Sent : Wednesday, February 22, 2006 6:53 AM
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Subject : More threats, intimidation from a frustrated dictatorial regime

More threats, intimidation from a frustrated dictatorial regime

The frustration among the Al Khalifa members due to the failure of their political programme has now taken new dimensions. In addition to the frantic efforts to woo the international bodies to their faltering programme, they have now resorted to threats and intimidation against the activists, especially those who decided to work outside their imposed rules and regulations. In the past few days, the men of terror working within the Al Khalifa establishment sent harsh messages to the activists through an intermediary.

The message was that the activists are under continuous surveillance, the Al Khalifa were aware of their activities, they would not hesitate to take any acts of revenge against them and that they (the Al Khalifa) would not care about the reaction of the international human rights organisations who protested against the illegal detention of the Bahraini youth. These threats are now taken seriously by the activists who fear that the reign of terror initiated by Sheikh Hamad would continue and could escalate rapidly in the coming period.

Other threats were also transmitted to young activists in the popular committees. One of them has been told that he would pay a heavy price for taking part in the Committee of the Unemployed. More disturbing is the emerging evidence that the embassies of two major countries are taking active roles in promoting the Al Khalifa dictatorship through various means, including denying activists visas to visit their countries, organising seminars in support of the Al Khalifa dictatorial rule and putting efforts in forcing the people to be part of the despotic regime. One activist has recently been questioned aggressively by the visa section in one of these embassies about his political thinking and activities to the extent that he thought the embassy official was one of the Al Khalifa henchmen, and not the representative of the government of his country.

The frustration has been highlighted by the foreign minister in a recent interview with the Al Ayyam newspaper, one of the Al Khalifa mouthpieces. He expressed his surprise at the rising criticisms levelled against his familyís dictatorial rule, arguing that they had done what they could. But he also conceded that his family was not ready to sign the two special conventions on political and cultural rights. This is a serious admission from a senior official of a system that claimed to reform itself. It tallies well with the criticisms by the opposition that the Al Khalifa had been bluffing when they talked of reforms, and that hereditary dictatorship is not compatible with modern democratic trends.

The foreign ministerís mission in Switzerland and UK is to request the international NGOs to accept the dictatorial rule to which he belongs. Previously, the Al Khalifa had paid money to persons and organisations in order to either silence them or get positive statements from them. This policy of deception is an essential part of Sheikh Hamadís programme. The recent arrest and unlawful imprisonment of Bahraini youth has been criticised by international human rights organisations which called for their immediate release. The Al Khalifa are becoming more agitated by their continued failure to achieve the support of the people who are becoming more disillusioned by their illegal practices.

Meanwhile, the signing of the popular petition which is addressed to the United Nations, by tens of thousands of Bahrainis has contributed to the state of nervousness of the Al Khalifa regime. It is the first time in 35 years that the people of Bahrain are withdrawing publicly their recognition of the Al Khalifa rule and calling on the international community to intervene in order to save the people of Bahrain from this brutal and backward system.

The Al Khalifa regime is worried about the prospects of high tension in the coming weeks as it prepares to host the Formula 1 car racing. This is the project of Sheikh Hamadís son who is the new Al Khalifa face to the western world. The race, scheduled for 10-12th March is intended to provide a positive image of the regime whose image had been tarnished by the despotic nature of the regime, its policies of repression and practices of torture and collective punishment. The people of Bahrain are expected to inform the participants in the forthcoming race of the true dictatorial face of the regime.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
21 February 2006