The Human Rights Watch continues to accuse Bahrain’s security forces for torturing detainees during their interrogation.
The HRW report showed abuses against prisoners as documented by an independent committee after the 2011 protests surfaced with videos of a violent crackdown. The committee described the existence of a “culture of impunity”, which the Bahraini government completely condemns.
Meanwhile, Bahraini ranks low in human rights observation particularly in the imprisonment and unfair trials of political opposition.
One controversial case in 2011 involved the imprisonment, assumed torture and discrediting of several doctors who rushed to the aid of protesters as violence erupted.
Electric Shocks And Violent Suppression
Dozens were killed and hundreds of other protesters were injured after the suppression of the uprising in 2011. The media coverage of the protests, the violent dispersal and tortures had enraged the globe.
This prompted the Bahraini government to create the Bahrain International Commission of Inquiry (BICI), who exposed that the Bahraini National Security Agency and the Interior Ministry had a system of physical and psychological mistreatment which they practiced against detainees in their custody.
The report on the three government bodies collecting information regarding the prison tortures lacked proper information as the HRW’s report indicated the bodies lacked the transparency and independence to achieve a rightful result.
In 2011, the US State Department banned weapons sales on Bahrain on grounds of over-use of force and alleged torture against the ruling Sunni minority in the government. Major protests spreading for more rights for the Shia majority in Bahrain sparked outrageous arrests of protesters fighting against corruption and democratic reform against the ruling party.
Deepening Political Instability and Sectarian Tension
In the same year, several medical professionals who rushed to the aid of injured and maimed protesters were seized and arrested. The Bahrain Defence Force had used unnecessary force and even torture that lead to the deaths of several protesters. The medical professionals were jailed and tortured as they are perceived supporters of the protesters.
Bahrain’s Increasing Violence
Some even reported the BDF forced those arrested to eat their own feces or else they are beaten until they admit they were part of the protests. After such, they are indicted and forced to serve sentences they do not deserve.
The military force, comprised mostly of Sunni minorities, did not help the situation. Shia majority in the population perceived their military as an enemy.
The US Needs To Stop
Despite the continuously-increasing violence in the country, the US State Department had resumed arms sales with the Bahrain Defence Force. Analysts view it as a mistake but a necessary one for the US State Department as Bahrain hosts some US ships in the Middle East.
Sunni-ruled Bahrain is responsible for stoking tensions in the region by making unfounded allegations against Iran according to its state-run news agency.
“It is clear that the government of Bahrain, by repeating unfounded allegations, seeks to create a climate of tension in the region,” it quoted foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham as saying.
“Such methods are not constructive, and do not diminish the Islamic republic’s commitment to continue its policy… and regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism and extremism,” she said.
The row began as on Sunday, Bahrain’s interior ministry detained two men accused of trying to smuggle weapons from Shiite Iran. Iran’s leaders had lashed ‘hostile’ comments from Iranian leaders.
Post-agreement on nuclear activity reduction from the west and other countries, Iran has stressed it will not withdraw its support for the governments of Syria and Iraq and its backing for the militants in Yemen, Palestinians and Bahrain.
Iran does not hide its support for the Bahrain protests but it rejects accusations of interference in the countyr’s internal affairs.
According to the Bahraini Minister of State for Information Affairs Isa bin Abdulrahman Al-Hammadi, Baharainis do not benefit from the large subsidy of consumer goods and services. The reduction of subsidies to cut costs on state spending may make things more difficult for expatriates living in Bahrain.
Abdulrahman Al-Hammadi said
“The majority of beneficiaries from subsidy of consumer goods and services are expats and companies but not Bahraini citizens.
The subsidy policies are to be redirected to benefit local citizens.
The impact of the subsidy reduction may discourage travel and work for foreign workers and may discourage retiring expats from considering the country as a prime settlement. Subsidies keep down the prices of fuel, meat, electricity, water and other items.
The struggling financial situation of Bahrain triggered the state subsidy reduction, specifically because of the plunge in world oil prices.
Bahrain Scholars condemned the continued detention of the al-Wefaq opposition group’s Secretary General. On the evening of his trial by the al-Khalifa regime, the scholars said the trial was unjust. The scholars called on releasing Sheikh Salman on the grounds of “fabricated accusations.”
Scholars Sayyed Jawad al-Wadai, Sheikh Issa al-Qassem, Sayyed Abdullah Guraifi, Sheikh Mohammad Slaeh al-Rabihi and Sheikh Hussein al-Satri said that their condemnation is based on the “true perception of the religion,” which aims to maintain stability in the country and prevent the country from slipping into chaos.
Human Rights organisations had called for the Baharaini Government’s release of Sheikh ali Salman, who is the head of the al-Wefaq movement in Bahrain. The human rights leader is now to be tried for charges of “promoting the overthrow and change of the political regime by force.
Who is Sheikh al Salman?
He is the head of the al-Wefaq movement and a Shia cleric. He had been arrested by the end of December. His arrest had been followed by protests from his Shia followers.
Other Human Rights Leaders Caught.
Nabil Rajab, Bahrain’s leading Human Rights activist, is to be sentenced six years in prison for posting offensive messages on Twitter. According to 21 British MPs, they were alarmed by the incident and they sent a letter for UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to send Bahrain’s government on Monday.
