Bahrain: Country-wide protests calling for immediate release of political prisoners – Bahrain Freedom Movement

The vicious attack by the foreign-staffed riot police yesterday on a peaceful protest at Al Malikiya has infuriated activists and human rights campaigners.

Scores of Bahrainis had participated in the protest calling for the unconditional release of some 30 political prisoners who have been languishing in jails for almost two years. The protest started at 8.00 pm but was attacked twenty minutes later. Various means of repression were used extensively in the attack including chemical and tear gases and rubber bullets. The riot police spread inside the town, near the playground. There were running battles between the Bahrainis and the riot police for more than one hour. The town centre near the football playground was occupied by riot police and Death Squads as the angry youth showed bravery in fending off their aggression.

On 3rd October another demonstration at the locality of Mhazaa in Sitra was attacked by the foreign mercenaries. The youth had emerged from the town with strong zeal at 5.00pm, chanting anti-regime slogans and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the Bahrainis incarcerated for expressing their opinion. The town turned into a battle field after the mercenaries launched their unprovoked attack. Several people were hit by rubber bullets while others suffered the effects of the intensive use of tear and chemical gases.

On 2nd October, several areas witnessed anti-regime demonstrations, burning tyres and exploding cylinders. The youth of Daih Town responded to the provocation of the foreign mercenaries with stones and fires to stop them entering the town. Similar scenes were witnessed in Malikiya town where tyres were burnt to stop the attackers reaching the people’s homes. The mercenaries launched an attack against people, brandishing their rifles and heavy machinery in the faces of children and women, in a way the Israelis often do with the Palestinians. Fires were also seen near the Al Satir Market in Bani Jamra. Death Squads attempted to enter the town from another side in order to catch the peaceful demonstrators, but failed to achieve their aim. The town of Karzakkan also witnessed unrest on that day (Friday 2nd October) as the youth burnt tyres in the middle of the road to prevent the Death Squads entering the town. This spate of unrest has intensified in anticipation of the verdict against about 30 political prisoners who are on trial for their peaceful expression of opinion. The judges are members of the Al Khalifa junta, aided by foreign “judges” who act on orders from the ruling junta.

The anger of the people became more marked as the ruler spent people’s money to finance extravagant wedding parties for his son, Nasser, who was married to the ruler of Dubai. At a time when Bahrainis are unable to live in decent homes or get decent jobs, people’s wealth is being plundered by the ruling Al Khalifa junta in shameless styles. A recent trip to the notorious jails of Bahrain, human rights activists have confirmed that these jails are not fit for human habitation and that they fall far below the international standards of decency and human rights. Political prisoners in Jaw Prison have been denied the right to exercise outside the torture chambers. Gates of the cells are now closed before 9.00 am, while in the past they remained open until midday. Prisoners have also been prevented from religious congregation, holding religious celebrations or taking part in handicraft workshops. Newspapers and books have been reduced and only pro-junta publications are allowed.  Prisoners are now subjected to severe restrictions, handcuffed and chained when they leave their cells. The police in charge of these prisoners are heavily armed.

Moreover, the Al Khalifa have been engaged in other plans to undermine the opposition on three-pronged axis. The first is wooing some activists who are in need of financial income to work with them, directly or otherwise. The second is creating discord among the activists inside jail and after their release. In recent days these tactics have led to unnecessary quarrels among the youth who have been lured into these quarrels. The third is the smearing of their reputation through the use of cold-war-style sex scandals, in which young activists are lured into immoral liaisons by women who had, themselves, become victims of blackmail by the immoral members of the Al Khalifa junta. These tactics are lower than the low, but who cares?

Bahrain Freedom Movement

6th October 2009

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