Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Kerry in Bahrain: Ignores Horrific Human Rights Abuses

Kerry in Bahrain: Ignores Horrific Human Rights Abuses

by Stephen Lendman

Bahrain is home to America’s Fifth Fleet - its regime responsible for some of the world’s most appalling human rights abuses.

Ruling Al Khalifa family despotism resists democratic change, cracking down viciously on political opponents, human rights activists, independent journalists, academic freedom and medical professionals treating nonviolent protesters brutalized by regime harshness.

Washington considers Bahrain a close US ally. On April 7, Kerry visited its capital, Manama, turning truth on its head, calling the country “a leader within the region in trying to break through on creating change that involves its citizens in its politics and opens up space and possibilities.”

Saying it’s “particularly engaged with us now in this fight against radical terror” it partners with Washington in supporting - Kerry maintaining the fiction about America wanting regional “peace and prosperity.”

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) “struggle(s) to promote democracy and human rights in accordance with international norms” - documenting and reporting on Al Khalifa police state abuses, its longstanding war on fundamental freedoms.

Its staff works largely pro bono. Its president Nabeel Rajab was imprisoned twice for championing human rights, a criminal offense in Bahrain. He’s banned from foreign travel. A pending court case over a human rights issue may imprison him up to 10 more years.

In its 2015 annual report on Bahraini human rights abuses, BCHR highlighted increased security force and judiciary crackdowns on social media activists and human rights defenders.

Peaceful public assemblies are banned, participants subject to beatings, detention, prosecution and automatic convictions.

Anti-terror laws target supporters of equal rights for all Bahraini citizens - civil, religious and political groups affected, majority Shias especially abused.

Scores were killed during peaceful demonstrations. Around 4,000 political prisoners languish under gulag conditions, featuring torture and other forms of abuse.

The state of human rights in Bahrain is deplorable. None whatever exist. Disappearances are commonplace. 

Free expression is prohibited. Regime critics face arbitrary arrests, detention and torture, followed by rubber-stamp convictions and imprisonment under harsh conditions.

Guilt is automatic for anyone charged. So are torture and other forms of abuse. Authorities deny UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture entry into the country.

Abusive regime practices continue unaccountably. Washington and other rogue Western regimes turn a blind eye.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.