Bahrain… The Tragedy of a Nation
“The Tragedy of Nation”… These words accurately sum up the current situation in Bahrain. The ruling AlKhalifa regime keeps escalating its horrendous crimes against the Bahrain people; but perhaps that is to be expected when such a brutal regime has the backing and approval of the west, and the deafening silence of the so-called international community to support.
Almost everyone in Bahrain has been touched by the regime’s repression, one way or another. Women, children, and even the elderly have either been arbitrarily arrested, falsely accused and unjustly convicted, or even murdered in cold blood. However, the regime’s crimes continue to increase in both brutality and violence, and a closer look to the recent history of the AlKhalifas reveals that this regime does not acknowledge nor respect the teachings of any religion, and it certainly does not adhere to or recognize the concept of human rights. Even the holiest of sanctities are not off limits for this regime, which has demolished dozens of mosques and destroyed many houses of worship and historical religious sites. Every time the locals would try to rebuild a mosque, the regime would send its dirty thugs on bulldozers to tear down the humble construction. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the AlKhalifa regime has recently constructed a public park in place of the historical mosque of “Abou Thir Al Ghiffari” that the authorities had previously demolished.
Of course, the AlKhalifa regime went beyond the destruction of religions sites. The regime forces, along with the occupying Saudi forces, have arrested and imprisoned women, and subjected them to torture and sexual harassment. This regime has even imprisoned doctors and nurses and tortured them almost to death. The sole crime that these medical professionals had allegedly committed was treating wounded protesters, who were shot with internationally banned exploding bullets fired by the regime forces. The regime has also recruited foreign mercenaries from Pakistan, Jordan, Yemen, etc, granted them the Bahraini nationality, and used them to repress the Bahraini people more effectively. Clearly, the AlKhalifa regime and the occupying Saudi forces have become quite the masters at terrorizing an entire nation. The regime sends its mercenaries on four-wheel-drive vehicles to run over and kill protesters and any other children or youth present in the streets. These mercenaries, sometimes alongside members of the ruling family, are also commissioned to torture the detainees and tear their bodies apart. Even the families of martyrs are not exempt from being targeted by the AlKhalifa regime and its mercenaries: many of the parents and relatives of martyrs have been incarcerated and accused of “inciting hatred against the regime”, while others have been targeted with live rounds while they were commemorating the martyrdom of their sons. The fascist AlKhalifa regime has stooped low enough to prevent some families from burying their martyrs by detaining the corpses of martyrs for a period of over 75 days. As for members of the opposition and human rights activists, their fate in Bahrain is almost always incarceration and severe torture. Bahraini authorities also tend to revoke the nationality of various detainees and activists. It is quite ironic for the AlKhalifa family, which practiced piracy before being appointed by the British colonists as the rulers of Bahrain, to now revoke the nationality of native Bahraini citizens, and even naturalize mercenaries who clearly do not meet the official naturalization requirements!
The AlKhalifas are not satisfied by merely targeting those who criticize or oppose them. Apparently, arrests, barbaric torture, and even murder, are no longer sufficient to satisfy this regime’s thirst for blood. The AlKhalifas have begun arresting and imprisoning the family members of detainees, even newborn babies. This is where the story of the “AlShaikh” family comes in to exemplify the misfortunes suffered by the Bahraini people. In October 2014, the AlKhalifa regime forces arbitrarily arrested Habib AlMubarak (28 years old), and falsely implicated him in an arson case. Habib was incarcerated at the Dry Dock Prison. On October 27th, 2014, Habib’s wife, 24-year-old Zahra AlShaikh, went to visit him, and she took her 6-month-old infant, Hussein, with her to see his father. However, instead of being permitted to see her husband, Zahra too was detained by the AlKhalifa authorities. She was imprisoned with her infant, Hussein. It is worth mentioning that Zahra had been previously arrested and assaulted by the regime forces back in 2012. During her brutal arrest at an anti-regime protest in Manama in 2012, agents of the regime assaulted Zahra and forcefully removed her headscarf. Zahra was sentenced to one year in prison after being accused of “participating in an illegal gathering” and “biting” a member of the regime’s security forces who had tried to sexually assault her. During her previous incarceration, Zahra was subjected to brutal torture and sexual harassment. She was stripped of all her clothing and photographed naked. After two months of incarceration, Zahra’s condition deteriorated significantly, and she was even transferred to a psychiatric facility, where she was she was locked up for another two months. Even though she had served a total of four months from her one year sentence, the Bahraini authorities claim that she has yet to serve another ten months.
