February 15, 2011 / 2:33 PM / in 7 years

FACTBOX-Protests in Middle East and North Africa

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Here are details of some of the major protests against authoritarian governments, rising consumer prices, poverty and high unemployment around the Middle East and North Africa:

IRAN -- Iranian member of parliament Kazem Jalali on Tuesday was quoted as saying by ISNA, the student news agency, that two people were killed at a banned opposition rally in the Islamic state.

-- An opposition website said at least 1,500 were arrested while taking part in the banned protests.

-- Iranian lawmakers urged judiciary on Tuesday to hand out death penalties to opposition leaders for fomenting unrest.

-- “Death to the dictator,” some protesters chanted, though in other places, demonstrators marched in silence. Among chants distributed in Internet videos, some demanded Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should suffer the same fate as ousted presidents Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia: “Mubarak, Ben Ali, now it’s your turn Sayyed Ali.”

-- Security forces surrounded the Tehran houses of opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

* BAHRAIN -- One person was killed when police in Bahrain clashed with mourners at the funeral of a Shi‘ite protester shot dead during an anti-government “Day of Rage” on Feb. 14, witnesses and police said on Tuesday.

-- The violence prompted Bahrain’s main Shi‘ite opposition bloc Wefaq to suspend its participation in parliament and further enraged mourners who chanted anti-government slogans inspired by protests that toppled the rulers of Egypt and Tunisia. “We demand the downfall of the regime,” they chanted.

-- Bahraini police had fired teargas and rubber bullets to break up protests on Monday in Shi‘ite villages that ring the capital Manama, dampening the “Day of Rage”.

-- Poverty, high unemployment and attempts by the government to grant Sunnis from outside the country jobs, housing and citizenship in order to change the demographic balance lie at the heart of deep-seated discontent among Bahrain’s Shi‘ites. -- King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, trying to defuse the tension, said he would give 1,000 dinars ($2,650) to each local family, and the government has indicated that it may free minors arrested under a security crackdown last year.

* TUNISIA -- Protests that have empowered countries throughout the region started in Tunisia after Mohamed Bouazizi, a fruit vendor, set himself on fire on Dec. 17 in protest at his treatment by local police.

-- Bouazizi died of his burns, becoming a martyr to crowds of students and the unemployed protesting against poverty, unemployment, corruption and repression in Tunisia. The protest eventually forced President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country on Jan. 14. The government said 78 people were killed in the violent demonstrations since December. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has put the number at 117.

-- Since Ben Ali’s departure Tunisia’s interim government has been making faltering steps towards stability. Police in many places have melted away, and strikes and protests around the country are disrupting the economy.

* EGYPT -- President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11 following 18 days of massive protests.

-- Pro-democracy leaders say Egyptians will demonstrate again if their demands for sweeping democratic change are not met. They plan a huge “Victory March” on Friday to celebrate the revolution and honour those killed.

-- The military council said on Tuesday it hoped to hand power over to an elected civilian leadership within six months and insisted they had no desire to keep control following the overthrow of Mubarak.

* YEMEN -- Hundreds of anti-government demonstrators and government loyalists fought with rocks and batons in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Tuesday.

-- Police have cracked down on both sides to prevent fighting and have generally refrained from attacking protesters. But security forces have beaten and detained journalists.

-- Shortly before the protests, the opposition agreed to enter talks with President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is keen to avert an Egypt-style revolt.

-- Saleh, in power for more than three decades and concerned about unrest in some parts of the Arab world, has said he will step down in 2013 and pledged his son will not take over the reins of government. He invited the opposition for talks.

* ALGERIA -- Thousands of police in riot gear blocked off the centre of Algeria’s capital on Saturday and stopped government opponents from staging a protest march that sought to emulate Egypt’s popular revolt.

-- President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, seeking to prevent opposition calls for protests from building momentum, has promised more democratic freedoms and ordered new job-creation measures. On Monday, Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci brushed off concerns about escalating Egypt-style unrest, saying a 19-year-old state of emergency in Algeria would end within days.

* JORDAN -- King Abdullah swore in a new government on Feb. 9, led by a former general who promised to widen public freedoms in response to anti-government protests.

-- Anti-government activists have protested in Jordan where a mix of tribal and Islamist-led opposition have called for moves towards a constitutional monarchy that limits the powers of the throne.

* SUDAN -- Women held a vigil outside the Sudan security service headquarters on Sunday, calling for the release of sons and other men arrested during a series of protests inspired by Egypt’s uprising, witnesses said.

-- Protests last month focused on food prices and human rights abuses and broadened to include calls for political change after images of massed protests in Cairo, Tunis and other cities were broadcast across the world.

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below