Nabeel Rajab: Bahrain Continues Crackdown on Opposition
Nabeel Rajab, who was in court today, told the judge that his detention is a political act aimed at weakening the uprising against the ruling family, and said authorities seek to muzzle free expression as part of crackdowns against opposition groups. His lawyer, Mohamed al-Jishi, posted a picture on Twitter, showing “More than 50 lawyers attending court in solidarity with HRD Nabeel Rajab.” Additionally, the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) reported mass arrests this morning of pro-democracy activists whose houses were stormed. Al Jazeera obtained an exclusive report that included an independent autopsy of 23-year-old Yousef Mowali, who had been in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department. The autopsy revealed Mowali had been electronically tortured and was unconscious when he drowned.
Meanwhile, following the announcement regarding a potential Saudi-Bahrain union, the Islamic Propagation Coordination Council of Iran called for demonstrations protesting the decision. Also, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani was quoted by the official Iran news agency as saying: “If Bahrain is supposed to be integrated into another country, it must be Iran and not Saudi Arabia.” Iran’s actions caused anger in Bahrain, whose foreign ministry described Larijani’s statement as, “blatant interference in Bahrain’s domestic affairs and a gross violation of its independence and sovereignty.”
Adam Curtis gives an historical account of Britain’s involvement with Bahrain, and says, “British advisers to the Bahraini royal family, backed up by British military might, were central figures in the creation of a ruthless system that imprisoned and sometimes tortured any Bahraini citizen who even dared to suggest the idea of democracy.” Robert Mackey adds that the U.S. hypocrisy of resuming arms sales to Bahrain parallels the support maintained by Britain that Curtis details.