- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Stephen Lendman
Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 at 8:55 PM
Bahrain's War on Freedom
by Stephen Lendman
In February 2011, major protests erupted. Bahrainis challenged despotic rule nonviolently. Daily they protest. Police state harshness confronts them.
At issue is King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa's regime. Bahrainis want popularly elected leadership replacing him.
He ranks with the world's worst despots. He's a US favorite. He's welcomed in Washington and other Western capitals. Obama and other world leaders turn a blind eye to his crimes.
Compared to him, Saudi leaders, and other Gulf state tyrants, Assad looks saintly. Peaceful Bahrainis brave tear gas, beatings, rubber bullets, live fire, arrests, torture, kangaroo court justice, imprisonment, disappearances and death.
Life and limb are risked to live free. A huge price is paid for trying. Popular courage and resilience show no signs of waning. Stakes are too high to quit.
State-sponsored terror challenges them. It continues unabated.
On August 3, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) headlined "Self-determination peaceful protests violently suppressed, numerous arrests, reports of beatings and ill treatment," saying:
August 2 was like most other days. Bahrainis protested peacefully. They want democratic freedom and social justice. Self-determination demands unite them. Violence confronts all demonstrations.
Police used tear gas, stun grenades, and birdshot. Numerous injuries resulted. People were shot in the head. Hospitals are occupied and militarized. Protesters can't get proper treatment. Requesting it risks arrest, torture and imprisonment. People have to manage as best they can.
Excessive tear gas amounts are used. More on that below. It continues after protests are dispersed. Houses and neighborhood are targeted. Helicopters fire canisters indiscriminately.
Arrests are made regularly. On August 2, about 35 more were made. People were targeted on streets. Others were seized at home. Warrants didn't authorize them. Police states don't use them. They don't explain why anyone can be brutalized for any reason or none at all.
State terror defines Al-Khalifa rule. Bahrainis want it ended. They have every right. They deserve better. Western leaders irnore their ordeal. They're too busy killing Syrians, planning war, and more to follow.
Family members of those arrested August 2 said they were taken to "the stable." It's "an unofficial torture center." Those arrested showed signs of abuse. They've been moved to Fort Prison.
Security forces attacked family members protesting at police stations for their loved ones release. There were "continuous reports of protesters being arrested, beaten, (then) released."
AlWefaq political society Women's Affairs head Ahlam Alkhuzaei was arrested at Bahrain airport. She was heading for a conference in Tunisia. She was held overnight and released.
Photojournalist Mazin Mahdi was assaulted. BCHR "strongly condemn(ed) the government's fierce crackdown on whoever exercises freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and the attack on journalists and activists for exposing the crimes committed in Bahrain by the authorities."
Release of those arrested was demanded. Violence against peaceful protesters was denounced.
On August 5, Bahrain's Higher Appeal Court was scheduled rule on Nabeel Rajab's lawless three-month prison sentence. A decision was postponed until August 12 or later.
Rajab serves as BCHR president and Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) director.
He was imprisoned for championing human rights. Bahrainis have none. Washington shows no concern. Police state violence is ignored.
Previous appeals on Rajab's behalf failed. He's currently at Jaw Central Prison. He's held under appalling conditions. He's denied medical treatment he needs. On July 16, a hearing occurred relating to another case.
Rajab is wrongfully accused of "involvement in illegal practices and inciting gatherings and calling for unauthorized marches through social networking sites."
Other pending charges include "participating in illegal gatherings and calling for a march without prior notification." Both accusations were scheduled to be addressed on September 26.
However, his trial was moved up to July 25. It was then postponed until August 5. Proceedings are rigged against all defendants. Guilt by accusation is policy.
BCHR co-founder Abdulhadi Alkhawaja faced brutal persecution. In prison, he hunger struck for 110 days. He's willing to die for justice. His daughter Zainab was arrested and mistreated numerous times. She's become well-known for her social justice activities.
On August 2, she was targeted again. She was arrested for peacefully protesting. She participated with one leg in a caste. She was injured during a previous protest. Security forces struck her with tear gas canisters at close range.
On August 2, she was verbally assaulted. She demanded to know the officer's name. She wanted to file a complaint. In response, she was handcuffed, dragged on the ground, down stairs, then placed in a police vehicle. She's now detained. She's targeted regularly for courageous activism.
