Demonstrations in Shi’a areas outside the capital, Manama, are possible from Wednesday, March 14, through Saturday, March 17. This period coincides with the seventh anniversary of the deployment of the Peninsula Shield Force by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to put down the popular Shi'a revolt of March 2011. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be anticipated in the vicinity of any demonstration.
Inspired by the 2011 Arab Spring, Shi'a-led anti-government protests erupted throughout the country in February 2011. Bahrain's Sunni ruling family asked for help from the GCC, a six-nation regional coalition of Sunni rulers, to help quell the protests. The response of sending in the Peninsula Shield Force into Bahrain was the first time the council used collective military action to help suppress a popular revolt.
Shi'a Muslims in Bahrain make up a majority of the population but are governed by a Sunni royal family and a Sunni government, which Shi'as accuse of marginalizing their community. The Bahraini government regularly blames the Shi’a community for destabilizing the country with the support of Iran. Protests often take place in locations across Bahrain on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and can result in violent clashes.
Individuals present in Bahrain are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations due to the risk of violence and to adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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