Bahrain: A Case Study in Despotism
Washington-backed monarchy murdering its own people.
by Stephen Lendman
In summer 2010, sporadic protests began. By mid-February last year, major ones erupted. From then to now, they challenged repressive rule nonviolently. They continue daily. At issue is King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa's regime.
Bahrainis want democratic change, sectarian Shia discrimination ended, equitable distribution of state wealth, political prisoners released, and terrorizing stopped. They also want popularly elected leaders replacing Al-Khalifa rule. It's despotic, ruthless and intolerable.
For months, many thousands braved security force attacks with tear gas, beatings, rubber bullets, live fire, arrests, torture, and disappearances.
Last March, Saudi troops entered Bahrain guns blazing. They remain, terrorizing Bahraini men, women, children, doctors, journalists, human rights activists, and foreign observers. So do state police.
No matter. King Hamad's a close US ally. Bahrain's the home of America's Fifth Fleet. Generous aid's provided. So are weapons, including armored vehicles, bunker buster missiles, wire-guided ones, others to attack protesters, and more.
On March 26, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) published a report titled, "A BCHR Report on Human Rights Violations since the BICI Recommendations."
BICI refers to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. It published its findings last November 23, followed by a final December revision.
Abdul Hadi Al-Khawaja is a former Front Line Protection Coordinator and former BCHR President. Last April, Bahraini police arrested and beat him unconscious. He's currently hunger striking for justice. Earlier, he twice did for nine days. His current one began on February 8. As of March 31, he refused food for 53 days. He demands freedom or death.
His life's seriously at risk. He's been unjustly imprisoned and severely tortured. Last June, he was sentenced to life in prison. At issue is his courageous human rights work. Without help, he'll die. Washington and rogue NATO partners ignore him. So do Arab League despots and major media scoundrels.
BCHR's report discussed months of state terror. It categorized them under separate headings. They include:
Over 60 deaths are known. No murder charges followed. A few police "show trials" involved "accidental deaths or beatings" causing death. Bahrain's government denies responsibility.