Brutal Bahraini State Terror Continues
by Stephen Lendman
On the 7th anniversary of the popular uprising against despotic Khalifa regime rule, brutal state terror continues – nonviolent demonstrators attacked with tear gas and live fire, several casualties reported.
Despite regime state terror and intimidation, the world community looks the other way, complicit in severe repression by failing to condemn it – notably Washington and Britain, actively supporting Bahraini brutality.
Major human rights abuses include arbitrary arrests, unfair trials, imprisonment of anyone supporting fundamental rights, police state laws, suppression of peaceful protests, prohibiting free expression and movement, along with torture and other forms of abuse.
In 2017, a dramatic increase in capital punishment occurred, hanging judges sentencing numerous individuals to death – six in December alone on bogus charges of terrorism and plotting to assassinate a military official.
Bahrain’s Terrorism Law is a tool for repressing peaceful freedom fighters. Around two dozen activists remain on death row for the crime of wanting democratic rights.
Human rights defenders internally and abroad face travel bans, most of them persecuted and imprisoned – denied habeas, due process and judicial fairness.
Anyone charged is automatically guilty by accusation. Notable human rights activist Nabeel Rajab has been brutally persecuted – currently detained under harsh conditions for over a year awaiting trial and certain conviction.
In a separate case, he faces up to 15 years imprisonment for freely expressing his views – in articles and tweets.
Last year, ruling authorities dissolved all major opposition parties, their assets seized, numerous arrests made.
From January – June 2017, nearly 1,000 arbitrary arrests were made, including scores of children and women.
Peaceful protests continue, harshly suppressed by riot police, many individuals injured, numerous arrests made.
Nearly 800 individuals were prosecuted, convicted, sentenced and imprisoned. Scores had their citizenship revoked, dozen given life in prison for supporting human rights.
In January 2017, the regime’s unofficial capital punishment moratorium ended – three activists executed by firing squad, following imprisonment, torture and coerced confessions, inadmissible in legitimate tribunals.
At the time, UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial executions Agnes Callamard tweeted: “#Bahrain executed Abbas al-Samea, Ali al-Singace, Sami Mushaima. Torture, unfair trial + flimsy evidence: these are extrajudicial killings.”
Bahraini military court injustice resembles Israeli practice against Palestinians – conviction rates in both countries nearly 100%, along with detainees subjected to torture and other abuses unaccountably.
Human rights activism is considered a criminal offense. So is truth-telling journalism.
On the 7th anniversary of Bahrain’s popular uprising, the following NGOs called for world community intervention on behalf of its persecuted and imprisoned human rights defenders, others banned from working freely or traveling:
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
FIDH, under the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
Front Line Defenders
Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
OMCT (World Organization Against Torture), under the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
The world community remains complicit with Bahraini high crimes for failure to denounce them responsibly.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”