A prominent Bahraini opposition leader on February 26 returned from exile and urged the kingdom’s rulers to back up reform promises with action. Hassan Mushaima, who heads Haq movement, was embraced by a small group of supporters as he returned from months of voluntary exile in London. Mushaima, who had been among a group of activists previously accused of plotting to overthrow Bahrain’s rulers, called on the government to be more responsive to protesters’ demands for far-reaching political reforms. “Dialogue is not enough. Promising is not enough. We have to see something on the ground,” he said on arrival at the airport.
Mushaima said any changes should grant more power to the people. Asked if he hoped to lead the protest movement, he said: “I’m always saying to the people, ‘I’m your servant’.” Prominent opposition activist Muneera Fakhro welcomed the fast-changing developments. “The firing of the three ministers on Friday (February 25) and the granting of royal pardon to Hassan Mushaima are good signs. These are clear indicators that the government is responding, and responding positively to the demands of the activists,” she said.