Bahrain dictatorship, resistance continue


This video is about oppression in Bahrain.

From Eurasia Review:

Bahraini Protesters Emboldened By Police Teargassing

October 13, 2012

Bahraini police fired tear gas and stun grenades at hundreds of demonstrators at a pro-democracy protest in the capital, Manama. Thousands joined in for a second march after the initial rally was forcefully dispersed.

Riot police clashed with participants in the “Destination Manama” rallies, which called for the right to self-determination and increased freedoms for the country’s Shiite Muslim majority.

Protesters chanted “We want freedom!”, “Democracy!”, “Free Nabeel Rajab!” and even “Down, down, down Hamad!” The last was in reference to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, the head of Bahrain’s ruling monarchy.

A YouTube video from “Destination Manama” showed men and women fleeing security forces as shooting was heard in the background.

Bahrain’s Interior Ministry, meanwhile, wrote on Twitter that its police had stepped in to restore order after groups of “thugs” began rioting and “hurling Molotov cocktails” at law enforcement.

But Sayed Yousif al-Muhafda, from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, denied the Interior Ministry’s report.

“It was a peaceful protest,” al-Muhafda told RT. “All the people were carrying were Bahraini flags. There were no Molotov cocktails. It was witnessed by human rights organizations and journalists.”

After the first protest was dispersed and arrests were made, demonstrators regrouped and continued their rally.

Thousands joined in for the second march, led by main opposition bloc al-Wefaq, Reuters reported. Their slogan was “Stop the shedding of our blood, we will not give up our demands.”

Bahrain, which hosts the US Navy’s Fifth fleet, continues to see almost daily demonstrations and clashes.

The country’s Shiite majority demands a bigger role in running the country, which is controlled by the Sunni al-Khalifa family.

At least 50 people have died in nearly 20 months of unrest, with a 16-year-old boy becoming one of the latest victims.

Thousands of anti-government activists have been arrested, says the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. This includes human rights activist Nabeel Rajab who, after several detainments, was sentenced to three years in jail for “participation in an illegal assembly” and “calling for a march without prior notification.”

‘US will not tolerate democratic reform in Bahrain’

Discussing with RT why the popular uprising in Bahrain does not get as much coverage in the Western media as revolts in Egypt, Libya and other countries, Dominic Kavakeb, from Bahrain’s Justice and Development Movement, says the current leaders of Bahrain are viewed as allies in the West, hence the leniency among journalists. The West just wants to keep up al-Khalifa’s rule, he said.

“What they don’t realize, however, is that they have huge leverage to convince Bahrain into reforms,” says Kavakeb. “The reality is that when Bahrain is calling for democracy and change, it does not have to be against the West’s interests. It would actually be much more in the interest of the entire world to have a democratic and stable country.”

But geopolitical analyst Patrick Henningsen believes the US and other Western countries are looking to [suppress] the Shiite uprising in Bahrain instead of allowing reforms. He explains it by the high probability that the country’s Shiite majority coming to power would not tolerate any confrontation with Iran.

“The US will not tolerate any sort of democratic reform or uprising in Bahrain, because they need a hardcore dictatorship in place. There are obviously many military assets they’ve got in the country.”

Thousands Protest in Bahrain. Riot Police Clash with Anti-Government Protesters in Capital City: here.

The Judiciary and Public Prosecution in Bahrain are Tools to Oppress the Human Rights Activists and Political Opponents: here.

The Stieg Larsson Prize 2012 is awarded to Maryam Al-Khawaja for her courageous struggle for democracy and human rights. With the internet and social media as a tool, and through untiring activism and the power of the word she turns the spotlight on injustices in her home country. In spite of threats and harassment against herself and her family she continues to work for a tolerant and more democratic state of Bahrain. Her achievements are entirely in the spirit of Stieg Larsson: here.

UK is to Bahrain what Russia is to Syria, says prominent Bahraini human rights activist: here.

By signing a defence treaty with the Alkhalifa ruling family, UK has turned its back on the most basic moral issues, a leading opposition figure has said: here.

Bahrain’s court of appeal should overturn a lower court conviction for illegal assembly against the human rights activist Nabeel Rajab and cancel his three-year prison term. Because the authorities have presented no evidence that he advocated or participated in violence, his conviction is a violation of his right to freedom of peaceful assembly, Human Rights Watch said: here.

Bahraini police crack down on peaceful protesters: here.

