Category: The Two Seas Island of Parion

Mon Sep 26, 2011

Fresh anti-regime protests have been held in several villages in Bahrain despite the country’s heavy-handed crackdown on people, Press TV reports.

Bahraini regime forces clashed with the protesters in several villages including Dair, Sitra, Nuwaidarat and Muqaba on Sunday night.

Witnesses said on Monday that protesters also created massive traffic jams in the capital Manama, ignoring threats of confiscating driver’s licenses and barring protesters from driving for up to four years.

Hundreds of Bahrainis flooded the roads with their cars during the morning commute on Monday.

The Bahraini opposition had organized the gathering, which was named the “the Second Dignity Blockade.”

Meanwhile, Bahraini clerics have condemned the massive arrests and the disrespectful treatment of Bahraini women by regime forces over the past few days.

The protests intensified after the opposition boycotted last week’s parliamentary elections. Less than one in five Bahrainis reportedly participated in the country’s by-elections.

The Al Khalifa regime held the polls to fill 18 seats abandoned by members of the largest opposition party, al-Wefaq.

Al-Wefaq said that the 40-member parliament has lost its legitimacy and that it does not represent the will of the Bahraini people.

Bahrainis have been holding anti-government rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty.

Source: PressTV.

Mon Sep 26, 2011

A military court in Bahrain has sentenced the head of the country’s Teachers Association to ten years in prison and his deputy to three for supporting anti-government protests.

Union chairman Mehdi Issa Mohammed Abu Deeb and his deputy Jalila Mohammed Reza al-Salman were convicted on Sunday by the court of national safety of “inciting hatred of the [Persian] Gulf kingdom’s monarchy and calling for its overthrow during protests earlier this year”.

They were also found guilty of using the union to “instigate acts that are considered criminal like calling for sit-ins by teachers, obstructing teaching, holding protests near schools… and calling upon parents not to send their children to school,” Bahraini human rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja wrote in an e-mail to Press TV.

Abu Deeb, 49, who was arrested in April, started a hunger strike on September 11 to demand his release and for all false charges against him to be dropped. Abu Deeb, who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, is reported to be in critical health condition.

The court also sentenced Hadi Ahmeh Hasan Mekki to three years in prison for “witnessing an attack on two policemen and refusing to report the incident” as well as an additional 12 months in jail for attending anti-regime protests.

Three others were also jailed for three years for harboring Shaikh Mohammed Habib Al Saffaf, a clergyman. Al Saffaf, also known Al Meqdad, who was earlier sentenced to life imprisonment, is accused by the Manama regime of involvement in a plot to overthrow the monarchy.

The verdicts came a day after the kingdom held by-elections boycotted by the opposition to replace 18 lawmakers, who resigned from the parliament to protest the violent crackdown on anti-regime demonstrators.

On April 7, the Ministry of Social Development dissolved the Bahrain Teachers’ Association (BTA), accusing the union of “issuing statements and speeches aimed at inciting teachers and students against the government and disrupting educational establishments.

Bahrainis have been holding anti-government rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty’s 40-year rule.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds more have been arrested in the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters in Bahrain, home to a huge American military installation for the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf.

Source: PressTV.

Sun Sep 25, 2011

Election results in Bahrain show that more than 80 percent of the electorate refused to vote in the recent parliamentary by-elections in the country.

According to a Bahraini government website, less than one in every five voters cast their ballots in the recent by-elections, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The controversial by-elections were held on Saturday to replace 18 Bahraini lawmakers from the main opposition party, al-Wefaq, who walked out of the parliament in February after security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters, killing and wounding scores of them.

Of the 144,513 eligible voters in 14 districts only 25,130 came out to vote, representing a 17.4 percent turnout, the Bahraini government’s elections website reported.

Voting did not take place in four districts where candidates were running uncontested and automatically won the seat.

Al-Wefaq leader Sheikh Ali Salman said the results showed that Bahrainis rejected the king’s reforms, adding, “There is no such thing as Bahraini democracy. There has to be peaceful rotation of power.”

