Inside the Middle East
June 19, 2011
Posted: 829 GMT

By Jenifer Fenton

The Sunni “National Unity Assembly” demonstration planned for Saturday afternoon in Bahrain was cancelled.

A twitter statement from the group said the Kingdom’s leadership requested the cancellation.

The cancellation follows a large demonstration by the main opposition group Al Wefaq on Friday, which was attended by an estimated 30,000 people. It was the second such gathering by the opposition since the end of the state of emergency.

The Sunni gathering had called for people to meet on Saturday afternoon at the National Stadium and walk toward the Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa’s palace which is about one kilometer away. The group supports the national dialogue, but is against an elected Prime Minister.

Also Saturday Bahrain’s Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry issued a statement saying steps are underway to lift the ban on the secular Waad political party. The party was closed down earlier this year. Its leader Ibrahim Sharif is jailed.

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Filed under: Bahrain •Human Rights

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Omar   June 19th, 2011 8:44 am ET

It wasn't a "National Unity Assembly" rally, get your facts straight please.. :)

mohammed   June 19th, 2011 9:22 am ET

thanks CNN for news about bahrain

Abu_Talha   June 19th, 2011 11:19 am ET

its amazing how much propaganda is out there. Yes this was nothing very significant, as this was not a National Unity gathering. This was to show support for the PM, although most of us did not agree for such a gathering. As we all love or leadership & that reforms are on the way, even before the 14th Feb incident. So you guys are trying to make a lot of ripples with an insignificant piece of news. Well that just shows of how good CNN is in trying to twist facts & figures to defame anyone. Is this fair on your part? A question to ponder upon.

Roma   June 19th, 2011 12:00 pm ET

Unfortunately all the thousands of Saudis who crossed the causeway to increase the no. Of pro-gov regime attendees were dissappointed :):):)

Dr Khalid Amin   June 19th, 2011 7:22 pm ET

So finally you implicitly consent to the truth...
What is 30,000 terrorists against 450,000 peace loving people who love their country... So please stop using... the MAJORITY/MINORIY stuff because you have them reversed in your reports...

Dr Khalid Amin   June 19th, 2011 7:27 pm ET

By the way,, National Unity Assembly does not work in the dark because they know they aare on the right path...
And if they ever decide to come out and demonstrate they would announce it in advance and its supporter do not follow orders except from its president Dr Abdul-Latif Al-Mahmood...
So, get the facts from the correct sources...

zlin   June 19th, 2011 10:00 pm ET

the rally was planed from group of young guys and girls against a. salam and wifaq, and to tell everyone our msg

ïm BAHRAINI and wifaq / a.salman NOT represent ME

TGONU dont know anything about the rally, and u can check there website

wifaq rally as all the world say they are 11,000 not 300,00 0ne, from where u have this numbers!!!

dear Jenifer Fenton, next time plz Verification of sources of information
Where we note that most of your information has not been the reality of any something

NetullaaB   June 19th, 2011 10:15 pm ET

it's a rejection of Al-Wafaq speech on Friday from the majority of Bahrainis.

Ahmed   June 20th, 2011 2:41 am ET

thanks CNN for having Bahrain ... thanks Amber Lyon for ur great reports as well

Yaqoob Salman   June 20th, 2011 4:29 am ET

It wasn't planned or organised by The Gathering of National Unity, but was planned by groups of blackberry users with accounts on Twitter and Facebook. It was meant to reply on Ali Salman's statements in the two previous gatherings of Wefaq, as to express that he doesn't represent the people of Bahrain but only those who are part of Wefaq community. Wefaq's croud reached approximately 14,000 people and not 30,000. The demonstrators wanted to also express their support to the National Dialogue as the King decided and to refuse having an elected Prime Minister but Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa. Furthermore, the postponed demonstration was to inlclude Bahraini citizens from all religions and sectors in Bahrain who refuse to be represented by Wefaq's Ali Salman.

Eman   June 20th, 2011 8:28 am ET

1) the Gathering of National Unity DID NOT arrange this demonstration, a number of tweeps and blackberry groups did as a response to Ali Salman's false – & hilarious – claims of him representing all Bahrainis (shia'a & sunni) which are completely false.

2) TGONU is not "sunni", it involves people from all sects and religions.

3) Al-Wefaq's gathering was attended by around 13,000 people & the leader Ali Salman does not represent the people of Bahrain as he claims; he only represents his followers who are shia'a & mostly religious.

please – with all due respect – focus on human rights violations in your coutries and stop the lies and exaggerations about Bahrain.

Skye Parker   June 20th, 2011 9:51 am ET

As usual we have so many helpful comments form experts out there who AREN'T EVEN HERE (in Bahrain).

How typical.

Abdulrahman   June 20th, 2011 10:28 am ET

The gathering planned in the national stadium was called by black berry groups and few youth groups. Wifaq gathering was not 30,000 attendees, it was only 11,000 as per their official statements. In Bahrain, there was two sunni+Christian+jewish+hendous+Buhra gatherings at al Fateh mousque on the 21 of feb and the nest was was on the 3rd of march which more than 400,000 pple attened it.

Arab-American Citizen   June 21st, 2011 4:00 pm ET

Bahrain is controlled by a brutal and corrupt Western-created and Western-protected monarchy that works against the interests of their people. Most arabs hope and wish that the people of Bahrain overthrow this puppet regime and replace it with a republic government run by educated technocrats.

Rashid Othman   June 25th, 2011 8:20 am ET

There are slaves in Bahrain and there problem is the free ones. That is okay, they can contiue being slaves but they should stop interferring on the life of the free ones. The free ones/the majority of Bahrainies wants to rule its selves but the slaves wants to be ruled by their slavers/masters. Sooner or later, the Freedom will brevale in Bahrain and the slaves will know the difference.

Doris Martin, BUMUN founder & faculty advisor   June 26th, 2011 10:07 am ET

Dear Jenifer,

Please get your facts right. Last weeks' Bahrain demonstration was not run by the National Unity Assembly. It was run by a group of loyalists. The National Unity Assembly consist of Sunnis, Christians, Jews, Modern Shias, Hindu, Expats, etc... I would strongly recommend that you contact Shaikh Dr. Abdullatif Al Mahmood, the NUA President for further developments. With this in mind, I would strongly suggest not to incite secretarian language (Sunni & Shias) in your reports. Bahrain is united and is a one Nation! On 1st July, the first National Dialogue will be underway in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I am certain that there will be a positive outcome from this event. May God Bless Bahrain under the leadership of the King.

anya   July 22nd, 2011 5:51 pm ET

I hope the kingdom continues to stop the iranian paid off thugs from gaining control and turning a beautiful country into another hell on earth

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