Middle East

Bahrain unrest: 'Hope and fear' for protesters

Bahraini demonstrators watch TV in Pearl Square, 17 Feb
Image caption The demonstrators are prepared to stay a while

With further anti-government protests due to take place in Bahrain, BBC News website readers in the country have been sharing their thoughts on the latest developments.

Anthony, Juffair

Image caption Anthony: "I think there is a strong will to be one nation"

There is a real sense of history here, like being in Berlin when the wall came down.

At Pearl roundabout, there is an almost carnival-like atmosphere. It feels like a festival camp, with people cooking on barbecues and setting up satellite dishes with flatscreen TVs.

The demonstrators are in for the long haul, although as summer comes on, I don't know whether people will be able to stay out in the heat.

There is a real sense of determination among the protesters. I asked someone what happens if you are ordered to leave. They said flatly they won't. They said they are prepared to die as martyrs.

At Pearl roundabout there are a lot of signs which say: "No Shia, no Sunnis, only Bahrainis." I think there is a strong will to be one nation, but the country has a lot of healing to go through before that can happen.

I think it's important too that the protesters don't let this situation drag on for too long otherwise they will use popular support.

It is important that people are allowed to attend marches and there are signs that the authorities are listening to the people.

The riot police have melted into the background and a number of prisoners have been released with a royal pardon.

Mohammed, Manama

The crowds were very large at Pearl roundabout today but I can say there was not so much anger and sorrow as before. I think people have become more confident since they reoccupied the square.

People are determined things should change. You could hear more people opening up, calling for the downfall of the entire royal family. You did not hear such calls over the microphone as the organisers were trying to keep things calm. But the ordinary people in the crowd are more emotional.

Now I believe there is a battle of wills. The protesters won't disband until the government resigns, but the government is hoping that the protesters will give up and go home.

I think many of the protesters at Pearl roundabout are still scared that the government will attack again, although they have stated that they will not.

Meanwhile, the Bahrain economy is slowly dying. The streets are empty of tourists and business is not going well.

People are worried about going out to dine and enjoy themselves because they are anxious about the protests. There is certainly tension in the air.

Sayed, Manama

There were so many people at the roundabout today. I have seen some who have not come out to protest before - some older people, and those who were too scared to do so before.

People are quite emotional and unsure of whether they will get what they want.

The biggest problem at the moment is that the government is not doing the main thing that the protesters have demanded - which is to resign.

I think it's good that the demonstrations are continuing - people should be able to ask for their freedom.

The protesters are trying to keep up the momentum to make sure that the will for change doesn't die away. I'm still optimistic about the possible outcome.

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