June 12 - Thousands of opposition supporters in Bahrain attend a rally to support the political reform movement. Simon Hanna reports.
Thousands of Bahrainis attend an opposition rally, in the first large scale demonstration since a government crackdown on protests in March. Video footage distributed by the opposition appears to show that the pro-democracy movement is still alive. Bahrain brought in troops from Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. and introduced martial law in a bid to quell the uprising. Martial law ended last week, and the government says it gave permission for this rally, held in a large square west of the capital. Opposition figures say 10,000 people attended, while the Interior Ministry put the figure at 4,000. Previous demonstrations had been held at the central Pearl roundabout, the epicenter of the uprising inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Then demonstrators camped out for about six weeks in a bid to force large-scale political and democratic reform. Bahrain's cabinet is dominated by the Sunni Al Khalifa family that rules over the majority Shi'ite population. The king also appoints all members of an upper assembly, minimising the powers of the elected parliament. Simon Hanna, Reuters.