Monday 6 March 2017 - 12:29

Western support emboldens Al Khalifah rulers

Story Code : 615526
Western support emboldens Al Khalifah rulers
The upper house of the parliament has approved the measure, in an act condemned by human rights activists as being contrary to the Persian Gulf state’s constitution. We have asked two analysts to share with us their views on the Bahraini regime’s latest crackdown tactic.
An activist and political commentator from London, Massoud Shadjareh, believes that the Al Khalifah ruling family is intensifying the crackdown on dissent, because they feel certain that their supporters, including the United States, Britain and other Western powers, will keep silent for their own interests.
Western powers “are going to appease these people (Bahraini authorities) and not speak anything against them and allow them to continue oppressing their own people,” he said, adding this is what has emboldened the Al Khalifah regime to make the controversial decision.
According to the analyst, in order for the United States to maintain its naval base in the Persian Gulf country, Bahrain must be ruled by a dictatorship.
The regime is trying to survive by killing and putting dissidents into jail with impunity, he said, portraying a bleak outlook for the future of Bahraini people owing to the all-out Western support for the Al Khalifah rulers.
A popular uprising roared into life in Bahrain in 2011, but the Manama regime refused to pay attention to public demands and has been using harsh tactics ever since to suffocate the opposition. 
“For the last six years, people have gone into streets demonstrating peacefully,” but have been “subjected to bullets, tear gas, arrest, assassination, expulsion and removal of [their] citizenship,” Shadjareh said.
The analyst ruled out the “outrageous” speculations that Manama’s harsh crackdown is meant to ward off terrorist threats that have been plaguing the Middle East, and noted that the protesters are unarmed ordinary citizens who are demanding their legitimate right to freedom and justice.
He argued that the Bahrain uprising has been one of the most peaceful in current history, adding that the source of tensions is “this puppet dictatorial regime, which operates like mafia.”
Meanwhile, a senior US congressional adviser from New York, Frederick Peterson, dismissed the idea of holding military trials for non-military opposition as a “dangerous flirtation.”
He said ‘turning over civilians to a military court” is appalling because it amounts to “tightening of potential tyranny rather than liberality” in the region.
He warned that Bahrain is in danger of “falling into a trap of tyranny.”
Dozens of protesters have lost their lives and hundreds more have sustained injuries or been imprisoned in the years-long security crackdown, but the opposition has not yet resorted to armed resistance in order to put pressure on the government.
Perterson tried to justify the crackdown on dissent by saying that the Manama regime is concerned about terrorist events that have wreaked havoc throughout the region.
“Emergency times often require emergency measures. Dangerous times in which we live are not times when freedom flourishes most profusely but rather a time when freedom itself is under stress,” the expert noted, adding the question now is whether the threat to the regime of Bahrain has reached the level that would justify extraordinary measures.