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Bahraini women during the February 2011 protests (image via Wikimedia)

Riot police in Bahrain have raided an Arab spring–related art show organized by Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, a political opposition group in the small gulf kingdom, the Guardian reports. The exhibition, staged in a building owned by Al Wefaq, dealt with the island nation’s 32 months of unrest that began in February 2011. Unlike some of the concurrent uprisings in the region, the protests were violently quashed and no material political change attained. The organizers claimed that their curatorial efforts were inspired by Israel’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem; the show featured scenes of prison torture and demonstrators teargassed or killed in clashes with state security.

In a statement, the Bahraini government referred to the exhibition’s content as “incitement material.” For their own part, Al Wefaq’s attorney told the Guardian that “the theme of the museum irritated authorities as it documents many incidents since the uprising in 2011 until now.”

The American government remains an ally of Bahrain’s monarchy; the Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy is stationed there. The Bahrain Justice and Development Movement, an opposition group, alleges that the Bahraini state has killed 97 individuals since the demonstrations began in February 2011, and tortured and injured many others.

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Mostafa Heddaya

Mostafa Heddaya is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic.