Thousands protest Bahrain citizenship policy
Manama, March 10, 2011
Thousands of protesters gathered outside the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence at Exhibition Avenue, protesting against the government's policy of granting citizenship to non-Bahrainis.
The mass demonstration started from Ras Ruman and moved to Exhibition Avenue.
Traffic policemen were present at key junctions diverting cars as they were assisted by volunteers.
The road was filled with protesters and shop owners and residents came out to see the march.
Government Road and Turf Ibn Al Abed Road towards Manama were closed for over half-an-hour, but were later opened to traffic.
'We are not against people who have worked and contributed for years to Bahrain getting a passport. They certainly deserve it,' said Amal Hussain, one of the protesters.
She said that they were against non-Bahrainis being granted citizenship and jobs in the government.
Some protesters shouted slogans calling on authorities to revoke citizenship given mainly to certain groups.
Senior leader from Haq Movement for Liberty and Democracy Shaikh Mohammed Moqdad led the march.
The protesters later returned to the Pearl Roundabout through King Faisal Highway.
The Interior Ministry has a special directorate which screens applicants for the naturalisation process.
After all legal requirements, the information is passed on for final approval to the Royal Court.
Meanwhile, a protest will be held today opposite the United Nations House, Hoora, starting at 3pm.
A speech festival by six political societies will also be held today at the Pearl Roundabout from 7.30pm.
Another march to be held tomorrow from A'ali to the Royal Court in Riffa is still being discussed, according to sources.
The February 14 youth movement, that is organising the march, has been advised by political societies to cancel the protest as they expect it could escalate into clashes, they added.
However, until last night organisers had not announced their official stance on the Friday protest.-TradeArabia News Service