Bahrain

International campaign halts South Korean arms exports

Emily Masters, originally printed in 'Peace News'

After a four-month campaign, the international Stop the Shipment campaign succeeded in stopping a shipment of over a million canisters of tear gas to Bahrain on 8 January.

The government of Bahrain has been using tear gas to repress pro-democracy demonstrations since the Arab Spring spread to the Gulf state in February 2011.

A Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) report in 2012 found that ‘Bahraini law enforcement officials routinely violate every UN principle’ in their ‘unusually relentless and indiscriminate campaign… weaponizing toxic chemical agents – so-called tear gas’.

The Spanish export of arms in 2014: between illegality and joint arms programs

During 2014, Spain made defence materials exports worth €3.203 million, whilst in total €3.666 million worth of exports were authorized. The value of the actual exports has decreased by 18% in comparison to that reached in 2013, from €3.907 million. Nonetheless, the tendency during the last 10 years has been a continued increase, as revealed in the following graph.

Spanish exports of defence material 2005-2014

Campaign succeeds in pushing South Korea to halt export of tear gas to Bahrain

In early January, #StopTheShipment – a campaign launched by human rights organisation Bahrain Watch, and supported by many other human rights and anti-arms trade groups to stop the shipment of tear gas used lethally against opposition protesters - announced that the South Korean 'Defence Acquisition Program Administration' had denied two requests to export tear gas to Bahrain due to the “unstable politics in the

Lessons from the Arab Spring

The Broken Rifle 98

Libyan protesters stage a demonstration in the capital, Tripoli, in May. Credit: Mahmud TurkiaLibyan protesters stage a demonstration in the capital, Tripoli, in May. Credit: Mahmud TurkiaThe popular unarmed uprisings in the Arab World early in 2011 took the world by surprise, both because most observers did not expect demands for human rights and democratic choice to become central in Arab states, and because they did not expect mass protest to be predominantly unarmed. However, in retrospect there are many reasons why initially the 'Arab Spring' took the forms it did in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Libya and other states. Moreover, as scholars of nonviolent civil resistance pointed out, in the first months the most significant movements displayed some of the classic characteristics of such resistance. In the longer term, however, many of the movements have failed to fulfill their initial promise, overtaken by armed civil war (as happened quickly in Libya and more gradually in Syria), or failing to achieve their initial democratic promise - most notably in Egypt. The impressive protests at the 'Pearl Roundabout' in Bahrain were quite quickly crushed, and preemptive offers by rulers of Morocco and Jordan to make reforms to meet public demands have so far only diluted royal power. This article briefly elaborates on the points made above, and then raises some questions about the future.

Bahrain

19/05/1998

1 Conscription

conscription does not exist

Conscription has never existed since the achievement of independence in 1971. [2]

Conscription is not likely to be introduced in the future.

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