#Alkhawaja one case .. one hashtag ! #Bahrain

Alkhawaja was the Middle East and North Africa Protection Coordinator with Front Line Defenders before he leave his post in February 2011 to devout himself entirely for the sake of revolution in Bahrain

 

Abdulhadi Alkhawaja is a Bahraini human rights defender hero. On Feb 12, 2012 he started open-ended hunger strike until freedom or death refusing his unjustified sentenced for life imprisonment and the violation for human rights in prison

The last known location for Alkhawaja is the military hospital, he has been transferred as the side effects of hunger has dramatically escalated damaging his health, after being on his for two months. Alkhawaja’s case attracted international attention starting from global NGOs, Denmark and the UN not only because he is a pioneer rights activist in the GCC are but also because he hold a Danish passport. However the daily visits from the Danish ambassador in Bahrain to Alkhawaja called of for the past two days. Therefore, his lawyer is afraid that he’s passed away as no body have seen or talked to him in two days.

The government in Bahrain refused a formal danish request to transfer Alkhwaja to Denmark to get the medical treatment he need. However the Danish P.M said that according to trusted sources Alkhawaja is still alive yesterday. Also many reports said that Alkhawaja is subjected to forced feeding which considered as a type of torture.

The demand of changing the regime was adopted by Alkhwaja earlier before the revolution in February 2011 when he called to replace the the slogan “Death to Alkhlifas” with “step down the ruling gang”. And he was very clear in that when was giving his speeches in Lulu square last year. which may be the cause of subjecting him to extensive torture to the extent that, according to his daughter, when they arrested him, he has been taken from home unconscious due to the beating he received from the arresting officers.

The prison didn’t meant to Alkhwaja the end of his battle. he is fighting with the only weapon he got, and he’s so far succeeding in performing pressure on the government and its not a surprising to be himself the reason to call off Bahrain F1 grand prix which is scheduled later this month.

On twitter many tweeps are putting a lot of effort on tweeting about Alkhawaja, when he entered the danger stage

last released picture for Alkhawaja , in this stage he lost quarter of his weight

and his health started to collapse they tried to trend the hashtag #DontForgetAlkhawaja and they failed which is every predictable for several reasons first because the population of Bahrain is not big enough and second the world is not fully supporting Bahrainis like they Egyptians or the Syrians for example which means there are no much of tweets from the rest of the world to help trending the hashtag. There is one blame on the Bahrainis though. As they, maybe, don’t consider Twitter as a tool to send a message to the world but a new fashion of chatting and spamming the world wide web. Its very possible to count at least five hastags related to Alkhwaja case .. but why?  #SaveAlkhwaja , #DontForgetAlkhawaja , #FreeAlkhwaja have the same meaning and add nothing to the case, its only confuse the tweeps and lower the chances of trending a hashtag or even having a top tweet ! in a personal opinion the hastag #Alkhwaja is good enough, and its short ,so it gives a chance to write longer tweets. I honestly don’t know why people don’t focus on tweeting with this hashtag instead of creating a new one every few days only for the sake of change!

This is a honest advice from a person who don’t know better, to focus on one hastag and tweet about Alkhwaja as much as possible, so people know that Bahrain has a hero who is welling to give his life just to put Bahrain back on the surface and make the international community busy.

Witness Bahrain .. A Step On The Right Track.

I just finished reading the the two parts of the blog entry Day and night in a Bahraini Jail (1/2) by  Radhika Sainath on Witnessbahrain.org The American human right activist mentioned the details of a miserable  24 hours she was living under the regime’s custody in Bahrain. The articles shows how the police force is not respecting the basic rights of a human being, baring in mind that Radhika “almost” survived beating and torture, only, and just only she’s holding an American passport. However that didn’t cleared her from being handcuffed for seven hours, during her entire flight from Bahrain to London, and being talked to rudely.

Witness Bahrain published this anonymous taken picture for Radhika Sainath handcuffed in a Bahrain owned Gulf Air aircraft

The article also briefly describe the details related to on ground work, and the difficulties a human right activist might face. Radhika mentioned how they divided the work of photographing, videotaping, and tweeting, among the group and each accompanied a local activist and found their ways, behind the radar of the police, to Standard Chartered bank branch in Manama, Downtown where was the secret gathering point for the demonstration.

After the effort put together to establish Witness Bahrain initiative, the regime targeted foreign human right activists and deported several of them as WitnessBahrain.org reported on their press releases. Apparently forbidding journalists from entering the country has not succeed in blocking the information flow, it seems that the activists whom came from various academics backgrounds and carriers identity managed somehow in covering the shortage of reporting.

I personally was in touch with several arab activists, they seemed to have no clue about whats going on in Bahrain, and that the revolution ended within its first two weeks, which obviously is not true. the blackout applied on Bahrain via media influenced by the Saudi money kind of working very well. plus convincing Arabs with the legitimacy of the revolution in Bahrain will need extra work as its Shia majority is actually a minority in the Arab world and already stereotyped. Understanding the fact of the Arabs sectarian nature, the double standards in approaching both Syrian and Bahraini revolutions serves as a clear evidence, will indeed bring up the idea the promoting the revolution in Bahrain need to be by a third party that is not involve in the historical, classical clash between the shiites and sunnis. And in a manner devoted for those who are actually care, not only for random audience, which maybe sectarian enough to not see clearly.

Youtube clip shows Bahrain’s Police arresting several American activists.  