He Has Committed Wrongdoing
According to Bahraini courts and prosecutors, Salman had confessed to have organized people, gangs and even foreign political groups that would aid him in devastating Bahraini internal affairs. The parties have also given their commitment to the task at hand.
“This is like a declaration of war against the political societies which have been tolerated so far,” one Bahraini analyst said. “This is the end of licensed political opposition.”
According to al-Wefaq, the Bahrain Opposition group, Bahrain security forces have violated their spiritual leader Sheikh Issa Qassem’s personal rights after a surprise raid in his home.
Qassem is Bahrain’s most prominent Shia of Bahrain. Qassem’s house was located in the village of Diraz, at the west of the Manama capital.
Al-Wefaq called the incident a “provocative and irrational step” done by the Bahrain government. However, Bahrain Interior Ministry said on its Twitter feed that they searched the house after residents gave permission in search of a bombing suspect.
Iran, the capital of Shia muslims, had cried foul against Bahrain’s actions. They said it was an “indiscreet action.”
“Desecration of religious symbols and insult to popular religious leaders and scholars indicate the Bahraini government’s bankrupt security and tribal approaches in dealing with peaceful protests by the country’s people,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
She added that Bahraini officials should respect the position of the clergy and punish those who were responsible for the invasion.
Foreign expats see Bahrain as their fifth best offshore home. According to expats, Bahrain offers a better work and life balance than their home countries.
The ratings, coming from the HSBC 2014 Expat Explorer Survey, indicates that Bahrain is second for expat experience and is ninth of the best countries to raise children in.
According to Bahrain Culture Ministry media adviser Dr. Elie Flouty, “Bahrain is really giving and offering all these expats all the facilities and the environment they need. For us, we are trying to offer a cultural and tourist environment that can make them happy and satisfied.”
The HSBC survey had 9,000 expats worldwide to report their quality of life and their financial and family situation abroad
Around 77% of the expatriates in the survey say they earn more money than they would do at home. Only 53% of the global average agrees with the same situation. The global average of working culture is at 39%. Bahrain has scored 43% in this aspect.
Many expats in Bahrain also describe that they retain strong ties with their country of origin at 91%. The global average for such is at 91%.
Expat interaction in Bahrain is also higher than average at around 75% compared to the global average of 61%
Back in 2007, an alarming study showed that Bahrain was suffering from an obesity epidemic. Approximately 33% of adults in the country were classified as overweight, which was significantly higher than the global average of around 14%.
Not only that, but there was also the concerning news that 28% of adults in Bahrain had been diagnosed with high blood pressure, due in no small part to the increase in “fast food diets” and lack of exercise.
In order to put a stop to these worrying statistics, a number of obesity clinics were setup around the country in 2008 by the Bahrain Ministry of Health to help tackle the root cause of the problem and get people back on the right path. These clinics offer professional advice on a number of different topics such as diet plans, exercise schedules and supplements.
The obesity clinics have definitely been a success, with around 75% of the people taking part reporting weight loss and a more healthier lifestyle.
According to Dr Nadia Gharib, who is Chief of Nutrition at the Bahrain Ministry of Health, this is all due to sensible and practical advice, as well as the commitment of the people involved. He also went on to praise the role of one-to-one consultations and special focus groups that have helped highlight critical issues.
There is certainly change in the air all around the country of Bahrain at the moment, as thousands of ordinary people are looking change their life for the better. Not only are people looking to lose weight, but there is also a huge demand for anti-aging products which can help the user treat aging skin so they can look and feel 10 years younger.
One such product that is very popular with the citizens of Bahrain can be found on the Amazon website – http://www.amazon.com/Purely-Holistic-Phytoceramide-Skin-Supplement/dp/B00JXIJTKM/ – and with reviews from many satisfied customers it’s easy to see why people are purchasing phytoceramides month after month to help smooth out rough skin and increase skin hydration.
But what about people in Bahrain who don’t have access to the Amazon website, where do they buy phytoceramides on a regular basis? Unfortunately, it seems that not everybody can always get their hands on a bottle, which has led to calls for the product to be sold on the high street in supermarkets and health food shops.
Both the obesity clinics and the sale of phytoceramides is a prime example of how Bahrain is a country moving forward, and that people want to lead more healthier lifestyles.
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The arrest of Maryam al-Khawaja in Bahrain for refusing to hand over her phone to police, and the charge of assaulting police imposed against her, is just another story on how Bahrain treats its critics and opponents. Maryam’s father is detained in Bahrain for organising protests in the Gulf state and is one of the high-profile dissidents of the kingdom.
The UN and other human rights organisations had called against the Kingdom to treat its opposition and protesters fairly, to which the kingdom had given nods, but never any action.
However, the recent events in the Middle East, namely Iraq and Syria, had overshadowed Bahrain’s political instability and protests.
Bahrain is to hold a parliamentary election on November, but according to Bahraini Human Rights activist Nabeel Rajab, the government only wants to create an illusion of Bahrain being back to normal despite only a fraction of the population taking part in the polls.
Rajab was only one of the activists who got lucky being released after two years because he attended in “illegal gatherings” in 2011.
Bahrain’s respect for human rights is nowhere as opposition and protests are easily crushed. Bahrain’s Sunni-dominated government, headed by princes and kings, fail to represent their people’s interests. They even accuse activists of being foreign spies, financed by rival Middle Eastern powers or western countries.