Bahrain – An insider’s view by Harrogate man as protesters turn on expats

15 March 2011

A Harrogate man working in Bahrain has contacted the British media claiming that protesters in Bahrain have begun targeting expats as the previously peaceful demonstrations in the country become increasingly more violent.

The former Harrogate High School pupil, who is protecting his identity for his own safety and is being referred to in the press as Adam.

Speaking from Manama in Bahrain, British worker “Adam” said 1,000 Saudi troops are now in the country and civilians are protecting their towns with road blocks.

“What started as anti-government protests is now being targeted against expats working in Bahrain as the shia population pushes for independence,” he said.

“The violence is getting out of control and British expats are being told by the British embassy to stay indoors. Three of my friends have already been evacuated and we are worried for our lives.

“News coverage is focussing on anti-government protests but most of the violence is directed towards foreign nationals living and working in Bahrain. The news is showing police attacking protestors but it isn’t showing some of the most shocking scenes, which include protesters running police over with their cars, or dragging them out of police cars and beating them up. Expats are being chased, assaulted and stabbed. Four Pakistani expats were stabbed last night and many Asian workers fear for their lives.”

Several Facebook pages, one being “We are Bahrain” have been set up to try and raise awareness of the issues facing the expats community which makes up more than half the population in Bahrain.

Adam said the matter was complicated by the fact that the country was home to the American Fifth Fleet so the administration had to be careful about the action it took to control the situation.

“The objectives of the protesters are diverse,” he said.

“They have been inspired by what has happened elsewhere in the Middle East but the administration in Bahrain is not widely disliked as it is in places like Libya. The protests are being spearheaded by a number of different groups, each with their own objectives, but Hasan Mushaima is the most influential of them.”

Overall, he said the protesters were fighting to force the Royal Family to step down and for Bahrain to return to an Islamic country – going against the Bahrain 2030 vision.

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