Bahraini activists and pro-democracy supporters have participated in a protest stand held in front of the Bahrain embassy in London. The stand was organized to mark the 10th anniversary of the popular February 14 uprising.
Despite the COVID- 19 pandemic’s restrictions in Britain, activists raised banners and chanted slogans emphasizing their pledge to move forward until their legitimate aspirations for change and reform are achieved.
Establishing a democratic system
Activists stressed that criminals and human rights abusers responsible for violations, ordered by the Bahrain’s ruler, Hamad bin Isa, must be held accountable.
One sign held by a protester read, “Ten years have passed since Bahrain’s revolution to end tribal rule and establish a democratic system.” Another sign read, “The Caliph Dictatorship Must Go.”
Meanwhile, 11 MPs in the British House of Commons sent a letter to Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, criticizing human rights violations in Bahrain, and they called on their country’s government to take measures against the Khilafite regime.
The letter indicated that it aims to draw the signatories’ attention to the violations that have occurred in the Kingdom, “as a direct result of the political decay since 2011”, and urged the UK government to call for the immediate release of political prisoners.
Earlier, a British MP criticized the Bahraini authorities’ arrest of two children, aged only 13, on charges related to his participation in the protest.
Labor Member of Parliament, Wayne David raised the issue of the Bahraini authorities’ interrogation of the two children, Hussein Ayoub and Mohammed Rashid.
In a tweet, he said “Earlier this week two 13-year-olds, Hussein Ayob and Mohammed Rashid were detained in Bahrain. They have been interrogated on charges linked to protesting and could face up to 20 years in prison. I have written to the UK Govt to ask them to intervene and press for their release.”
From Bad to Worse
“The Bahraini regime has arrested 4,500 political detainees since the start of the popular revolution on February 14, 2011,” former member of parliament and a leader at the Bahraini Al-Wefaq Society, Jalal Fayrouz, has stated.
“This regime is barbaric. It represses and arrests. Today there are about 4,500 political prisoners in Bahrain’s prisons,” he added.
In the wake of the 2011 popular uprising, the Bahraini state arrested many political figures and leaders, including the Secretary General of Al-Wefaq Islamic Society, Sheikh Ali Salman, Hassan Mushaima, Abdel-Wahab Hussein, among others.
10 years later the Arab Spring, international and Arab human rights defenders confirm that the situation in Bahrain is only getting worse, especially after the authorities’ resort to violence quell protests.
In a Zoom meeting this week, Bahraini activists, lawyers and journalists assured that the country’s human rights situation is moving backward after 2011, noting that all political leaders have been punished or silenced.
During the meeting, human rights activists presented cases that they considered evidence of the Bahraini authorities’ pursuit of opposition bodies and figures, including Bahraini Al-Wefaq Society.
“We chose to participate in the political process of our country. We believed that a change from within is possible. But we were faced with repression and life sentences like our leader, Sheikh Ali Suleiman,” Fayrouz concluded.