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.


  1. No Need

    “march to a better Bahrain; much as our crown prince has been working toward”

    The only thing our crown prince is working toward is claiming more land. Wake up or you’re setting yourself for another disappointment.

  2. Capt. Arab

    If true then setting an example is definitely the way forward to warn future abusers that such behavior is not tolerated.
    The same goes for violet demonstrations, education begins at home like they say. People should raise their concerns through the Municipality Official, MP’s, via Parliament, newspapers, etc.. isn’t that the whole idea of democracy, rather than each of us attempting to fight our own individual battles.
    Or, is it that some just missed out on the action that happened in the 90’s, where everybody lost. In war there are no winners, everybody is a loser.

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