Tag Archives crime

Unneeded Escalation

Unneeded Escalation

I don’t write as often here not because the absence of rich material to blog about, but after so many years of doing so, I feel that I’m now seriously in a “broken record” mode. I feel that I’ve written about so many similar situations over the past ten years and have given the same advice and held on to the same hope that things will change for the better. Soon. Only to be disappointed time and again.

Here’s a clear example. What I warned against has not only become reality, but has all the hallmarks of escalating and actually becoming the norm:

4 Policemen Injured in Home-made Bomb Blast in Bahrain

At least four policemen were injured on Saturday in a bomb attack in a Bahraini Shiite neighborhood, the country’s Interior Ministry said.

It is the third attack targeting policemen in less than a month, according to the ministry.

“Four policemen were injured, one of them was in critical condition, in a terror blast in Bani Jamra,” said the ministry.

Last month, five policemen were injured after a home-made bomb exploded near the Sitra police station ahead of the F1 Grand Prix 2012 in Bahrain.

On April 9, three policemen sustained serious injuries after a bomb made with petrol exploded in East Eker, close to Sitra.

The country also witnessed armed robberies targeting money exchange recently.

At least two cases have been registered as masked gunmen entered money exchange outlets in Riffa and Salmabad and took over 25,000 BD (about 66,300 U.S. dollars).

On April 29, a gym owned by Bahraini MP Osama Al Tamimi came under attack allegedly due to his outspoken criticism against the government. Police then found 30 bullets scattered around the gym, but no one was injured.


Need I say more?

I find it more satisfying and rewarding blogging about gardening instead of this crap.


Hearing the furious beating of the wings of Capital

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Another day, another mindless attack on businesses in Bahrain, this time in Jiddhaffs.

I don’t give a damn what religion, sect, colour or sexual orientation of the criminals who’ve done this and other crimes against businesses. What I do care about is that this, much more than demonstrations and, dare I say it, burning tyres, are the things which scare businessmen and their capital to take flight. Let alone the complete discouragement of foreign direct investment in this country.

The onus is now on the police to actually catch these criminals and bring them to justice, not chase protestors and drown whole villages in tear gas and other assorted chemicals chased by bird shot and other miscellaneous weaponry.

Jiddhaffs robbery

Jiddhaffs robbery

Source: Al-Wasat – 24 April 2012


Why do most armed robberies happen in Riffa?

Why do most armed robberies happen in Riffa?

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Riffa is the seat of power. It is the chosen home of the monarchy. It is one of those areas reserved for the chosen ones and part of the population are barred ownership for some unknown reason. One would be forgiven to think that it should be safe, don’t you think?

But no. Most, if not all armed robberies happen in Riffa!

Here’s the latest iteration. A gun slinger calmly walks into a money exchangers (it being owned by the wrongly beleaguered Jawad Business Group might, might, be a coincidence) points the gun at the cashier and demands (calmly) money, then some more, walks backwards and walks away with BD5,000 (about US$13,260) for his trouble. And all in the full view of security cameras recording all of his moves, his clothes and other identifying details. So it should be easy for the police to nab him, right? Especially if you consider their alacrity in catching de uddar crims.

But will this criminal ever be caught do you think?

Highly unlikely.

Bahrain has certainly become a haven for them, and only those who are actually law abiding, or demanding of their rights, live in perpetual fear.

Criminals? They have nothing to be concerned about.


Castration is not enough for some…

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I just couldn’t believe how people can descend to these kind of depths:

إرجاء قضية المتهم بالاعتداء على عرض ابنته القاصر

أرجأت المحكمة الكبرى الجنائية قضية بحريني متهم بالاعتداء على عرض ابنته القاصر والبالغة 13 عاماً حتى 21 سبتمبر/ أيلول.
وكانت زوجة المتهم تقدمت ببلاغ ضد زوجها بأنه اعتدى على عرض ابنتهما جنسيّاً، في حين أكدت المجني عليها (13 عاماً) أنها ومنذ شهر كان والدها يتصل بها عندما يكون في العمل مساءً وطلب منها ذات يوم عدم مناداته بـ»بابا» بل مناداته بـ «حبيبي»، كما كان يطلب منها النوم معها في غرفتها، إلا أنها لم تكن تعرف قصد والدها، وكان والدها قد تمادى في اتصالاته فطلبت منه التوقف عن مضايقتها، وأمر قاضي تجديد الحبس حبس أب لمدة 45 يوماً بعدما تم توجيه تهمة الاعتداء على عرض ابنته القاصر (13 عاماً).
وفي أحد الأيام كانت تستحم فتفاجأت بدخول والدها عليها وهي عارية وقام بتصويرها في دورة المياه، وفي اليوم التالي قام بالدخول عليها في غرفة نومها وحاول خلع بنطالها، إلا أنها منعته، وفي أحد الأيام أعاد كرته وتمكن من فتح بنطالها وقام بتحسس أماكن العفة في جسدها، كما كان يقوم بحضنها بطريقة غريبة عند مشاهدتها.
وأضافت المجني عليها أن والدها كان يهددها بإخبار والدتها ويهددها بالضرب، كما قام والدها بتصويرها وهي عارية بعدما قام برفع قميصها عند نومها.
ولفتت المجني عليها إلى أن والدها كان يعرض عليها ممارسة الجنس، وفي أحد الأيام قام بوضع قناة إباحية لها وقت جلوسها في صالة المنزل، كما قام بنزع قميصه أمامها.
وأفادت المجني عليها بأنها كانت تمنعه وتغضب على والدها الذي لم يكترث وعندما شعرت بتمادي والدها قامت بإبلاغ والدتها التي تقدمت ببلاغ إلى مركز الشرطة.