Therefore, the initiative Witness Bahrain is a good deal. actually thats way it has been targeted lately, to the extent that the regime deport US citizens. if its not the first a history, I would you say the regime will not do such an action unless its a serious matter, because he tries to keep democratic face to foreigners, specially activists, as much as possible. I truly wish that the mission of this initiative has a larger goal than witnessing the first anniversary of the revolution, and hunting down activists doesn’t affect its work.

Angry Arabia in Jail .. AGAIN !!

Zainab al-Khawaja

I blogged about Zainab arrest last December, and it appeared, as expected, that they can’t keep her behind bars for long time. And as soon as they released her, she participated creatively and bravely more and more in Bahrain’s reevaluation.

The revaluation in Bahrain lacks pioneer youth to take the lead in political decision making, and influencing the public opinion. Unfortunately the activism in Bahrain remains classical and in the hand of those who have been in charge of politics since the 80’s and 90’s in a very traditional structure, however Zainab is one of the few youth leaders whom influenced the revolution in their own way.

Zainab joined Nabeel Rajab and his family in their walk to Lulu Square in Manama on February 13th. A video you youtube.com showed Zainab waving her hand with the V sign in-front off police officer whom were protected in between barbed wire fence and military vehicles, and she was shouting, most probably, with famous phrase  “Down Down Hamad”. another video showed her siting on the ground, surrounded with police officers waiting for police vehicles to take her, she was shouting “Down Down Hamad” while she was on the ground.

 

a spectator should admire the courage that Zainab has, a Bahraini should always be grateful to her, she is definitely a figure of the bright Bahrain revolution.

Bahrain Witness Under Arrest!

 

Huwaida Arraf, member of Bahrain Witness, a group arrived to Bahrain to witness the events of Bahrain’s revolution first anniversary  was arrested in Manama today!

(Manama) – US Citizens Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath were arrested by Bahraini security forces in Manama on Saturday during a peaceful protest in near the Standard Chartered Bank downtown. Protesters had marched into the city center to reestablish a presence of nonviolent, peaceful protest leading up to the 1-year anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain.

Huwaida and Radhika were in Bahrain as part of an international solidarity effort aimed at providing an international civilian presence to report and monitor the situation on the ground. Leading up to February 14, Bahraini authorities had prevented journalists, human rights observers and other internationals from entering the country, leading many to fear a brutal crackdown. The two women are part of the Witness Bahrain initiative (www.witnessbahrain.org), which arrived in Bahrain in response to a call by Bahraini democracy activists for international observers.

Just yesterday, top US human rights envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, called on the Bahraini authorities to respect the rights of Bahrainis to peaceful protest and to refrain from using excessive force. Huwaida was dragged away by numerous security forces after sitting on the ground, and it is widely reported that detainees have suffered physical abuse while on the way to and at police stations.

Both women were part of a peaceful protest marching near the Pearl Roundabout – site of last year’s peaceful round-the-clock protest in Bahrain, modeled after Egypt’s Tahrir Square – when they were attacked. Both are human rights lawyers, and both have experience as human rights activists in Palestine. Additionally, both were part of the National Lawyer’s Guild delegation to Gaza following Operation Cast Lead to investigate possible war crimes and illegal use of American weaponry on a civilian population.

source : http://witnessbahrain.org/

Bahrainmirror.com reported(Ar) that Huwaida was beaten and arrested aggressively this afternoon, when she were participating in the 6th run of “Sumood” a peaceful protect in Manama downtown, organized by Nabeel Rajab president of Bahrain center of human rights.  On the government side, Bahrain news agency said that two activists have been deported from the country for joining illegal activities.

 

Bahrain is Lulu

"Farooq Junction" after vanishing Lulu landscape in a military operation supported by Saudi troops. The junction remain closed since last March when the operation took place.

 

I was inspired to write this post after reading the following tweet, that was mentioned in the article Bahrain: Celebration and Criticism Greet “Manama, Capital of Arab Culture 2012″ on globalvoices.com

@Hu4mansoor: ليس طريقا للؤلؤ ذاك الذي لا يمر على دوار اللؤلؤة. #bahrain #14feb
It is not a Path of Pearls if it doesn’t lead to the Pearl Roundabout.
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Its rather ironic that Bahrain started its opening ceremony for celebrating its “unfair” granted title of Capital of Arab Culture 2012 with a musical performance called “The Path of Pearls”. Yes Bahrain is known and well always known with Pearls, just because it is the host of finest pearls ever and many if not the most of locals were working in pearls hunting before discovering the oil on the island. But, however, authorities tried and obviously failed in deleting this fact from the country’s history just after the civilized citizens protested in the well known “Lulu” square in the middle of the capital Manama.
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With a very radical mind, the authorities not only changed it’s name to “Al-Farooq” junction, the very sectarian name that they thought will increase the tension among the divided to Shiites and Sunnis locals, but also destroyed a beautiful landscape of the pearl in the middle of the square and installed ugly traffic lights that remained closed with maximum security since last March.
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Bahrain’s government also withdraw the ” 500 Fils” coins and stopped it from being used just because it had the picture of Lulu symbol  on one of its sides. But they anyway didn’t had the courage to change the name of one of oldest and famous malls in the heart of Manama called “Lulu Mall”. They, then, lacked the intelligence to achieve one of the most meaningless polices they adopted to handle the sequences of  the revelation.

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Its seriously funny, that they chose the same theme they were fighting over a year now to their opening ceremony. And its defiantly worthy to notice that almost in the same time the formal opposition in Bahrain announced their open sit-in in one of the villages while many people are getting prepared to head back to Lulu square on the next February 14th. Although its very obvious how aggressively the regime attack the daily marches in Bahrain, we are eager to see how the cultured regime will handle the two major upcoming events.