Spoke too soon. Another opinion writer in the dock

21 Jun, '08

No sooner than I published my excitement about the steps taken recently by the Ministry of Information to correct past mistakes which resulted in Bahrain taking a beating in all major press and publications indices than I wake up this morning to the news that Abdulla Hassan Buhassan of the National Action Democratic Society has been detained by the public prosecutor due to articles he published in the political society’s newsletter dealing with the Bandargate scandal, articles which portray the acknowledged political society’s position!

And in typical fashion, they make the arrest on Thursday, the last day of the working week, which ensures that he will have no recourse to the courts until they open after the weekend on Sunday.

This is despicable. And yet another demonstration that this tiny spic of a country is run by multiple governments, each looking after their interest in complete disregard to everyone and everything else. When we see one part of the government running hell for leather trying desperately to correct the country’s image in national and international venues, we have others diligently working at destroying any chance of progress.

Abdulla Buhassan is a political prisoner, as far as a I am concerned, in addition to him being a prisoner of conscience. As a Bahraini citizen, I demand that he be released immediately and that a national reconciliation commission be established to deal with our past, as well as an independent commission of inquiry be established to deal with the Bandargate scandal and its ramifications.

Bahrain will not and cannot go forward without these issues being properly dealt with.

FREE ABDULLA NOW!

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Comments (11)

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  1. You’ve got the same type of meanminded people there as we have here. Makes you wonder if they really believe in the afterlife doesn’t it? Wonder what reason they’ll come up with when asked to explain their actions?

  2. Lee Ann says:

    Kats….my thoughts exactly!

  3. mahmood says:

    Abdulla Buhassan has been freed!

    We will hear more about his case and what transpired soon. I’m glad that he’s out though.

  4. anon says:

    This is despicable. And yet another demonstration that this tiny spic of a country is run by multiple governments, each looking after their interest in complete disregard to everyone and everything else.

    why don’t we just call a spade a spade?! the truth is their is only one PM who has been in power for 40 years now and has been running the show with or without the others in the royal family. in any country that respects itself the PM is accountable for what the government does.

    please, lets not go in circles and claim that these people are innocent from the crimes that have happened and still are happening from this government. it is one government not multiple governments. The number one person behind bandargate is Khalifa and as far as I am concerned he is a brutal despot and has no shame talking like one in his interviews outside bahrain. those who really want bahrain to move forward should point that out and should demand he go and make it crystal clear that bahrainis have had enough form this sick excuse of a PM and this pathetic tyrannical government of his.

  5. mahmood says:

    and then what?

    Although I believe that saying that states that the first problem with failed companies is the management, the second problem is the management and the third is management, I do recall that the term “management” is not exclusive just to the top manager, although the bucket does stop there, it is the whole culture of the company itself that contributes to the failure.

    Hanging all the blame on a single person for the failures of a whole country is not logical nor conducive to continue with business.

    So rather than crying “Khalifa must go” I would strongly say let him stay – BUT I would absolutely demand that complete institutional reform takes place, laws reviewed and retooled, establishment of an independent reconciliation commission, criminalise discrimination in all its forms, enact proper family laws, protect and increase personal freedoms and the freedoms of the press.

    And as all of these must come from the community rather from the top, I invite the honourable clerics of this country, in whatever colour or strain they come in, to tell their people to come out in the streets in their hundreds of thousands to demand all of these changes.

    Just a couple of days of demos would be fine. I guarantee that should that happen, things will change for the better.

    So (I can’t believe I’m defending the PM!) rather than parroting this tired excuse of “change the PM” I would strongly suggest that a new mantra be adopted: “change the society”.

    Once that gets done, I don’t think that any PM will stay in his or her seat for more than 8 years or so. Until then, you deserve the government you accept.

  6. anon says:

    So rather than crying “Khalifa must go” I would strongly say let him stay – BUT I would absolutely demand that complete institutional reform takes place, laws reviewed and retooled, establishment of an independent reconciliation commission, criminalise discrimination in all its forms, enact proper family laws, protect and increase personal freedoms and the freedoms of the press.

    mahmood, and may I ask you WHO is standing against these reforms you are calling for?? Khalifa is a clear obstacle to changing this country to the better and that is clear from his despotic mentality since his first years in office when he issued the draconian state security law that has led to the suspension of the parliament and constitution and that took away all basic freedoms and tortured and killed so many citizens of this country. The PM has more blood on his hands than anyone in Bahrain. His vision does not go hand in hand with the reforms and freedoms you are calling for. Yes let him stay if he will only sit on his chair and kiss little girls in his welcoming ceremonies. But from his own interviews the guy is an evil megalomaniac that has no shame in being proud of what he has done in the state security law era of bahrain and now is not only content with his bandargate web in his government but also defends it by banning even mentioning it.

