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Bahrain Cracks Down on Freedom

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That's how police states work. Fundamental rights are criminalized. Daily nonviolent protests continue nonetheless. Participants face tear gas, rubber bullets, beatings, arrests, and at times death.

Anyone challenging regime harshness faces arrest and brutal imprisonment. Even The New York Times noticed. On October 30, it headlined "Citing Violence, Bahrain Bans All Protests in New Crackdown." 

Protesters refrain from violence. Security forces commit it against them. Banning public gatherings "drew swift condemnation from human rights groups and opposition activists who said it was intended solely to stifle criticism of the ruling monarch in the tiny Persian Gulf nation."

Activists accused the monarchy of "methodically blocking all avenues for dissent."

"In recent weeks, activists have been prosecuted for postings on social media, and doctors, charged with illegal gathering and other crimes after treating protesters, have been sent to jail."

It's gone on repeatedly since early last year. The Times and other Western media gave it scant coverage. They still do. Reports exclude important information readers most need to know.

Dozens of deaths, hundreds imprisoned, torture, and kangaroo court justice go largely unnoticed.

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On November 10, a Washington Post editorial headlined "Bahrain's broken promise," saying:

Last November, King Hamad promised 26 reforms. "That promise has gone unfulfilled." At best, only three were partly implemented. "The most important ones - on the release of political prisoners and relaxation of controls on free expression - have been ignored."

The Post exhibited a rare moment of candor. It should have done more much sooner. Nonetheless, it said "convictions of leading regime opponents (were) reconfirmed."

It mentioned Nabeel's imprisonment. It excluded his activist history and harsh treatment. It said public protests were banned.

Without explanation, it said "five bombs exploded around the capital of Manama on Monday, killing two people."

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Protesters spurn violence. Despite brutal security force crackdowns, they remain peaceful. Bahraini authorities called Monday's explosions "terrorism." 

They were state-sponsored false flags. Expect more of the same ahead. Four suspects were arrested. They won't be treated kindly or fairly. Bahrain's head of public security blamed Hezbollah elements. No evidence whatever suggests it.

Minister Samira Ibrahim bin Rajab said opposition groups use Iranian tactics. He blamed pro-Iran television stations for supporting Bahraini protests. Press TV reports them accurately. So do Russia Today and independent journalists.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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