Tag Archives crime

No way, not in Bahrain!

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There is a huge part of me that refuses to believe that we – Bahrainis – are capable of doing what we see on the television news every day; the violence, the killing, the kidnapping, the vicious crime, the beatings, the terrorism, all of these things I would like to believe that they are completely alien to us. We are after all a small nation of under a million people living in a country the size of a small city in the larger world.

Everyone knows each other. If you believe in the six degrees of separation, then Bahrain the factor is really just one degree. If you don’t know a person, then you most probably will know his kin, or a member of your family or a friend is bound to know the person, so the network is really really small. Bahrain is in fact more like a large family.

This closeness gives us a huge comfort zone. You will never hesitate to stop and give an unfortunate person a hand. You see an accident in front of you and suddenly tens of people immediately park and try to help, genuinely. And in most cases – this is from personal experience and it has happened to me several times – you will find that you will know the persons involved or know a member of their family. This is part of what makes Bahrain truly great. I will never – ever – leave this place. It might be just a sand pit in some people’s minds, but it is MY sand pit and I love it.

That’s why it really hurts me to be informed of vicious and seemingly unprovoked and calculated attacks which result in this:

police brutality against abdali abbas?

Meet Mr. Abbas Abdali of al-Ekr village in the island of Sitra. He was driving home at an early hour of the morning when he got stopped by unmarked (and dis-plated vehicles) and viciously attacked by masked men. He was left torn, bleeding and unconscious on the pavement for 3 hours before a migrant worker happened to be by and shook him awake. Abbas just had enough energy to drive the short distance home for his wife to immediately take him to the Bahrain Defence Forces hospital to get attended to. He ended up with a list of stitches to various places in his body, particularly his head. According to Abbas, he was surrounded, beaten and kicked by more than 7 persons who came out of unmarked Range Rover vehicles, the men were masked and some of whom wearing the traditional Arab dress.

Why? What possible reason could have warranted this vicious attack?

The circumstantial evidence (until the police investigate and transparently produce a report – which realistically will never happen) is that he happens to be the elder brother of the Unemployment Committee head, who happens to reside in prison at the moment due to his involvement in the “Dana Mall Riots” as that case came to be known, he himself was attacked and sexually assaulted in the very spot that Abbas came to this trouble.

Conspiracy? I don’t know. I certainly am very sceptical when it comes to conspiracy theories, I just find them far too fantastic that only simpletons actually ultimately believe. But the circumstances of this case just does not compute.

Regardless, that does not interest me. What interests me is that this is not my Bahrain. No, I am not being an ultra-romantic, but this is so alien to us as it raises so many questions which we – as a society – demand an answer for. The police must open a full and thorough enquiry and punish all those responsible, regardless of how high they are within the society and if it becomes known that these criminals are even remotely associated with the security apparatus, they should be doubly punished.

Incidents like these are despicable, and it is these incidents – not the Islamists and their shenanigans, not the whores, not the discos, not the drugs and not the booze which destroy our beloved country’s reputation and world standing.

Something must be done about this. Please. For the sake of Bahrain.

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How to raise good children

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In order to raise good children, you must teach them right from wrong, and if they stray off the correct path, you have got to discipline them of course. But disciplinary actions obviously differ and should be proportionate. Discipline of course does not have to be physical; time-outs, going to bed earlier than usual, reducing allowances, etc are all valid measures.

But I wonder what prompted someone attacking a child with this brutality? Who is this savage criminal who beat this 6 year old child like this? And what was the crime that prompted this kind of beating?

Nihad Afroun battered and bruised because she walked across a prayer mat

The Crime: Daring to walk on Moustafa Lazrak’s prayer mat while he was praying!

How dare she? Couldn’t this so called child see a man in total devotion? In supplication to his God? Shame on her and on her family for not raising her right, and she deserved what she got!

Yeah sure…

I’m not sure how someone who is this criminal and this savage can even come close to associating himself to a religion of peace and tolerance!

Although I abhor violence, I find that I cannot stop my self from shaking with anger that if I was put in front of this motherless moron I would gladly beat him to a pulp. But as that chance is too far fetched, I do hope that his fellow clergy would not hesitate at throwing him out of their commune and make his expulsion a clear indication that they will not allow nor will they condone behaviour such as this from who should be leaders of their communities.

The state too should level the severest punishment under law against this animal and make sure that he never again be put in charge of, or be allowed near, children.

I hope this Moustafa Lazrak rots in hell.

Via the Sandmonkey

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What does violence get you?

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Burnt police car by demonstrators in Bahrain
Whoever did this should receive the maximum punishment permissible by law. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to continue to burn tyres, rubbish bins and most certainly there is not one single reason in the world to throw Molotov cocktails at police cars. This is a criminal act, regardless of political motives.

