Lockdown

18 Feb, '11

Four funerals are to take place today in various places in Bahrain for the four new martyrs of yesterdays brutal attack on the Pearl Roundabout. Essa Abdulhassan, the 61 year old gentlemen who went to reason with the riot police and got half his head blown off for his efforts is being laid to rest as I type this. Thousands are in Karzakkan to pay their respects. There will be thousands more at the other four funerals, three of which are going to be in the island of Sitra. I don’t know the schedule yet, but I hope that the police and military forces will restrict themselves and allow people to mourn peacefully.

No one wants a repeat of yesterday, especially what happened in Salmaniya…

Horrific scenes. The pictures and the screams will stay with me for ever and shall remind me, as it no doubt will others, of the brutality of the regime. One that I have always loved and am now looking to for much needed leadership. Essa Abdulhassan (61, Karzakkan), Mahmood Makki (23, Sitra), Ali Khudair (52, Sitra) and Ali Almoamin (23, Sitra) join the long list of compatriots in the pantheon of national martyrs yesterday, bringing the confirmed murdered to six so far with rumours of many more owing to the several people missing since Black Thursday.

Through their sacrifice, this country will change for the better for ever. It’s already in full focus in the international community with tens of articles and news reports on record, starting with the slamming of Bahrain by the UN Secretary General, to President Barak Obama, Secretary Clinton, British Foreign Minister William Hague and a flurry of other governments condemning the heavy-handedness of the Bahraini government and all of whom are asking for restraint. The people of Bahrain are indebted to this important showing of support. It’s good to know that someone’s got their back, and pressure must continuously be exerted to ensure that this country satisfies its national and international obligations.

To avoid further bloodshed, the country need more, much more. We need real engagement and partnership. We need the ruling elite to start treating the rest of the population as equals rather than subservient peons to be played with at their whim, and a good start to ensure that is the promulgation of a real constitution written by an elected constitutional council of high standing with the populace. At this stage, I don’t thing anything else would do. Good faith is also called for, and this is firmly in the hands of the king.

We have more than 450 political prisoners in this country, a third of them are children under the age of 18 according to various reports. They should be released. The trial of “the 25” whom have been labelled terrorists by the regime should be declared a mistrial immediately and they should be released, and the harassment and prosecution of bloggers and writers must stop immediately and Ali Abdulemam should lead those to be released. Five months imprisonment for doing nothing but expressing his opinion is diabolical in a country that oft-repeats that it’s a country of laws and establishments.

Today the country is still in shock and disbelief at the brutality of the attack on peaceful protestors at the Pearl Roundabout. It is still reeling with disbelief at the cold-bloodedness of the six murdered compatriots for doing nothing but joining a peaceful protest and expressing their love for their country by protesting to demand better conditions and a share of political and economic freedoms.

Today, we’re still too shocked to mourn. Leadership is called for more than ever in starting reconciliation which will eventually lead to forgiveness. Failing this, I can guarantee you that this country will descend very rapidly into the sectarian quagmire which is already accelerating. All one has to do is view some of the poisonous virulent posts on Twitter.

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Coverage of the martyrs in Al-Wasat this morning.

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Comments (19)

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  1. Lolita says:

    I hate to say this… but I’m a Bahrani Shiite lady from Manama…. I never thought that Bahrain would transform into another Iraq… Our government hates us!!

  2. Reader911 says:

    Here are the photos of the four martyrs

    http://www.alwasatnews.com/data/2011/3087/pdf/loc14.pdf

    http://www.alwasatnews.com/data/2011/3087/pdf/loc15.pdf

    Mr Mahmood please post the photos of these martyrs in your page for the world to see

  3. as an islander, from the Greek island of Rhodes, which has the same shape and more or less the same size, during all my visits to Bahrain I felt “at home”. We, islanders, have many things in common, no matter where we come from.
    As I see all these things happening in Bahrain, I refuse to believe that this brutal excallation is hapenning in a place I considered “home”.
    Very very sad.
    This is not Bahrain I knew and remember, especially when I heard on BBC that the…main puprose of the local ‘Police’ at Lulu Roundabout was aimed just to help the …road trafic! What a cynicism!

    Mahmood, I borrowed a photo you took when you were going back home, a couple of hours before the tragedy at Lulu on Feb17.
    Here is the post on my blog
    http://alloukiallou.blogspot.com/2011/02/blog-post_18.html
    and the article on the Athens news portal http://www.theinsider.gr
    http://www.theinsider.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10456:goodnight-bahrain&catid=86:allou-ki-allou&Itemid=138

    The title of both is “Goodnight Bahrain”, hoping that the Sun will prevail one day.

    All my love to everyone of you. Many islanders as myself are monitoring what is happening in your island..

