Bahrain dictatorship continues repression

This video says about itself:

15 February, 2012, 15:58

Heavily armed police are patrolling the streets of Bahrain‘s capital Manama after cracking down on protesters who called for democratic reforms.

­Activists threw petrol bombs, rocks and iron bars after rallies marking the anniversary of Bahrain’s reform movement were met with tanks, gas and rubber bullets. Dozens were injured in the latest crackdown.

While the 2011 uprising was crushed by security forces aided by Saudi troops, killing at least 35, this time the weapons and tactics used to smash the protests are British.

John Yates, Former London Metropolitan Asst Commissioner, is the man giving the orders. He was hired by Bahrain’s monarchy as part of the regime’s PR campaign to clean up its image after the brutal crackdown a year ago.

Yates resigned from Scotland Yard in shame over British police complicity in phone-hacking and started work with the Bahrain ruling family in December. He believes the pro-democracy demo’s were not “… organized protests, it’s just vandalism, rioting on the streets”.


Bahrain receives military equipment from UK despite violent crackdown

Britain sold over £1m worth of weapons including rifles and artillery to Gulf kingdom during last year’s unrest Richard Norton-Taylor, Tuesday 14 February 2012 15.49 GMT
Britain has continued to sell arms to Bahrain despite continuing political unrest in the Gulf state, new official figures disclose.

According to the figures the government approved the sale of military equipment valued at more than £1m in the months following the violent crackdown on demonstrators a year ago. They included licences for gun silencers, weapons sights, rifles, artillery and components for military training aircraft.

Also cleared for export to Bahrain between July and September last year were naval guns and components for detecting and jamming improvised explosive devices. No export licences were refused.

Security forces in Bahrain fired teargas and stun grenades at protesters in pre-dawn skirmishes before Tuesday’s first anniversary of the uprising in the Gulf kingdom. Armoured vehicles patrolled the capital, Manama, in a security clampdown after protesters flung volleys of petrol bombs at police cars. There was also a massive police presence in Shia Muslim villages ringing Manama, with helicopters buzzing overhead, underlining the concerns of the Sunni-Muslim-led monarchy about a new explosion of civil unrest by Bahrain’s disgruntled Shia majority.

Concern grows over sales of British arms to Bahrain

Tuesday 14 February 2012

by Paddy McGuffin, Home Affairs Reporter

Anti-arms trade campaigners condemned the British government’s continued licensing of weapons to the Bahraini regime today amid reports of a further bloody crackdown on democratic protests in the kingdom.

Today marked the first anniversary of the democratic uprisings in Bahrain and saw fresh repression by state forces amid concerns that British armaments may be being used to crush dissent.

Prior to 2011 the British government listed Bahrain as a key market for arms exports.

The UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation, the government’s arms sales promotion unit, supported the Bahrain International Airshow in 2010.

British armed forces have been used in support of sales efforts, demonstrating arms to the Royal Bahrain Artillery.

From Euronews, with a video there:

Protests continue in Bahrain ahead of Grand Prix

20/04 00:14 CET

Riot police have fired tear gas and stun grenades at anti-government protesters taking to the streets of the Bahraini capital Manama.

The unrest comes just days before the controversial Formula One Grand Prix is held in the country. Organisers have ignored pleas for it to be called off.

“We are against awarding dictators. Formula One in Bahrain has been taken as PR (public relations) for the ruling elite, the repressive dictators who are ruling the country,” said human rights activist Nabeel Rajab.

Those seeking to oust Bahrain’s Sunni Muslim monarchy have threatened what they have described as “days of rage” ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix.

Protesters argue that the decision to hold the event in Bahrain gives greater international legitimacy to the monarchy and its crackdowns.

Last year’s racing was called off because of anti-government protests which left nearly 50 people dead.

Correction, ladies and gentlemen of Euronews: not the protests caused the deaths of people, but the way in which the dictatorship chose to repress them.

From the United Kingdom Press Association:

Call to cancel Bahrain Grand Prix

(UKPA) – 39 minutes ago

The shadow home secretary has called for the Bahrain Grand Prix to be cancelled as the Gulf state braces itself for further violent demonstrations following months of political unrest.

Yvette Cooper said British Formula One stars Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton should not take part in the controversial three-day event, which is expected to be beset by a wave of protests from pro-democracy campaigners.

Speaking on BBC’s Question Time, she said: “It shouldn’t go ahead, I don’t think British drivers should go, I think the Formula One should not go ahead in Bahrain.

“You have got demonstrations by democratic protesters who have been violently suppressed and although it should be a matter for the sport to decide rather than for the Government, I do think government ministers can express an opinion. That opinion should be it should not go ahead, it would send the wrong signal, it should not happen.”

Ms Cooper joins a growing number of politicians and human rights campaigners who have called on organisers to pull the plug on the event because of the regime’s crackdown on demonstrators.

Respect MP George Galloway said the tracks of the Middle Eastern race circuit were “stained by the blood of the people who are asking for a vote”. He said: “There is blood on the tracks and anyone who drives over then will never be forgiven.”

Earlier this week shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander also said proceeding would “send the wrong signal”, while Amnesty International said human rights violations are continuing in the Gulf kingdom despite government promises that the country is on the road to reform.

In a recent report, the campaign group said security forces were still using excessive and unnecessary force against anti-government protesters. The charity also said it was receiving ongoing reports of the torture and ill-treatment of demonstrators, who have been involved in ongoing clashes with police.

The 2011 race was cancelled as international criticism grew over the bloodshed, but despite calls for F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone to scrap this year’s event it looks certain to go ahead. Security around the event has has been significantly ramped up with the main race taking place on Sunday.

Bahrain denies visas to foreign journalists for F1: here.

3 thoughts on “Bahrain dictatorship continues repression

  1. Pingback: Deathly F1 in dictatorial Bahrain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Bahrain dictatorship gets US arms again | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Mass demonstration against Bahraini, Saudi dictators | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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