- On June 14, London Independent writer Robert Fisk headlined,
"I saw these brave doctors trying to save lives - these charges are
a pack of lies," saying:
- The Khalifa monarchy "started an utterly fraudulent
trial of 48 surgeons, doctors, paramedics and nurses, accusing them of
trying to topple the tin-pot monarchy of this Sunni minority emirate."
- One of many Bahrain articles addressed this topic, accessed
through the following link:
- Fisk said he witnessed medical heroism firsthand, "drenched
in their patients' blood, desperately trying to staunch the bullet wounds
of pro-democracy demonstrators, shot in cold blood" by state security
force thugs, a Khalifa monarchy specialty.
- "The idea that (these doctors) are guilty of (state
crimes) is not just preposterous. It is insane, a total perversion, (the)
total opposite (of) truth....(Bahrain is) a Saudi palatinate, a confederated
province of Saudi Arabia, a pocket-sized weasel state from which all journalists
should in future use the dateline: Manama, Occupied Bahrain."
- On June 15, Independent writer Richard Hall headlined,
"Bahrain 'to sue over Independent reporting,' " saying:
- The Khalifa monarchy "commissioned a UK-based law
firm to file a case against The Independent for its reporting on the crackdowns
on (internal) protests...."
- Mainly directed against Fisk's article, it also claims
- "using columns, features and news to publish misinformation
in repeated attacks on our people and rulers amounts to libel and will
be treated as such in accordance with the law."
- The monarchy, of course, spurns international law and
its own constitution, reigning daily terror since mid-February on pro-democracy
supporters. In fact, every imaginable barbarity is being inflicted, including
Obama administration supported cold-blooded murder, mass arrests, detentions,
torture, and bogusly charging medical providers helping victims with baseless
- Lawyers for London contributor David Banks asked, "Can
Bahrain's government sue the Independent for libel?" saying:
- If it succeeds, it will defy "the well-established
principle that governments cannot sue for libel," instituted in 1993
by the House of Lords in the Derbyshire County Council v. Times newspapers
- Two Times articles "questioned the propriety of
investments for the Council's superannuation fund. The authority sued for
libel for the damage done to its reputation." The lower court denied
it. The Council appealed. Dismissing it, the House of Lords said:
- "It was of the highest importance that a democratically
elected governmental body should be open to uninhibited public criticism,
and since the threat of civil actions for defamation would place an undesirable
fetter on the freedom to express such criticism, it would be contrary to
the public interest for institutions of central or local government to
have any right at common law to maintain an action for damages for defamation."
- Since then, central and local governments weren't able
to sue for libel, knowing they'd be denied. However, Banks cautioned that
Britain's libel principle applies to UK "democratic governments,"
not police state monarchies like Bahrain, dismissing legal standards to
further their own lawlessness with impunity.
- Nonetheless, it would "set a curious precedent"
if British courts let UK libel laws protect unelected despots, but not
their own governmental bodies.
- However, while authorities themselves can't sue, individuals
may do so even if governments fund them. As a result, a Bahraini minister,
perhaps one or more royal family members, or King Hamad, could file libel
charges on their own, whether or not it could work. Facing incontrovertible
evidence, that very much is in doubt.
- Moreover, the "Reynolds defence" would apply
- namely, that "The Independent was responsibly and fairly reporting
matters of the highest public interest."
- Perhaps Bahrain aims more to intimidate than prevail
by pursuing expensive proceedings it can afford better than publications,
giving others pause on what they say.
- Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) on Bahrain
- On June 15, an IHRC action alert headlined, "Bahrain
to Chair UNESCO's World Heritage Committee whilst destroying its own heritage,"
- On June 19, Bahrain began chairing the 35th Session of
The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO in Paris. At the same time, it's
been demolishing mosques, as well as ravaging its Shia majority with impunity.
- Moreover, the Khalifa monarchy has systematically destroyed
Bahrain's culture for decades, including old buildings, palm tree huts,
other traditions, and 21 ancient licensed mosques, including one over 640
- Its membership on the World Heritage Committee is outrageous.
Chairing it is intolerable. Write to Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Director-General
demanding its removal, expulsion, and censure for its actions.
