Hush – the Silence in Bahrain is broken

In Al Daih on 14 Feb 2011 Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima, 21 years, was shot in the face at close range by police using birdshot. He died in his house a while later from loss of blood from the wound.

Two police were standing outside his house. Ali heard the commotion outside. People had taken to the streets to protest against the Bahrain government. Ali came out of his house and was shot by police soon after.

Then the usual cover up by police. 

The family said their son left the house and was shot by a police patrol shortly thereafter for no apparent reason.

A government report said that Ali was part of a demonstration and that is why he was shot.

An eyewitness reports on the events of that day:

The report by the Bahrain Independent (sic) Commission of Inquiry said:

The funeral procession of Mr Ali Almeshaima was held later in the morning and attracted the largest number of persons of any gathering on this day in Bahrain. People began to gather at the SMC morgue at 06:30 in anticipation of the release of the victim’s body. The number of people continued to increase until it reached over 1,000 by 08:30, when Mr Almeshaima’s body was released to his family. The procession departed from the SMC morgue and headed towards the Jidhafs cemetery, where Mr Almeshaima was laid to rest. According to some reports, the number of mourners reached 2,500 by the time the procession reached the cemetery.
As the procession moved down the Salmaniya Road, some of the mourners noticed two police patrol cars parked beside the Sana Department Store. The first of these vehicles had broken down, while the second had been dispatched to secure the location while police prepared the first vehicle to be towed away. At 08:47, a group of mourners, reported to be around 400 people, approached the police and started assaulting them, at first verbally and then by throwing rocks and metal rods. Some of the police suffered minor injuries, and a patrol car and tow truck were slightly damaged.
As the situation worsened, the seven police personnel at the location began responding to the mourners using sound bombs, tear gas and rubber bullets. Then, according to MoI reports, the mourners became more aggressive and came within metres of the police patrol to the extent that they managed to seize and destroy one of the police’s tear gas launchers. At this point, and after all other ammunition had been exhausted, police are reported to have fired two shotgun rounds at the mourners, after which they evacuated the location.
Fadel Salman Ali Salman Matrouk was struck in the back by one shotgun round at very close range, estimated to be one metre.239 He was immediately taken to SMC, where attempts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead at 09:30. He was the second fatality of the February/March events.
This second death further increased public anger. Demonstrators began to gather at the SMC morgue and at various locations in Manama and neighbouring villages, including Shahrakkan, Bani Hamza and Sitra. Meanwhile, after the funeral procession of Mr Ali Almeshaima, more people joined the demonstrators and moved towards the GCC Roundabout, where they arrived at around 15:00. By 15:15, demonstrators began to set up tents at the roundabout, and later in the day a projector screen was installed. Among these was a tent erected by members of the SMC medical staff. There were also a number of demonstrators obstructing traffic in the roundabout overpass. By nightfall, the number of demonstrators had reached several thousand. The roundabout and its immediate vicinity were congested with protesters and private vehicles.

As Husain says in the interview the rest is history.

One thing is certain — there is an ongoing human rights crisis going on in Bahrain.

The authorities are silent. The King is silent. The American fifth fleet in Bahrain is silent. The Saudi princes and their many wives are silent. Saudi troops of occupation go about their deadly work in silence. The commissions of inquiry sprout words. The United Nations is silent.

As the bodies pile up in the streets, the people will not be silenced.

Ian Curr
16 July 2012

Reference: eye4freedom_bahrain

4 thoughts on “Hush – the Silence in Bahrain is broken

  1. Bahraini Activist in Melbourne stripped of nationality by regime says:

    Today the Bahrain Australia Youth Movement (BAYM) condemns the Bahraini regime who announced yesterday that 31 Bahraini human rights activists had their national citizenship revoked as a result of their political activities. This included one Bahraini activist in Melbourne, Sayed Alawi al-Beladey, who fled persecution in Bahrain in 1997.

    The 31 targeted individuals include both Bahraini activists inside and outside Bahrain as well as two former-parliamentarians of the primary opposition party Al- Wefaq.

    “I have been targeted because of my political opinions. I am active on Twitter and facebook and I have been interviewed by SBS radio. The regime is sending a message that anyone who is anti-government will not only have their rights taken away from them but also their nationality”, Alawi al-Beladi said.

