Activism for Justice
An example of great courage.
by Stephen Lendman
Activism has many forms. OWS protesters want long denied social change. Palestinians want to live free. So do Bahrainis.
Imprisoned former Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) president Abdulhadi Alkhawaja risks death for freedom. Current president Nabeel Rajab matches his commitment. As a result, he's been repressively targeted.
Several times he was arrested and tortured for exposing human rights abuses and expressing his views freely. On May 5, he was targeted again. On arrival home at Bahrain's airport, security forces seized and detained him. Prior to his arrest, he said:
"Given that Bahrain in essence lacks a judiciary system that is independent and/or fair, and is far from being in line with international standards of a fair trial, I have decided to boycott the trial against myself."
"The judiciary system in Bahrain, today, is a tool used against human rights defenders and people calling for democracy and justice."
On May 6, Rajab's first hearing was held. He's charged with "participating in illegal assembly and calling other to join."
In late April, he was questioned about "insulting the statutory bodies." Expect more charges to follow. The Al Khalifa dictatorship wants rid of him. Perhaps now they intend a final blow.
Justice in Bahrain is prohibited. State terror is policy. Activists for change are targeted, arrested, tortured, and imprisoned after kangaroo judicial proceedings. Rajab faced it earlier. He's threatened again now.
For years, he courageously defended human rights. In secondary school, he explained two formative incidents, saying:
"Two events affected me most, one when a colleague dropped himself from second floor to escape under-covered police who stormed school."
"The second incident was when a dear teacher was arrested. That is when my voice started to rise and become annoying. I was caught while writing apolitical human rights statements on school walls and was given the choice to either be submitted to police or to switch schools. I was the top student back then, but I choose to switch to Sheikh Abdul Aziz school."