Bahrain is more hellhole than legitimate state. Al-Khalifa rulers rank with the world's worst. They're tyrannical with no legitimacy. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) provided more evidence.
On August 1, they issued a report documenting Bahrain's use of potentially lethal tear gas. It's used indiscriminately against peaceful protesters and others at home.
It causes maiming, blinding, and death. According to PHR Deputy Director Richard Sollom:
"So-called tear gas, often considered a crowd-control method with no lasting harmful effects, can cause permanent injuries, miscarriages, and even fatalities as used by Bahrain’s security forces."
"Those tactics include firing tear gas canisters directly at civilians or into their cars, houses, or other closed spaces where toxic effects are greatly exacerbated."
In three Bahrain visits since early 2011, Sollom said he documented "a government fixated on rhetoric rather than results."
He and Dr. Holly Atkinson, former PHR president, interviewed over 100 Bahrainis. They included victims, eyewitnesses, civil society leaders, and government officials.
Their report is titled "Weaponizing Tear Gas: Bahrain's Unprecedented Use of Toxic Chemical Agents Against Civilians."
Findings were based on physical examinations. For example:
A tear gas canister fired at close range struck a teenage boy in his left eye. It was deliberate. It fractured his eye socket, ruptured his eyeball, and left him blind in one eye.
Another tear gas canister was fired at a 27-year old bystander's head. He suffered a fractured skull and intracranial bleeding.
After exposure to toxic tear gas, a physiotherapist began wheezing, felt short of breath, and had trouble speaking for two weeks.
Several women suffering miscarriages told doctors they've risen considerably in neighborhoods affected by frequent tear gas use.
An asthma sufferer died from acute respiratory failure. He was exposed to tear gas several times.
PHR documented harmful tear gas effects 25 years ago. South Korea used it against civilian protesters. Toxic pulmonary damage and death followed. Many other long-term health consequences also occurred.
Bahrain uses toxic chemicals against nonviolent protesters. Some die. Others suffer health problems. Some become chronic.
Other countries use similar tactics. They include Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Honduras, the new Libya, and Uganda.
Howard Hu directs the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Health. He's medically expert on toxic chemicals. He's a former PHR board member. He said:
PHR's "timely and incisive investigative report provides evidence that government forces, this time in Bahrain, have once again used the shield of a relatively innocuously named weapon to maim, sicken, and in some cases kill innocent civilians."
"The misuse of such weapons must be fully investigated and curbed if such oppressive practices and unnecessary suffering and deaths are to be avoided in the future."
PHR earlier investigated Bahrain's militarized healthcare system. It protested against repressive tactics. Hospitals are occupied. Medical professionals are terrorized. They're arrested, tortured and imprisoned for treating anyone injured during street demonstrations.
PHR also wants Bahraini authorities to disclose which toxic agents security forces use.
It hopes to establish a new international group of health professionals, public health experts, lawyers, and law enforcement officials.
It wants guiding principles drafted on use of toxic chemicals. It wants to determine if any considered nonlethal should be reclassified under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Chemicals harmful to health or lethal are weapons. Prohibiting their public use is essential. Bahrain and other repressive governments use them freely. According to Sollom:
"It is increasingly evident that tear gas has effects far more severe than commonly understood."
"The tears it produces are not limited to those caused by temporary stinging of the eyes, but flow also from people who receive long-lasting injuries and trauma from its indiscriminate use, and from friends and relatives of tear gas victims left blind, wounded, or dead."
It's impermissible to use these agents against civilians. They terrorize, harm and kill.
Al-Khalifa authorities use them for maximum advantage. Bahrainis suffer and die. Obama and other Western leaders ignore their crimes. They continue unaccountably.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 8 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
|A spectre is haunting the Middle East
||Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 at 3:50 AM
||Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 at 4:34 AM
||"take your meds"
||Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 at 5:46 AM
|Haw haw indeed
||Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 at 6:10 AM
|after 11 SEp'01
||Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 at 6:54 AM
|Speaking of OCD
||Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 at 2:11 PM
||why are *you*?
||Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 at 2:57 PM
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress??
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
More Breaking News...