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Experiments with truth: 2/21/11

  • In Bahrain, Friday began with funerals for three protesters killed by security police during earlier demonstrations. The funerals turned into protest rallies. Some 50,000 Bahrainis took part, about 10% of the population.
  • Several thousand people rallied in Moroccan cities on Sunday demanding political reform and limits on the powers of King Mohammed VI, the latest protests demanding change that have rocked the region.
  • On Friday, Algerian authorities surrounded about 1,500 protesters in a peaceful sit-in in the capital, Algiers. The demonstrators chanted slogans against the Algerian regime and called for democracy in the North African country.
  • A peaceful sit-in protest ended in tragedy in Aden, southern Yemen late on Saturday after police dispersed the protesters with gunfire. A 16 year-old boy was hit by a stray bullet and died in hospital. Protests also continued in Taiz, Yemen’s second city and flared in Karish.
  • In Saudi Arabia, hundreds of workers at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and extension projects at the King Saud University (KSU) stopped work for a second day Thursday in protest of nonpayment of wages.
  • In Venezuela, 65 people are participating in a hunger strike in Caracas that began on Jan. 31. The students have specifically referenced and asked for the release of 27 people they say are political prisoners and are demanding that the government let the Organization of American States investigate alleged human rights abuses under President Hugo Chávez.
  • Chinese authorities detained dozens of political activists after an anonymous online call for people to start a “Jasmine Revolution” in China by protesting in 13 cities. Only a handful of people appeared to have responded to the call to protest in Beijing, Shanghai and 11 other cities at 2 p.m. Sunday.