Bahrain. Tensions between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims continued throughout the year. The kingdom is ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty but has a Shiite majority. In January, armed men attacked a prison and released several prisoners convicted of terrorist offenses. Riots erupted in the capital Manama the same month after three Shiite men were executed for murder. It was the first executions in six years. Amnesty International condemned the executions. Shia Muslim opposition leader Ali Salman received his prison sentence in April, shortened from nine to four years. He was arrested in December 2014, charged with civil disobedience and “hatred of the royal house”. In May, people were killed by police in connection with a demonstration in a Shiite village. Nearly 300 people were arrested.
According to Countryaah.com, Bahrain, together with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, broke diplomatic relations with Qatar in early June. The reason is that Qatar is accused of supporting terrorist groups.
After Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri announced his departure in early November and took refuge in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia urged their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately. The reason for this was somewhat unclear, but concerns about an escalated conflict with – and in – Lebanon are certainly behind the decision.