“If there is no transition, Bahrain will remain in a crisis of security and human rights, this is a historic moment,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is to travel to Riyadh and meet with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Monday to hold talks regarding the relations between the two countries.

Bahrainis have been holding anti-government rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty, which has ruled the country for over 40 years.

Source: PressTV.

Fri Sep 23, 2011

Bahrain’s opposition has called for a third consecutive day of anti-regime demonstrations as well as a boycott of the upcoming parliamentary by-elections, Press TV reports.

The opposition further called on protesters to march back to the demolished and heavily guarded Pearl Square in the Bahraini capital of Manama.

The site was the epicenter of massive protests, but was razed to the ground in March.

Manama is planning to hold parliamentary by-elections on September 24 to replace the opposition lawmakers who resigned in protest to the regime’s crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Eighteen Bahraini lawmakers from the main opposition party, Al-Wefaq, walked out of the parliament in February after security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters, killing and wounding scores of them.

Moreover, anti-regime rallies also took place in the city of Sitra on Thursday.

The protesters chanted slogans against the Saudi-backed monarch, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty which has ruled the country for over 40 years.

On Wednesday, protesters created massive traffic jams in the capital Manama when hundreds of Bahrainis flooded the roads with their cars to send a message of defiance to Bahraini authorities.

The move to bring the traffic in central Manama to a standstill came after the government warned of a harsh response to any attempt at disrupting the by-elections.

Bahrainis have been holding anti-government rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the rule of Al Khalifa dynasty.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds more arrested in a brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters in Bahrain.

Source: PressTV.

Fri Sep 23, 2011

Saudi protesters have once again poured into the streets to rally against the Al Saud regime’s brutal military intervention in Bahrain, Press TV reported.

The protests in the eastern city of Qatif took place despite the government’s strict ban on anti-regime rallies in the country.

Saudis have on various occasions voiced their anger with Riyadh’s intervention meant to crush the popular uprising in the small Persian Gulf kingdom.

The protesters also slammed the high unemployment in the country and expressed frustration with the decades-long rule of the Al Saud dynasty which has a record of rights violation.

In mid-March, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates deployed their military forces in crisis-hit Bahrain to assist the Manama regime in its severe suppression of anti-government protesters.

Scores of Bahrainis have been killed ever since.

Saudi Arabia’s eastern regions have been the scene of protests over the past months, and authorities have arrested scores of people including bloggers and writers for taking part in anti-government demonstrations.

According to Human Rights Watch, more than 160 dissidents have been arrested since February in Saudi crackdowns on anti-government protesters.

Source: PressTV.

UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) — Kuwait and Bahrain on Thursday called for the creation of a Palestinian State and an end to Israeli occupation of Arab territories at the United Nations’ (UN) General Assembly.

Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah in his speech to the Assembly’s general debate in New York said the UN still stands incapable of finding a solution to the Palestinian Question after 60 years, and has been unable to put end to the Israeli occupation of Arab territories.

Meanwhile, the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa, told the Assembly that the creation of a Palestinian State would “end an era of bitter Arab-Israeli conflict, subject to Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories.”

Both leaders agreed that the creation of a Palestinian State would resolve conflict in the Middle East, as Sheikh Nasser expressed that “what really evokes concern is that the international community stands as a spectator of all those Israeli practices and policies, without opposing or deterring them, despite their clear contravention and violation of the most simple rules of international law and the resolution of international legitimacy.”

The Kuwaiti leader urged the international community to put pressure on Israel to withdrawal from Palestinian and other Arab territories so that Palestinians can achieve their right to self-determination and establish a State with Jerusalem as its capital.

“We wish to renew our full commitment and support to the bid of the Palestinian Authority and its endeavours to obtain membership of the United Nations as an independent and full Member State,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, in his address to the general debate, hailed calls for political reform in the Middle East and North Africa, saying the regions “abounded in great expectations.”