    mahmood, i agree society needs to change and i call for it as well. freedom of speech can never be a law on paper but is a society culture. society changes by spreading the word and teaching ideas and pointing out what’s is right and what is wrong in society. that is working from the bottom up as you say which is ongoing work that should never stop. but that doesnt mean if we want to change society we should stop demanding the government and its wretched policies be changed. as far as i can see and like any country in the world government policies have a big effect on the culture of a society. this PM and his government have divided bahrain and fracturd this society to bit. bahrainis have become more extreme and more intolerant today then any time in their history. and oh yes ultimately the responsibilities lie on the people of bahrain but part of the problem is this cursed backward government and it must go for us to move on forward. Khalifa is not an honorary PM he is very much in charge and he is not without a vision. but his vision is starkly different from the democratic and free society you are talking about. Calling for his resignation is not about getting rid of the person but is about getting rid of the policies and the mentality in the government that is rendering this society into a clockwork orange society.

    if the message is not sent that we have had enough then nothing will change. we did not get rid of the state security law if we didn’t go out in the streets and sacrificed bone and blood in getting our basic human rights. any speck of freedom you enjoy today was taken by blood. i am sorry that this society has become so discrediting to its own sacrifices.

    to tell their people to come out in the streets in their hundreds of thousands to demand all of these changes.

    Just a couple of days of demos would be fine. I guarantee that should that happen, things will change for the better.

    really? do you have that short-term of a memory? This has happened and when it it did they got shot and beaten by riot police. it is quite clear that protests in bahrain are peaceful as long as they are not aimed directly at the government. you want to protest and lift Isa Qassim’s pictures..fine who cares. you want to protest for iraq for lebanon fine who cares. you want to protest for family law fine who cares. but anything else they send their riot police plus a private militia to beat the hell out of them. you want to protest for employmet? for the release of the 80 political prisoners without trial since last year? for constitutional change? for fair elections? to end discrimination? I dont think so. Khalifa himself said “there is no discrimination in Bahrain” which means there is none so shut up or get beaten up. please give me one good reason for him to stay?

  7. anon says:

    (I can’t believe I’m defending the PM!)

    SO AM I!!

  8. anon says:

    you forgot to mention that Abdulla Buhassan was captured on the pretext of the law:

    (يعاقب بالحبس أو بالغرامة من حرّض بإحدى طرق العلانية على كراهية نظام الحكم أو الازدراء به)

    A person who insults or incites hatred towards the government is punished by imprisonment or fine.

    a legacy of the state security law with Khalifa’s fingerprints all over it. this wide open law that can be used at will against anyone in bahrain will not change while Khalifa reigns supreme.

  9. Sam says:

    Khalifa is not an honorary PM

    We’re all waiting for the PMC circular stating that he is to now be addressed as Sheikh Dr. Khalifa

  10. mahmood says:

    may I ask you WHO is standing against these reforms you are calling for?? Khalifa is a clear obstacle to changing this country

    My friend, we are in agreement. You won’t have a quarrel from me except for my pointing out that it takes two to tango. What I am trying to point out also is that there are a hundred ways to skin a cat. Your methods certainly are some of those methods, to accelerate them you need national consensus, and that is absent. I am sure sociologists have looked at our situation and have written books or at least articles disassembling this sorry situation we are currently in.

    In the absence of the national consensus, my proposed solution is to sideline the antagonist and build on the protagonist. The protagonist in this case is the presence of solid institutions by which the country is run. Once those are in position, we will be in a much better position ourselves that what we seek in reforms will force the modernist vision and principals that will result in the right person in the right position and both occupant and position will be under constant review and oversight. It’s not a utopian dream by any means, this is the modern democracy that we see working in several countries in the world. It should work here too.

    I believe that we have concentrated specifically on the person and become too emotionally attached to a win-lose/revenge mentality that we became blinded to the goal we should have continuously in our mind’s eye in complete focus which is the development of our people and our country.

    Once this is understood and enacted, all the other ill-fitting pieces of the puzzle will either be discarded or proper places found in which they can comfortably fit.

    What’s the plan of action now? Strengthen and support civil societies, ensure that basic freedoms don’t get trounced and be courageous enough to criticise in a civilised manner. We are no longer alone, the whole world is listening, but they won’t dance to the emotional beating of a drum.

  11. Kiwi Nomad says:

    I agree Mahmood. Sideline the antagonist and all his cronies, and he (and they) will become irrelevant. Witness the EDB now responsible for all decisions which will impact the economy, usurping the power of the PM and his Ministers. They are in their early death throes, and therefore feel the need to thrash about (and imprison their critics) as they feel their power being weakened. Let’s work on strengthening/developing civil society, institutions, freedoms, etc., so we can reach a ‘tipping point’ for change.

    Though, as a naturally impatient person and closet revolutionary, I agree with Anon’s sentiment and wish there was an easy answer.

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