As the situation in Bahrain takes more an uglier face of state persecution, more calamities have been unfolding. The body of Karim Fakhrawi, 49, a father of three summarised the tragedy that has befallen the Bahraini people at the hands of the Al Khalifa regime.
He had been arrested ten days before his mutilated body was handed on Tuesday 12th April on the condition that no one was allowed to take images at the morgue. However the angry youth managed to take few shots that have shaken the hearts of whoever saw them. Although they could not see the martyr’s back as he had already been shrouded with the customary white cloth, the images of the horrific wounds to the shoulders, eyes, nose, stomach and thighs, left everyone wondering whether his attackers were humans or beasts. Martyr Fakhrawi, a well-known man of literature has run a chain of bookshops bearing his family name “Fakhrawi Bookshop”, was a man of honour, good behaviour and extreme piety. His only crime was belonging to the majority Shia native population who are now targeted by the Al Khalifa. The sectarian cleansing had already claimed three more lives of people detained earlier. All bodies has the same pattern of ill-treatment of extreme forms of torture. These are in addition to the 27 men and women who were shot dead during peaceful demonstrations or mutilated by the Death Squads wielding swords and axes. Clear and plentiful images are available on the internet for anyone to witness these crimes whose perpetrators are being protected by the Western refusal to condemn the Al Khalifa brutal regime.
This is only part of the story. The persecution of the Shia native majority has continued unabated at other levels. In the early hours of this morning Mohammad Al Tajir, a renowned human rights lawyer was arrested by hooded members of the Death Squads who had raided his home at 2.00 am. He has been taken away to an unknown destination to supplement more than 650 political prisoners rounded up after the occupation of Bahrain by the Saudi forces. The Al Khalifa military junta has carried a grudge against Al Tajir for speaking out against torture last Autumn when more than 400 Bahrainis were detained prior to the 14th February revolution. Scores of Bahrainis are detained daily as the raids on homes continue. In the past 24 hours several prominent professionals and artists were detained. The actor, Fawzi Al Biladi was arrested by plain-clothed security personnel. During the arrest he was shouted at by one of them saying: You are an actor, yet you attend the mosque with them? In the early hours of yesterday Faiza Al Farsani, the sister of the body-building champion, Tariq Al Farsani, was arrested. Nothing has been heard of her where-about yet. The Al Khalifa’s investigation committee has decided to target 150 Shia athletes and ban them from sports. At the same time, Dr Kholood Al Durazi, the most famous Tube babies female specialist in the Gulf was arrested after her home was raided and smashed. From Karzakkan the arrests included Azhar Ali Al Majed, 19 was arrested from her work at the City Centre in Manama.
Two nights ago, at least thirteen people were arrestd from the town of Karbabad; Ali Nasser Al Mu’athen, Mahmood Al Singace, Mahdi Hassan Awal, Aziz Hassan Shamlan and his brother Zuhair and his cousin Ali Abdulla Shamlan, Abdullah Saeed Jassim, Khalil Ibrahim Khamis and his brother, Jaffar, Murtadha Mohammad Naji, Sadeq Jaffar Kadhem, Ali Wald Ahmad, and Mhammod Jaffar Khamis. The number of detained Shia from Al Malikiya town has now reached 40. The Bahrain Centre of Human Rights has a list of 630 detainees, including 26 women and 23 disappeared. The youngest political prisoner is Ahmad Abbas Thamer who is only 12 years of age.
Meanwhile the health of Zainab Al Khawaja, 27 has deteriorated further as she continued her hunger strike in protest against the violent arrest of her father, Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja, her husband and her sister’s husband. The three were attacked in a raid at their home at 3.00 am on Monday, beaten up severely before being led away. Zainab’s seven months old baby is suffering lack of mils as a result. Mr Al Khawaja is a world renowned human rights activist and was the regional director of Frontline until two months agon.
These ferocious attacks on public liberties and rights have only consolidated the people’s determination to achieve a comprehensive change as the Al Khalifa rulers have only proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they are as ruthless as the regimes of Gaddafi and probably more systematic in their sectarian cleansing and Apartheid. The protests have continued in various forms, including nightly slogans from rooftops, candle vigils, weekly marches after Friday prayers and civil disobedience tactics wherever possible.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
16th April 2011.