Sheikh Hamad underlined that Qatar has always had a clear policy on the rules governing Arab, regional and international relations, which he said was based on reconciliation and harmony among peoples and nations.

“On the other hand, we, as well as others, have been unable to turn a deaf ear or blind eye to the calls of the wounded seeking help from near and far, against an entrenched oppression,” he said.

On Monday, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during a meeting that he intended to submit an application this Friday for Palestine to become a UN Member State.

Also on Thursday, Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, called on Member States to recognize “the reality of Palestinian statehood,” and urged Israel to listen to the will of the millions of people who have suffered under its occupation.

Falk underlined the importance of the upcoming debate on Palestine’s initiative at the UN, which provides a “momentous occasion for the international community to respond to a legacy of injustice.”

“Palestine’s status as a State is not merely symbolic,” said Falk. “It empowers Palestine with rights and duties under international law, such as full jurisdiction over its territory, legal standing to defend itself from other States, and the capacity to join international treaties – including human rights treaties.”

In addition, Falk noted that for over 44 years, Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip have suffered under Israel’s “oppressive occupation.”

The UN expert continued by saying that Israel had steadily transferred its population into hundreds of settlements on Palestinian territory, while subjecting Palestinians to widespread and systematic violations of their basic human rights.

“I encourage Israel to heed calls throughout the region for governance based on the will of the people. The will of the Palestinian people must be respected too, starting this week at the United Nations and until Palestinians can enjoy the right they share with all other peoples of the world – the right to self-determination,” Falk stated.

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Source: WireUpdate.

Sep 21, 2011

Cairo – An opposition group has called for a mass protest on Wednesday in the centre of the capital Manama amid a stern warning from the authorities.

Activists of the February 14 Youth Coalition, named after a day when pro-democracy demonstrations started in the small Gulf kingdom, plan to bring the traffic in central Manama to a standstill by parking thousands of cars in major streets in the capital, according to broadcaster Al Jazeera.

The organizers said the protest was aimed at pressuring the government into halting what they described as daily oppression of demonstrations and reinstate employees reportedly sacked for joining in pro-democracy protests, according to the television report.

The protest comes days before partial parliamentary elections due to be held in Bahrain on September 24.

The Interior Ministry has warned it will not tolerate Wednesday’s protest.
‘The authorities will take legal measures against anyone found violating the traffic rules,’ said the ministry in a statement. ‘Violators risk penalties of jailing and fines.’

Sunni-ruled Bahrain has accused Shiite-led Iran of meddling in its internal affairs and inciting the unrest. Both the opposition and Iran have denied the accusation.

Source: Monsters and Critics.

Wed Sep 14, 2011

More than a dozen Bahraini nurses and doctors have entered the second week of their hunger strike as the anti-regime protesters await trial in a martial court, a report says.

Irish-trained surgeons Ali al-Ekri and Bassin Dahif along with 11 other doctors, nurses and paramedics are on a hunger strike in a Bahraini prison, Prof. Damian McCormack, who heads an Irish delegation of doctors and human rights activists to Bahrain, wrote in a letter to the Irish Times.

Among the detained protesters, one is diabetic and seven have already collapsed and are in need of intravenous fluids while one has attempted suicide and been prescribed anti-psychotic medication; they all refuse to take their medication, according to the document.

McCormack, who is affiliated with the World College of Surgeons and the World College of Physicians, also referred to a chronic compartment syndrome in another detained surgeon, who is at risk of “deep clots and embolism.”

“All continue to suffer from the physical and psychological effects of prolonged detention and torture,” he stated, adding that one consultant ophthalmologist recently released had suffered a stroke in detention.

The Dublin-based pediatrician recalls a royal decree issued by Bahrain’s embattled King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in late June, which orders all protester cases referred to civilian courts.

“However, international human rights organizations are shocked to learn that the trial of the 20 medics who are accused with felonies will continue in a military court,’” the letter reads.

It further censured the continued brutal suppression of peaceful protests in Bahrain and the August 31 killing of teenage boy, struck by a tear gas canister at close range, on Eid al-Fitr.

