In 2022, when it’s often difficult to get people to pay attention to anything for more than a few minutes, when the country faces an economic crisis unprecedented in our lifetimes, and the spectre of total environmental collapse looms ever closer, it seems to be extraordinarily anachronistic for the British establishment to insist that there must a ten-day period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday, at the age of 96, after 70 years on the throne.
1. Victories that are only partial are not fictional.
When a ruler, like Biden, finally announces the end of a war, like the war on Yemen, it is as important to recognize what it does mean as what it doesn’t. It doesn’t mean the U.S. military and U.S.-made weapons will vanish from the region or be replaced by actual aid or reparations (as opposed to “lethal aid” — a product that’s usually high on people’s Christmas lists only for other people). It does not mean we’ll see U.S. support for the rule of law and the prosecution of the worst crimes on earth, or encouragement for nonviolent movements for democracy. It apparently does not mean an end to providing information to the Saudi military on whom to kill where. It apparently does not mean the immediate lifting of the blockade on Yemen.
You may have heard that the U.S. House of Representatives just passed a bill to spend $741 billion renaming military bases that have been heretofore named for Confederates. You may think that’s a grand idea but still wonder at the price tag.
An American professor and political commentator said the Al Khalifa regime is a “subject client state of the US Empire”, describing Bahrain as an “open-air” prison with the ruling family acting as its “prison guards” to safeguard the US Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf state.
democracynow – We go to Bahrain to speak with human rights activist Zainab Alkhawaja, just after she was released from prison by the Bahraini government. “One year in prison is nothing,” Alkhawaja says of her time behind bars. “Because it’s nothing compared to what we’re willing to sacrifice for our goals, for democracy in our country.” Continue reading →
Shia villages outside Bahrain’s capital have been left shrouded in tear gas after fierce clashes between police and anti-government demonstrators. The protest movement is marking three years of its uprising against the ruling Sunni monarchy, which has been met with a relentless crackdown and thousands of arrests. RT’s Alexey Yaroshevsky reports on the long-running standoff.
If you don’t think much of the King of Bahrain, maybe it’s better to keep it to yourself – or else you could face 7 years in prison, thanks to some new laws to defend the monarchy. Previously, the punishment was a few days in jail, but now, any Twitter post, Facebook comment or casual disparaging word could land you a hefty term. For more RT talks to Rodney Shakespeare, Chair of the Committee Against Torture in Bahrain. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/xweqti
In a breathtaking display of absurdity, US secretary of defense Chuck Hagel and Britain’s Foreign Minister William Hague were among senior Western delegates to address the annual conference on “regional security” held in Bahrain at the weekend.
These officials pontificated about regional threats, conflict, international law, human rights and so on; meanwhile out on the streets of Bahrain, not far from the venue, peaceful protesters calling for democratic freedom were being bludgeoned by regime police thugs.
The violation of children’s rights by the Israeli and Bahraini regimes is more than mere coincidence. It is indicative of a much broader strategic alignment that has emerged between the Zionist regime and the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies.
The use of state terrorism against children by Israeli military and Bahrain regime forces is not some random, isolated aberration. The scale and systematic pattern of the violations strongly suggests that the regimes are collaborating closely in methods of counter-insurgency.
Sent to Dandelion Salad from a personal contact who wishes to remain anonymous
Nov. 15, 2013
Ali Al Taweel is an extreme example of the illegal, violent nature of the Bahrain legal system. It also shows that torture is widespread in the prisons to degrade detainees and extract confessions.
Ali is an uneducated young man, unable to read or write and the son of a fisherman. He was picked up because he was in Sitra when the demos were going on. He was tortured for weeks including being strung up like a chicken and sexually abused. There has not been an execution of a Bahraini since 1990s, the last execution was of a Bangladeshi in 2010.
The US-backed Bahraini regime is mounting an undeclared, merciless war on the majority Shia population of the tiny Persian Gulf island.
Yet, this systematic crime against humanity is proceeding with impunity and barely a murmur of international protest. The regime may be the ones holding the gun, but it is the tacit support of Washington and London that allows these despots to pull the trigger on civilians.
Bahrain’s main opposition party, al-Wefaq, says the regime’s harsh crackdown on pro-democracy activists has intensified over the past month, with the highest levels of violence since the uprising began in 2011. In a report, al-Wefaq has documented nineteen hundred cases of human rights violations only in the month of September 2013, including incidents in which regime forces used excessive force or torture.
According to the report, last month 214 anti-regime protesters were arrested, including two women and 40 children — the highest number since the uprising began. The al-Wefaq report also said that 111 activists — who were convicted by a Bahraini court and given sentences of up to 15 years — were tried based on fabricated charges.
The court sentenced today political detainees, including activists and an human rights defender, to total of more than 400 years’ imprisonment and upheld the sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment against two children. All of the sentences were delivered under the internationally criticized and vague terrorism law. The court also reduced the sentences of two police officers who tortured a detainee to death from 10 years’, to 2 years’ imprisonment. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is gravely concerned over the politically motivated charges and sentences delivered against dissents, and urgently calls for an end to Bahrain’s biased judicial system.