Bahrain Arrests Protest Leaders as Crackdowns Continue

Ambulances Barred From Key Hospitals in Manama

The violent crackdowns in Bahrain are continuing and even escalating on Thursday in Bahrain, as forces launched an overnight attack on the protest camps in Pearl Roundabout in Manama.

In the wake of the attacks, the regime is said to have arrested at least seven top opposition leaders. It is reportedly planning to charge them with “inciting murder” for their role in organizing the mass protests.

But the protests are not ending despite the violence, and the addition of 2,000 Saudi-led foreign troops to the nation appears to have only enraged the opposition more. Opposition groups have called for a UN inquiry into the crackdowns.

The exact toll of the crackdowns in unclear, but is believed to be significant, and worsened by the number of hospitals being closed to wounded protesters. Ambulance drivers say they have been ordered since Wednesday to avoid certain key hospitals. Other major hospitals have been closed entirely, and security forces are said to have attacked ambulances on the streets. This has forced wounded protesters to rely on smaller health centers located in Shi’ite neighborhoods for treatment.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.