Unauthorized protests, including the use of roadblocks and closures of private businesses, are expected across Bahrain from Wednesday, February 13, through Saturday, February 16, commemorating the eighth anniversary of the February 14, 2011 uprising, according to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). On Tuesday, February 12, security forces detained potential protest leaders across the country in anticipation of unauthorized nationwide protests.
Related commercial and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected during the protests, as well as a heightened police presence in affected areas. Security forces are likely to use tear gas and other means of force to disperse anti-government demonstrations, which may result in clashes between protesters and security forces.
Protests take place annually on the anniversary of the failed 2011 Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain and are attended widely by the predominantly Shi'a political opposition. Bahrain's Shi'a Muslims accuse the royal family and the government of marginalizing their community. Anti-government protests first erupted in Bahrain on February 14, 2011 (termed the "Day of Rage"), particularly in Shi'a areas, as part of the broader Arab Spring movement.
Individuals in Bahrain are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all gatherings and protests due to potential violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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