صحيفة الوسط البحرينية – العدد 2875 – الأربعاء 21 يوليو 2010Ù… الموافق 08 شعبان 1431Ù‡

My translation:

The High Criminal Court deferred the case of a Bahraini man accused of assaulting his 13-year-old daughter to 21 September.

The accused’s wife filed a complaint against her husband as he attacked their daughter sexually, while the 13-year-old victim confirmed that a month before the complaint, her father kept telephoning her during his night shift and asked her not to call him “dad” but “lover”, and asked to sleep in her room. Something that she did not understand initially due to her innocence. The father persisted in his telephone calls which prompted the child to ask him to cease harassment, the judge ordered the renewal of solitary confinement father for 45 days after he was charged with assault to the daughter’s honour.

The girl was shocked one day by him barging into the bathroom and filming her while she was showering. This incident was followed up the next day by him entering her room and attempting to remove her clothes but she resisted. He again attempted to remove her clothes on another day and was successful in touching her private parts. He had also hugged her inappropriately on several occasions.

The victim stated that her father threatened to tell her mother and to also beat her. He had photographed her naked during her sleep by lifting her dress.

The father offered to have sex with the victim and that he exhibited a pornographic film to her when she was in the hall at home and had removed his clothes in front of her.

The girl continuously fought off her father’s advances and got angry with him on several occasions, but he was not deterred, which finally prompted her to tell her mother about the incidents who in turn lodged a complaint at the police station.

Al-Wasat 21 July, 2010

I don’t particularly care about the so called “father” and I hope he rots in jail. But knowing how the system works here, he’ll be walking free to assault and harass others in a very short time indeed. What I do care about is the daughter who should immediately be removed from that “home” and put in care.

This is not the first, and sadly won’t be the last of these kind of cases. All the local papers carry such news on a daily basis and the trend is increasing. I’m not sure if they’re just reporting these now as opposed to the past, but at least if we know of such cases, then we can – hopefully – be intelligent enough to seek workable solutions. It’s quite evident that the frequency and repetitive nature of these crimes – especially against minors – that the solutions in place now are completely impotent and need a substantial overhaul.

The government should have a task force in place with enough power to intervene and rescue children from predators. They should also have the power to remove affected children from such homes and put them in care, at least until the situation is fully investigated and the justice system has had its say. Carrying on as we are will just continue to exasperate the situation and allow monsters to walk amongst us with impunity.

As to the pedophiles and sex predators, I think that castration is really too good for them, though I’d settle for chopping their danglies off, I think putting them in prison and throwing away the key – literally – is probably the most appropriate way to go, with no recourse ever be given to them to get away with their crimes by marrying the poor person they’ve attacked, or even if the family or the victim drop the case against them, then a criminal prosecution must be allowed to go ahead in the interest of the public.


Wefaq’s blood money

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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.


Blinkered Horizons

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The contrast of the romantic drippings of the apparently hugely popular dubbed Turkish soap Gümüs and the criminal bombings in that country yesterday as well as those in Iraq and India which left over 100 dead and many more injured, cannot be brought more into focus than the exclusive and vociferous condemnation of the television serial by the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia – its highest religious authority:

Stars of Turkish soap irritate Saudi religious authorities
Stars of Turkish soap irritate Saudi religious authorities

“It is not permitted to look at these serials or watch them. They contain so much evil; they destroy people’s ethics and are against our values,” said the mufti during the closing ceremony of a forum, which took place in Riyadh on Friday. He added that these “malicious” Turkish soap operas corrupt individuals and spread vice in society.

Yet we heard not even a shy beep of objection by the same respected gentleman against the cowardly and criminal bombing acts perpetrated by his own co-religionists against other human beings. To him and his ilk, it seems that a little romance is much more devastating than bombs which rip people to shreds.

