Obama slams Bahrain's mass arrests

The US president praises the role of Bahrain's opposition in his Middle East speech.



    Hundreds of shia-led pro-democracy protesters have been arrested since the violent crackdown began in Bahrain two months ago.

    Human rights organisations continue to document claims of beatings, intimidation and false confessions under torture.

    US President Barack Obama said in his Middle East speech that "Bahrain is a longstanding partner and we are committed to its security." 

    The US president also praised the role of the opposition figures in the country. However, for many this reaction has come too late.

    Al Jazeera interviewed Mattar Ibrahim, an opposition figure, the day before he disappeared. He was excited about the invitation he had to meet US embassy officials. His wife says he was snatched from his car by armed masked on May the 2nd. She has not seen or heard from him since.

    For Bahrain's Shia-led protesters their demands for political reform have so far been ignored by Washington. They say US support for similar political reforms in Egypt and Tunisia came far sooner.

    Many will no doubt think that Obama's statements are still quieter in comparison and have come far too late.

    Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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