Se også dette interview med Abdulhadis datter Maryam al-Khawaja.
Mens vi hører om nedkæmpelsen af oprøret i Syrien og borgerkrigen i Libyen, er der noget nær fuldstændig tavshed om Bahrain. Er det, fordi Bahrain er en af USAs vigtigste allierede i Golfen, eller fordi det er vores allierede og gode venner i Saudi-Arabien, der deltager i undertrykkelsen? Al Jazeera English lader tre af områdets eksperter diskutere spørgsmålet.
Zainab al-Khawajas far, ægtemand og svoger er alle blevet anholdt i myndighedernes seneste offensiv i Bahrain. Zainab har besluttet at gå i sultestrejke, indtil de bliver løsladt, og hvis det ikke sker snart, har hun i sinde at fortsætte, til hun dør, erklærer hun:
Zainab al-Khawaja, 27, will today enter her fourth day without food in protest at the violent arrest and subsequent disappearance of the outspoken dissident Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, 50, along with her husband and brother-in-law.
Zainab, who was brought up in exile in Denmark, is taking only water, and told the Guardian she is already feeling weak, with breast-feeding sapping her strength faster than she had expected. She says she will leave her 18-month-old child with family members if she dies.
Around a dozen masked and heavily armed soldiers, apparently from Bahrain‘s special forces, stormed her apartment in the capital, Manama, at 2am on Saturday. Her father had previously called for Bahrain’s king to face trial for murder, torture and corruption.
Asked whether she was willing to die, she replied: “Yes. It is difficult with a child but I am willing to make that sacrifice. My daughter has great aunts and grandmothers who will look after her if anything happens to me … We have the feeling that sacrifices are necessary to bring changes to our country, but what is making it harder is the way the world is reacting. Still the US administration is standing with the dictator here.”
Although they said nothing, we all know that my father’s crime is being a human rights activist. My father was grabbed by the neck, dragged down a flight of stairs and then beaten unconscious in front of me. He never raised his hand to resist them, and the only words he said were “I can’t breathe”. Even after he was unconscious the masked men kept kicking and beating him while cursing and saying that they were going to kill him. (…)
When you were sworn in as president of the United States, I had high hopes. I thought: here is a person who would have never become a president if it were not for the African-American fight for civil liberties; he will understand our fight for freedom. Unfortunately, so far my hopes have been shattered. I might have misunderstood. What was it you meant Mr. president? YES WE CAN… support dictators? YES WE CAN… help oppress pro-democracy protesters? YES WE CAN… turn a blind eye to a people’s suffering? (…)
I am writing this letter to let you know, that if anything happens to my father, my husband, my uncle, my brother-in-law, or to me, I hold you just as responsible as the AlKhalifa regime. Your support for this monarchy makes your government a partner in crime. I still have hope that you will realize that freedom and human rights mean as much to a Bahraini person as it does to an American, Syrian or a Libyan and that regional and political considerations should not be prioritized over liberty and human rights.
På billedet ses vor ven og allierede, udenrigsministeren af Bahrain sammen med NATOs generalsekretær Anders Fogh Rasmussen. De er uden tvivl midt i vigtige diskussioner om Bahrains rolle i “befrielsen” af Libyen. De har nok en torturbøddel eller to, de kan sende. Hvor er der en spand, man kan brække sig i?
De bedste ønsker herfra til Zainab al-Khawaja og hendes familie samt til alle andre gode og frihedselskende mennesker i Bahrain og omegn.
Foto fra Angry Arab.
Styret i Bahrain er nu begyndt at slå ned på familiemedlemmer til demokratiaktivister, der bor uden for landets grænser. Sådan gik det for eksempel Sayed Mohamed Shuber, hvis onkel Yasser bor i Storbritannien og er aktiv i bevægelsen for demokrati i Bahrain:
At 2.20 yesterday morning, Bahraini and Saudi forces raided 20-year old Sayed Mahmood Shuber’s home in Jidali in Bahrain. They pointed guns at the heads of his family and abducted him. They beat him. He has now disappeared.
The abduction seems to be part of a concerted effort to punish Bahrainis in Britain and their families for expressing solidarity with the revolts against the country’s regime.
Yasser, Sayed’s uncle, is a British citizen living in Bolton. His family telephoned him to tell him about their ordeal.
Yasser told Socialist Worker, “Seven jeeps and two civilian cars pulled up outside the house. They raided the house, started shouting and pushing the family around.
