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article imageBahrain bans 'Anonymous' Guy Fawkes masks

By Anne Sewell     Feb 28, 2013 in World
In an effort to quell the ongoing protests in the country, Bahrain has now banned the importation, and wearing, of the Guy Fawkes mask made famous by the comic and film "V for Vendetta" and the Anonymous movement.
The mask has become a universal symbol of protest, worn worldwide by protesters wanting democracy. From the 15m movement in Spain, to the Occupy movement in the US and many other groups in the Arab Spring uprising and beyond, the mask has become what the "V for Vendetta" comic’s illustrator David Lloyd described as a “placard to use in protest against tyranny.”
However, in an effort to quell the two-year pro-democracy uprising in Bahrain, the Gulf state has banned the importation of the mask, according Bahrain's Industry and Commerce Minister, Hassan Fakhro.
This follows a request by the country's Interior Ministry which stated that the move was in the "public interest," according to Bahrain’s Official Gazette.
Bahrain's border and port authorities have been instructed to prevent these masks from being imported, and anyone trying to get around this ban could, potentially, be arrested.
Protesters are interpreting this ban as an attempt to eliminate a potent symbol against the monarchy’s rule. And, of course, this deprives anti-government demonstrators of a means to mask their identity.
Reportedly Bahrain is the second Gulf country to approve a ban on the "Anonymous" mask, with the UAE issuing a warning against wearing the mask on National Day, December 2, in that country.
Bahrain, where over 75% of the country's citizens are Shia, is ruled by a Sunni monarchy, Demonstrations against the government began in February 2011, with thousands protesting in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, demanding democratic reforms and the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa. At least 82 protesters, including nine children, have been killed since the start of the uprising.
Banning the mask is considered by the protesters to be merely a symbol, and will not, in any way, halt the demonstrations.
Speaking of the recent shooting of 16-year-old Ali Ahmed Ibrahim Aljazeeri by Bahraini police during a protest, Ala-a Shehabi, founder of Bahrain Watch told the Guardian, “The majority of Bahrainis really just want to live in basic dignity and freedom.”
,“They don’t believe the current royal family is willing to deliver that,” he added.
While the mask has been made famous by "V for Vendetta", it is actually a stylized interpretation of Guy (Guido) Fawkes, a member of a group of subversives who took part in an attempt to assassinate King James I in the failed 1605 ‘Gunpowder Plot’ in London, UK.
Bahrain bans the Guy Fawkes  Anonymous  mask from protests
Bahrain bans the Guy Fawkes "Anonymous" mask from protests
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