What happened to the revolution in Bahrain? - UpFront

When the Arab Spring came to Bahrain in 2011, protesters took to the streets to demand reform, including a "real" constitutional monarchy, with an elected prime minister independent of the ruling Al-Khalifa family.

In response, neighbouring Saudi Arabia intervened to quash the Shia-led protests on behalf of Bahrain's rulers, while authorities ordered the imprisonment of thousands of activists.

But Maryam al-Khawaja, a Bahraini activist in exile in The Netherlands, believes it remains to be seen whether the uprising can be deemed a failure.

"The people of Bahrain will continue to protest until they reach their … demands for civil and political rights," says al-Khawaja.

When asked about Iran's alleged role in the uprising, she calls it a "self-fulfilling prophesy."

"The more Iran speaks out - saying that there's oppression and torture in Bahrain, and the more there's a failure from the West to do so - the more the Bahraini people are going to find themselves in a position where they don't see any other way out or any other ally than Iran," says al-Khawaja.

"Is it the best thing for Bahrain? Of course, it's not."

In this Special Interview, we ask activist Maryam Al-Khawaja about the legacy of the Arab Spring in Bahrain.

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