“Some of them were in blue uniforms–the uniforms of special branch. Others were in civilian clothes and wore balaclavas so that only their eyes were showing.
“My nephew Sayed was beaten in front of his family very badly. The men then pointed a gun at him. My sister, Sayed’s mother, says she began screaming, ‘Don’t shoot my son’.
“The men then pointed a gun at her, telling her to shut up or they’d kill them both. From the accents my sister could tell that some were Saudi and some Bahraini.”
The men took Sayed’s laptop and mobile phone. They brought with them some papers and documents into the house and went into his room. They came out with papers and documents and took them away.”
“My dad has been arrested before and held for seven days. They stopped giving him his medication and told him it was because of my activities in Britain.“The Bahraini authorities monitor people in Britain. Maybe they saw me on demonstrations in Manchester in support of the democracy movement. Now my nephew is being punished.
“I call for justice and democracy and freedom for the people of Bahrain. But you ask for freedom on Bahrain and this is what you get.”
Med hensyn til USAs rolle og håbet eller mangel på samme om hjælp fra den amerikanske regering er Yasser som de fleste aktivister i eller fra Mellemøsten særdeles afvisende:
“The British and US governments are plain hypocrites. The US has marines patrolling the Saudi boarder with Bahrain. We don’t want any military in Bahrain, we want the US bases gone.
“For 100 years the US has used Bahrain to attack Japan, Vietnam, and to supposedly free Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We don’t get anything from this apart from more repression by our own government. The Bahraini government buys arms from the US to use against the people. The US marines train the army and special forces in Bahrain. Those people are the ones killing the protesters now.
“The people of Bahrain are strong and united, and can resolve their own issues. We do not want any foreign intervention. Our real friends in Britain and the US are the people who marched against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
EUs toprådgiver for Mellemøsten udtaler nu, at det er OK at skyde demonstranter ned med skarpt, hvis det er det, der skal til for at genoprette ro og orden i Libyen Syrien Bahrain.
Det skriver The Guardian:
The UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, has denounced the beating of medical personnel and the takeover of hospitals by security forces.
But Robert Cooper, one of the EU’s highest-ranking diplomats and councillor to Ashton on the Middle East and the Balkans, told MEPs: “I’m not sure if the police have had to deal with these public order questions before. It’s not easy dealing with large demonstrations in which there may be violence. It’s a difficult task for policemen. It’s not something that we always get right in the best western countries and accidents happen.”
Briefing MEPs after a fact-finding mission to the Gulf, Cooper stressed that two of those killed were police. He said that Bahrain, home to the US fifth fleet, is “a rather pleasant, peaceful place”.
While still calling for dialogue between protesters and the government, he said: “One should understand the authorities were right to restore calm and order and that’s what they’ve done.”
Breaking news: Bombetogterne over Libyen afblæses. “One should understand that Gaddafi was right to restore calm and order and that’s what he’s done”, udtaler EUs udsending for området. Eller Assad. Eller Ahamadinejad. Hvorfor er det lige præcis, det ikke fungerer lige sådan med hensyn til krav om frihed og demokrati i lande, vi ikke er allieret med?
“Situationen i den arabiske verden er nu, at i kølvandet af alt det, som skete i Egypten, har folket fået nok. Folket har fået nok af undertrykkelse, og nu siger de stop. Dette er ikke en religiøs kamp. Det her handler rent og skært om basisfriheder: Frihed, rettighed og lighed til alt!”
Via Fatima Al-Hashimi.
Eller Yemen, for den sags skyld. Hykleriet har spist dem: Yemen har ingen olie, og det er vores allierede Saudi-Arabien der har invaderet Bahrain. Og Bahrain har heller ikke selv noget olie. Så det taler vi ikke om, som Tom Scocca skriver i Slate:
The helpful thing, if you’re overwhelmed by so much news going on at once, is that Bahrain is roughly the same story as Libya—only instead of pro-democracy protesters being murdered by a terrorist-sponsoring monster of a dictator who has been on America’s enemies list for ages, the pro-democracy protesters are being murdered by a government that is America’s very own dear ally. And where Qaddafi brought in foreign mercenaries for support, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain brought in troops from our even more vital ally, Saudi Arabia.
So basically, take all those proud feelings about the United States standing up for freedom and human rights in Libya and turn them inside out, and vomit into them. That’s Bahrain.
