Bahrain: 2nd Phase of revolution expected on 23rd November
In a step that could alter the balance of power in the country, the 14th February Youth have called for a massive flare up of revolutionary zeal on 23rd February, the day on which the highly politicized report by Charif Bissiouni will be released. According to internal sources, the report has been “sexed up” after American intervention. It is now thought that it would absolve the dictator and his notorious son, Nasser, of any responsibility in the killing or torture of Bahrainis. Up to 50 people were killed as a direct result of brutality of the security forces, while at least two detainees have given testimonies that Nasser had personally administered torture on them. The sources have reported that the commission which had been set up and financed by the dictator, found mountains of evidence to implicate senior Al Khalifa figures in serious war crimes and crimes against humanity, but the Americans intervened to stop the indictment of those criminals in exchange for superficial political and human rights concessions. Leaders of the revolution have rejected the commission from the start and have repeated their calls for an independent international commission to investigate the Al Khlaifa crimes. Calls have also been made to friends of Bahraini people to take action on that day in support of the revolution.
After the announcement of the Day of Rage by the 14th February Youth, It is now expected that instead of calming down the situation, the American intervention will give the revolution a new lease of life. Washington has presented the second version of its political solution in order to save the regime from imminent collapse. The first one was imposed on Bahrainis in 2001 and led to the bleakest political period in the country’s history. The native Bahrainis were almost obliterated by the political naturalization process which was put into effect with an American approval as part of the defunct political plan. Hundreds of Bahrainis were tortured in addition to scores of killings. Last year Human Rights Watch issued an embarrassing report on Bahrain titled “Torture Redux” in which it detailed horrific abuses that had taken place under the American eyes. Bahrainis suffered discrimination and oppression until the revolution erupted in February. The public outrage against the American biased involvement and double standards policy is now being expressed by the people openly. Despite the calls for restraint angry youth are intent on burning the US flags in protest.
The Al Khalifa regime has now been emboldened by the open American support of its absolute dictatorship. Today, a young girl, Ashwaq Al Maqabi, 20, was kidnapped from her hospital bed where she is being treated for acute form of Sickle Cell disease. On 23rd September she was arrested and tortured from the City Centre Shopping Mall as she joined other women in protest against the Saudi occupation and Al Khalifa repression and dictatorship. No word has yet been heard of here whereabout and there are serious concerns for her well-being. In the past, Saudi and Al Khalifa forces had assaulted and abused female prisoners with impunity. The dictator had provided this impunity by his notorious Law 56 that he had decreed in 2002. Many women are being held at torture chambers, some of them for months. Fadheela Al Mubarak has been behind bars since 27th March, ten days after the Saudis invaded and occupied the country. She was subjected to severe torture. Her plight has been ignored by Hillary Clinton who last week raised the stakes in Bahrain by calling for dialogue. She stopped short of condemning the regime for its atrocities or calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the political prisoners. Today, many Bahrainis took to the streets raising the slogan “Release our women” and disrupted the traffic in several main roads.
Meanwhile, many pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia have been arrested today on suspicion of taking part in anti-regime chanting in Mecca. Thousands of Arab and Muslim protesters were heard chanting “Down with Hamad” in reference to Bahrain’s dictator.
One of the most damning reports on the Al Saud and Al Khalifa atrocious acts against Bahrainis was broadcast on ESPN athletic channel few days ago. The documentary presented the ordeals of the Bahraini athletes who were targeted by the Saudi occupiers and Al Khalifa torturers for joining the people in their democracy marches. Among them is Alaa Hubail, who was described by the report as the best football player Bahrain has ever had. He was arrested, tortured and abused along with other athletes. Nasser, the dictator’s son (who is now called Saif Al Islam, in reference to Gaddafi’s son) had vowed to take revenge from the athletes who opposed his clan’s hereditary dictatorship. Following the airing of the film, calls are now raised to ban him from UK when he heads Bahrain’s Olympic team in the summer. Plans are underway to have him indicted.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
10th November 2011