Under Pressure

Jane Kinninmont:

The arguments between those who see dissidents as mere ingrates, and those who see conservatives as regime stooges, have been growing more polarized. The resulting political tensions are visible above all in Bahrain, where renewed protests are being met with an intensive crackdown today; and in the UAE, over the recent sentencing of opposition activists, and to some extent also in Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia has been carrying out its own crackdown against activists, albeit more quietly than its neighbors. Following jail sentences against Abdullah al-Hamed and Mohammed Fahad al-Qahtani, authorities went after members of the their group and other activists with interrogations, trials and jail sentences.