- Bahrain Expels Independent Journalist
- On June 18, Finian Cunningham was deported for reporting
critically on Bahraini abuses, despite living there for three years and
covering the uprising from its mid-February inception.
- In a June 12 interview, he said the monarchy's call for
"national dialogue" was hollow, cynical public relations, while
reigning terror on its citizens. He also criticized Washington and Britain
for turning a blind eye to its brazen abuses, including cold-blooded murder,
torture, lawless arrests, and sham trials against innocent defendants.
- Now in Belfast, he said:
- "My lasting impression of Bahrain is not the brutish
nation of its illegitimate rulers, but the bravery and decency of its ordinary
men, women, and youths in their noble struggle for freedom."
- The night he left, he witnessed 150,000 in Sitra demanding
legitimate freedoms. Despite months of police state terror, "(t)he
people are stronger than ever and are more determined than ever to bring
democracy and freedom to Bahrain."
- Western media and governments barely notice or care,
supporting ruthless terror states like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain
and many others, instead of condemning, isolating, sanctioning, and ending
diplomatic and economic relations.
- Bahrain also threatens arrests and prosecutions for anyone
speaking freely with media sources regarding human rights abuses and denial
of democratic freedoms. As a result, persons appearing on camera or known
to speak openly face severe recriminations.
- In fact, CNN reporter Amber Lyon said sources who spoke
to her later disappeared, their family members explaining they'd been arrested
or forced into hiding after security forces raided their homes and threatened
them. Yet Article 10 of Bahrain's Human Rights Act says:
- "(E)veryone has the right of freedom expression.
This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart
information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless
- The Khalifa monarchy, in fact, spurns fundamental human
rights, governing despotically, targeting anyone challenging its authority
- On June 20, Independent writer Alistair Dawber headlined,
"Bahraini leadership faces new claims that torture took place in hospital,"
- Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontieres - MSF)
"alleges that (state) security forces.... regularly beat hospital
patients who had injuries....sustained during the rallies that started
- MSF, in fact, confirmed the existence of "a torture
chamber maintained by Bahraini forces within the hospital. And it provide(d)
fresh evidence that retribution was not limited to the alleged ringleaders
of the protests."
- A Bahraini surgeon's March 15 email to the British professor
who trained him said:
- "I am in the hospital exhausted and overwhelmed
by the number of young lethally injured casualties. It's genocide to our
people and our hospital doctors and nurses are targeted for helping patients
by pro-government militia."
- Two days later, Bahraini security force thugs stormed
the hospital, reigning terror on pro-democracy patients and medical providers
- On June 20, Bahrain 14Feb. Revolution said mentally disabled
Hassan Nooh was maliciously held incommunicado for over two years.
- On March 28, security forces stormed Nooh Yahya Abdalqahir's
home. He was out, and Hassan there at the time was seized to force his
surrender. On March 29, Abdalqahir submitted to arrest. Hassan remains
in custody. Family members know nothing, expressing concern because he
can't care for himself.
- On June 19, Bahrain 14Feb. Revolution also said 70-year
old Hasan Al-Sitri was murdered while walking in the Nuwaidrat area. Evidence
showed his neck broken and a large wound on his back.
- Bahrain's Interior Ministry issued conflicting reports.
One said he died naturally, another that he was struck with a heavy object,
and a third that he fell during a confrontation with three men, hitting
his head on rocks.
- The Ministry also demanded family members sign a death
certificate, claiming his death was "normal." They refused, wanting
an autopsy. It confirmed death from two blows with heavy objects, causing
severe neck fractures.
- A Final Comment
- Bahrain is a lawless terror state. Its people wanting
to live free are brutalized. Western media hardly notice. Washington offers
wholehearted support. In early June, Obama met with crown prince Salman
bin Hamad al-Khalifa at the White House, the equivalent of welcoming a
- Afterwards he met with Hillary Clinton. She called Bahrain
"a partner, and a very important one....and we are supportive of a
national dialogue and the kinds of important work that the Crown Prince
has been doing in his nation, and we look forward to it continuing."
- Unexplained was her support for preventing Bahraini democracy,
no matter the body count to achieve it.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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