Wefaq’s blood money

Posted on

There have been two recent incidents in which two people died, both Pakistani expatriates and both during riots which have gripped the country late last year; the first was an on-duty undercover policeman whose murder is debatable due to circumstantial evidence, while the other was a deliberate killing by rioting men who threw a Molotov cocktail on the gentleman’s pick-up truck directly causing his death.

Of the 178 people apprehended for various acts classified from vandalism through to murder and the now ubiquitous charge of terrorism, 26 people (as far as I can gather) were imprisoned and facing trial for the murders. The larger batch of whom were implicated in the first case.

The king, bless him, pardoned them all and dropped the civil liability component of the crimes after Shi’a clerics visited him and begged for their release. The Public Prosecutor; however, refused to let those implicated in the murders go, citing the royal pardon drops civil liabilities but personal liability (if that’s the correct term) still stands due to the deceased families’ demanding retribution and compensation – or blood money.

Here steps in Al-Wefaq Democratic Society as the proverbial knights in shining armour. Not only to continue to exert pressure for their release, but also offering to shoulder the payment of blood money to secure the release:

سلمان: الوفاق مستعدة لدفع الدية عن متهمي كرزكان والمعامير

قال الأمين العام لجمعية الوفاق النائب علي سلمان إن ”الجهات الرسمية غيّرت موقفها بخصوص الإفراج عن المتهمين في قضيتي كرزكان والمعامير”ØŒ لافتا إلى أنه ”كان قد تم التوصل إلى تسوية مع أهالي الفقيدين ماجد أصغر وشيخ رياض، ولم يبقَ سوى الإفراج عن المتهمين بعد التسوية مباشرة، وفق ما أكدت الجهات الرسمية”. حسب قوله.

Salman: Al-Wefaq is ready to pay blood money on behalf of the Karzakan and Ma’ameer accused

The General Secretary of Al-Wefaq Society MP Ali Salman said: “the official parties have changed their position regarding the release of the accused in the Karazakan and Ma’ameer cases,” noting that “a settlement has been reached with the families of the deceased Majed Asghar and Shaikh Riyadh and what was left was only the release of the accused after direct payment, as has been confirmed by official channels.”
Al-Waqt – 7 June, ’09

I fail to understand why a political society should get involved in this. Do they have no other business pending in Parliament? Or must they (and I mean all politicians and their societies in this country) interfere in everything that is happening, good or bad?

It is quite evident that politicians here willingly fail to demarcate their functions; hence, their continuous interference in everything from municipal affairs, to the way private companies are managed, to setting cultural and entertainment agendas, to deciding what is morally acceptable, to imposing religious views and just about anything else in between. Anything, that is, except legislation, which should be their exclusive function.

Should we be surprised at this latest misguided “do gooder” episode by Al-Wefaq?

I would say not. This sets yet another unneeded precedent, the ramifications of which escapes them, I am sure.

At worst, this encourages more violent confrontation. People will feel that whoever they swear allegiance to will extricate them from whatever trouble their wreak, even murder. At best, it denotes the culpability of Al-Wefaq in these murders.

Political societies should think hard about what their real functions are. Paramount of which is the defence of the separation of the branches of government. They most definitely should not get involved nor interfere with the judicial system no matter how bad that is perceived to be. What they should do; however, is ensure that legislation is passed to ensure the judicial system’s impartiality and fairness. They should exert more effort in clearing their stacked desks from pending legislation while keeping the best interest of their voters at the forefront of their minds by ensuring that laws passed are fair, do not impinge on human rights, do not restrict personal freedoms and do not counter international agreements already subscribed to.

Unfortunately what we currently have is the diametric opposite.

There is only one more session for this lame parliament before we have to vote for the third time in this country. I just hope that come Autumn 2010, people will heed lessons learnt and take the courageous steps to vote for what is best for our country and its people, all of its people, rather than continue to prep up myopic, fully sectarian and manipulatable imbeciles.

I salute our Kuwaiti friends who chose liberals who will serve their country a lot better going into the future, in place of religious zealots whose only concern is the interference in people’s private lives.

Hopefully in 2010 we too will willingly tread that road.

  • Mike P
    7 June 2009

    In all honesty, I think this particular case just highlights how flawed Bahrain’s judicial system is.

    It’s hard for anyone to take the courts seriously when it lacks much needed impartiality.

    Contrary to the official spin, our judicial system is not independent of Government. The very fact that everyone from the Minister of Justice right down to court judges and medical coroners are appointed by the “powers that be” simply reaffirms this.

    How can you put people on trial for the most serious of crimes without having an independent jury?!

    • mahmood
      7 June 2009

      Indeed it does. As are the Constitution and the Parliamentary Bylaws. They’re all locked tight against change, but not tight enough, cracks have been identified and should be worked on to address some changes, rather than try – as they currently are trying before the end of their term – to completely Islamacise the country by changing the Constitution from Islam being “a” source of legislation to “the” source of legislation.

      Change, of course is not parliament’s exclusive domain. With popular demand, no law can find legitimacy as rightly suggested by Dr Abdulhadi Khalaf in his latest article. We need to find ways to properly exert pressure through various peaceful means to change our situation.

      The most important change which must be achieved – as you alluded to – are the reform of the judiciary and the separation of the branches of government. These are the tasks that Al-Wefaq should concern itself with. A task that is sorely neglected by them as well as the others in parliament. They should be reminded of that task through the ballot box the next time around.

  • ihath
    9 June 2009

    Hey Mahmood;

    I like the new look of your website. What software are you using to build it?

    • mahmood
      9 June 2009

      Hi ihath! Hope all if well with you.

      I use WordPress for the engine and a heavily customised professional theme (based on Revolution Pro) for the display.

Euphorbia Milli Hybrid – yet another kind!