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Bahrain: Tension, repression escalate ahead of Day of Tamarrud (rebellion)

As the Day of Tamarrud (rebellion) approaches the Alkhalifa regime becomes more frustrated, aggressive and disoriented. The latest of its irrational and illegitimate acts is the dictator’s decree to punish those who take part in peaceful protests. One day after meeting David Cameron in London (on Wednesday), dictator Hamad Alkhalifa announced more draconian measures to deter Bahrainis from protesting against his rule, vowing to withdraw the Bahraini nationality from those who take part in those protests or their fathers if they are under-aged. The ruling Alkhalifa dynasty is alien to Bahrain. They had occupied the land in 1783 by force and have never integrated with the rest of the society. The use of Nationality as a weapon is an indication of their inferiority complex being foreign invaders occupying other people’s land.

The World’s reaction to these draconian measures are beginning to emerge. On 6th August the United Nations human rights office said it is concerned about a recommendation to toughen punishments in Bahrain, including revoking the citizenship of anyone convicted of terrorist offenses. “We reiterate that the right to nationality is a fundamental right protected by article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her nationality,” Cécile Pouilly, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), told journalists in Geneva. She added that deprivation of nationality provided for by law had to comply with procedural and substantive standards, including the principle of proportionality. “We call upon the Government of Bahrain to fully comply with its international human rights commitments, including respect for freedom of expression and peaceful a ssembly, and association, and urge all demonstrators to exercise these rights in a peaceful manner,” the spokesperson said.

In an attempt to break the silence of the Western World on what is happening in the country six Bahraini human rights bodies have signed an open letter calling for action or at least neutrality from governments, NGOs and media. It said:” We urge international human rights organizations to attempt to visit Bahrain over the coming week, in order to document and monitor ongoing protests, especially on August 14 when Bahrain is expected to come under lockdown.” It added: “We call on mainstream media networks to dedicate particular attention to the situation in Bahrain in the build-up to August 14 and to send journalists into the country. What happens in the coming week could be critical.” The letter addressed Mr Obama, Mr Cameron and other friendly governments “to remain neutral, if not supportive of the peoples’ right to self-determination. This is not a call for intervention, but rather we urge you to live up to claims of ethical foreign poli cies that take human rights into consideration and to end your active support of the government of Bahrain.” The letter also called on the UN and its Special Rapporteurs to be proactive and to reiterate the rights of Bahrainis to free speech, freedom of assembly, the right to adequate medical care, and to pressure the authorities to refrain from using force, particularly tear gas and birdshot, ahead of August 14.

On a more dangerous level it has been confirmed that photojournalist Hussain Hubail had been subjected to torture while at office 99 of the Central Investigation Department (CID). Hubail said he had been beaten on his stomach and face and placed in very cold room. He was also forced to stand for long hours and deprived of sleep for the whole period at the CID. He was forced to "confess" to trumpeted charges.

Today, The Open Democracy website has published three major articles about the British involvement in Bahrain. The first is by Marc Owen titled “The history of British involvement in Bahrain's internal security”. The second is by Ahmed Ali titled “Chasing accountability; facing impunity”. The third is by John Horne and John Lubbock titled “Policing Bahrain: the long arm of the British”. The links to the articles are:

Bahrain Freedom Movement
8th August 2013



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