Campaign launched to bring Henderson to justice

26 Jul, '07

Please help in bringing the Butcher of Bahrain to justice!

A campaign spearheaded by the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights has been started to bring the former head of the security apparatus in Bahrain – Mr. Ian Henderson, to justice. The intention is to try to get the campaign to gain momentum throughout the world, not just Bahrain, by sending letters of objections to the Bahraini government and the UN expressing solidarity with the idea to bring Mr. Henderson – dubbed The Butcher of Bahrain – to justice as part of our much needed national reconciliation.

Should you wish to participate (please do!) either copy the button on the right and past it on your blog or get any of a selection of banners from the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights website.

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Comments (14)

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  1. Anon says:

    Has anyone thought about taking him on in Civil Court? Much like what Ron Goldman’s father did, and is still doling to OJ Simpson.

  2. NewMe says:

    i was told he was given bahraini nationality?!
    how true is that?!

  3. ehsan says:

    Before you prosecute the employees you have to prosecute the board of directors. He was not working in a vacuum. While I commend such efforts, the bigger picture is conveniently ignored. When can we start creating banners of the real culprits instead of blaming foreigners who were PAID to do what they did?

    Sorry for being grumpy… I’m back to Bahrain for the weekend and (almost) everything about this place is depressing now.

  4. Esra'a says:

    Ehsan, it’s a question of security.

    When can we start creating banners of the real culprits instead of blaming foreigners who were PAID to do what they did?

    Maybe you should try that in your blog, and see how fast you get yourself arrested or your site blocked?

    Paid or not. Foreigner or not. Doesn’t matter. He’s a participant of a huge crime and that gives us every right to target him specifically. If the orders weren’t his own, he helped execute them, and that’s just as bad as giving the orders in the first place. There’s something called ethics and this monster has none of it.

    In the meantime, and as the campaign gets bigger, the REAL people responsible will get the message. Don’t you worry.

  5. moodz says:

    I will have to partially agree with ehsan on this one; BYSHR is again going around in an empty circle, the real target has always been the law 56/2002 this is the first step towards opening those dark files. Wasting time campaigning about Henderson (or previously, Flaifel) is futile.

  6. Esra'a says:

    The people at BYSHR have enough on their plate as it is. If anyone wishes to see a variation of this campaign why not start their own which questions or criticizes the “real target”?

    I don’t see anyone doing that, so why should BYSHR?

    Sorry for being defensive, but instead of thanking BYSHR for their efforts (which I do consider to be brave) I don’t like to see them being blamed or attacked. We’re all perfectly capable of starting campaigns and petitions of our own rather than hanging around and waiting for someone with enough courage to do so. If unhappy with the current one, the options are with you, not BYSHR. They’re doing their best out there, I for one am proud and greatful. The very least people can do is appreciate what they are “wasting time” on.

    Let’s not forget the “youth” part of their organization. They’re also young. Don’t expect them to be spot on with every campaign.

  7. mahmood says:

    A long journey always starts with a single step. So let’s not be defensive or insist that it is only our way or the highway. Regardless of your opinion on 56 or any other issue, Ian Henderson has wronged Bahrain and Bahrainis and should own up to his deeds and publicly apologise for them.

    What’s wrong with asking for that basic right? We’re done the very same thing with Bandarite Attiyatallah, he didn’t and probably never will, but it is our right to demand reparations in order not just for the souls of those who fell to rest in peace, but much more importantly to prevent any others to fall in the future.

    It is a basic human right. Learn from past mistakes by addressing them courageously, not water down every single issue into nothingness “because it’s not done right and we should go for those on top”.

    There is a wrong, address it on its own. There is no problem whatsoever in a grassroots movement adapting this approach by each group addressing multiple personalities who have been implicated in some way, with that approach grassroot movements develop and whoever is on top will then have to acquiesce to the masses request and do something germane about it.

    So let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot by watering down the issue or magnifying it either.

    Ask yourself this question: “Do I believe that Ian Henderson has wronged Bahrain and should he be brought to justice to answer to crimes committed?”

    That’s all, everything around this central question is immaterial for this particular campaign and I hope that the BYSHR or their supporters do not get dragged into avenues which will ultimately result in the abject failure of the campaign.

    Also remember, the guy is 81 years old, how long more do you think he has before he croaks without offering a very much deserved apology?

