London solidarity with Bahraini pro-democracy movement


This video from Bahrain is called #Occupy #Bahrain The largest demonstration in Bahrain. We are the 99%.

From the Tripoli Post in Libya:

London Protesters Express Solidarity with Bahraini Prisoners of Conscience

15/07/2012 10:40:00

By Karen Dabrowska
(The Tripoli Post UK correspondent)

Around 100 protesters braved London’s wet weather on Saturday to show their solidarity with around 800 Bahraini prisoners of conscience, among the[m] Nabil Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

Waving Bahraini flags outside the Bahraini embassy, they chanted: “One, two, three, four Al Khalifa (Bahrain’s royal family) no more,” “Al Khalifa what do you say, how many did you kill today?” “Al Khalifa terrorist,” and “Down, down Al Khalifa,” to the loud beat of a drum.

The protest was organised by the Bahrain Freedom Movement and supported by Stop the War Coalition.

Speaking to The Tripoli Post, Dr Saeed Shehabi the London representative of the Bahrain Freedom Movement (BFM) said that imprisonment had not stopped for the past forty years but in recent months it has increased. “There is a policy of attempting to throttle the revolutionary movement by arresting prominent figures and activists. The regime is adopting very harsh measures including on the spot torture when someone is arrested. People are also being tortured in different places – not the usual torture centres – to try and pretend torture has stopped.

He went on to say: “Eventually the revolution will succeed, but nobody can put a date on it. The revolution in Bahrain is linked to other revolutions which are still in the balance.

“Not all the revolutions have succeeded in achieving their goals including the one in Egypt which is still struggling to establish a new identity for the country. Libya has to prove that it has really made the transformation to a democratic society. Tunisia is slightly better but there are many challenges from within and without.

“The success of the revolution in Bahrain will be determined in relation to the struggle of the people and by outside elements including the success of the other revolutions and the transformations in other countries.

Abdul Hadi Khalaf a Bahraini leftist political activist and academic told The Tripoli Post that there are three schools of thought about the future of the Bahraini revolution.

“The regime thinks if it can push on for a little bit longer it can suppress the uprising. The suppressive measures today are the same as in the first days of the Saudi incursion (March 2011).

“Certain quarters of the opposition believe the solution is coming through an international dialogue – a Russian, American, Iranian, Saudi deal that will affect the future of Bahrain. The third view, which I subscribe to, is that things are going to improve soon, the regime is weak, it has its own difficulties and if we continue our activities we will win.

“If the Al Khalifa’s reform they can last as long as they want but like the other ruling families in the GCC states they are living against history, they are a legacy of the medieval ages and they cannot rule in the 21st century as they have done in the 19th century.”

Veteran Labour politician Jeremy Corbyn MP, a long time supporter of the Palestinian people, thanked the protesters for remembering the Bahrainis who had died at Pearl Roundabout and because of the Saudi intervention. “We stand here in solidarity with all the people who are victims, the people who have been imprisoned over the years because of the denial of human rights.”

Corbyn criticised the role of foreign security advisers in Bahrain including a current adviser from Scotland Yard.

“A great deal of coverage has been given to human rights abuses in Syria and the potential for a war against Iran but there is silence about the human rights abuses of the security forces in Bahrain, the continued trials of medical professionals whose sole crime was to try and look after people who had been injured by those forces.

Bahrain is a military centre for Britain and the USA. It is under the control of the GCC which is effectively under the control of the Saudi forces who are deciding the future.

“We are not here to express a sectarian religious point of view. We are here in solidarity with the people of Bahrain who demand justice, their right to demonstrate and share in the economic well being of the country. The GCC is increasingly becoming a long-range arm of NATO which has forces in the Gulf of Hormuz building up to an increasingly dangerous situation on the borders of Iran.

“I do not want to see Western armies killing more innocent people and leaving in their wake an economy based on security operatives, consultants and all the big businesses who have made a great deal of money out of the wars of the past 13 years. Britain has a legacy in the region of leaving royal families and elites in power who are against democracy.

“We are here in unity for justice and human rights and to say to the British government stop all arms and security contracts with Bahrain, withdraw the foreign forces and let the people decide their own future instead of bringing the king here to have lunch with the queen.”

In a statement distributed at the protest the Bahrain Freedom Movement (BFM) said that the son of Bahrain’s dictator, Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the head of Bahrain’s Olympic committee is expected to lead the Bahraini Olympic team to London later this month.

The BFM urged human rights bodies to take legal action to have him arrested for crimes against humanity when he sets foot on British soil. During the martial law period Nasser allegedly called individual athletes and questioned them about their role in demonstrations. Soon afterwards death squads would abduct these athletes who were subjected to horrific torture. He also personally tortured senior opposition figures.

Bahrain’s economic reforms — once hailed as the most ambitious in the Gulf — seems to have stalled as hardliners in the Sunni ruling family who see Shi’ite protesters as a threat to the state bring the programme under their wing: here.

Bahrain: Anti-government protesters clashed with police in widespread demonstrations against measures by the authorities to ban opposition rallies: here.

Doctors go underground to treat protesters in Bahrain. Most demonstrators hurt in clashes with police refuse to go to hospitals, no matter how grave their wounds, fearing they will be arrested there: here.

Bahrain has expelled US filmmaker and human rights activist Jen Marlowe, accusing her of shooting a documentary without proper permission. Her expulsion came amid a crackdown on demonstrators protesting the recently imposed ban on rallies: here.

Bahrain is intensifying its crackdown on the pro-democracy opposition and is trying to silence those covering its actions, Jen Marlowe, a US documentary filmmaker who was kicked out of the country, told RT: here.

6 thoughts on “London solidarity with Bahraini pro-democracy movement

  1. Pingback: Tunisian government, free Mohamed Bouazizi’s mother | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  4. Pingback: United States support for dictatorship in Egypt | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Bahrain pro-democracy resistance continues | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Bahraini pro-democracy action today, also in Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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