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Brutal State Terror in Bahrain

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Brutal State Terror in Bahrain - by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed police state terror in Bahrain, accessed through the following link:

click here

Saying sporadic protests began last summer, major ones began for regime change on February 14, the tenth anniversary of the public referendum on the Bahrain National Action Charter - a monarchy reform initiative to end years of 1990s political unrest.

Wanting constitutionally mandated elected government, greater parliamentary authority, political freedom, social justice, and ending discrimination against majority Shias, many thousands defied government demands for weeks, braving police attacks with tear gas, beatings, rubber bullets, live fire, arrests, torture, and disappearances until March 14 when over 1,500 Saudi Arabia-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) military and police security forces invaded Bahrain guns blazing. 

They attacked peaceful protesters, arrested opposition leaders and activists, occupied the country, denied wounded men and women medical treatment, and imposed police state control in support of the hated monarchy.

At the same time, Bahrain is a signatory to nearly every major international humanitarian and human rights law, including:

-- the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);

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-- the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR);

-- the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and

-- the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), among others.

On April 22, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) condemned the violence in a public statement and new report titled, "DO NO HARM: A Call for Bahrain to End Systematic Attacks on Doctors and Patients," as well as against protesters demanding change.

In mid-March, under Saudi occupation, King Hamad declared a state of emergency, set up checkpoints, and used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations. Moreover, calling Salmaniya Hospital a "stronghold of the opposition protesters," security forces occupied it, denied treatment to wounded patients, arrested doctors, nurses, and other medical staff, as well as human rights activists, bloggers, and other pro-democracy supporters.

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As a result, dozens were killed, many hundreds detained or disappeared, and some fear an "undeclared war." Under Article 36(b) of Bahrain's 2002 Constitution, King Hamad may declare a state of national safety, saying:

"A state of national safety or martial law shall be proclaimed only by Decree. In all cases, martial law cannot be proclaimed for a period exceeding three months. This period may not be renewed except with the consent of the majority of the members of the National Assembly present (having no legislative authority)."

Article 32(b) vests the king with executive authority, "together with the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet) and Ministers," appointed by him.

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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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