Bahrain Freedom Movement

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Bahrain Freedom Movement
حركة أحرار البحرين الإسلامية
LeaderSaeed al-Shehabi
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Shi'a islamism
Voice of Bahrain
Emblem of Bahrain.svg
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Bahrain Freedom Movement (Arabic: حركة أحرار البحرين الإسلامية, transliterated: Harakat Ahrar al-Bahrayn)[1] is a London-based Bahraini opposition group which has its headquarters in a north London mosque. Its main medium is the Voice of Bahrain website which was blocked for several years by Batelco, Bahrain's sole Internet service provider, on orders from the Ministry of Information.

The BFM played a leading role in the 1990s uprising in Bahrain.

It is led by Said Al Shehabi, who was formerly a member of Bahrain's main Shi'a Islamist party, Al Wefaq Islamic National Society but resigned along with several other members in September 2005 after it made the decision to end its boycott on parliamentary elections. Shehabi is a columnist with the London-based Arab newspaper, Al Quds Al Arabi.

The Bahrain government's political reforms in 2001 saw two of the BFM's most prominent leaders leave the movement. Under the reforms all exiles were invited to return to the Kingdom to participate in the political process, and leading members returned to their homeland.

Although all of its members have received political amnesties and most have returned to Bahrain to participate in the political process, several remain in London where they hold the status of asylum seekers.

On March 7, 2011, Al Shehabi alongside Hasan Mushaima, the leader of the Haq movement and Abdulwahab Hussain, the leader of the Wafa movement, formed the "Alliance for the Republic", because of their belief that the Bahraini regime lost legitimacy after the harsh crackdown on protesters with heavy weapons.

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  1. ^ Frederic M. Wehrey (2014). Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231165129.