Protests continued in Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria, and Iran Tuesday, with violent clashes between government and opposition forces.
Iran's regime again cracked down on protesters for a second straight day, while lawmakers in the national parliament called for the execution of opposition leaders Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. The protests are the largest since demonstrations were crushed after the 2009 Iranian presidential elections, where opposition rallied over allegations of massive voter fraud. Tens of thousands of marchers were beaten by Iranian police using tear gas, batons, and pepper spray.
President Obama condemned the violence in Iran during a news conference. "My hope and expectation is that we are going to continue to see the people of Iran have the courage to be able to express their yearning for greater freedoms and a more representative government," he said.
A fifth day of demonstrations in Yemen continued the call for President Ali Abdallah Saleh's ouster. Crowds marched on despite tear gas and beatings from security forces,
Bahrain, home to key oil facilities and the U.S. Navy's 5th fleet, saw extensive unrest from Shiite protesters calling for democracy and an end to the Sunni monarchy. One demonstrator was shot and killed during a funeral procession for an opposition leader, exacerbating tensions.
Thousands of protesters gathered in Shiite towns around the small island and in the capital of Manama, shouting slogans against three decades of the King's rule and four decades of the same prime minister. A $2,700 payment to the heads of each family in the kingdom failed to stave off the disturbances. Recent Wikileaks cables also show that the monarchy took measures to appease Iran, the Shiite giant on the tiny island nation's doorstep, even while opposing its influence.
Algeria is facing rioting as more than 10,000 Tunisians have streamed over its border, escaping political uncertainty at home. Pro-democracy and Islamist parties jointly participated in rallies, which were crushed by Algeria police who outnumbered the protesters 3 to 1. "We're going to continue to demonstrate and to defy the authorities until they fall," opposition leader Said Sadi said. Algeria's foreign minister said the nation's 20-year-old state of emergency would be lifted in the coming days, but also claimed the demonstrators were a minority in the country.