Enemies of the State

1 Feb, '07

Bahrainis Dr. Mohammed Saeed and Hussain Al-Habshi start serving their time in prison today for voicing their political opinions. The first for a year, the second for 6 months. Isolated from their jobs, their families and their community simply for voicing a political opinion which the government interpreted as tantamount to carrying arms and forcibly mounting a coup to change the ruling regime.

For just printing and wanting to distribute a document written by a dissident – a national figure nonetheless – calling for the boycott of the recently held national elections.

Even after more than 160 people signed a petition and 49 prominent human rights organisations from all over the world have demanded their release as they believe this was a political case or opinion suppression which countermands Bahrain’s signed and accepted UN Human Rights agreements, it being on the UN Human Rights Council and heading the United Nations. Other than countermanding our own charter and constitution, that is.

For those who say that this is not a politicised case and that the judiciary is in fact independent, let me remind you of a few things that might call that opinion into question: known and documented torturers still walk freely amongst us with impunity, someone who had a gun and live ammunition with probable intent to use them gets 8 days remand in custody and released, high-level embezzlers get rapped on their knuckles – by the same court – and let go, wife abusers get fined BD20 and let go, child rapists get lenient sentences, thieves probably get less time for burglaries and many more examples you read in the papers almost every day.

Yet, call for a boycott – which is a valid and legitimate political opinion – even on a second-hand basis as in this particular case, and you get to be the guest of His Majesty for up to 7 years. I suppose we should be thankful that Mohammed Saeed only got 1 year in prison while his companion Hussain Abdulaziz gets only 6 months.

I wonder how many years I would get to be a guest of His Majesty if they rifled through my posts on this site… That’s a prospect I do not relish finding out.

Maybe it’s time to shut up, keep our heads down, and mind our own business.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Angry..very angry says:

    I went through a range of emotions and reactions.. It started soon after my wife told me with shock on her face “did you read Mahmood blog today?”. “Not yet” then she told me about the verdict. I was quite breifly, mybe trying to absorb it. Then I went directly to cursing, yet I tried control myself and use “family accepted” curses. I AM JUST SPEECHLESS.
    If you are a thief then Barhain is your homeland where you will enjoy all the freedom in the world. I you happen to have an openion that does not suite those in power.. wellcome as the majesty guest.. YES MAHMOOD …we should all SHUT UP or ELSE.

  2. AbuRasool says:

    That is exactly the point, isn’t it? One is kept guessing how many years would one get if they rifled through one’s post, phone calls, notebooks, chitchats …etc. Knowing that there is a Big Brother with massive discretionary powers could convince all His Majesty’s subjects to behave well and be as subservient as they should be. We are shoved into a corner until we realise that “it is better for our health and welfare to to shut up, keep our heads down, and mind our own business. The problem is there are so many, and you are in a good company, who refuse to learn! :face: AbuRasool

  3. lizardo says:

    منزمان ماعطوكم مكرمات …. ومايبون يعطونكم زيادات وهالسوالف .. فاحصلوا شي جديد
    اه منك يابلد

  4. Shehabi says:

    The sentencing of these very good men is nothing short of atrocious, scandalous, and an injustice on the apparent ‘freedom of speech and expression’ that we are supposed to have on this tiny little island we call Bahrain.

    A good definition of democracy ‘A system by which social equality is favoured. Democracy means “rule of the people”. Democracy includes open discussion, direct voting on significant issues, policy formation in all realms of social life; economics, education, religion and public life.’

    How can we call Bahrain a democratic country? Does the democracy we have in Bahrain remotely satisfy this definition of democracy? i think not….

    A country which sentences two good men, who may i add, i have met and spoken to, for 1 year and 6 months, but allows torturers such as 3adil Flaifel walk the streets with will after torturing and killing many. Scandalous.

    We need a change, and this change will not happen with this apparent ‘elected’ parliament, which when put into context, is useless, and nothing more than a media stunt to decieve the world that we live in a democratic country which we call a ‘Kingdom’.

    We need a change. Criminals need to be put to justice. I can go on and on, but i’m at work so i dont want to get in trouble!

    May I end this comment by remembering all those who sacrificed and lost their lives at the hands of the same people who decieve many by calling bahrain a democratic country.

  5. Mohammed says:

    Well, we might even not have the time to shut up!

    Hassan Mushaimea and A.Hadi Alkhwaja (opposition leaders) have been arrested after mask police raided their houses at dawn today, 2nd February 2007.

    Get ready everybody!

  6. I says:

    I believe that the whole judiciary needs to be completely made over and reformed. Much of what has been done in the past is a complete travesty. The points noted are accurate and do justice to the the phrase ‘the law is an ass’.
    Without effective laws, or more to the point, laws that are effectively carried out, the whole fabric of society is at risk.

    The examples of miscarriages of justice are rife. As is the habit of people who should be in court just not turning up. If you have a court date just don’t turn up and the process will be delayed by a few months. Let this carry on, especially if the person you are against is a poor Asian, and they will be in a great deal of financial hurt since they can’t get a job and can’t leave the country. Frequently they settle out of court just to get out of the mess.
    People know this and abuse the system. Why is it not the case that if someone doesn’t turn up at the court at the specified time, the courts send the bailifs around to drag their sorry ass, screaming and kicking, into the courthouse and charge them with contempt?

    Bahrain seems to have many of the right laws on the books, but doesn’t have the political will to enforce them. I’m sure that there are reams to be written on lax traffic laws, but in reality, who cares?
    Slinging those two ‘activists’ in the clink is just another example of selective justice at its worst. Regrettably, I’m sure we’ll see more of this before the system is finally overhauled. The justice system has to be independent, open, fair and impartial . . . to all.

  7. Mike Knight says:

    It saddens me greatly to see the “Powers that be” in Bahrain stoop so low.

    I fear for you Mahmood – and other good Bahraini patriots, who SHOULD have the freedom to voice an opinion without fear of persecution.

    It saddens me further that exactly this kind of event is all it sometimes takes to make an erstwhile good person consider taking stronger and more violent actions against that which they see to be unjust and simply unfair.

    This is a crock!

    MK

  8. It’s the New World Order. They are all in this together and are laying down control grids world wide.

    Their goal is to throw the Middle East into perpetual turmoil and oppression. They are punks, perverts, and cowards. They fear everyone finding out who and what they are up to.

    I hope you and your readers have a stash of guns and ammo for when they are needed.

  9. jack says:

    It is not an accident that the right to “freedom of speech” is the 1st ammendment in the US constitution.

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