Bahraini uprising of 2011

Bahraini protests (2011-2014)
Part of the Arab Spring and the Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict
Clockwise from top-left: Protesters raising their hands towards the Pearl Roundabout on 19 February 2011; Teargas usage by security forces and clashes with protesters on 13 March; Over 100,000 Bahrainis taking part in the "March of loyalty to martyrs", on 22 February; clashes between security forces and protesters on 13 March; Bahraini armed forces blocking an entrance to a Bahraini village.
Date14 February 2011 – 18 March 2011
(1 month and 4 days)(Occasional protests until 3 March 2014)
26°01′39″N 50°33′00″E / 26°01′39″N 50°33′00″E / 26.02750; 50.55000
Caused by
Parties to the civil conflict

Bahrain Bahraini opposition

Allegedly supported by:
Lead figures
Leaders of Bahrain opposition parties

Human rights defenders

Independent opposition leaders

Bahrain House of Khalifa

 Gulf Cooperation Council

150,000[13]p. 97 – 300,000 protesters[14]


Casualties and losses
  • 93 civilians killed
  • 2,900+ wounded[18]
  • 2,929 arrested[19]
  • 4,539 job layoffs[13]
  • 1,866+ tortured[20]
  • 500+ exiled[20]
  • 534 students expelled[13]
  • 11 stripped of their citizenship[21]

The Bahraini uprising of 2011 was a series of anti-government protests in Bahrain led by the Shia-dominant and some sunni minority Bahraini Opposition from 2011 until 2014.[26] The protests were inspired by the unrest of the 2011 Arab Spring and 2011–12 Iranian protests and escalated to daily clashes after the Bahraini government repressed the revolt with the support of Gulf Cooperation Council and Peninsula Shield Force.[27] The Bahraini protests were a series of demonstrations, amounting to a sustained campaign of non-violent civil disobedience[28] and later some violent[dubious ][29][better source needed][30][better source needed] resistance in the Persian Gulf country of Bahrain.[31] As part of the revolutionary wave of protests in the Middle East and North Africa following the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia, the Bahraini protests were initially aimed at achieving greater political freedom and equality for the majority Shia population,[32][33] and expanded to a call to end the monarchy of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa[3] following a deadly night raid on 17 February 2011 against protesters at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama,[34][35] known locally as Bloody Thursday.

Protesters in Manama camped for days at the Pearl Roundabout, which became the centre of the protests. After a month, the government of Bahrain requested troops and police aid from the Gulf Cooperation Council. On 14 March, 1,000 troops from Saudi Arabia and 500 troops from UAE entered Bahrain and crushed the uprising.[36] A day later, King Hamad declared martial law and a three-month state of emergency.[37][38] Pearl Roundabout was cleared of protesters and the iconic statue at its center was demolished[39].

Occasional demonstrations have, however, continued since then. After the state of emergency was lifted on 1 June, the opposition party, Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, organized several weekly protests[40] usually attended by tens of thousands.[41] On 9 March 2012, over 100,000 attended[42] and another on 31 August attracted tens of thousands.[43] Daily smaller-scale protests and clashes continued, mostly outside Manama's business districts.[44][45] By April 2012, more than 80 had died.[46]

The police response was described as a "brutal" crackdown on "peaceful and unarmed" protesters, including doctors and bloggers.[47][48][49] The police carried out midnight house raids in Shia neighbourhoods, beatings at checkpoints and denial of medical care in a campaign of intimidation.[50][51][52] More than 2,929 people have been arrested,[53][54] and at least five died due to torture in police custody.[13]:287–8

In June, King Hamad established the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry composed of international independent figures to assess the incidents.[55] The report was released on 23 November and confirmed the Bahraini government's use of systematic torture and other forms of physical and psychological abuse on detainees, as well as other human rights violations.[13]:298 It also rejected the government's claims that the protests were instigated by Iran.[56] The report was criticised for not disclosing the names of individual abusers and extending accountability only to those who actively carried out human rights violations.[57]

In early July 2013, Bahraini activists called for major rallies on 14 August under the title Bahrain Tamarod.[58]


The Bahraini uprising is also known as 14 February uprising[59] and Pearl uprising.[60] Although the majority of sources refer to it as an uprising, some have named it a revolution.

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