Repression has been greatly intensified in the past week, especially after the end of the most controversial F1 race last weekend. The use of what is now termed “Carpet Gassing” of residential areas is causing alarm on international level after more than 30 people were killed as a result of excessive inhalation of chemical gases fired by security forces. In addition to this people are routinely stopped, checked and intimidated at cheque points along the main roads and at entrances of towns and villages. Reports have suggested that the hated duel; John Timony and John Yates have decided to create a blood bath in the country after they had been accused of failure to stem the protests or bring the situation under control. Demonstrations have been taking place on daily and nightly basis with men and women taking to the streets amid rising tension following the fiasco of the Formula 1 racing. International media has concluded that the Bahrainis Revolution is the winner of the race as it has placed itself back on the international scene. Journalists now speak of “the Forgotten Revolution” after they had witnessed its extent and determination.
The killing of a Bahriani activist on Saturday 21st April by Alkhalifa-run Death Squads has further undermined the regime which had repeatedly claimed to have “reformed” its security forces since the arrival of the torturous duel; Timony and Yates. Salah Abbas Habib, 37, was tortured to death after he was hit with a shotgun which sprayed his body with small pellets causing bleeding and pain. He was then subjected to most horrific treatment; subjected to sadistic torture in which acid was poured on his body; his hands broken at the wrists and his neck and the back of his skull also broken with severe tools. Bernie Ecclestone has also been heavily criticised for mishandling the situation and assuring the world that “all was quiet” thus giving the Alkhalifa an opportunity to take revenge from their adversaries in the middle of the night as the race was underway. The regime’s Death Certificate only mentioned that the cause of death had been shotgun w ounds. But independent doctors who examined the body in the mortuary confirmed the administering of the sadistic torture. Both Dr Taha Al Durazi and Dr Ali Al Ekri gave their firm verdict that the victim had been severely tortured before his death.
The fate of the human rights activist, Abdul Hadi Al Khwaja, has remained a mystery since he had last spoken to his family on Saturday. His whereabouts are unknown as his family, friends and supporters continued their vigil to locate him. His lawyer, Mohammad Al Jishi has repeated the possibility that he may have been killed or passed away by the notorious security men run by John Timory and John Yates. His wife could not visit him and when she called to inquire about her husband she was blatantly told that he was not there. No solid information has yet come through, but fear is rising for his own safety. Today is his 76th day of his hunger strike which caused him a weight loss of at least 12 kilograms. Ban Ki Moon, Catherine Ashton, Navi Pillay and others have called for Mr Al Khawaja’s immediate release but the Al Khalifa have refused. He is reported to be entering a decisive moment in his life as he had stopped drinking water few days ago.
The case of Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja has become a symbol of Bahrain’s revolution and exposed much of the regime’s brutality, its inability to reform and the seriousness of the opposition in working to end its reign. This may explain to some extent its all-out war against the population and its intensification of repression in recent days. With almost every corner of the country witnessing political strife in the form of protests and mass rallies, the allies of the regime are becoming increasing uneasy about the prospect of its downfall. It had been hoped that with time, the protests would be wound down by a combination of political fatigue, new police repressive tactics and the weakening of the opposition by neutralising some factions. But the holding of F1, the strike of Al Khawaja and the killing of Salah Abbas Habib (together with two babies in the wombs of their mothers who died as a result of excessive inhalation of chemical gases) have brought Bahrain’s r evolution to the surface on international level. It is now expected that repression and killings may be intensified by the hated duel; Timoney and Yates.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
27th April 2012