Saturday, August 27, 2011
Angry Arab chief correspondent in Bahrain sent me this (her identity can’t be revealed for the obvious GCC reasons): “The February 14 Youth Movement have declared today as Youm Haq taqrir alma9eer (I guess the translation would be, the day of the right to self determination). There are protests everywhere, much bigger than usual. So far, I have heard of the following villages being attacked: AlDaih, AlDair, AlBurhama, Bani Jamra, AlNuaam, and Salmabad. AlDair, next to the airport and on the island of Muharraq was aggressively attacked. I am unclear as to whether they were attacked by the royal guard, the army the riot police or a combination of all three.
The slogans were directed at the King himself instead of the Prime Minister (as the slogans of the legal opposition are). The rest of the villages went out in larger numbers to distract the regime and to remove their focus from AlDair. They are resisting bravely though they are not armed. They did manage to cause some disruption. Flights from the airport have been delayed/cancelled. From what I am understanding, these are the biggest protests yet after the crackdown or at least during this month. The protests are still dispersed and of course incomparable to the large protests that existed in february. But they are still extremely well coordinated. They are all happening and the same time and it seems like they are all in contact with one another.
Another interesting thing that happened is the re-opening of Waad‘s headquarters (remember it was destroyed during the crackdown). All the legal opposition groups were there and for a first time in a long time they all gave speeches stressing the unity of the opposition and the fact that they will not be backing away from their goals. They seemed much stronger, more unified and more confident than they have been the past few months. They are going back to the february days where they are speaking in a united strong voice. Of course they reiterated their demands: A constitutional monarchy, an elected PM and parliament, the release of all prisoners, the reinstatement of the workers etc. Ebrahim Sharif even managed to smuggle out a message to everyone from prison which the head of Waad read. Their latest move is of course to boycott the elections which is driving the regime crazy. I told you in my previous email that half of the districts have no candidates.
From AllGov in the USA:
Nokia and Siemens Helping Torture in Bahrain
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Being known as a facilitator of secret police and torturers is not ideal branding for any company. But that is the reputation that Germany’s Siemens and Finland’s Nokia are developing, as a result of their partnership that’s provided spy technology to authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.
The latest sordid news comes out of Bahrain, where the government used voice- and data-recording technology sold by a Nokia Siemens Networks’ business (Trovicor) to gather incriminating text and voice messages of dissidents. According to Bloomberg, government interrogators not only used the software to track down activists, but also to show those being tortured the information that’s been gathered on them.
Trovicor’s equipment reportedly is used in at least 12 Middle Eastern and North African nations, and the company’s monitoring centers have been sold to Bahrain, Egypt, Syria and Yemen, reports Bloomberg.
Ali al-Mashima’, the son of Bahrain’s renowned opposition leader Hassan al-Mashima’, said various torturing techniques are used in the al-Khalifa prisons to extract information and punish the revolutionary forces, and revealed that Bahrain’s prince has a direct role in the torturing and interrogation of the detainees: here.
From GMA News in the Philippines:
22 distressed OFWs from Bahrain repatriated
08/28/2011 | 08:01 AM
At least 22 distressed overseas Filipino workers from Bahrain were repatriated over the weekend, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Sunday.
The DFA said an infant was with the OFWs who returned home last Friday, adding this was the second mass repatriation of OFWs from Bahrain since January.
“Eighteen of the 22 Filipino repatriates were undocumented workers, who were illegally recruited and deployed for work in Bahrain. Prior to their repatriation, these OFWs had been staying at the Embassy’s shelter,” the DFA said in a news release.
It added that most of the repatriates ran away from their employers for reasons ranging from reduced, delayed or non-payment of salaries to long working hours, heavy workload, inadequate food and physical and verbal abuse.
The Philippine Embassy negotiated with the OFWs’ employers for their visa cancellation; with police and immigration authorities for clearances; and with courts for the speedy resolution of their cases.
The University of Bahrain has reinstated 389 students who were suspended for alleged security-related incidents in March, the university president has said: here.
Bahrain’s Military Trial of Doctors a Travesty: here.