    Since February 14 last year, the pro-democracy in Bahrain inspired by the Arab Spring, has been calling for basic civil liberties and an elected government. Thus far the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) has documented over 100 killings by government security forces, over 3000 cases of torture and over 750 political prisoners. Health services have been militarised and thousands of people have been fired from their jobs.

    The BCHR said that the 31 revoked citizens are being used amidst an intensifying crackdown on the people of Bahrain to “intimidate others from exercising their right to freedom of expression”.

    “The Bahraini Authorities are in crisis as they cannot prove any of the false accusations they have been making against the peaceful opposition movement. They have been escalating these kind of fabricated cases especially under pressure from significant uprisings in Kuwait”, said Abdul elah al-Hubaishi, 34 year old Bahraini refugee and member of BAYM.

    al-Hubaishi continued,

    “While the regime is unlawfully revoking the citizenship of political activists, they are bringing mercenaries from around the world and giving them Bahraini nationality and instructions to repress Indigenous people”.

    Alawi al-Beladi continues,

    “I condemn the actions of the Bahraini authorities. I will not appeal to the Bahraini law courts as they are not impartial nor independent. This development only further confirms the legitimacy of our movement against the Al Khalifa regime and the demands of the people for it to be removed”.

    “We don’t have any other option but to keep resisting the dictatorship and this only makes us more determined”, he concluded.


    The Bahrain Australia Youth Movement will address the annual Labourstart Global Solidarity Conference in Sydney at the end of November to raise the crisis in Bahrain to the international trade union movement
    .

    For further comment:

    Sayed Alawi al-Beladi: 0434 279 109

    Abdul Elah al-Hubaishi: 0452 211 581

  2. Ray Bergmann says:

    Lavrov accuses West of blackmail: We oppose military intervention, calls for toppling Al-Assad unrealistic
    http://www.english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=20496&cid=274
    Russia on Monday accused Western powers of using blackmail to get its support for possible United Nations Security Council sanctions against the Syrian regime.
    “To our great regret, we are witnessing elements of blackmail,” said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
    The Russian diplomat further said that “the West has told Russia to either back the measure or it will refuse to extend the mandate of the UN observer mission.”
    “Calls for Russia to persuade President Bashar al-Assad to step down are unrealistic as there is a very significant part of the Syrian population behind him,” Lavrov said.
    Minister Lavrov said that some international sides are asking Syria’s leadership to stop violence and at the same time, they are not practicing any influence on the Syrian opposition that is seeking power.
    He stressed that Moscow agrees on any decision made by the Syrian people regarding their future, adding that “After Syria agreed on Annan’s plan, we started to hear strange words on its failure and an escalation of violence on the ground, and we have documented that in the Geneva statement.”
    “After the final approval of President al-Assad on the appointment of an envoy for negotiations, our partners began to put conditions, demanding the use of Chapter VII at the UN Security Council,” he stated.
    “We should implement Annan’s plan. Our international partners should practice influence on the armed groups to take constructive procedures. Moscow will not allow a UN Security Council’s resolution under Chapter VII,” Lavrov said.
    He warned against great risks in destabilizing the whole region, including the Gulf States, adding that “We don’t want the Gulf states to be destabilized. It is legal for us to express concern over the human rights issue in Saudi Arabia.”

  3. Ray Bergmann says:

    Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “It is legal for us to express concern over the human rights issue in Saudi Arabia.”
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u45glh1Tyig&feature=player_embedded]

  4. Ray Bergmann says:

    Bahrainis’ new demand: USA stop arming killers
    by Yusuf Fernandez, Al Manar, 16-07-2012
    http://www4.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=61619&cid=23&fromval=1&frid=23&seccatid=27&s1=1

    On July 7 2012, Bahraini people took to the streets in several towns and villages to stage anti-government rallies and express their anger at US for meddling with their country´s internal affairs. Bahrain hosts the US Fifth Fleet, which patrols the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, and is among the Persian Gulf countries that receive weapons and military systems from the United States.

    For more than one year now, demonstrations have been taking place day after day across Bahrain against the brutal regime of King Hamad Al-Khalifa. Dozens of protesters have been killed since the revolution started. Bahraini police and army killed at least thirty people during the mass demonstrations of this year to demand political and social rights.