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2 thoughts on “Bahrain dictatorship, resistance continue

  1. Jailed Bahrain medics ‘go on hunger strike’

    (AFP) – 4 hours ago

    DUBAI — Five medics jailed in connection with last year’s anti-regime protests in Bahrain went on hunger strike on Sunday, urging international rights groups to campaign for their release, lawyers said.

    The Shiite medics, who have been in prison since October 1 after the Gulf kingdom’s highest court upheld their prison sentences, called their action “The Lost Justice,” and have stopped taking food and medicine, the lawyers said.

    A sixth medic has been released because of time already served.

    The medics reiterated accusations that the authorities used “harsh and systematic torture” during months of initial detention in the wake of a deadly crackdown on protests in March last year.

    In a statement transmitted by lawyers, they claimed the alleged torture “caused injuries and disabilities whose traces remain on the bodies of the medics.”

    The statement urged “all international organisations to demand their release.”

    The hunger strikers include consultant orthopaedic surgeon Ali Alekri, who was sentenced to five years, and senior nurse Ibrahim Damastani who was given a three-year term.

    Both were convicted of possessing a weapon and of illegal assembly.

    The remaining medics were found guilty of illegal assembly and inciting hatred, and were sentenced to between two months and a year.

    Three other medics’ convictions were also upheld by the high court, but they had already served their sentences.

    They were among 20 doctors and nurses who worked at the Salmaniya Medical Complex in Manama during the predominantly Shiite month-long uprising against the kingdom’s ruling Sunni dynasty in February 2011.

    All 20 were first charged and convicted by a quasi-military court formed after the government crackdown on the protests, and many initially received harsh sentences of up to 15 years.

    Nine were acquitted by a lower appeals court in June.

    Sporadic protests still take place in Bahrain’s mainly Shiite neighbourhoods, often sparking sometimes deadly clashes with police.

    According to the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), a total of 80 people have been killed in Bahrain since the violence began on February 14, 2011.

    Copyright © 2012 AFP.

  2. Bahrain police teargas protesters, pepper spray women

    13-10-2012

    Al-Akhbar:

    Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of peaceful demonstrators in Bahrain’s capital Friday in the monarchy’s latest attempt to clamp down on dissent.

    Protesters had gathered in downtown Manama waving the national flag and raising pictures of their jailed relatives while calling for their release before being attacked by riot police.

    Ten arrests were reported.

    “Hundreds were carrying flags and demanding freedom and self-determination when, without warning, the police started firing tear gas and stun grenades,” Said Yousif, deputy head of the Bahrain Center for Human Right, told Al-Akhbar.

    The activist said police aimed directly for demonstrators’ heads before firing the tear gas canisters. He also witnessed women being attacked in the face with pepper spray.

    He added that security had blocked roads before the 3:30pm demonstration to prevent people from participating. The march was called for two weeks ago by the February 14 Movement.

    “All the roads leading into Manama were blocked. The whole city was surrounded with police checkpoints, and there were helicopters flying overhead,” he said. “Hundreds of cars were turned back.”

    Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior claimed “thugs” had instigated the violent police response.

    “Groups of thugs were involved in rioting, vandalism and hurling Molotov cocktails at policemen in Manama. Police restored order,” the ministry posted on Twitter.

    Witnesses said there were no Molotov cocktails or any violent actions on the part of the demonstrators as there have been in previous protests.

    A second protest outside the capital reportedly took place without violence.

    Bahrain has witnessed ongoing opposition protests since February, 2011 calling for the overthrow of the monarchy.

    Security forces responded by launching a bloody crackdown on dissidents and activists. The monarchy also targets medical workers who treat injured protesters.

    Saudi troops were ushered into Bahrain in March, 2011 to help crush the movement, but protests against the tyrannical regime persist.

    Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch and a group of US congressmen separately called on the country’s monarch to release nine medics who treated activists injured during the uprising.

    The medics were all charged earlier this year and released on bail, but re-arrested after an October 1 court decision upheld their charges.

    The charges included possession and concealment of white weaponry (non-firearms) to serve a terrorist purpose, and for illegal assembly and inciting hatred. The sentences range from one month to five years.

    At least 80 people have been killed since the uprising began, according to activist figures.

    Bahrain’s autocratic royal family, which has maintained a tight grip over the country for more than a century, is a strategic US ally and hosts the US Fifth Fleet.

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/bahrain-police-teargas-protesters-pepper-spray-women

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