“Any TV station that airs them is against God and His Messenger (peace be upon him). These are serials of immorality. They are prepared by people who are specialists in crime and error, people who invite men and women to the devil.” – ed: my emphasis

Someone should remind the gentleman to reset his priorities, don’t you think? While he would probably not hesitate an instant to call those perpetrators of terror across the world as “martyrs” in the full knowledge of their heinous crimes simply because they call themselves Muslims and belong to his clique, he wantonly discards a whole television station and its millions of viewers from God’s mercy.

I wonder if someone reminded the gentleman of the fact that the owners of said offending station are actually his employers, would he change his mind and be the first to plaster himself in front of his own silver screen in anticipation of more syrupy words of love from the effervescent Mohanned imparted to the luscious Noor?


Criminal turns philanthropist thrills victims families

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Stephanie Grady must be really thrilled to know that the person implicated with the death of her husband, together with 57 other poor souls in the biggest sea disaster in Bahrain’s modern times, has not only not served a single day of his 10 year conviction in prison but a few in a health spa hospital due to his failing health, but has now turned to protecting the environment by adding to his burgeoning multi-faceted business ventures yet another enterprise to run vehicles on the much more environmentally and pocket friendly liquid gas. Stephanie should know that this process is actually proven – according to Mr. Al-Kobaisi – to be 2.5 times cheaper than the petrol it replaces, especially that he promises to convert cars to this new process within just 24 hours of receipt of enlightened owners vehicles.

Abdulla Al-Kobaisi
Abdulla Al-Kobaisi
Stephanie should also be over-the-moon to note that Mr. Al-Kobaisi’s lawyer is now in India wrapping up handing out compensations to victims and that her turn should come to the top of the queue very soon now. A fact that should lessen the sadness and grief that the demise of her husband due to Mr. Al-Kobaisi’s gross criminal negligence and allow her at long last to continue on with her young life. It should come as no surprise to me at all should I ever come to know that Ms. Grady, being such a forgiving soul like the rest of decent humanity, is really at peace with the criminal who killed her husband is recovering from “his serious illness” and has now been released in the last few months from his spa hospital bed and is now fully in control of his businesses, as in that realisation, he continues to ensure that hundreds of low wage workers can continue to send alms back to their estranged families a fact that makes their economies run rather smoothly.

So you see Stephanie, your dear husband’s life, may Allah rest his soul with all those others who died on that fateful trip, has not perished needlessly.


Collective punishments

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There are a few things that suggest that our society is in a desperate state. The indicators are probably best exemplified by the exclusionary standards our parliamentarians and their electorate take. Both are quick to condemn whole peoples, nations and even civilizations due to isolated incidents without taking one second to reflect on our own shortcomings and our non-exclusive ownership of basic human values.

Some might attribute this collective psyche as a result of the insular lifestyle attributed to island communities, but the irony is that people of these islands until very recently were an awful lot more tolerant and receptive to other cultures than its current breed is.

What happened? Why is it that the more open to the world they get the more insecure they become? What could explain this other than in terms of a severe inferiority complex?

If you talk to Bahrainis fortunate enough to have lived in the 70s and before, they will categorically tell you that they have never experienced anything like this, they will confirm that they didn’t give their neighbour’s race or religion much importance. They will further tell you that they habitually interacted with each other in various ways; they visited, conducted business and even fought the British occupation together by forming and maintaining a cohesive multi-cultural front that crossed confessional divides. The common denominator was their Bahraininess which surpassed every other consideration. They celebrated their differences, rather than diligently work at finding the chinks to exploit in each others’ armor.

The stark contrast between that era and now could not be more evident. What we now have is an acutely insular society with impenetrable walls propped up by suspicion and hatred of the other. This “us and them” atmosphere is condoned by the government – regardless of how many denials we hear from their higher echelons – evidenced by the selective employment policies, the conditional awards of constitutionally guaranteed citizen benefits and the disparity in economic circumstance.

It has unfortunately become our way of life. So much is this in evidence, it is no wonder to witness the parliamentarians’ reactions; whether it be the condoning of the use of chemical weapons against their own society simply because in the current state of affairs demonstrations are mounted by the opposing sect, or their continued theft of their electorate’s personal freedoms or even their demand to expel and ban whole countries’ nationals due to the isolated incidences of the few.

We are all shocked and saddened by the unfortunate and violent recent demise of Mr. Dossary, as we are of Mr. Abbas Alshakhoori and the others who have fallen victims of unusual circumstances, but those incidents, painful as they are, hardly illicit the demand for the application of the collective punishment demanded by a major political society. Identify and punish the criminals by all means and make examples of them by fairly and fully applying the law, but those incidents should never be allowed to colour our psyche to the extent that we allow our own elected representatives to exercise their myopic beliefs without even a smidgeon of objection. And it is even worse when the government itself acts in such an unwarranted and unstudied kneejerk reaction as to impose such a ban on its own recognizance without any regard for its international obligations or even basic diplomacy.