The country has been suffering from a small band of criminals especially on the Budaiya highway and Sanabis going on rampages almost every night. Every road in the area carries the pockmarks of burnt tyres. Innocent people in villages were suffocated by the burning tyres smoke and then tear-gas lobbed at these pricks by the police to try to control a situation.

There are 30 or so people apprehended, some received jail sentences and others are awaiting their fate in the next few days: the first lot demonstrated at the airport, the second and third and probably fourth lots were “demonstrating” to demand the release of those originally, and then subsequently imprisoned. And pray how are they “demonstrating”? Why by resorting to violence, burning things, stopping people from enjoying their evenings or going shopping and then this, burning police cars.

There is no doubt in my mind – taking the coordinated nature of these riots – that they are all coordinated, and some ass hat is “directing” these morons on where, when and how to demonstrate.

Well, I don’t have any sympathy for them and hope they rot in jail for all I care. To hell with them. If quite a number of community leaders have beseeched them to demonstrate peacefully and they didn’t heed the advice… well, let them live with the consequences of their actions. For a very long time.

So we have Salafis supporting bin Laden and being ultra-sectarian against the Shi’a, and we’ve got these twits who are most probably Shi’a on the other side burning and “revolting” against the government. The rest of the people of this country which (I hope) constitute the vast majority who are against both these extremes are caught in the middle, and nothing will release us unless we ALL stand against both of these extremists.

Violence is not the way forward. Especially at this critical juncture of our history.

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A present to Ali Matter and his lot

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Shaikh Ali MattarLash and Mask KitYes, ladies and gentlemen, this is a special lash and mask kit I would like to present to our dear member of parliament Ali Mattar who suggested the very valid and totally workable solution to penalise errant journalists… WHIP THEIR ASS!

And of course Mattar is going to wear that mask while he’s doling out the lashings punishment (arabic).

Mattar of course backtracked on his brainfart and justified it by saying that he was just joking! Well, I never thought that this guy and the whole herd he belongs to have any sense of humour whatsoever. But I am obviously wrong so I fully and humbly and unambiguously apologise for my temerity.

At a time when he and his compatriots in this parliament should fight tooth and nail to increase civil rights, what we get is the continuous attempts by them to restrict them. When we look to them to develop the penal law and establish true correctional facilities, we get them proposing amputating limbs and chopping off heads to combat crime, when we want to encourage tourism, they blindly and willingly categorise any concert as satanist and entice simpletons to riot to force a closure of a concert, and the list goes on…

brainfart!A joke? Not by a long shot.

It is their secret wish to change this country into an Islamist Wahabi extremist state living more than 1,400 years in the past.

It is their secret wish to encourage and applaud suicide bombers and see innocent blood flow in the streets of Bahrain.

It is their secret wish to want to kill anyone who simply opposes their twisted and moronic thoughts and beliefs, using their brand of Islam as justification.

But they are no secrets at all! They have come out and declared all of these factors in the very parliament we voted for in 2002!

The only time we will see a smile on their mugs is when they achieve their version of Bahrainistan, only then will they be happy:

Taliban Afghani religious policeman lashing someone who is not in the mosque during prayer time.

Are we to continue to stand around and let these brain-dead jokers control our lives? Are these the kind of people we really want to get into parliament again?

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ATM warning

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I got this from the UAE Community Blog, please be careful using ATMs, I know there was a case a few weeks ago in Bahrain where two Bulgarians were apprehended supposedly for mounting such a crime, but there was no follow-up in the local press about them (I can’t recall a follow-up). This article is lifted from the UAE Community Blog for your reference:

A team of organized criminals are installing equipment on legitimate bank ATM’s in at least 2 regions to steal both the ATM card number and the PIN. The team sits nearby in a car receiving the information transmitted wirelessly over weekends and evenings from equipment they install on the front of the ATM (see photos). If you see an attachment like this, do not use the ATM and report it immediately to the bank using the phone on the front of the ATM.

The equipment used to capture your ATM card number and PIN are cleverly disguised to look like normal ATM equipment. A “skimmer” is mounted to the front of the normal ATM card slot that reads the ATM card number and transmits it to the criminals sitting in a nearby car.

At the same time, a wireless camera is disguised to look like a leaflet holder and is mounted in a position to view ATM PIN entries.

The thieves copy the cards and use the PIN numbers to withdraw thousands from many accounts in a very short time directly from the bank ATM.

Equipment being installed on front of existing bank card slot.
ATM cards and PIN thefts 1

The equipment as it appears installed over the normal ATM bank slot.
ATM cards and PIN thefts 2

The PIN reading camera being installed on the ATM is housed in an innocent looking leaflet enclosure.
ATM cards and PIN thefts 3

The camera shown installed and ready to capture PIN’s by looking down on the keypad as you enter your PIN
ATM cards and PIN thefts 4

Be careful and spread the message!