  4. Kate says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and hope that this will be resolved in a peaceful way.

  5. Dave says:

    I am sickened by the comment in today’s GDN by ANWAR ABDULRAHMAN http://gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=299756. How he and his British mercenary reporters can probogate such lies is beyond me. As someone who worked in “media” in Bahrain for several years, I witnessed first hand such unfairness in society that was hard to stomach. Long-term British expats in Bahrain are indeed a very strange breed. No doubt as the dinars keep flowing and the Rugby and Brit clubs still exist, these people will remain with their heads firmly stuck in the sand. Let us also never forget the British torturer Ian Henderson http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2842535.stm who know doubt is enjoying a quiet retirement and also all his other British Public Security colleagues past and present in Bahrain.

    • Dave says:

      Whoops.. “propagate” and “no”.. can we have an edit posts function please Mahmood? Keep up the excellent work!

  6. Wayne Job says:

    Stay safe Mamood

  7. Reader911 says:

    At this moment, as I am writing this

    Live Fire is shot by that Bahraini Army at Bahraini citizens

    Not even the dictator regime of Mubarak has done this

    We are on the verge of a very disturbing and nightmarish chapter in the history of this small island yet big in its demands

  8. Dave says:

    Stay safe Mahmood, we’re watching your tweets.

  9. Joske says:

    Hey Mahmood, stay safe! Having lived in Bahrain for 5 years I grew to respect the King and Crown Prince very much, lucky enough to meet the Crown Prince at a drag race meet in 2009. Sorry to say I’ll look at both people now in a very different light! Disgusted with whats being done to a great country and a great people! Karma is hot on the heels of the PM!!!!!

  10. Lorena says:

    Salam ya Mahmood .. I being follow you in twitter im very very mad and sad of what is happening in Bahrain .. what the Gov is doing now to all your ppl is just not acceptable to any one ,who support the King at a time like this, I have no respect for whatsoever. many ppl die and is injured , for what?? to show what??… keep going dear friend be safe .. remeber you have a beautiful family who is waiting for you every night .. please be safe !!

    No shia , No sunny , Just Bahraini!!

    allah Maak

  11. ihath says:

    A government that opens fire on peaceful demonstrators loses all credibility. It pains me to see this happen in Bahrain.

  12. Bernie says:

    The government that shoots it’s own innocent people has already lost it’s right to govern and in the end will be brought down.

    The world is watching.

    Report on slashdot says they are now throttling down the internet in the usual attempt to stop organisation and free speach.
    Stay safe Mahmood, there are a lot of people thinking about you.

  13. exclamation mark says:

    Things are heading to the worse…
    Bahrain is in a dark tunnel with no hope at the time being

  14. Abraham says:

    The Al-Khalifa’s great great great grandfather stopped the Wahhabi forces from entering Bahrain in the early 1800s after they had razed Karbala to the ground and killed 10s of 1000s of Shias there. They sat at Zubara across the waterway waiting for permission. The Al-Khalifa Sheikh told them that if they attack, they would be faced with their own British bought muscats and guns which they had heard about.

    Back then, the newly arrived Najdis saw the value of multiculturalism. They saw the ruling “Bani Huwala” running the city in peace with the Baharnah and there were Indians, Omanis, and many others always at the docks at the port. They resisted Wahhabism so that there wasn’t genocide or forced conversion. That was a government to stand behind. People were used to Catholic Portuguese and British always running things. The mainland Jazeera folks were refreshing as rulers even if their backup was the British.

    Today, their spirit has changed though. This is civil war unfortunately. I lived there too during the time of great differences between the two groups. Keeping different grades of passports, segregated neighborhoods, the mass buyout of all the beaches on an island?! It’s all medieval. There has to be an arrival, one way or another.

  15. Dan says:

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

    —John F. Kennedy

    …Before “they” shot his head off in broad daylight…and his nation attacked Vietnam on false premises.

    Stay safe, Mahmood!

  16. meeem says:

    please read what the paied reportors say:
    بشأن من يتحدث حسب ما تمليه أجندته وما يعتمل في قلبه، حينما قال بأن الجيش أطلق الرصاص على الناس، في وقت أن الإطلاق كان في الهواء للتحذير مثلما تقول الدولة (للأسف الدولة دائماً تكذب وغيرها الصادق الأمين الذي حاشاه أن يكذب،).

    لماذا لم يشر هؤلاء لما قام به البعض من تمثيل السقوط على الأرض؟! ولماذا لم يشيروا للألوان الحمراء المستخدمة وأكياس الدم لتمثيل مشهد السقوط وبثه عبر مقاطع الفيديو على الشبكة العنكبوتية؟!

    هل الجميع ”حسن النوايا” يا جماعة؟! ارحموا البحرين، مزقتموها بـ”المبالغات” Ùˆ”التلفيق” في الخارج قبل الداخل

    فيصل الشيخ
    صحيفة الوطن – العدد 1899 الأثنين 21 فبراير 2011

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