McCormack accused the Bahraini regime of employing international lobbyists such as Jo Trippi and PR companies such as Qorvis in Washington and Bell Pottinger in London to conceal its continued violations of human rights.

He noted how Lualua TV, a Bahraini pro- democracy station based in London, is actively jammed from Bahrain via a European satellite and all internal electronic communications in Bahrain are monitored by “spy gear” provided by western companies such as Nokia Siemens.

“Over 1,400 protesters have been detained, 180 civilians have been sentenced in military courts, 32 people have been killed, over 60 journalists have been targeted or ejected and at least 22 opposition websites are censored in a country which would call itself civilized and peaceful,” McCormack went on to say.

The doctor further called on the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to seek return of the honorary fellowship they awarded to King Hamad in 2006.

Source: PressTV.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Associated Press

MANAMA, Bahrain — The harsh crackdown on anti-government protests in Bahrain has failed to silence people’s demands for greater rights, a senior Shiite cleric in the Gulf kingdom said Friday as thousands of opposition supporters rallied on the outskirts of the capital.

The latest demonstration was staged by people who say they were unfairly fired from their jobs simply for being members of the island nation’s Shiite community, which led the months of protests. Thousands of Shiite professionals accused of having a role in the protests have been fired from their jobs.

Shiites make up a majority of Bahrain’s people, but they have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the country’s ruling Sunni dynasty and a lack of economic opportunities.

A police helicopter flew over the large demonstration, which was backed by Bahrain’s biggest opposition party, Al Wefaq. The crowd chanted slogans against Bahrain’s 200-year-old Sunni monarchy. Some protesters demanded their jobs back and others urged opposition leaders not to compromise with the monarchy.

“Our revolution will continue,” the protesters chanted. They warned the rulers: “If you don’t want to listen then you have to leave.”

Bahrain is a strategically important nation in the Persian Gulf and is the home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

The U.S. has appealed to its ally to listen to protesters’ demands for more political freedoms, but a government-led national dialogue produced no compromise with the Shiite opposition, which only had token representation at the talks.

Bahrain’s senior Shiite cleric, Sheik Isa Qassim, said the “politics of fear” and the Sunni rulers’ refusal to reform has strengthened the resolve of Shiites.

“Those who refuse to reform and continue to ignore the people’s demands for rights should know that the masses will not submit to despots,” the cleric said during Friday’s sermon in the opposition stronghold of Diraz, northwest of the capital, Manama.

More than 30 people have died since February when protests inspired by other Arab uprisings began in Bahrain.

Hundreds of activists have been detained and brought to trial on anti-state charges in a special security court.

Bahrain lifted emergency rule in June. Since then, government opponents have clashed with police almost every night.

Friday’s protest dispersed peacefully, although groups of opposition supporters marched to Manama’s Pearl Square, the heavily guarded former epicenter of Bahrain’s uprising.


September 09, 2011

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Thu Sep 8, 2011

A young anti-government protester has defied tight security in the Bahraini capital of Manama in a symbolic move against the regime’s persisting brutal crackdown on popular protests in the kingdom, Press TV reports.

The young boy ran to the iconic Pearl Square carrying Bahraini flags and continued to protest even when he was arrested.

The Saudi-backed Bahraini forces finally detained the young man and took him away.

Protests against the despotic rule of Al Khalifa regime in the Persian Gulf kingdom have recently flared up in different parts of the tiny state despite the continuing crackdown on any dissent by the regime’s forces.

The Bahraini king has recently admitted that security forces have indeed abused anti-regime protesters, saying that compensation would be paid to abuse victims as well as the families of those killed during demonstrations.

Bahrainis, however, have rejected the monarch’s apparent concession, insisting that he was personally responsible for ordering the brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.

Massive protests broke out in Bahrain in February, with people taking to the streets and calling for a constitutional monarchy — a demand that later turned into calls for the ouster of the monarchy.

Scores of protesters have been killed — many under torture — and numerous others have been detained and transferred to unknown locations during the regime’s crackdown.

Source: PressTV.