France is closely monitoring the situation of the secretary general of the political association al-Wefaq. It is concerned that his detention has been extended and reaffirms its attachment to the freedom of opinion and the freedom of expression, as well as respect for the rights of the defense.» Read more ...
The smallest of the Arab countries (surface area equivalent to that of Singapore) and independent since 15 August 1971, the Emirate of Bahrain, a former British protectorate, became a kingdom on 14 February 2002. It sits under the authority of King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa, who succeeded his father on 6 March 1999.
The Kingdom, ruled by a Sunni family, is the only majority Chiite state on the Arabian Peninsula. It is generally thought that the Chiites account for three quarters of the 529,446 Bahraini nationals (amongst a total resident population of 1,110,000 inhabitants).
Updated on 01.11.10