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Repression in Israel and Bahrain

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Repression in Israel and Bahrain - by Stephen Lendman

On August 8, London Guardian writer Ian Black headlined, "Bahrain protests: 'The repression is getting worse,' " saying:

Bahraini police grabbed Hassan Ali Salman. One "forc(ed) his T-shirt roughly up over his head as three or four others laid in with wooden batons, dragging and pushing him to a line of waiting Land Cruisers and more helmeted cops."

He's one of many victims in an "ugly....cat-and-mouse routine of protest and repression in this Gulf island state." Secretly filmed, "it exposes what Bahrain's western-backed government prefers foreigners not to see."

Numerous other examples highlight it, including Zainab al-Juma, a disabled woman killed by inhaling tear gas, Ahmed Farhan, shot in cold blood, "his brains spilling out of his shattered head live on camera as horrified screams sounded all around."

Former political prisoner Abu Ali said, "(T)he repression is getting worse." A man called Haydar "described a savage beating, curses and threats of rape as he was forced to kiss the boots of the police officers who tormented him on 26 June."

They kept kicking and hitting me, he said. Conditions throughout the country are tense. Continuing protests against the Bahraini dictatorship face severe violence and repression. A taxi driver named Jassim said, "I am very pessimistic. Things are much worse than before."

An identified woman said, "We sank very low. If we go any further, people will start to leave. We are tearing ourselves apart." People believe that repression without reform won't resolve Bahraini injustice. 

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It's indeed severe when an establishment publication like the Guardian highlights it through firsthand observations on the ground.

So does the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, saying over 1,400 have been arrested (including doctors, lawyers and human rights activists), more than 180 sentenced by military courts, 35 killed, 68 journalists either suspended or arrested, and around two dozen activists arrested, tortured and subjected to other abuses, along with many others for wanting democratic change.

Law Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni chairs a Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI). In a letter to Nabeel Rajab, Bahrain Center for Human Rights President, he said:

"There is no doubt that there have been a large number of reported human rights violations which include: deaths, torture and physical mistreatment, arbitrary arrests and detentions, wrongful dismissal of public and private sector employees, suspension of students and termination of scholarships, destruction of mosques, and destruction of private property."

Bassiouni added that once BICI completes its investigation, a full report will follow, covering all documented state crimes. "We are here for the truth and nothing but the truth," he said. Let's hope he, in fact, presents it fully and accurately as promised.

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Israeli Torture, Other Forms of Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment Against Gazans 

On July 28, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights (Israel) documented it in their latest report on the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26).

Covering the period May 1, 2009 - April 30, 2010, they presented a disturbing account of how Israel systematically violates international law with impunity.

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