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YES! The law seems to be working…

Al-Dana AdI was so glad to read in the papers this morning that the owner of the fateful Al-Dana dhow has been remanded in custody for 7 days by the public prosecutor and that he is facing manslaughter charges that if convicted will land him in prison for 5 years.

This is not an attack on Abdulla Al-Kobaisi’s person nor do I wish him ill; however, he completely flouted the most basic rules of safety in order to make a quick buck. His punishment, if and when it happens should be a good reminder to all of us in business that we have responsibilities to the safety of our employees and customers much more than just making money out of them. Providing a safe and secure work environment must be paramount and we shouldn’t just cut corners in order to make more money, or make it quicker because experience tells us time and again that only leads to disaster, much like Al-Dana catastrophe.

The government, which is in place to regulate and over-see business, if fully responsible as well and should not be left alone. Government officials – no matter who they are and what their position is – should be brought to book and they too must be made example of in order to ensure that the system works in a much more transparent way in the future. In order for this investigation to produce results, it must be independent and it also must be transparent, having the Minister of Interior to head it – with all due respect to him personally – is not a transparent thing to do, as I hold him too responsible for the failure of his ministry under which the Coast Guard is and who are implicated for not doing their job in ensuring that a vessel like Al-Dana should never have sailed.

This disaster also brings to the fore the disparate nature of the government and the complete failure in its procedures and communication systems: how can the Ministry of Commerce & Industry issue a commercial registration without ensuring that all other requirements have been satisfied? How can the Coast Guard not have objected to the instability of the boat’s structure and how can they not have seen this death-trap sail when it launches directly opposite their own main base?

How can an ex-sea-captain who is now in a position of an Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information which oversees tourism activities blatantly inaugurate this dhow and sail in it without raising an objection as to its suitability for the purpose? Or was his captaincy certification bought and paid for, rather than earned? In retrospect his qualifications serve no better purpose than toilet-paper, leave alone the fact that he has been taken from a position in the ports authority and planted in the Ministry of Information. What’s the correlation between the two jobs?

That brings another huge question to the surface and that is the suitability of the person for the job in government organisations which this amply demonstrates, unfortunately with the death of 58 innocent people, and the destitution of probably as many families.

As to the rescue efforts, thank goodness that it happened where it did, just off the US Navy base, who engaged in the rescue efforts within minutes of the incident, unlike the local services who allegedly only arrived on-site at least 30 minutes after the incident, and then added to the confusion rather than engaged in saving lives.

Why is this? Do we not have a national emergency plan? Don’t we have a national disaster response centre? Isn’t there a joint disaster committee between all relevant government ministries like Health, Interior and Defence? Weren’t these things supposed to have been already in place after the Gulf Air disaster?

Of course they are supposed to be in place, but practically the Coast Guard is more concerned with the arts of fishing, the fire department is more concerned with the art of watching a building burn to the ground before arriving at the scene (let alone unrolling those hoses) and rescuing cats trapped in trees, the police are more concerned with beating demonstrators, the defence forces are more concerned with lazing around and each and every one of them having at least one extra job for the afternoons and sleeping at the various bases during those loooong mornings, and of course the traffic cops… well, looking cool in those shades and clearing streets only for dignitaries to pass through unhindered, while letting ambulances flounder in traffic jams created especially by those fantastic brainiacs at the “road planning” department or whatever they call it.

What planning exactly does it take to move congestion points from one location to another a few hundred meters down the road and creating a situation ten times worse than it has been before? Is it called planning when it takes over 30 minutes to travel a couple of kilometres? Can you imagine the number of people who die before receiving aid due to this kind of congestion scene which is endemic in Bahrain?

Well, on that particular night the count is 58. Thanks to the “efforts” of the various government departments.

What do you do with a government that moves from one huge failure to another? What do you do with one that is old, tired and riddled with corruption? What do you do with one that repeatedly values who one knows rather than how much knowledge and creativity a person can bring to a job?

I know that if I was in charge, I would humbly resign and offer an unreserved apology for my continuous failures.

But that’s just me.

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MPs want Islamic law to curb crime

A Bahraini MP yesterday called for the gradual introduction of Sharia (Islamic) law to deal with all criminals. Another claimed that thieves should have their hands chopped off because “God ordered us to do so”.

However, one described the punishment as unfair if adulterers are not stoned.

The comments were made in parliament yesterday as MPs discussed amendments to the country’s Penal Code.

Fourteen MPs, led by Shaikh Mattar, have submitted a proposal to chop off the hands of people caught stealing, as well as send them to prison.

They are pushing for the punishment to be included in criminal law, despite objections from other MPs who say it is a matter for Islamic scholars to decide.

