Return of Repression to Bahrain's Streets with the Crown Prince and Prime Minister's Blessing

Crown Prince, also PM, hosts an iftar banquet for senior officers and officials of the Interior Ministry in 2024
Crown Prince, also PM, hosts an iftar banquet for senior officers and officials of the Interior Ministry in 2024

2024-04-04 - 3:00 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Just one day after the iftar banquet hosted by the Crown Prince for senior officers and officials of the Ministry of Interior, and his reception of the Minister of Interior, acknowledging them as vigilant eyes safeguarding public security, preserving rights and freedoms, and enforcing the law, repression resumed against peaceful marches organized by the families of political prisoners demanding their release. The crackdown commenced yesterday evening in the village of Al-Qedam.

The mentality of the authorities has not changed despite the change in the country's Prime Minister and the majority of its ministers, with the ministers of security and defense remaining unchanged.

Likewise, the dominance of the security mentality over all aspects of life in Bahrain has not changed, and thus, the issue of political prisoners remains captive to this mentality.

Despite this government's experience with a previous strike by prisoners on August 7, 2023, when hundreds of inmates in Jaw Prison announced their hunger strike protesting harsh prison conditions.

By the end of August 2023, the number of participants in the strike had risen to at least 800 prisoners, and their strike launched under the slogan, "Striking Is Our Right," continued for 36 days. Its main demands included ending the solitary confinement of prisoners, moving prisoners punished in solitary for nearly a year, providing adequate healthcare and education, reforming strict restrictions on family visits, ending 23-hour confinement in cells, allowing prisoners to spend more time outdoors, and permitting prisoners access to the prison mosque for congregational prayers.

The strike was ended or suspended based on agreements and promises made by the government, represented by the Ministry of Interior. However, it reneged on all its promises. Isolation did not end, and the Interior Ministry did not stop its disregard for the lives of sick prisoners. Then came the fall of young Hussein Khalil as a martyr in prison due to medical neglect, sparking renewed tensions in Jaw Prison.

Has the government stopped for a moment and reconsidered the issue of prisoners who are dying under its watch? Has it revisited the constitutional right of citizens to protest, assemble, organize, and express their opinions?

Not at all. Instead, it hosted a Ramadan iftar banquet honoring Prime Minister Rashid bin Abdullah and his officers, who have only learned the language of repression in their professional lives.

It's a political support stance from the government's leaders, followed by the suppression of a peaceful demonstration held by the families of prisoners and activists in the village of Al-Qedam, using rubber bullets and suffocating tear gas canisters. It's a message saying Salman bin Hamad and Rashid bin Abdullah stand hand in hand to whip the people again with merciless lashes.

Arabic Version