As the political intrigues by the ruling family started to unfold the situation is taking sharp turn to the worse following the ruler’s confessions that political naturalization had been taking place and would continue. In the past few days several programmes were presented by the BBC including yesterdays’ Crossing Continents on Radio4
The first slap on the brutal regime’s face came when the second court drama in a week turned sour due to unexpected confessions by the person said to be the victim of Molotov attack falsely alleged to have been carried out by some Bahraini youth on 25th August. Mohannad Abu Zaitoun, the managing editor of the ruling family’s mouthpiece “Al Watan” testified in the court that the defendants who had been accused of attacking him were not the same height or built as the ones who had carried out the attack. It was a devastating blow to the National Security Agency (NSA) led by Khalifa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the former ambassador to UK. The two young Bahrainis; Jaffar Ahmad Nasser, 27 and Hassan Ali Mahdi, 21, were arrested on 29th August and subjected to horrific kinds of torture to sign false confessions that they had carried out the attack. Moreover, the alleged attack was designed to make a case against opposition figures accused of sedition and adoption of violence. The “judge” was so embarrassed by the assertions by the victim of the attack that the attackers were of larger built, an indication that they belong to the notorious NSA which has operating Death Squads for sometime. The collapse of the case led to the release of the prisoners who had suffered four months of torture and abuse.
While this case may have raised the hope that the foundations of the allegations against the Bahraini prisoners of conscience by the ruling family may have been demolished, it is feared that the regime may resort to harsher treatment of the detainees to confess to crimes they had not committed. This is particularly relevant to the 25 people languishing in secret cells beneath the NSA headquarters and subjected to unprecedented forms of torture and abuse including rape. Last week’s court drama that led to the refusal of the lawyers to present defence of the case after their demands for an impartial inquiry into torture and re-interrogation of the suspects under the court supervision, has led to intensification of torture against the detainees. This week’s scheduled family visits were cancelled as the victims are subjected to more pressure to accept government-appointed lawyers to replace the present team after their challenge to the court.
Meanwhile the Ashura processions have become platforms from which calls to free the detainees were made. The families of the detainees held a protest in Sananbis yesterday alongside the religious procession. They demanded the immediate release of their loved ones who are incarcerated for their expression of opinion and pro-democracy stands and activism. The atmosphere was further complicated when the authorities arrested an elderly Bahraini for raising the pictures of the detainees and calling for their immediate release. On 15th December, Mr Mohammad Hassan Jawad, 63, was detained and taken to an unknown destination. He had been detained repeatedly over the past two decades for his courageous stands against tyranny and dictatorship. The Dublin-based Front Line issued a statement calling for his immediate release stating that: “Front Line believes that Mr Mohammed Hassan Mohammed Jawad has been arrested because of his legitimate and peaceful activities in the defence of human rights, in particular his work with regard to the human rights of the detainees. Front Line is deeply concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of human rights defender Mohammed Hassan Mohammed Jawad while in detention”.
The Ashura drama continued over the past ten days with mouse and cat games between Bahrainis and security forces. In continuation of the regime’s attacks agains the majority Shia Muslim natives, the black shrouds and flags erected along the path of the processions were removed in several places. This provocation was met with insistence by the Bahraini youth to put them back in line with traditions of the natives that go back hundreds of years. There was a feeling of outrage at this attack on the religious freedom and practices of the Shia Muslims who are the natives of Bahrain.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
17th December 2010