An entire family now finds itself behind bars without just cause. Zahra is in prison with her newborn son, Hussein, whose father, Habib, is also imprisoned under false accusations based on confessions signed under extreme torture and duress. Due to the deplorable conditions in the ratty old AlKhalifa prison cells, Zahra fears for the life of her infant son. She shivers uncontrollably because of the cold weather, and she tries her best to keep Hussein warm. She fears the worst. Hussein was born prematurely at 25 weeks, and at birth, he suffered from neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and from bronchopulmonary dysplasia. In addition, the infant was afflicted with both anemia and juvenile osteoporosis. All these conditions made Hussein fragile and prone to illness; as a result, he is in need of constant medical attention. Unfortunately, Hussein has fallen ill since his incarceration. His doctor affirms that Hussein now suffers from growth retardation and from an infection in his stomach. During his latest visit to the hospital, Hussein was being fed through an IV; however, one of the Yemeni mercenaries started to manipulate the IV to increase the flow rate, and this caused the infant severe pain. Zahra was appalled by the behavior of the mercenary, whose heart was clearly devoid of mercy. When Hussein started to cry from the pain the mercenary had caused him, Zahra yelled, “Are you trying to kill my son?!” The mercenary ordered the transfer of Zahra and Hussein back to their prison cell, accusing Zahra of assaulting him and swearing at him. The authorities insist on depriving Hussein of medical care, even though the doctor has emphasized that the infant needs medical attention and constant monitoring. Zahra has begun a hunger strike since December 20th to protest against her continued incarceration and against the authorities’ cruel insistence on depriving Hussein of medical care.
The amount of pain and suffering inflicted on Zahra and her family does not seem to be sufficient for the tyrants of Bahrain, who insisted on further exacerbating the ordeal of this family. On December 28th, 2014, the AlKhalifa forces, backed by the Saudi occupying forces, carried out an illegal nocturnal raid against the Bahraini village of Sanabis. During this raid, over 23 of the village’s youth were arbitrarily arrested. Ahmad AlShaikh (19 years old), and Abbas AlShaikh (18 years old) were both amongst detainees from the Sanabis raid. Ahmad and Abbas are Zahra AlShaikh’s brothers. They too have been imprisoned under false accusations. Words fail to describe what I feel when I imagine what the mother of the detainees Zahra, Ahmad, and Abbas must be feeling. Not only are her two sons and daughter imprisoned and at the mercy of the AlKhalifa thugs, but her son-in-law and grandson are also behind bars. Expecting the worst is logical when one’s loved ones are incarcerated in Bahrain, since the most heinous types of physical and psychological torture are customarily practiced against every single detainee, regardless of age, gender, or medical condition. When some detainees are finally released, they suffer from various illnesses and disabilities. Others don’t make it out alive. Even though this mother is well aware of this tragic reality and of the dangers surrounding her loved ones, she cannot change the dreadful situation she finds herself in. Her only choice is to remain patient and hopeful that her sons and daughter, as well as her son-in-law and grandson, will be liberated, sooner or later. She holds her head up high since she has complete faith in God, and she knows that tyranny and oppression will come to an end. She knows that her family members are among the heroes of Bahrain.
The patience of families such as the AlShaikh family, and the sacrifices of the Bahraini people overall, will certainly pay off. The determination of this nation, the hardships endured by the detainees, the agony of the families, and the blood of the martyrs will undoubtedly liberate Bahrain from the AlKhalifa reign of terror. The AlKhalifas are headed for eternal damnation, whereas the martyrs and prisoners, as well as their families, will be immortalized in history. After all, they are a people who will not be deterred by oppression or threats of death from attaining freedom.
By: Eye Witness
 “Bahrain: In Complete Disregard to Religious Freedom, Authorities Decide to Turn Site of demolished Historical Mosque into a Park”: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/6213  “Bahraini Regime Forces Assault Women During An Illegal Raid in Aali” (Arabic Article): http://mirrorbh.no-ip.org/news/12152.html  “Royal Treatment: Bahraini princess & princes accused of torturing activists”: http://rt.com/news/princess-torture-bahrain-detention-665/  “Bahrain Security Forces Weaponize Tear Gas Canisters”: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/7181  “Bahraini Authorities Detain a Mother and Her Infant Son Based on Confessions Extracted Under Severe Torture” (Arabic Report) http://ebohr.org/ar/?p=3495