On March 17, 2011, six opposition leaders were arrested in Bahrain following a violent crackdown on democratic protests in that country, which were part of the larger "Arab Spring" movement in the Middle East. The crackdown followed Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa declaring a state of emergency and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for an end to violent repression in the country. Since the protests began, Al Khalifa has announced constitutional reforms despite the claims of Human Rights Watch (HRW) that the country is convicting hundreds of opposition activists in unfair, politically motivated trials.
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