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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bahrain Crackdown Extends to Exhibit on Crackdown

An English-language statement from a Bahrain police spokesman on the raid on an exhibition in the capital, Manama, this week.

One day after the police in Bahrain raided the offices of an opposition party to confiscate materials being used in an exhibition on the security crackdown following the 2011 uprising, the authorities released a video statement in which a spokesman contended that the display of painting, spent tear-gas canisters and the belongings of dead protesters was being used to illegally “reinforce hatred.”

The opposition activist Ala’a Shehabi heaped scorn on the police spokesman’s attempt to justify the crackdown on remembering the crackdown, calling it a “tragicomedy.”

Two spokesmen for the party, al-Wefaq, denounced the raid on its “Revolution Museum” exhibit at a news conference on Thursday.

Before the exhibition was shut down, supporters of the uprising against the kingdom’s monarchy documented it on YouTube and in images posted on Twitter.

Video documenting an exhibition on the 2011 uprising in Bahrain that was raided by the authorities on Wednesday.

Organizers of the exhibition told The Associated Press that the panoramas and collections of personal items were inspired in part by the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.

As my colleague Kareem Fahim reported, the crackdown on dissent seemed to escalate again last month with the arrest of Khalil al-Marzooq, a former member of Parliament and a leader of Wefaq, mainstream opposition group which had been engaged in dialogue with the government.

The struggle by activists to preserve memories of the uprisings across the Arab world in 2011 has been an ongoing theme in the region for the past two years. Last month, the British-Egyptian filmmaker Omar Robert Hamilton worked with the Cairo-based scholar and researcher Mohamed Elshahed on a video for the Guggenheim documenting the ephemeral Revolution Museum that has appeared and disappeared at moments of great upheaval in Tahrir Square.

A video report on the Revolution Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.