A tight security clampdown ended more than 50 country-wide protests in Bahrain calling for democratic reform on 14 August. Police forces put a stop to the gatherings, which had been organised by the anti-government opposition bloc, by using tear gas, firing birdshot and arresting more than a dozen people.

Hours before the protests, security forces had put barbwire around villages, another measure by the government to prevent residents from joining the gatherings. In July, it banned demonstrations in Manama and passed a law approving harsher penalties for those committing or inciting “terrorism”.

Bahrain has seen more than two years of protests, which started in February 2011, demanding democratic reform and a constitutional monarchy in the Shia-majority country.