Bahrain dictatorship update

This video is called Violent response to Bahrain protest.

Bahraini government bans public demonstrations; U.S. politicians don’t care.

Sunni monarchy breaks its pledge to reform and steps up repression: here.

From Amnesty International:

The Bahrain government’s ban on all rallies and gatherings in the country violates the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and must be lifted immediately, said Amnesty International.

A FORMER commander of the US Navy in the region has described both the Bahraini Ruling Family and the navy’s presence in the kingdom as “important to ensuring peace in the region, open sea lanes and the containment of Iran’s hegemonic ambitions”: here.

Bahrain bans public demonstrations as protest movement rises again: here. And here.

The prospects for meaningful reform in Bahrain seem even more distant now as outlets for peaceful dissent in the Kingdom are being systematically silenced. Last week, four men were charged with the “crime of insulting his majesty the king on their personal accounts on Twitter.” This week, the Ministry of the Interior announced an end to “all rallies and gatherings”: here.

Bahraini jailed six months over ‘king insult’ tweet: here.

A civil court in Bahrain has sentenced an online activist to six months in prison on charges of insulting the Gulf nation’s king in Twitter posts, the official news agency said: here.

Free expression: you’re doing it wrong, Bahrain: here.


19 thoughts on “Bahrain dictatorship update

  1. Bahrain: Europe must halt human rights violations, activist

    Peaceful uprising embarasses the West, ‘sanctions on Manama’

    31 October, 18:25

    (ANSAmed) – ROME – ”So far the protests in Bahrain have been peaceful. However, if the repression continues and the international community does not put pressure on the government to respect human rights, there is the risk of violence and sectarian conflict” between Sunnis and Shias, warns Maryam Al-Khawaja, vice president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. She was addressing most especially Europe and Italy, where she currently is as part of Amnesty International’s campaign for women in the Middle East and North Africa. Maryam is the daughter of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, an activist sentenced to life in prison and well known in part due to his hunger strike during the Formula One races last April. It was a protest, she notes, aiming to draw attention to the ”horrible conditions” in which detainees are kept in the small kingdom ruled by the Al-Khalifa family. Prisoners ”undergo systematic physical and psychological torture as well as rape”. Her father suffered torture and this seems to have stopped now, but she is worried about his health. Also of concern are the conditions of the 1,400 other political prisoners (a figure which has tripled over the past two years), including Hassan Mushaima, an opposition leader with cancer who has not received the necessary treatment for months.

    Al-Khawaja believes that it may very well be Mushaima’s case to spark fresh protests – protests which in reality have been ongoing for the past two years, she underscored, beginning with the first in August 2010 when 500 people were arrested. There are protests ”every day” in Bahrain, she said, though with varying degrees of intensity. Women ”are the first to set an example” she added, to the extent that they are ”the leaders of the revolution”, since freedom is ”for everyone, men and women, and repression does not discriminate”. Bearing witness to rising levels of tension is the authorities’ decision yesterday to ban gatherings and demonstrations. In her opinion, the announcement that anyone taking part will be charged with a crime is significant, proof of the rising level of repression. As to why there seems to be little attention given to Bahrain, she said that ”our uprising is inconvenient both to the West and to the Arab world”, especially to Gulf countries.

    Firstly because of Bahrain’s strategic position in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s focus on it. However, Bahrain’s Shia majority does not look kindly on Iran, she says, since it is mostly an Arab country and not Persian, and does not want another repressive government like the Sunni dynasty which has ruled over the country for over 200 years. She noted that, moreover the lack of attention to Bahrain is also due to the fact that Saudi Arabia ”considers it to be its own backyard”.

    ”If the US does not do anything for us it is because this has been requested by Riyadh,” claims Maryam, ”the top customer for their arms sales” – weapons sold to Bahrain’s monarchy as well, and not only by the US but also by ”the United Kingdom, Turkey and France.” However, she notes that the international community ”can do three things. It can halt the sale of weapons to Manama to safeguard human rights, bring the issue of Bahrein before the UN Security Council and impose diplomatic sanctions”. She is certain that the sanctions would have their desired effect, since the country’s economy ”is based on the banking and financial sector and it needs its international reputation intact.” She went on to say that Europe and Italy can also play a part. ”It is not necessary for all of Europe to come to an agreement, only that an initial group agree on a shared line of action and move forward on it.” After all, among the 27 signatories of the declaration on Bahrain at the UN Council meeting for human rights in Geneva there were ”European countries as well”. (ANSAmed).



  2. UN warns Bahrain protest ban could worsen tensions

    (AFP) – 11 hours ago

    UNITED NATIONS — UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that Bahrain’s move to ban protests could “aggravate” tensions in the Gulf state.

    The United Nations joined leading nations in urging a rethink by the Bahrain authorities.

    The UN secretary general “expresses his concern about the restrictions” on demonstrations and public gatherings declared on Tuesday, said his spokesman Martin Nesirky.

    Bahrain should “abide fully by international human rights standards, including respect for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association,” the spokesman added.

    “The secretary general believes these restrictions could aggravate the situation in the country and urges the government of Bahrain to lift them without delay.”

    Bahrain banned all protests and gatherings to ensure “security is maintained,” after clashes between Shiite-led demonstrators and security forces in the Sunni-ruled country.

    The Gulf state has experienced unrest since March last year when authorities crushed protests led by the Shiite Muslim majority demanding greater rights.

    Ban also said protesters should ensure that demonstrations are peaceful. “Recent violence that reportedly killed two police officers is unacceptable.”

    On Wednesday the United States said it was “deeply concerned” at the protest ban.

    “We urge the government of Bahrain to work with responsible protest leaders to find a way for peaceful and orderly demonstrations to take place,” said US State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

    Copyright © 2012 AFP


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