AP: 'The official line: Bahrain is back to business as usual. Shiite protesters are off the streets after a month of paralyzing demonstrations. A state-run newspaper's headline declares the Persian Gulf island to be "Back on Track."
But police checkpoints dot the highways around the tiny Sunni-led kingdom. Tanks are deployed around the lavish shopping malls in the capital.
And security forces are carrying out nightly raids in the impoverished Shiite villages around Manama, smashing down doors, destroying furniture and spraying graffiti on the walls, residents told The Associated Press.
One Bahraini human rights activist told the AP that he was beaten and hit with shoes by armed, masked men, who threatened him with rape and told to go back to Iran, the Shiite powerhouse across the Gulf.
The relentless crackdown has made major new protests a virtual impossibility for the time being, analysts and Shiite residents say. But the pressure is generating new anger among protesters who had been calling for democratic reform and equal rights for Shiites. Another explosion of unrest in the home of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet now seems inevitable, they say.
"We cannot stop," said Ali Mohammed, a 33-year-old Shiite teacher fired from his job for participating in demonstrations at Manama's Pearl Square last month. "We might go quite for a bit to mourn the dead and treat the injured and see those in jail, but then we will rise up again." '