  8. moodz says:

    It’s never really an issue of courage as to who and how a petition is being done, this is Bahrain and petitions and marches are ever so frequent. The only difference it makes (if it ever will) is the body who is organizing or calling for one, in other words it the statement would be much stronger if BYSHR adopted a petition than it will if I did.

    I’m not pointing any fingers towards anyone, BYSHR have done tremendously great jobs before and do continue to do so, but the way they are handling this situation I’m not 100% with.

    All I am saying is that the local political scene lacks “real” human right activists, and when someone chooses to carry the burden it better be done in a proper way, instead of calling for a petition every other day, when Henderson pays his weekly visit to town or when Flaifel is out to the news. What is exactly wrong with having a clear agenda with what they stand against?

    But, since all of you are clearly in the mood for petitions and campaigns, how about each adopts his/her own campaign? we can all choose someone from the list below:

    1. .ايان هندرسون: لواء مدير عام امن الدوله.
    2. عبدالعزيز عطية الله الخليفة: عقيد رئيس اللجنه الامنيه المشرفه على التعذيب.
    3. خالد الوزان: رائد المشرف على التعذيب بمركز الخميس وعضو لجنة التعذيب.
    4. عبالرحمن ربيعة سنان: نقيب عضو اللجنه المشرفه على التعذيب.
    5.عادل فليفل: رائد مدير قسم المخابرات وعضو لجنة التعذيب.
    6.خالد المعاوده: رائد مساعد لفليفل في نفس القسم.
    7. حمد جبر الخليفه: مقدم معذب في قسم المخابرات.
    8.خليفة الخليفة: رائد معذب في مركز النعيم وهو من قاد الهجوم على مسجد مؤمن في93.
    9. عبدالرحمن صقر الخليفه: رائد معذب في التحقيقات الجنائيه،
    10. محمود العكوري: اردني رائد معذب في التحقيقات الجنائيه.
    11. محمد جاسم الذوادي: عقيد معذب ومديرالتحقيقات الجنائيه.
    12. ابراهيم ثاني: رائد معذب في التحقيقات الجنائيه.
    13.خليفه بن احمد الخليفه: نقيب معذب في التحقيقات الجنائية.
    14. محمدالنعيمي: نقيب معذب في التحقيقات الجنائيه.
    15.عبدالله الفاضل: نقيب معذب في التحقيقات الجنائية.
    16.محمد التميمي: نقيب معذب في وعضو لجنة التعذيب.
    17. عيسى النعيمي: نقيب معذب في مخابرات امن الدوله.
    18.شمسان: ملازم اول معذب في مخابرات امن الدوله.
    19. احمد يوسف: ملازم اول معذب في امن الدوله وعضو لجنة التعذيب.
    20.خالد الشروقي: ملازم اول معذب في امن الدوله.
    21. دعيج النهام: ملازم اول ومعذب في التحقيقات الجنائية
    22. عبدالله علي راشد: ملازم ثاني ومعذب في التحقيقات الجنائية.
    23.عدنان بحر: ملازم ثاني ومعذب في التحقيقات الجنائية.
    24. عبدالنبي بوشهري: وكيل ومعذب في امن الدولة.
    25.محمد علي الضاهري: وكيل ومعذب في امن الدوله.
    26.عبدالعزيز بوجيري: وكيل ومعذب في امن الدوله.
    27. نادر الدوسري: عريف معذب في سجن الحوض الجاف.
    28.عبد النبي مال الله.
    29.عدنان الظاعن: مقدم في أمن الدولة مساعد لفليفل.
    30.بدر الفضالة: مقدم في أمن الدولة مساعد لفليفل.
    31.سيد باقر الوداعي: معذب في امن الدوله مساعد لفليفل.

  9. ehsan says:

    This isn’t about BYSHR, they are doing a great job. I’m am coming from a totally different perspective and didn’t even think about BYSHR in my original comment.

    If I had a blog, I still wouldn’t write about the “real” issues, because we all know we can’t do that. We live in a country where basic human rights granted by the king are called a Makrama, and the prime minister is not even hiding his 50% bribes anymore.

    The scary part is that the general public seems oblivious/indifferent. Last night I saw a “maseera” at 1 AM. About 7 cars honking and carrying pictures of the PM, celebrating his recent award.

    I am talking about the bigger picture here. I took a step back to look at our situation, and am now torn between my love for this country/people/family, and the frustration of seeing the crap beneath the surface.

