Tag Archives: torture

Unhone paisa kyon diya?

I’ve started learning Urdu.

Which seems to have become the Official Primary Language of this country.

Why else would allegedly murdering policemen employed by our Ministry of Interior who have direct access to my fellow Arab-speaking citizens need a translator in our courts when giving testimony and denying any wrongdoing for the murders of two of my compatriots under torture? Torture which has been documented to have been perpetrated – allegedly, mind – by two of them while their other three Urdu-speaking brothers-in-arms were standing by probably watching them with glee lay into the wrongly imprisoned and now murdered Bahrainis?

Policemen deny role in deaths

By NOOR ZAHRA , Posted on » Thursday, January 12, 2012

FIVE policemen have denied causing the deaths of two anti-government protesters who were being held in custody during the unrest.

Two of the suspects, aged 43 and 31, have been accused of beating them to death with a plastic pipe on April 8, according to court documents.

Three other policemen have been charged with failing to report the alleged crime.

The suspects, all Pakistanis, appeared at the High Criminal Court for the first time yesterday.

Relatives of the victims, journalists and lawyers attended.

The men, who do not speak Arabic, denied the charges when asked by a translator if they were guilty.

They also claimed to have been beaten up, but did not specify who attacked them.

The trial was adjourned until January 30 to appoint lawyers for the suspects, who were not held in custody.

The policemen had earlier been charged by a military court with similar offenses. [GDN – 12 Jan 12]

They will probably claim innocence (wait, they have!) maybe because they didn’t understand the Bloody Bahrainis shouting “I didn’t do it” and “I’m innocent”. Maybe they should’ve bothered to learn Urdo in the first place which could’ve saved their skin. Literally.

Therefore, I humbly propose that our illustrious Ministry of Education should replace Arabic altogether with a curriculum of the beautiful (and life saving) language of Urdu. And the sooner they do that, the better, for all of us.

Woh sev khaa rahein hai woh raat bhar soteh rahein?

Systematic Torture in Bahrain continues with impunity

For those denialists who maintain that the BICI report is nothing but something to paper over the cracks temporarily so that the status quo is not ultimately disturbed, have a look at this. Maybe if you have a few atoms of humanity left in you, it might help you remove that veil off your conscience and see things for what they are:

This incident – amongst hundreds of others currently being meted out to the majority of villages in this country – should be independently investigated and the officers implicated and their masters who are doing nothing to stop this must be made to account for their actions and be punished. The government who oversees this situation should be summarily dismissed of course and with haste. Nothing else would do if that illusive “new page” is to become a reality.

There is not doubt in my mind that torture and inhumane treatment of citizens is systematic in this country. How can trust be re-established if this situation is not correctly addressed? How can the willing to co-exist happen? And having a truth and reconciliation effort with this background is completely ludicrous and inconceivable.

You had the initiative when the BICI report was first released. You slept on it and created unneeded committees ill-advisedly, now we see the value of these actions and delays.

You want unity? Then have the strength and courage to stare people in the eye and enact real reforms that will bring accountability to every single position in government regardless of tribal and familial relationships.

Who’s listening though? It certainly quite evident at this very moment that the blood of those punished citizens simply for demanding their rights does not come into any consideration.

Update 1112171357: Marc Owen Jones has an excellent analysis and shows this event from five different camera angles which leave absolutely no shred of doubt as to what happened:


Update 2: Due to the outcry over this incident, the Ministry of Interior has reported through its Twitter account that it has suspended some officers involved in this incident and mounting an investigation. I demanded in a return tweet that all of those implicated must have their names and ranks be declared in order for them to serve as an example of what not to do to their ranks.

Provisional UNHCR report on Bahrain

unhcr-report-bahrain.jpgKiwi Nomad alluded to the “special” way that the GDN chooses to report the news, especially when the news is somewhat critical of the government. In this case, Geoff Bew seems to have chosen the ‘glass half full’ approach (of maybe his editor did? I don’t know) and printed the effervescent headline “UN report praises Bahrain’s progress” to describe how the UNHRC Advanced Unedited report on Bahrain human rights record classifies the country. While he is technically correct, the report does praise Bahrain for some advances, he neglected to highlight that more than half of the 45 issues raised are negative and urges Bahrain in unequivocal language to clean up its act.

You can download the report and read it yourself, but as far as I am concerned I fully stand by their requirements for change to the better – every single one of them – and I have called for the very issues to be championed and adopted.

I fully believe that should the government take up the task and implement the recommendations, our society as a whole will move inexorably forward to a better future.

