May 12, 2011 Leave a comment
Campaign to try Bahrain Royal Family for War Crimes
From Socialist Worker
by Dominic Kavakeb
The King of Bahrain has announced that the state of emergency imposed in March will end by the start of June.
But after three months of anti-government protests, in which at least 31 people have been killed, many see this as an attempt to portray the country as returning to “normal”.
Bahrain relies heavily on foreign investment. The ruling class hopes this declaration will reassure banks, governments and foreign investors.
But in reality, “business as usual” means torture, arrests and executions.
And a day before this latest announcement the government issued fresh arrest warrants for 21 opposition activists. Seven are based in Britain.
One of the seven, Dr Said Al-Shihabi, said, “They killed innocent people before the state of emergency and they will kill people after.
“Bahrain wants to prove that it is a modern state, but any country that needs emergency law is not a legitimate one.”
Five British-based Bahrainis with experiences of torture are trying to prosecute their government for war crimes at the International Criminal Court. They hope to know soon if their case has been accepted.
They will not be able to return home under the current regime. Yasser, who lives in Manchester, said, “We know the risks, but we can’t be silent any more.”
Jaffar speaks to Press TV’s ‘Comment’ about our campaign and his experience of torture and arrest in Bahrain
From Al JazeeraSecret filming conducted by Al Jazeera has revealed shocking evidence of the brutal crackdown against anti-democracy protesters in the Gulf state of Bahrain.
An undercover investigation conducted by Al Jazeera’s correspondent, Charles Stratford, has unearthed evidence that Bahraini police carried out periodic raids on girls’ schools since the unrest began.
The government of Bahrain deployed security forces onto the streets on March 14 in an attempt to quell more than four weeks of protests.
A three-month long “state of emergency” that was declared by the king of Bahrain on March 15, has now been lifted.
At the height of the protests, up to 200,000 people rallied against the government. The crackdown was an attempt to end the protests that demanded the end of the despotic rule of the Khalifah royal family.
In an interview “Heba”, a 16-year-old schoolgirl, alleges she, along with three of her school friends, were taken away by the police from their school and subjected to severe beatings while in custody for three consecutive days.
“He hit me on the head, I started bleeding. I fell down, he told them [guards] to keep me in the rest-room,” she said during the secretly filmed interview.
According to the mainly Shia opposition Al Wefaq party, police have raided up to 15 mainly girls schools, detaining, beating and threatening to rape girls as young as 12.
A Bahrain human rights group says at least 70 teachers have also been detained. Meanwhile the media clampdown continues.
(20/04/2011) UNISON today urged members to support an international trade union campaign to stop attacks against the Bahrain trade unions movement.
The authorities in Bahrain have launched an all-out attack on the trade union movement. Thousands of workers have been dismissed for taking part in trade union activities in support of the peaceful calls for greater democracy and reform.
Many of the Executive members of the General Federation of Bahraini Trade Unions (GFBTU) have been dismissed from their jobs, as have many local trade union leaders. The people of Bahrain are living in a state of fear of further killings and other violence, arbitrary detention, and loss of their livelihoods.
Bahrain is sliding into absolute dictatorship, and the elimination of trade union activity is being given a high priority by those in the ruling circles who intend to drag the country into totalitarianism