In Bahrain, slavery ‘is freedom’

This video is called Torturing detainees in Bahrain.

By Renee Gauthier:

Condemn Torture of Child in Bahrain

Target: Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs

Goal: Protect 14-year-old detainee from further ill-treatment and hold accountable those implicated in his torture.

Fourteen-year-old Ali Hatem Ali Salman, arrested by Bahraini police during a period of severe civil unrest, has been denied contact with his family and has been tortured while in custody. Sign the petition and demand that the Bahraini government comply with international human rights standards and protect Ali Hatem Ali Salman from further ill-treatment.

Ali Hatem Ali Salman was in a coffee shop playing a board game with friends when police arrested him and five others. He was blindfolded and taken to the police station, where he eventually confessed to rioting. However, Ali Hatem Ali Salman claims that he only confessed after being beaten and electrocuted.

Bahrain’s government has recently implemented new laws and strengthened existing ones with the intent of making it illegal to protest against the government. A recent addition to the 1976 juvenile law “now stipulates that if anyone under 16 years of age takes part in a demonstration, public gathering or sit-in, his or her parents will be warned in writing by the Ministry of Interior.” If the minor repeats the offense within six months, his or her father is subject to fines and/or imprisonment. Through its maltreatment of Ali Hatem Ali Salman, the Bahraini government is failing to comply not only with international law but with even its own excessive standards of punishment.

The Bahraini government may be doing its utmost to silence its own people, but it cannot silence the entire world. Sign the petition and demand that the Bahraini government protect Ali Hatem Ali Salman from torture and ill-treatment, allow him access to his family and legal representation, take his status as a minor into account, and treat him in compliance with international human rights standards.

Sign the Petition:

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Your Excellency,

Every prisoner has basic human rights that must be respected. This is doubly true when the prisoner is a juvenile. With that in mind, I implore you to reconsider the charges against Ali Hatem Ali Salman, and I demand that you ensure he is treated properly as long as he is in state custody.

Ali Hatem Ali Salman is only fourteen years old. He was arrested on August 26, 2013, on the charge of rioting, to which he later confessed. However, he told his parents and his lawyer that his confession only came after he was tortured by police, who beat and electrocuted him. This brutality, which is deplorable and unacceptable under any circumstances, is even more heinous when it is wrought upon a fourteen-year-old child, no matter what his crime may be.

Furthermore, Ali Hatem Ali Salman’s arrest is not in compliance with Bahrain’s already-strict rules for charging minors with public demonstration or rioting. Under the newly-passed law, the parents of juvenile offenders receive written warnings when their children are arrested. If a juvenile repeats the offense within six months, his or her father is subject to fines, imprisonment, or both. The law is outrageous in and of itself, but officials did not even comply with it during Ali Hatem Ali Salman’s arrest. Why can’t Bahrain abide by even its own low legal standards?

Ali Hatem Ali Salman has been subject to a gross injustice at the hands of Bahrain’s government, and the world cannot and will not stand idly by. I demand that you protect Ali Hatem Ali Salman from further ill-treatment and launch a full investigation into his claims of torture.


[Your Name Here]

Sign the petition here.

In 1948, British novelist George Orwell in his book 1984 wrote about a fictional future dictatorship in the imaginary country Oceania.

One of the propaganda slogans of that dictatorship was Freedom is slavery.

Now, it is twenty-nine years later than 1984. There is at least one non-fictional dictatorship with as its slogan Slavery is freedom.

That dictatorship is the absolute monarchy Bahrain. They did not make up that propaganda slogan themselves. They got help from an ultra Right Canadian think thank for that.

From CPI Financial News:

Monday 23, September 2013, by Robin Amlôt

Fraser Institute ranks Bahrain 8th freest economy in the world

Bahrain is the eighth most economically free nation in the world, according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2013 Annual Report published by international think tank the Fraser Institute. This is the second consecutive year Bahrain has ranked in the top ten. …

The Fraser “think tank” is an appendix of the Canadian Conservative Party government.

Bahrain achieved an overall score of 7.93 out of 10, putting the country nine places ahead of the United States, which is ranked 17th …

In the fifth spot of this “freedom (=slavery)” top 10 is another Gulf absolute monarchy, the United Arab Emirates. The dictatorships Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia are also doing quite well on “freedom” as measured by the independent think tank the Fraser Institute Canadian Conservative government (which does lots of weapons, oil, and other business with their absolute rulers.)

It is not the first time that the absolute monarchy of Bahrain, which keeps torturing and gassing its own people, gets high marks for “freedom”. Not freedom from being tortured. Not freedom from poisonous tear gas. Not freedom from being shot. Not freedom for doctors and nurses from being jailed for caring for wounded people.

It is about “economic freedom”. As interpreted by the “Chicago boys“/Margaret Thatcher school in economics.

As this blog mentioned earlier:

And now, quotes from the Kuwait News Agency, linked to the dictatorial regime in Kuwait. I don’t often quote from such sources.  …

So, from the Kuwait News Agency:

Bahrain, UAE most economically free Arab countries – report

23/11/2012 | 03:36 PM

BERLIN, Nov 23 (KUNA) — Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are home to the highest levels of economic freedom among Arab nations, a specialized international economic report has unveiled.

The annual Economic Freedom of the Arab World report is compiled by German Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF), the International Research Foundation (IRF) of Oman and the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank.

The propaganda mouthpiece for the Kuwaiti princely autocracy forgets to mention that these three organizations are linked to the German small neo-conservative FDP political party [kicked out of parliament by the German voters; update 23 September 2013], the absolute monarchy of Oman, and the Canadian conservative party, respectively. No objective economic science at all.

Bahrain, which ranked first last year, improved its overall score to 8.1 out of 10 from 8.0. The UAE also scored 8.1, tying with Bahrain after ranking second overall in 2011 with a score of 7.9. Jordan moved into the third spot from eighth overall, improving its score to 7.9 from 7.4 last year, showed the report.

The people of Bahrain, the UAE, and Jordan do not think that their score for freedom is that good. But the Kuwaiti princely propaganda agency does:

Research shows that individuals living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of prosperity, greater individual freedoms, and longer life spans.

Supposedly more freedom to inhale lethal teargas. And life spans may be relatively long, as long as the regime does not torture one to death.

However, CEOs of multinational corporations will not have that kind of problems in Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan or Saudi Arabia. They count, according to the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty, the International Research Foundation (IRF) of Oman and the Fraser Institute in Canada. The local people in those dictatorships don’t count.

The Bahrain dictatorship gets praise for “economic freedom” from others on the Right as well. Other sycophants of this absolute monarchy are the Wall Street Journal, aka the War Street Journal, owned by phone hacking, police bribing tycoon Rupert Murdoch. And the neo-conservative Heritage (which heritage?) Foundation in the USA.

These two had so much praise for the Bahraini royal dynasty in 2012 as well.

Economic freedom in Bahrain? They don’t mean freedom from forced prostitution in Bahrain, an international center for trafficking in women. Economic freedom for the pimps: yes. They don’t mean economic freedom for immigrant workers, who suffer from slave labour and who burn to death from lack of fire safety. They don’t mean economic freedom for native Bahraini workers, sacked by the thousands for joining pro-democracy demonstrations.

They don’t mean economic freedom for a local small businessman, whose business and person will suffer violent attacks by pro-royal family thugs for being critical of the regime.

16 thoughts on “In Bahrain, slavery ‘is freedom’

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