Bahrain will be the next in line for a popular revolution. The youth have decided that 14th February would be “The Day of Rage” against the Al Khalifa hereditary dictatorship that has repeatedly failed to make use of the opportunities for a return to civil, pluralistic and representative rule.
The day they chose is significant. It is the tenth anniversary of the referendum on the ruler’s charter, and the ninth year after the repeal of the country’s only legitimate constitution. It was a black day in 2002 when the dictator, again with a stroke of a pen, announced the imposition of his tailor-made set of draconian rule, and the repeal of the 1973 constitution. For the past nine years the country has been embroiled in endless conflicts, bloodshed by the regime and limitless suffering by the people. The wave of arrests of Bahrainis by the Al Khalifa rulers whose ancestors had invaded the country in 1783, was the final act that had set the stage for the final showdown between the people of Bahrain and those invaders.
The situation had been particularly bad during the 25 years between 1975 when the post-independence constitution was written and ratified by people and 2001 when the dictator pretended that he would undertake a “reform” programme. The past decade has been one of the worst periods suffered by the people under the Al Khalifa occupation. They have now proved beyond any reasonable doubt that they are simply incapable of reform, that they are vicious, cruel and usurpers of people’s wealth. They have failed to abide by their own constitution, refused to investigate the crimes of torture and continued to expropriate more than half of the land of the country. Most of the 33 islands of which the country is made of have been expropriated. Torture has become their main tool to subjugate their opponents. Instead of ordering their release, Bahrain’s dictator today ordered that the under-age children languishing in torture chambers for joining the pro-democracy movement be put under a “rehabilitation” programme. Their mothers are left to grief for their loved ones who chose to be side with their oppressed parents. Some of these children, such as Ayman Jaffar, are no more than ten years of age!
The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have given impetus to the anti-regime sentiments. Years of subjugation, humiliation, abuse and serious human rights violations have left the new generation of youth with no alternative but to revolt against this antiquated regime that has denied them the chance to live in dignity. With no hope of decent jobs, housing or real political participation, these youth have now decided that to make a difference, announcing that 14th February would be the Day of Rage. They have received moral support from many citizens and the feelings of rage is now widening especially after bad news have leaked from the torture cells that more torture has been administered in recent days, and that the most senior detained opposition figure has been transferred to the military hospital. Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace was taken yesterday to the heart clinic after his condition deteriorated rapidly as a result of more torture following his refusal to plea for pardon from the dictator.
With a stroke of the pen Bahrain’s dictator ordered his minister of justice not to prosecute the patriotic lawyers who had defied the Al Khalifa judge and insisted on investigating the torture inflicted on the detainees. They refused to present any defence of the case until those crimes, committed under Khalifa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the minister in charge of the notorious National Security Agency, has been thoroughly and impartially investigated. The dictator was so enraged by their demands that he ordered that they be “disciplined” by a special court. He went further to appoint a new team to “defend” the Bahraini detainees, despite their rejection of that team. The Al Khalifa dictator has made mockery of the judicial system making it subservient to his orders and wishes. The notions of the rule of law or the independence of the judiciary have thus been eradicated. He had decided that these Bahrainis be given substantial prison sentences and asked his officials to engineer charges that were compatible with this sentence.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
3rd February 2011