    I don’t see a solution to Bahrain short of (A)- A nation wide revolution or (B)- A 180 degree reversal of policies and procedures by the crown prince in opposition to the family elders.

    That’s just where I’m coming from. My frustration is making me numb of any efforts short of the above mentioned solutions.

    To come back to the subject at hand, I think Ian Henderson “has wronger Bahrain”, yes, but I don’t think he should be brought to justice before his employers. He was taking orders directly from the late Emir, and that fact gets buried/forgotten. If the ruling family does not offer a collective apology, then why should Henderson?

    The problem with taking single steps in our case is that it breaks down the bigger issue into smaller uncontrollable and slightly mis-aligned targets.

    The is explained by basic political psychology as a way to nullify the efforts of the people, while allowing them to vent their anger into compartmentalized areas, without allowing the efforts to reach a coordinated unified revolt.

    This is exactly why the government paid advisors suggest the people should be allowed campaigns such as this. That is also why Mahmood might get a call asking for my IP address (which he doesn’t store records of 😉 )

    I know my rant is all over the place, but that’s just how I feel now. I’m a cynic, and I think Bahrain is a black comedy. I want to save it but I don’t know how to… and I don’t think anyone has a real solution.

  10. mahmood says:

    What’s a “real” human rights activist to you Mohammed?

    To me it is any human being who expresses outrage and indignation at the humiliation of another human being, be that through exposing that humiliation, offering assistance public or private to that wronged individual and championing his or her rights in any peaceful shape or form.

    That basically means that every single one of us is a proper and real human rights activist.

    Okay, you don’t see the value of going about it by creating petitions; but Mohammed, petitions resound in the halls of power! Look at 1994 with that 25,000 signed petition, look at the petition submitted to the UN with 80,000+ signatories and how it resounded here as well as others. Those petitions show a legitimate need for change espoused by the wording of that petition. Petitions are valid sources of democratic tools.

    So don’t belittle individual and collective actions.

    Of course there is also the approach – as Bahrain is a signatory to the International Court of Justice – of lodging a case against the 31 you mentioned and then some to international bodies. However, the procedure and effort required to do so is tremendous, but not impossible. That requires a lot of work and money to build a whole team to prepare the cases and then prosecute them. Difficult but doable. I am sure that all of the above already have files with “real” human rights organisations and activists. Maybe they are just waiting for that elusive signal of reparations, truth and reconciliation which will avoid having a foreign body adjudicate “internal” issues. I am sure that come Dec 10th and nothing is done in that regard, or worse, if the prepared Truth and Reconciliation Conference headed by 11 human rights and political associations in Bahrain is interfered with or cancelled, then we should expect that those cases be lodged and let international bodies decide the fate our our country.

    Yes, people have always been courageous in Bahrain even though not tangible results are seen, or at least felt as more and bigger problems do surface – almost magically – which sometimes redirects efforts. But throughout our history we have had people who didn’t flinch when presenting demands to the public and the rulers. Those got the respect they deserve and immortality for some of them paid for the privilege with their very lives.

    The approach taken currently by the BYSHR is good, it is new, and it is young. Let them run with it and let us lend them a hand to achieve the objective we all want, doing it in their own way.

    The end result is that they are real and they are doing something about a case they have adopted and they are real and proper human rights advocates and workers.

    Let them run with it and rather than criticising their efforts – which as you do know are dangerous in this country – help them by not watering down or belittling their efforts.

  11. mahmood says:

    I want to save it but I don’t know how to… and I don’t think anyone has a real solution.

    Others do Ehsan, so would you stand in their way to reach that solution? Compartmentalisation is an excellent problem solver too, you chip away at issues slowly and methodically until the problem is solved.

    Not many people in Bahrain actually want to get rid of the ruling family. I am not one and neither are Wa’ad or Wefaq or even Haqq for that matter. The objective – which should always be at the forefront of our minds – is social justice, not revenge! Keep that in mind.

    We – as a country and society – want to achieve social justice so that we can forget about politics and all that crap. Once social justice is present, people will turn their attention to living and this sectarian and class prejudice will all but disappear.

    Baby steps sometimes is a much better solution than “a revolution” which could only invite chaos to this society for generations. I certainly don’t need that.

  12. blewyn says:

    Ehsan I think one of the main reasons for targeting Henderson is because the UK has a law which states that any subject of the British Crown can be prosecuted for the offence of torture no matter where that offence was committed. This means he can be tried in a British court, under UK law.

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