Protests, repression across Arab world

March 12, 2011

The government in Yemen is becoming more desperate amid continuing protests across the country calling for the removal of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Tensions came to a head when security forces fired on protesters at a university in the capital Sana'a, killing one person and wounding many others, said on March 9.

Security forces also gassed the crowd with what is alleged to be nerve gas, said on March 10.

Despite the attack, thousands of protesters defied police and continued occupying the university square, said.

Saleh again refused to quit on March 5, saying he would complete his term as president, Reuters said on March 7. In a sign of weakness, Saleh promised on March 10 to put a new constitution to a referendum this year and move to a “parliamentary system”, including a new election law, Reuters said that day.

The government of US-occupied Iraq has cracked down on protesters and journalists after a series of anti-government and anti-occupation protests across the country.

On March 8, the Associated Press reported on the execution of three protesters in Kirkuk on February 25; the arrest and torture of several journalists; the vandalising of a radio station in Kalar and the forced closure of the offices of the Iraqi Nation Party and the Iraqi Communist Party, who had supported the protests.

Protesters in Oman welcomed the sacking of government ministers on March 9. However, they vowed to continue occupying the Earth Roundabout in Sohar, where a sit-in has been ongoing since February 27, AFP said on March 9.

Protester Ali Habib told AFP: “Sacking the ministers is not enough. We want them to be put on trial.”

The protesters are demanding jobs or increases in their salaries and pensions. They are also calling for an end to corruption and more political openness.

Protests began in Kuwait on March 8, with hundreds rallying in Kuwait City, said that day.

Protesters called for the sacking of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah and for his replacement by someone from outside the al-Sabah family, which has ruled Kuwait for about 250 years, Reuters said on March 7.

They also called for more political freedoms and an end to the theft of government funds.

In Iran, two opposition leaders who stood in the allegedly-rigged 2009 presidential elections have been jailed, said on March 9.

The article said that “the Iranian regime is keeping a tight lid on the opposition Green Movement, which is still holding sporadic street protests. Many of the opposition movement have been assaulted and beaten by the semi-official thugs, the Basiji.”

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.