Shaikh Mattar first proposed the introduction of Islamic law last month, but says he wants to start with thieves first.
Click to read more of this drivel…

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Ship Disaster

`Rescue workers bring a body ashore in Manama after a passenger boat sank off the coast of Bahrain in the Gulf, March 30, 2006
Rescue workers bring a body ashore in Manama after a passenger boat sank off the coast of Bahrain in the Gulf, March 30, 2006

MANAMA (Reuters) – At least 57 people drowned when a tourist boat carrying more than 130 people on a dinner cruise sank off Bahrain, a coastguard official said on Friday.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry told Al Jazeera television that 67 survivors had been found. Rescue operations were underway to search for more survivors of Thursday’s sinking of the vessel carrying Asians, Arabs and Europeans.

“There are a large number of those who died who were not carrying identification so it’s hard to determine who they were and where they come from,” the spokesman, Colonel Tarek al-Hassan, said.
Reuters

My heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who needlessly lost their lives or were injured in this incident, and fervently hope that government agencies in charge of regulating the tourism, safety and security industries put in sterner laws to protect visitors and residents alike, and mount an honest and transparent investigation of this disaster in order to learn from it and save future lives.

People who were directly responsible for flouting safety laws should be punished, and this business should undergo an immediate investigation into their operation, training and certification of their staff and their safety measures.

May they all rest in peace.

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Mohammed Khalid appreciates good shit

MP Mohammed Khalid displayed his cache of drugs while questioning the Interior Minister in yesterday’s parliamentary session.

MP Mohammed Khalid displays his cache of drugs

I guess he wants to display the ease with which one can get drugs in Bahrain. That’s fine, and its common knowledge, but bringing his cache to parliament (a joint and some pills) and accuses the coast guard of not knowing the difference between milk powder wheat flour and cocaine (as if he does.. but wait, maybe he does!) is a bit much.

What’s next? Bringing slaughtered carcasses of sheep and goats into the parliamentary sessions to make a point?

Mohammed Khalid should most definitely smoke that joint (or is that a pill?) he’s holding aloft, God knows he needs to chill more than anyone else!
ref: Al-Wasat :: 15 Mar ’06A

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Phase 2?

Al-Askaris' Shrine cleanup operation has begun

A couple of days ago, an important and sacred shi’a mosque was destroyed reportedly by Wahabis or their sympathisers. Yesterday, another group again reported to be Wahabis attacked the most important oil manifold in the world in Abqaiq, a couple of hours’ drive from Bahrain. These actions are hardly indiscriminate.

In the first, a clear attempt is being made to get Iraq to enter a civil war, and had clerics from all persuasions not acted to calm the situation, the situation would have unfolded completely out of control.

My question here is who benefits from this? Would the Wahabis benefit from getting a whole country of some 20 million people to go into war which could reap a lot more deaths than the recent Gulf wars? What would they get out of it? Do they think they can get into control if they created a void? Are they simply this naive that they believe that with their terror and destabilising techniques they would mount the Iraqi throne?

Iraq is the only country in the Middle East at the moment which has a chance at true democracy. They don’t have an imposed leader, but have one they willingly elect and just as easily impeach if the circumstances presented themselves. Wouldn’t it have been better for these Wahabis to enter the democratic streams and get themselves elected to effect change? Or is their violence an acceptance and realisation by them that they have no chance of even approaching such a circle of power without the use of terror?

I think it is. The cowards have simply acceded that point. There is no way that they would be invited to a position of power in a free society; however, they will continue for a while yet to sow the seeds of sectarian warfare if Iraqis in particular, and Arabs in general don’t unite resolutely in their ugly faces.

What about Saudi then? Well, that’s a somewhat different arena as the authorities still have a semblance of control, but just. They’re going about eradicating that cancer from their midst in a futile manner, however, and rather than attacking the root causes of Wahabi terror, they’re simply patching the tears here and there. This will blow up in all our faces in the Gulf in our lifetime; probably sooner rather than later.

What the Saudis should do is introduce real democracy within their society, and by democracy I don’t mean taking 35 years to decide to allow women to drive, or to allow shops to remain open during prayer times. These are minuscule things that are not even worth thinking about, they are a given. Move on to the more important things like democratically elected councils and the true adoption of human rights.

Talking about human rights… our dear parliament seems to have thrown a spanner in the works and are refusing to sign the two treaties because the human rights treaty specifies the freedom of religion as a right, which means that changing ones religion from Islam to whatever s/he chooses is not punishable at all, let alone being punishable by death… they (Ali Mattar’s suggestion) want to be a reservation clause on that one and everything else that even slightly conflicts with the Shari’a absolving Bahrain from adopting that particular clause.

If they want to mess around with these treaties that much, they might as well roll them up and start hitting each other around the head with them. That would make them at least a lot more useful than the watered down treaties they want to foist on us.

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