader Hasan Moshaimi will return to Bahrain Tuesday from London, where he was undergoing cancer treatment, and plans to address the crowd at Manama's Pearl Square.

Moshaimi's arrival is likely to unite the opposition and provide the voice necessary to begin direct discussions with the crown prince.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb172011

Police Attack Sleeping Bahrain Protesters in Pearl Square

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MANAMA, Bahrain) -- At least four people were killed and hundreds more wounded Wednesday after police swept in to disperse protesters camped out in Pearl Square in Manama, Bahrain's capital.  The police descended on the demonstrators -- many of whom were sleeping -- with rubber bullets, tear gas and billy clubs.

The protesters have occupied Pearl Square for three days demanding jobs, the release of political prisoners, and constitutional reforms with hopes to end the monarchy that has ruled the island nation for 200 years.

ABC News correspondent Miguel Marquez was among those beaten during the military crackdown at Pearl Square.  He is the latest Western journalist to be attacked while covering protests in the region.  While being hit with billy clubs, Marquez yelled, "Journalist, journalist!" trying to show that he was not a protester. 

He was on the phone to ABC News in New York when it happened.

"There was a canister that looked like -- No! No! No!," he said as the police moved in.

"Hey! I'm a journalist here! I'm going! I'm going! I'm going! I'm going! ... I'm hit," he said. "I just got beat rather badly by a gang of thugs. I'm now in a marketplace near our hotel where people are cowering in buildings." He paused. "I mean, these people are not screwing around. They're going to clear that square, tonight, ahead of any protest, on Friday. The government clearly does not want this to get any bigger."

After the attack by what he called "thug police," Marquez said he was not badly injured.

King Hamad Al Khalifa took the extraordinary step of going on television to call for an investigation into the deaths and ordered police to back off.

"The result," said Marquez, "thousands of protesters, who say they won't leave the square until they get what they want."

"On Friday there is a call for an even bigger demonstration. Organizers expect tens of thousands -- maybe more than 100,000 people to show up. At this point, this protest is only growing stronger."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio