Bahrain unrest timeline

MANAMA- Key developments in Bahrain, which is to host a Formula One Grand Prix this weekend, arising from Arab Spring-inspired protests that erupted in February 2011:
- February 14: As protests ripple across the Arab world following revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, unrest breaks out in Bahrain, where a Sunni Muslim elite rules over a Shiite majority population. Protests focus on Pearl Square in Manama, which security forces assault on February 17. Demonstrations also take place in several majority Shiite villages.

Bahrain unrest timeline
- March 14: Neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the major power in the region, sends troops into the kingdom to help quash the protests.
- March 16: Police backed by tanks and helicopters clear Pearl Square of demonstrators, two days before the Bahraini authorities demolish its symbolic monument.
- November 23: The head of an independent commission of inquiry into the unrest says security forces used "excessive force" and tortured detainees in the crackdown which left 35 dead, five of them from torture.
- January 15: King Hamad announces constitutional reforms giving more power to the elected parliament, but falling far short of opposition demands.
- March 20: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights criticises Bahraini forces for their "disproportionate use of force" in quelling the continuing protests.
- April 22: The Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix goes ahead despite calls for fresh protests and attempts by protesters to block roads to Sakhir race track.
- November 7: Authorities revoke the citizenship of 31 Shiite activists, among them two former parliamentarians, for having "undermined state security".
- January 7: Bahrain's highest appeals court upholds prison terms for 13 prominent activists on charges of plotting to overthrow the monarchy, in a verdict that sparks protests.
- January 23: The appeals court upholds a death sentence and a life-term respectively passed on two protesters convicted of murdering a policeman during the uprising in 2011.
- February 10: Key political players begin a new round of talks to try to resolve the crisis, after opposition groups make a last-minute decision to join a national dialogue.
- February 13: Thousands of Shiites take to the streets of 12 villages.
- February 14: Two demonstrators and a policeman are killed in clashes as protests take place in several Shiite villages on the second anniversary of the uprising.
- April 9: Assailants hurl Molotov cocktails at the foreign ministry, without causing injury or damage.
- April 12: Thousands take part in demonstrations near Manama, on the first day of a 10-day protest movement to coincide with the Formula One race.
- April 17: Opposition steps up protests as security forces erect checkpoints on main intersections and carry out further arrests.

Thursday, April 18th 2013

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