Let us remind them that their role is to ameliorate differences and protect the national unity, and not diligently and wantonly work at exacerbating them. The demand to expel and ban Bangladeshis because of the unfortunate result of a single person’s moment of anger is tantamount to our agreement to the entrenchment and even encoding xenophobia as our main Bahraini trait.


“It was just a bump” they claimed

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With 15 people still in custody for allegedly torching a police car and stealing a weapon, there were several claims of the accused being subjected to harsh treatment including beatings. Their lawyer demanded that they immediately be submitted to medical examination to ascertain the reality of the situation, the Ministry of Interior refused initially, but under mounting pressure, ultimately agreed but only after about a month had passed after the initial allegations surfaced. They also required that the assigned doctors were government appointed. They refused – point blank – any doctor proposed by human rights societies.

Stop police brutalityUnfortunately for the Ministry of Interior, the doctors’ reports submitted to court yesterday unequivocally showed that some of the accused were in fact subjected to beatings and mistreatment.

“Not so!” the Ministry cried out, and demanded that the examining doctors should be brought in for cross examination.

Let me re-iterate my position once again: if an independent investigation and trial clearly shows that the accused did torch the police car and stole the gun and ammunition then they should be thrown in prison to serve whatever the court decides as a fit punishment for them.

However, that does not, ever, excuse the Ministry of Interior’s personnel for beating them or subjecting them to any form of mistreatment. They should have abided by normal and decent human rights codes by at least not forcibly extracting false confessions – sorry, there is no other explanation for using such barbaric methods.

Therefore, and regardless of their crime, this is a clear technical infringement on the accused’s rights and hence should immediately be released. The people who did the beatings should be thrown in jail instead.

This incident brings to mind a joke a friend of mine related to me recently, it deals with how Arab police – stereotypically – go about their business:

    On a police course conducted by an international police training institute, three Arab policemen trainees where told to go into the woods and catch a rabbit as part of survival skills development.

    Off the trainees went to pursue their task, but the instructors got worried when several hours later their charges still did not report back. Going a short distance into the woods, they heard some shouts and thumps. Quickening their pace, they came upon a clearing with the three trainees surrounding something lying on the ground which was moaning with pain.

    Alarmed at the situation, the trainers stealthily approached the scene furtively to try to discover what was going on, when all of a sudden, and amongst much mirth and laughter by their charges, they noticed that two of the trainees where holding down a bloodied and nearly dead dear while the third was kicking the shit out of it and shouting:

    “confess that you are a rabbit, you bastard, CONFESS!”

Does that sound familiar? If there are no respect for human rights by the organ which should most apply them, there is absolutely no hope for justice.

This has brought shame, again, on the whole country and everybody in it. The accused have had their rights flouted and as such, no case should be brought against them, even if they are proven guilty.

The people who should be punished are those who beat them and infringed upon their charges’ basic human rights.


“Gulf Idol” lands in jail!

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If you’re a Muslim, you know how sensitive Muslims are about their religion. Heck, wars are still being waged for what some might regard as frivolous excuses. So going on a stunt like the following demonstrates either the stupidity of the person in question, or maybe that alcohol is really not good for you as it impairs one’s judgement.

3 أشهر لخليجي غنى في مكبر صوت مسجد

أدانت المحكمة الصغرى الجنائية الخامسة برئاسة القاضي علي الكعبي وأمانة سر محمد مكي أمس (الاثنين) بحبس متهم خليجي 3 أشهر بتهمة تعد بإحدى الطرق العلانية على الدين الإسلامي بأن دخل مسجداً بحذائه والسيجارة بيده، وقام بالغناء. وتعود تفاصيل القضية إلى أن المتهم قام بالغناء داخل مسجد جسر الملك فهد وهو مرتد حذاءه والسيجارة في يده، وعند سماع رجال الأمن صوت غناء يصدر من مكبر صوت المسجد قاموا بالقبض عليه.

The Lower Criminal Court yesterday (Monday) sentenced a Gulf national to three months in jail after entering the King Fahad Causeway mosque without removing his shoes and while smoking a cigarette. He also proceeded to sing a song through the mosque’s pubic address system. The court charged him with denigrating the Islamic religion in a public way. Causeway police arrested the gentleman when they heard his singing on the mosque’s loudspeakers.
Al-Wasat – 15 Apr 2008

What a twerp! The fool should be thankful for being caught and sentenced in Bahrain. Had that been a few meters away – literally – he would have gotten a lot more than he bargained for. Head chopping wouldn’t be too severe I should think.

Unfortunately the news piece did not carry any information about the song being sung. Has anyone any idea what it might be?