Week Long Protests in Bahrain Continue

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 6:18pm

MANAMA, BAHRAIN— The leader of Bahrain's largest Shiite alliance said the country had two options— a new constitution or utter chaos.

The leader of the Wafeq party, Sheikh Ali Salman, said the country only had two options— a new constitution that leads to national reconciliation, or face chaos. Bahrain is nearly 70 percent Shiite, but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

Protesters have been demanding a new system, a system where Shiites will have more say. At least seven protesters have been killed, and hundreds more were injured in the unrest in Bahrain.

A demonstration in Bahrain on Wednesday was led by freed political prisoners who were released just 24 hours before. Nearly 50 prisoners were released on Tuesday, 25 of them were Shiites on trial for the past year after they were accused of plotting against the government. The release of the political prisoners was an attempted gesture to calm the unrest.

King Hamad, the leader of the country, visited Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to discuss the current distress. Hamad also met with representatives of the country's opposition on Tuesday.

The government has denied that it mistreats Shiites.

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