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BAHRAIN: Authorities crack down on dissent on the Web, rights group says

February 6, 2011 |  3:02 pm

As demands for change spread across the Middle East, authorities in Bahrain are taking steps to prevent activists from using the Internet to encourage dissent, a human rights organization said Sunday.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights accused the government of blocking access to a Facebook group calling for protests inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. The center's own website has been blocked for years, it said. Several prominent bloggers have also been arrested.

Opposition activists in the small Persian Gulf island nation have been calling for a “day of rage” Feb. 14 against the ruling royal family. Bahraini authorities have taken economic measures to try to stave off the mounting anger, raising food subsidies.

— Alexandra Zavis in Los Angeles and Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

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