This video is called ‘Night raids, torture, sham trials a daily reality in Bahrain’ – human rights activist.
By Brian Dooley from the USA:
Obama Should Be Pressuring, Not Legitimizing, Bahrain
September 25, 2014
To the surprise of some, Bahrain’s tiny Air Force joined this week’s air attacks on the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) in Syria. It’s the weakest air power in the region, doesn’t offer much firepower and it’s been a shaky U.S. ally in recent months. Bahrain is also controlled by a brutally undemocratic regime. Now the Obama administration is bolstering that regime with a token but legitimizing military inclusion in the coalition against ISIL. Administration officials should be pressuring the Bahrainis to change their ways and questioning the 60-year U.S. military relationship with the nation.
Bahrain has given Washington more than enough reason to cause consternation in recent years, cracking down on human rights leaders and quashing the Arab spring democracy movement that once budded there. …
Bahrain has also directly challenged the United States. In an unprecedented move in July, Bahraini rulers expelled visiting senior State Department official Tom Malinowski after he met with leaders of a peaceful opposition group. A month later it refused to allow Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who’s been critical of the regime, into the country. Regime officials have denied entry to international human rights experts for several years, but treating U.S. government officials this way is prompting questions in Washington about the future of the military relationship. At the moment, Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and forward deployed U.S. Marines at the ready in Central Command. Around 90 per cent of Bahrain’s Defence Force equipment has U.S. origins.
There has been a hold on some weapons transfers from the U.S. to Bahrain since mid-2011 in response to attacks on peaceful protestors and other human rights abuses, but most have continued. Bahrain’s failure to introduce meaningful reform after wide-scale protests in early 2011 has made it an unpredictable and, it would appear, increasingly hostile “ally.” The U.S. ambassador to Bahrain for the last three years, Thomas Krajeski, has been consistently vilified by the country’s press and cabinet for “interfering in internal affairs” – i.e. offering muted criticism of Bahrain’s human rights abuses.
The country is governed by an unelected elite controlled by its ruling family. The king’s uncle has been prime minister since the first Nixon administration and, according to the State Department, about half of the cabinet is usually made up of members of the ruling family. The country is famous for jailing people who criticize the king on Twitter and for torturing dozens of medics who treated injured protestors in 2011. The king announced this week that elections for its lower house of parliament (he appoints the upper house), will be held on Nov. 22, but the opposition is likely to boycott in protest of the lack of reform while leading peaceful dissidents remain in prison on long sentences after advocating for democracy.
Bahrain regime loyalists regularly try to depict the mainstream opposition as agents of Iran, and while so far this isn’t the case, the longer things go on without democratic reform, the more likely it is that Iran will gain a strong foothold in Bahrain. The best way to counter Iranian influence in Bahrain is to implement real reform and snuff out the popular grievances that can be exploited by Tehran.
29 September 2014—London—Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) strongly condemn the United Kingdom’s recent decision to increase the sale of arms to Bahrain. Furthermore, we raise serious concerns that the escalating arms trade and deepening of military ties between an ostensible defender of democracy and a government bent on suppressing the democratic will of its people undermines the international community’s cries of deep concern over the situation in Bahrain: here.
PEN International is seriously concerned for the health of prominent academic, activist and blogger Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, who requires urgent specialist medical treatment for ongoing health problems, some of which result from torture and ill-treatment in prison. Dr. Al-Singace is serving a life sentence for his peaceful opposition activities. PEN International is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace and all others arbitrarily detained in Bahrain in violation of Articles 9 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a state party. It also demands that Dr. Al-Singace receives full access to medical attention as a matter of urgency, and that his reports of ill-treatment in Jaw prison are fully investigated. See more here.
Bahrain: GISWatch: The struggle of online activists against surveillance technology: here.
Bahrain Watch today released its Fabrigate project, listing 25 news stories that exemplify how state propaganda fabricates quotes by high-profile officials to support the Bahraini government’s narrative: here.
On the eve of yet another war in Iraq, is the UK’s strategy any more coherent than in 2003? Patrick Cockburn, who led the world in warning of the rise of Isis, wonders if David Cameron has really thought through his plans: here.
More than three years after Bahrain forcibly ended the largest popular uprising in its history in February 2011, its political outlook remains bleak. The question of reforms continues to divide its ruling family, anti-government protesters and security forces clash on a regular basis, and a prolonged deadlock between the ruling al-Khalifa regime and the opposition is further amplifying persistent sectarian tensions. And now the government’s main support base — its small but pivotal population of Sunni tribal groups — appears to be slowly leaving the country, locking Bahrain in a bitter dispute with its historical rival Qatar: here.