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are the same rotten royalist dictatorships they’ve always been. And they’ve been on our side. The helicopters over the square were reportedly American-made Cobras, because the Royal Bahraini Air Force flies what we sell them; the rifles on the ground are American M16s. Freedom and democracy are what we talk about. Values are what we do.
Så, som Scocca skriver – tag al snakken om demokrati og menneskerettigheder og bræk dig på dem; så ved du, hvad alle de gode ord om demokrati og menneskerettigheder og beskyttelse af civilbefolkningen i Lbyen er værd.
Også på Boing Boing.
Som Erik Ernst skriver i en kommentar:
Et opråb til alle frihedselskende sjæle.
Et opråb til alle, som er imod tyranni og despoti.
Et opråb til alle, som er imod undertrykkelse og for humanisme.
Et opråb til alle, som er for ytringsfrihed og universelle menneskerettigheder.
Ethvert frit menneske bedes deltage aktivt i kampen mod undertrykkelse og tyranni fra Al Khalifa-dynastiet i Bahrain.
Demonstrationen afholdes Fredag 18-03-2011 kl. 14:00-16:00.
Optog fra Rådhuspladsen til Christiansborg Slotsplads.
Send venligst videre til alle dine kontakter.
Fatima Al-Hashimi er ikke den eneste, der undrer sig over den tilsyneladende accept af Saudi-Arabiens invasion af Bahrain, mens man er klar til både bombning og invasion af Libyen, og det på trods af den libyske oprørsbevægelses erklærede ønske:
Lande, som råber allerhøjst om basale menneskerettigheder og frihed, synes sjovt nok tavse som aldrig set før. Behandlingen af de politiske fanger, den manglende ytringsfrihed, uhyrlige drab og skud, synes nu ikke særligt vigtige for disse lande, og man “overser” dem blot. Det må man sige. Hvis ikke dette er hykleri, ved jeg ikke hvad ordet ‘hykleri’ indebærer.
Vi så i det mindste, at demonstranterne ved den tunesiske og egyptiske revolution fik noget, som vi i nogen grad kan kalde “støtte”(i mine øjne er det et spil for galleriet, da jeg ikke er naiv og tror, at USA og co. virkelig ønskede at slippe af med de to tidligere diktatorer i Tunesien og Egypten. De var jo trods alt vigtige allierede), men hvad angår Bahrain, ser man passivt på Saudi Arabiens indtræden i denne arabiske stat, og sjovt nok er der ingen snak om brud på diplomatisk snak med dem, eller noget der ville minde om dette. Intet.
Jeg kan ikke selv komme til demoen i morgen, men vil gerne opfordre folk til at deltage. Hvis nogen gør det, er de velkommen til at lægge deres oplevelse af demonstrationen på en mail eller som kommentar til dette indlæg, så vil jeg skrive et indlæg om, hvordan den er faldet ud.
Demonstrationer i Saudi-Arabien. Hvis blot dette forbandede regime ville falde:
Imens slår saudi-arabiske styrker og andre fremmede lejetropper ned overalt i Bahrain:
FN advarer om forfærdende menneskeretskrænkelser i Bahrain – hvis nogen skulle være i tvivl om, hvad der foregår:
UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay says reports of arbitrary arrests and killings amount to shocking and illegal conduct by the Bahraini regime.
“There are reports of arbitrary arrests, killings, beatings of protesters and of medical personnel, and of the takeover of hospitals and medical centres by various security forces,” she said.
In recent days at least six people have been killed as Bahraini security forces moved in to crush the month-long protests that have shut down the capital, Manama.
With the help of foreign troops, the regime has driven protesters off the streets using tanks, tear gas and live ammunition.
Key opposition leaders calling for the overthrow of Bahrain’s ruling family and the resignation of the government have also been arrested.
Five Shiite activists and one Sunni dissident were arrested Thursday after the army imposed a curfew on parts of Manama using its powers under newly imposed martial law, opposition sources said.
“Four men arrived around two in the morning. One of them put a revolver to my husband’s temple and took him away without even giving us time to call his lawyer,” Farida Gulam, the wife of detained leftist Ibrahim Sharif, told reporters.
Opposition MP Khalil al-Marzouk also said Dr Ali al-Ekri, who had been accused on state TV of spreading “fabrications” about conditions at Salmaniya hospital, was arrested there on Thursday.
Bahrain’s military confirmed it had arrested a number of people for crimes including sedition, murder and having contact with foreign states but gave no details.