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Bahrain: New phase of the struggle after Day of Rebellion
The Day of Tamarrud (Rebellion) yesterday was a success by all measures. It has confirmed people’s power to challenge the Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship and sent a clear message to the world that Bahraini people would not give up their demands to self-determination and choice of their own system of government. The outdated family rule is antiquated, reactionary and ruthless. It must be stamped out. The day started with a general strike that closed most of the shops and retail outlets in the country. Tens of local protests erupted in towns and villages where the revolutionary youth braved the regime’s onslaught against Bahrainis and demonstrated in their subtle ways. They were attacked with chemical and tear gases but were not deterred from calling for the fall of the Alkhalifa regime. In the afternoon the country remained at a standstill as more protests and sit ins outside homes. By nightfall running battles continued between the peaceful protesters and the fo reign-staffed riot police and Death Squads. A strong message was made by the people who have established the most serious, longest and peaceful Revolution in the Arab world.
Bahraini revolutionaries expressed outrage and disgust at the massacre committed by the Egyptian generals in which hundreds of peaceful protesters at Rabi’a Al Adawiya and other locations were killed by the army as it tried to break up their encampment outside the mosque. For Bahrainis it is a painful reminder of what had befallen their peaceful protest and encampment on 16th March 2011 at the Pearl Roundabout. The Saudi-backed Alkhalifa army and police deployed their forces to prevent any peaceful protest. They were encouraged by the bloody massacre committed by the Egyptian army. The BFM has repeated its assertion that either all Revolutions would succeed or all would fail. The abandonment of the Bahraini Revolution by the post-Revolution regimes in other countries encouraged the Counter-Revolution forces to commit their atrocities in Egypt and plan others in Tunisia.
The on-going crackdown by Alkhalifa against activists has continued. Hundreds have been arrested in the weeks preceding the Day of Tamarrud. Collective punishment was meted on the towns and villages of the natives. Amnesty International warned the regime not to pursue the policy of violence against peaceful demonstrators. In a statement issued on 13th August it said: “The people of Bahrain have the right to express their views freely and to protest peacefully without the threat of violence,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International. It further added: “ It further added: “For years the authorities in Bahrain have shamelessly sought to stifle freedom of expression, taking increasingly drastic steps to stamp out dissent with complete disregard for international law.” AI gave shocking examples of the pre-emptive arrests, detentions and ill-treatment of Bahrainis.
On 9th August, Amnesty had also issued an Urgent Action on the case of an active blogger and photographer detained for expressing their opinion. The statement said:
“Bahraini blogger and translator Mohammad Hassan Sudayf and photographer Hussain Hubail have reportedly been tortured or otherwise ill-treated. Mohammad Hassan Sudayf’s lawyer was arrested on 7 August for tweets saying that he had seen torture marks on his client and revealing the charges both men face. AI urged its members to write to the Bahraini authorities to release these bloggers and not to punish them for expressing their opinion.
In addition to the people’s activism in Bahrain, there were several other protests in other places. In London the Bahraini Opposition Bloc organised protests outside the Saudi Embassy on Monday 12th August. A Press Conference was held on Tuesday 13th chaired by Lord Avebury and addressed by several speakers. Another protest was held outside the Bahraini Embassy in Belgrave Square. This was followed by a march to Downing Street to protest the proposed sale of Typhoon aircrafts to Bahrain.
In Brussels Several Belgian peace activists staged a protest outside the Bahraini Embassy in support of Bahraini people’s Revolution. They raised a banner saying “We don’t want Alkhalifa Mafia”.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
16th August 2013