- For months, Bahraini and Saudi security forces targeted
nonviolent protesters and activists wanting the repressive Al Khalifa monarchy
replaced by constitutionally elected government, political freedom, and
social justice, what Bahrainis never had and don't now.
- Three previous articles discussed it, accessed through
the following links:
- Still functioning despite authorities terrorizing people
brutally, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) provides regular updates
on the ground, expressing great concern about King Hamad's ruthless:
- "actions and arbitrary penalties against citizens
who it believes participated or supported the peaceful protest movement
in February and March, whereas, Bahraini authorities (unleashed) great
violence (against them, resulting in) dozens of deaths, especially after"
thuggish Saudi and Emirati forces also suppressed them.
- On March 15, martial law was declared (the so-called
State of National Safety), now lifted but nothing changed. Daily state
terror continues unabated against all sectors of society, including opposition
leaders, independent journalists, human rights and political activists,
students, trade unionists, and other civil society sectors and institutions,
targeting women and children as brutally as men.
- Moreover, thousands of workers were arbitrarily fired.
On May 29, the General Federation of Bahrain trade unions listed 1,724
sacked. In fact, many more are affected, their numbers increasing daily.
Many were at the state controlled Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) and
Aluminum Bahrain (ALBA), including anyone suspected of anti-regime sympathies.
- Some weren't given reasons. Others were asked whether
they participated in peaceful protests and about their political affiliation.
- These, in fact, are revenge firings, punishing workers
for their views, political activities and sectarian affiliation in violation
of the International Labor Organization's Convention No. 111 on Discrimination
in Respect of Employment and Occupation. Its Article 1 prohibits it based
on race, sex, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, as
well as violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
- Even Bahrain's labor law was violated, allowing dismissals
only in cases of excessive numbers of unreasonable absences, preceded by
sufficient advance warning in writing.
- Mass Arrests, Disappearances and Torture Continuing
- As of June 1, BCHR reports over 1,000 detentions and/or
disappearances since imposition of martial law State of National Safety
harshness. Many are missing and unaccounted for. Moreover, at least 35
were killed since mid-February and many others injured. In addition, 68
or more journalists were threatened, fired, and/or arrested for revealing
information the regime wants suppressed.
- Online activist Zakariya Al Aushayri was detained and
killed. Others have harmed also, including reporters Faisal Hayyat, Hayder
Mohammad, Ali Jawad, and many more, as well as warrants issued to arrest
others. As a result, some fled the country for their safety, thankful to
get out alive.
- BCHR calls Bahrain "a dangerous zone for the freedom
of press and journalists." Those arrested "could die in view
of the current security laws (the emergency law,)" as well as arbitrary
brutality unleashed against anyone with anti-regime sympathies, especially
human rights and political activists, as well as independent writers and
bloggers. Many were arrested and/or threatened, including:
- -- BCHR's Sayed-Yousef Al-Mahafdha on March 20;
- -- BCHR President and Vice Secretary General of the International
Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Nabeel Rajab on the same day;
- -- Mohammed Al-Masqati, President of the Bahrain Youth
Human Rights Society (BYHRS);
- -- Abdulhdi Alkhawaja, former BCHR President;
- -- Naji Fateel, BYHRS board member;
- -- Salman Naji, member of the Committee for the Unemployed;
- -- Abdul Gani Khanjer, head of the Committee of the Victims
of Torture; and
- -- many others for supporting equity and justice over
- Military Trials and Sentences
- On June 2, BCHR updated proceedings against over 60 targeted
individuals. Through May 31, all were unjustly tried and sentenced, some
to one or more years, others for life, and at least four so far to death,
all on bogus charges, including illegal protests, disrupting public order,
rioting, inciting anti-government hatred, murder, and other equally spurious
- Even children were targeted, BCHR accusing authorities
of excessive force against some young as six, including arbitrary arrests
at homes and in classrooms, using tear gas, rubber bullets, live fire,
and other forms of indiscriminate violence, sometimes causing deaths.
- Six-year old Mohamed Abd Alhussain was one of many, asphyxiated
by tear gas used excessively around houses in Sitra village. Hospitalized
on April 29, he died the next day. BCHR, in fact, documented many other
incidents affecting children and adults in recent years, and more intensely
since late 2010, including arbitrary arrests, abductions, torture, other
abuse, and unfair trials.
- The Bahrain Feb. 14 Revolution (signifying the date ongoing
protests began) puts out regular letters like the following, asking for
global support, saying:
- "We the people of Bahrain, send a distress call
to the international communities and media sources to save us from the
Genocide committed by the government and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council
states, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain) against
the Unarmed people in Bahrain."
- Included are You Tube videos of unarmed people with their
throats cut, evidence of massacres, and information about authoritarian
targeting of people for their activist support for equity and justice.
Regular updates follow, spreading the word about Western supported Bahraini
terror suppressed in mainstream media reports, especially in America.
- Amnesty International (AI) on Human Rights Violations
- On June 3, AI said Bahraini and Saudi forces continue
to commit human rights violations, including lawless killings, arbitrary
arrests, torture, other abuses, discriminatory job dismissals, and military
- Moreover, authorities haven't allowed independent investigations
of extreme government violence, including use of excessive and lethal force
against nonviolent protesters and medical workers helping the wounded.
- A Final Comment
- In April, BCHR President Nabeel Rajab said America's
media were told not to cover brutal Bahraini violence, saying:
- "In the US, some news agencies and TV stations were
asked not to report on Bahrain, and not to embarrass" Obama who fully
supports it. At the same time, while terror bombing Libya, he falsely accuses
Gaddafi of human rights violations for actions independent observers call
self-defense against Western-backed insurgents, cutthroat killers targeting
anyone suspected of pro-regime sympathies.
- America's media obliged, ignoring Bahraini state terror
while vilifying Gaddafi for justifiable self-defense. In contrast, independent
journalists can't be bribed or intimidated.
- Reporting on what's really happening in both countries,
they reveal Western-backed violence and brutality against anyone challenging
entrenched pro-Western regimes and America's imperial interests, backed
by bipartisan consensus under all US administrations, each new one worse
than its predecessor.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
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