Bomb Blast in Bahrain, al-Muhafda Detention Extended
Two foreign workers were killed in the capitol Manama after five explosions went off November 5. Bahrain’s Prime Minister described the acts as “heinous” crimes, while the country’s top police officer called them “acts of terror.” Matar Matar, a representative for the opposition al-Wefaq party, expressed doubt that opposition activists were behind the attacks. “This incident is strange – why would anyone target workers?” Matar said. Michael Stephens, researcher with the Royal United Services Institute in Qatar, highlighted “increasing evidence that extreme anti-government elements have become radicalized as a result of the slow pace of economic reforms, and political stagnation.”
Meanwhile, Bahrain extended the detention of human rights activist Sayed Yousif al-Muhafda for participating in a demonstration. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, in collaboration with International Federation for Human Rights and the World Organization Against Torture released a letter urging the release of al-Muhafda. Additionally, two activists were sentenced after posting remarks on Twitter “defaming” King Hamad bin Isa al-Thani. One defendant was given a one-month jail term, the other was given a four-month sentence, and a third defendant was sentenced to six months last week on the same charges.