Bahrain Dialogue, “UAE 94″ Case, Oman Hunger Strike Continue
Bahrain’s national dialogue continued Wednesday evening with the pro-government participants demanding that the opposition publicly condemn street violence. The spokesman for the opposition groups, Jameel Kadhem, refused to single out the street violence, saying before the session that “all violence from all parties needs to be condemned.” Two Sunni factions, al-Saff al-Islami and al-Minbar al-Islami, boycotted the session “to protest the ‘silence’ of the opposition following the latest violence.” Clashes continued on Tuesday during a memorial service of the 16-year-old that was killed during last week’s protests. The National, The Boston Globe, and Jackson Diehl of The Washington Post all emphasize the importance of the dialogue producing change, while Laurence Louër blogs that more will be needed to restore trust. The Independent and The Wall Street Journal analyze royal family dynamics.
Meanwhile, Reprieve, a prisoners’ rights group, alleged on Thursday that three British men detained in the UAE on drug charges since July 2012 had been tortured. The Dubai police denied the claim. Separately, the UAE will begin its prosecution of the 94 Emiratis charged with planning to overthrow the government on March 4.
Finally, Kuwait’s appeals court upheld publisher Zayed al-Zayed‘s one month prison sentence for defaming former MP and minister Abdul Mohsin al-Midaj, but a further appeal was planned. Kuwait’s criminal court delayed the trials of two bloggers charged with either undermining or insulting the emir, released five bloggers accused of similar crimes, and charged a teacher for tweeting “remarks deemed offensive by the authorities.”