UPDATE: Protesters Killed in Iran, Bahrain; Demonstrations Continue in Yemen; Jordan Eases Protest Requirements

The thirst for regime change in Tunisia and Egypt continues to spread across the Middle East. An update:

In Iran, Parliament continues to suppress protests, and members have called for the execution of opposition leaders Karroubi and Mousavi; they are both under house arrest. Yesterday, 26-year-old Sane Jaleh was killed during banned protests, where about 1500 people were arrested. Al Jazeera confirms a second person died, as well; Parliament has blamed the opposition for the murders. Both President Obama and Secretary Clinton have unequivocally supported the protesters. Clinton: 'What we see happening in Iran today is a testament to the courage of the Iranian people, and an indictment of the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime—a regime which over the last three weeks has constantly hailed what went on in Egypt.'

In Bahrain, two people have been killed as well. The first, Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima, was gunned down by police Monday during peaceful protests against government corruption. Today at his funeral, at least one mourner, Fadhel Matrook, was also shot and killed as police swarmed in an attempt to disperse the procession. This morning, King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa addressed the citizens in a televised address, promising that reform would come in new legislation. pledged that demands for political reform that are at the heart of the protests will be addressed in new legislation. "Our first concern is the safety of the homeland and our citizens and for everybody to get their rights."

Yemenis continue their protests in the capital of Sana'a, where they have clashed with police; four were wounded as police battered protesters with batons, and citizens hurled back rocks. The demonstrations continued nonetheless, as protesters demanded the ouster of President Ali Abdulleh Saleh and bemoaned terrible economic conditions -- ccording to Reuters, 'around 40% of Yemen's 23 million people live on less than $2 a day, while a third face chronic hunger.'

And Jordan's Interior Minister has announced he will relax laws requiring government permission for public assembly, responding to protests demanding freer speech.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at February 15, 2011, 5:50am

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