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Six years on, Bahraini opposition confronted by a bleak outlook

It is six years since Bahrainis followed the lead of North African protestors who had launched the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings against their autocratic leaderships. The anniversary of ‘Bloody Thursday’, when in a night-time raid the authorities crushed protesters camped at Manama’s Pearl Roundabout, comes on 17 February. The Saudi/UAE Gulf Co-operation Council intervention began on 14 March. Six years on, the uneasy standoff continues between Shia communities and their often imprisoned leaders and a regime whose default now is to opt for authoritarian responses, rather than promoting the more pluralist politics that marked the start of King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa’s reign.

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