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This morning, army and police troops in Bahrain, supported by the Saudi and Emirati forces, began a brutal, wide-scale crackdown on the legitimate aspirations of the Bahraini people for far-reaching political and constitutional reform. These aspirations have been expressed in widespread peaceful popular protests in the kingdom since last September; protests that remain undeterred despite the Bahraini authorities’ use of excessive force, the recruitment of foreign mercenaries, and the deployment of thugs.

Today, the crackdown was expanded to five Shiite-majority villages, while helicopters are being used against demonstrators in Manama. The army has also imposed a blockade on major hospitals to prevent them from treating the wounded.

There are unconfirmed reports that indicate that Saudi forces are not only securing vital institutions in Bahrain, but are also taking part in the crackdown in Manama.

March 16, 2011

Full press release is here
And here
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