    Over 1,000 people have been detained and many of them have been tortured. Thousands of public sector workers have been fired for allegedly taking part in protests against the regime.

    Recently, a military tribunal in Manama sentenced twenty doctors to prison terms of up to 15 years. The doctors faced shameful charges, including hiding weapons in hospitals, “occupying a hospital,” and acting to overthrow the regime. No credible evidence against the doctors was presented in the court and they suffered abuse and torture in prison and were denied full access to their lawyers.

    US weapons for Bahrain

    The US has been for a long time the major supplier of weapons to the Bahraini regime. A TomDispatch analysis of the Pentagon documents showed that “since the 1990s, the United States has transferred large quantities of military material, ranging from trucks and aircraft to machine-gun parts and millions of rounds of live ammunition, to Bahrain´s security forces”.

    According to data from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the US has sent Bahrain dozens of tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and helicopter gunships. The US has also supplied the Bahrain Army with thousands of .38 caliber pistols and millions of rounds of ammunition, including .50 caliber ammunition for sniper rifles, machine guns etc. In 2010, Washington sold over $200 million worth of weapons to Bahrain, up from $88 million in 2009.

    Despite all above-mentioned violations of the human rights, US Defense Department recently agreed to provide the Bahraini government with another $53 million worth of weapons, the first one since the revolution began. The resumption of military sales took place shortly after a visit to Washington by Bahrain Crown Prince Salman Hamid al-Khalifa. There, he met Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

    According to ForeignPolicy.com’s The Cable Blog, the US-Bahraini arms deal includes six harbor patrol boats, communications equipment for Bahrain’s US-made air-defense system, ground-based radars, air-to-air-missile systems, Seahawk helicopters, parts for F-16 fighter engines, Cobra helicopters, and night-vision equipment.

    The agreement also includes 44 armored vehicles of the type used to crush the demonstrations. It is noteworthy to point out that US weapons have been used by Bahraini security forces for cracking down on pro-democracy protesters since last year.

    Senator Patrick Leahy (Democrat) has criticized the resumption of arms to Bahrain. Although he claimed to be pleased because no tear gas will be included in this sale, Leahy thinks that the deal still sends “the wrong message.” Brian Dooley, director of the Washington-based charity Human Rights First, also condemned the arms sale as a “reward” for the Bahraini dictatorial regime.

    No matter how the US Administration tries to sell its decision, it will be seen as a clear support for the Al-Khalifa dictatorship. “You really should be nicer to the people you are oppressing; oh, by the way, here are the weapons you were expecting” is what Manama will hear from Washington”, complained Mohammed al-Maskati, a Bahraini human rights activist: “It is a direct message that we support the authorities and we don’t support democracy in Bahrain, we don’t support protestors in Bahrain.”

    According to a recent report by Julian Barnes and Adam Entous in the Wall Street Journal, the US has positioned itself against democracy in Bahrain. “Starting with Bahrain, the administration has moved a few notches toward emphasizing stability over majority rule,” according to a US official quoted by the Journal. “Everybody realized that Bahrain was just too important to fail.” This means that the US Administration is directly working against democracy and freedom in Bahrain.

    In order to cover this reality, American officials have been using a rhetorical and hypocritical language. They have often called for “restraint” on both sides – Bahraini pro-democracy protesters and the dictatorial regime killing Bahraini people. A recent statement by the State Department statement praised Bahrain for its “reforms” and urged more. It also condemned the civilian protesters for their “violence” against police and demanded that they “refrain from incitement.”

    The deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Manama, Stephanie Williams, has visited the injured Bahraini security forces, who took part in the crackdown on Bahraini protesters. The main opposition group in Bahrain, Al Wefaq, issued a statement, censuring the visit claiming that it “indicates that Washington ignores the suppression campaign led by the Bahraini government against peaceful popular protests”.

    Therefore, Bahraini people now consider that the US government is partly responsible for the tyranny under which people have been suffering for a very long time. This will likely to produce anger and hatred toward the United States. Echoing this reality, a recent New York Times article was titled: “As Hopes for Reform Fade in Bahrain, Protestors Turn Anger on United States.”

    According to the article, “For months, the protests have aimed at the ruling monarchy, but recently they have focused on a new target…. the young protestors added a new demand, written on a placard in English, so the Americans might see: “USA Stop arming the killers.”

What do you think about this article?