More deaths as public unrest swells across the Middle East, North Africa

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February 16, 2011 18:43

An anti-regime protestor gives a simple message to the rulers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. Photo - Mohammad Huwais/AFP/Getty Images

Who: Thousands of people demanding change of the regimes.

What: Major protests against the authoritarian governments have gripped cities across the Middle East and North Africa, days after the success of the Egyptian revolution. Reports coming from southern Iraq say three people were killed when thousands of protestors demanded better life conditions and set fire to the government offices.

Riots also rocked Libyan second city of Benghazi when authorities arrested a human rights activist.

News coming from Iranian capital Tehran said supporters of the Khamenei regime clashed with pro-reform opponents at a funeral of a student who died during Monday’s anti-government protests. At least 1,500 activists have been arrested by Iranian security agencies, according to opposition sources.

Clashes between the pro and anti Yemeni government groups resulted in the death of two protestors apparently shot dead by the police. The nation is also crippled by a judges’ strike who are demanding the end to governmental interference in the judicial system of the country.

Where: The deaths took place in Al-Kut, southern Iraq; Tehran, northern Iran and Aden, southern Yemen.

When: Bulk of the violent events took place on Wednesday, 16 February, days after the people’s revolution toppled Mubarak’s dictatorial regime.

Why: Tens of thousands of protestors across the Middle East and North African region have took to the streets to vent their anger and frustration at the rising food prices, corruption, unemployment, lack of political and human rights, kleptocracy and heavy handed tactics deployed by the state security apparatus. Algeria, Libya and Yemen have seen protests against the shortages of housing for the working class and poor handling of civilian affairs. Protests in Bahrain and Iran are widely seen as anti-regime, blamed for suppressing the political and social rights of the people under the pretext of religion and sect.

How: Internet and mobile phones are the platforms people are using in countries like Algeria, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Iran to mobilise protests and organise the opposition against the regime. The governments are resorting by banning the internet and jamming mobile communications in order to sap the growing agitation movement. Tens of thousands of anti-government activists have already been arrested and thrown into prisons during the last few weeks across the Middle East and North Africa after a people’s revolution brought down the Tunisian government on 14 January.

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