Bahrain: Awaiting the year of hope for Arab revolutions and the end of Al Khalifa hereditary dictatorship
As the year to an end, the thought of Bahrainis goes to those who have lost their lives in the struggle to achieve freedom, liberty and democracy. They also hope that the new year will see an end to the brutal regime of the Al Khalifa who has now become the enemy No 1 to the people of Bahrain. As the people continue their struggle, demonstrating in the streets of more than forty cities and towns, the memory of more than fifty people, whose ages range from six days to over seventy years, is still vivid in their memory. Their blood has kept the flame of the revolution burning and glowing more than ever. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that the Bahraini revolution has been among the most active in within the Arab Spring. Day in day out, the people poured into the streets in their scores braving the ruthless attacks by the Al Khalifa mercenary forces. The two main slogans that are raised in every protest are: “The People want regime change” and “Down with Hamad, Down with Hamad”. In addition to those who lost their lives, thousands more were injured, more than sixty of them lost one or two eyes each. Hundreds are still incarcerated in filthy cells, inhabited by cockroaches and infested with diseases. The dungeons of the National Security Agency, which had been run by the most notorious torturer, Khalifa bin Abdullah Al Khlaifa, saw the most severe forms of torture that led to the death of at least five innocent prisoners. Instead of bringing him to justice, the dictator granted this torturer a significant promotion to become the Chairman of the Supreme Defence Council.
The year ends with bitter memories for many, but with hopeful note among almost everyone; The future will not be allowed to be a repetition of the past, the Al Khalifa clan must go. There is no way they will ever be allowed to govern the country after they had proven themselves to be the enemy within. The way they had handled the peaceful demonstrations that had erupted on 14th February could not be forgiven or forgotten. The summary execution of several of the martyrs and the instant torture meted on hundreds of Bahrainis has galvanized the situation as never before. Bahrainis now consider the Al Khalifa their main enemy whose rule must be brought down at any cost. While Bahrainis have remained peaceful and civilized in their protests, the dictator and his clique became ever more cruel and vicious. When the ruling clan realized that their time had run out, they called in the Saudi army to crush the people’s peaceful revolution. In the words of The Times’ columnist, Martin Fletcher in yesterdays’ edition: Bahrain’s monarchy cracked down on dissent with a brutality that ensured its immediate survival, but robbed it of legitimacy.” Indeed the Al Khalifa have lost legitimacy and they must go.
As for the friends of the Al Khalifa, especially the US and UK, their stands have been shameful, to say the least. Instead of siding with the people, especially after the regime’s own investigation commission had proven that they had used systematic torture on detainees and adopted excessive force against demonstrators, they have offered the regime every political, military and psychological support. Recently they have dispatched two police officers, an American and a British, both with evil past, to help the regime crush the Bahraini revolution. The USA and UK are aware that to enhance the performance of the police and security forces the regime does not need foreign policemen; they need the will to charge torturers starting with Khalifa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa and the two sons of the dictators. The will is simply not there. The two policemen will thus play the role played by Henderson when he was dispatched to Bahrain 45 years ago; that of a more aggressive torturer.
The escalation of the revolutionary action in the past four weeks has proven the resilience of Bahrainis and their ability to withstand the horrific onslaught by the Al Khalifa and Saudi forces. Many have been detained in the past week from several cities and towns. The use of chemical warfare by the Saudi occupiers and Al Khalifa dictators has emboldened the people to go take the conflict to the end however bitter it may become. All links with the Al Khalifa have been broken and the people want to determine their own destiny, write their own constitution and form their own government. Hereditary dictatorship is defunct and those in Washington and London need to accept this fact and support those struggling to achieve democracy and uphold human rights in their countries. Failing to take a stand is a moral and political failure.
Bahrain revolutionaries wish you a happy new year.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
30th December 2011