Bahrain: Civil resistance escalates as the security clampdown falters – Bahrain Freedom Movement

As the Bahrainis prepare to commemorate the Day of the Martyrs on 17th December, the regime has embarked on more repressive measures to deter the activists from their peaceful pursuit of their legitimate aims.

More attacks have been reported on various parts of the country. On Edi Day cars full of members of the Death Squads roamed the roads in search for anti-regime activists in Karbabad. Although the scene has become familiar, yet the atmosphere was transformed from joy to anxiety and fear especially among children and women. Other foreign forces raided the towns of Sfalah and Mhaza, speeding along their narrow lanes and searching a mosque between the two localities. They grabbed a 14-years old child and took him to an unknown destination. In Karzakkan, the police raiders imposed strict orders on people as they raided the town in the past two days. The sounds of whistles echoed in various parts of the town while tear gas was used extensively against those who ventured to protest against the ruling family and called for the release of the political prisoners. The town was placed under virtual curfew. Riot police continued for several hours intimidating the Bahrainis in a desperate attempt to contain the rising anti-regime protests especially tyre burning on the main roads. In both Duraz and Saar children were detained in raids during the early hours of the yesterday morning. Members of the National Security Agency (NSA) were seen roaming the roads to flush the pro-democracy activists.

On their part, the youth have taken to the streets in various areas. On the highway leading to the Bahrain-Saudi causeway, fires were seen on Tuesday and Wednesday near the entrance of Sar. It was dramatic to see such actions as the heavily-armed government forces continued their attacks on civilian areas without mercy or compassion. The youth of Mhazza in Sitra continued their struggle on the Day of Eid in defiance of the regime’s brutality. Tyres were burnt near the water tanks. The people had reacted furiously against the raids on their towns and villages.

On another level, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights has issued a detailed report on the detention of children. It counted 76 children (aged 10-17) who are languishing in torture chambers. This number amounts to 21 percent of the total number of prisoners who are in excess of 400 political prisoners. This percentage is much higher than in the occupied territories. There are fears that some of those children may have been sexually abused on orders from the royal court in retaliation for the failure of the political programme of the ruler.

With the failure of the government to make a sound case against Bahrainis, the official anger against those opposing it could not have been harsher. The deputy prime minister has gone to USA as part of the lobbying by the Al Khalifa of persons and institutions who have taken noble stands against the repression being committed in Bahrain. Mohammad bin Mubarak Al Khalifa met with some members of Congress. He also specifically targeted Human Rights Watch (HRW) and met with Joe Stork the Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa section. The Al Khalifa have adopted a policy of buying off journalists, activists and politicians to support their unjust cause. So far they have had a limited success, although some notable personalities and organizations have been under pressure to accept bribes. In 1998, one of the UN specialists was bribed by the Al Khlaifa when her “charity” was granted one million dollars by the Khalifa. The visit by the Al Khalifa to Washington comes two weeks before a planned visit by the US Secretary of State to Bahrain to attend a conference on regional security. Hillary Clinton is under pressure to do something to stop the torture being inflicted on Bahrainis. Several politicians, including members of the US Congress and Senate as well as NGOs have complained to the State Department that the Embassy officials in Bahrain may have turned a blind eye to the ordeals of Bahrainis.

Bahrain Freedom Movment
20th November 2010

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