I guess this is the golden opportunity for the government to show its probity by implementing the recommendations now, especially as parliament is a bit busy these days.

update 2306: hot on the heals of the UNHCR report, the US State Department released it’s report on Bahrain. Thanks to the BCHR for the heads up.

Is this the 90s all over again?

“Bahrain’s response to allegations of torture against dissidents will show whether it really respects basic human rights,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Bahrain should launch an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into allegations of grave abuses in detention centers.”

Bahrain should investigate allegations that judicial interrogators tortured and in one case sexually assaulted opposition political activists detained after violent protests last month, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch also called on the Bahraini government to allow an independent physician to examine detainees who allege abuse and to discipline or prosecute security officials responsible for abusing detainees.

The abuse allegations center on several opposition political activists who were among dozens arrested following confrontations between protesters and security forces in and around the capital Manama in December 2007. The protests, which began on December 17 to mark abuses by security forces during political unrest in the 1990s, grew after the death of one demonstrator following a clash with security forces. In one subsequent incident, according to authorities, protestors set fire to a police vehicle. Several detainees face a range of charges including illegal possession of weapons allegedly stolen from the vehicle.
HRW – Bahrain: Investigate Alleged Torture of Activists – hat tip: Jaddwilliam

Please God don’t let the 90s happen all over again. We’re through with those troubles in which some paid for with their very lives. They did so in order for Bahrain to arrive at some semblance of democracy and social justice. Yes, I recognise that we are far away from those ideals, but steps have been taken in that direction.

Unfortunately it seems that those steps have faltered. It is time to re-energise the march to a better Bahrain; much as our crown prince has been working toward.

The thing is, it is relatively easy to fix this particular situation: have a clear and decisive political will; ensure a transparent and thorough investigation of the situation ensues; publish the findings however unsavoury and punish transgressors – if warranted – to make them a clear example on how that sort of behaviour is unwelcome in this country.

Free Bashar!

Some very sad news from Kuwait, a neighbouring country which we in Bahrain – and I suspect the whole Gulf – regarded until now as the beacon of democracy with the longest serving parliament in the region. A country where we celebrated their new Press and Publications Law which we again held in high regard and wished that we in Bahrain could just approach the freedoms it contains, a country who we fought for each in his and her own capacity when it was overrun by that criminal Saddam and opened our houses and hearts to our Kuwaiti brothers and sisters, a country which we deeply share our destiny and culture with much more than any other Gulf country. It is therefore very sad to hear of the news that their security forces have not only detained online publishers, but also tortured them simply for having an online presence and are being held to account for an anonymous comment left on their publication they had nothing to do with, and for daring to take pictures of the apprehension.

This is much more than a black day for the freedom of speech in the Gulf as that restriction has come from the doyen of free speech in this area, one that we have held in very high regard, until now.

I ask the Kuwaiti security forces to immediately and unconditionally release our friend Bashar Al-Sayegh and offer reparations to our friend Jassim Al-Qamis.

Shame on you Kuwait.

Free Bashar Al-Sayegh - Kuwait blogger abducted by the secret police in Kuwait

Bashar and Jassim, you have my full support and I know that this incident will never diminish your patriotism and love for your country.

إنشاءالله تعدي بخير

references English: SBGSavior MachineThe KuwaitiQ8 SWSShurooqForzaQ8 • The Stallion
Arabic: Al-AanAl-JareedaAl-OmmahSahat Al-SafatMa6googelkootKuwait Unpluggedbel Kuwaiti Alfasih

Bashar Al-Sayegh released by the State Security police in Kuwait

update 070821@1755: Bashar has been released on his own recognizance by the State Security police. Welcome back Bashar! More on Al-Aan (arabic) and the various websites above.

Campaign launched to bring Henderson to justice

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.

Welcome welcome Mr. Henderson!

Ian Henderson with wife talking Dr. Saeed Al-Shehabi at London Heathrow Airport before departing to Bahrain

Your exalted excellency, you are in excellent company here, sir, do relax and enjoy the festivities in your honour and let whoever asks for reparations with your past be damned. You are – after all – a retired gentleman of 81 and could not be held responsible for bygone eras, surely. The world’s powers – to one of which you belong – have turned a blind eye, and why shouldn’t they, it has become their culture. Generations who will continue to have nightmares for the rest of their lives and those who succeed them be damned. The almighty Pound and Dollar rule supreme.

Welcome welcome your excellency, to the land of milk and honey!