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And still they receive full support from the ‘promoters of democracy worldwide’ and no one is condemning their crimes.

Oil and Saudi connection is much more valuable to the western world than the lives of some ‘iran-connected-shia-bahraini’ who ‘pretend to be democratic’.

Stability of a brutal dictator is more important than giving freedom to people who may anger the Saudi kingdom.

Bahrain tries ex-lawmakers, imprisons poet – CNN.com

Bahrain tries ex-lawmakers, imprisons poet

By Nic Robertson, CNN Senior International Correspondent

Thousands of opposition supporters rallied in the Bahraini capital of Manama on Saturday, June 11, 2011.

Manama, Bahrain (CNN) — At least two former Bahraini opposition lawmakers went on trial Sunday, as a military court sentenced a 20-year-old poet to a year in prison.

Matar Matar and Jawad Fairooz were charged with “spreading malicious lies in an attempt to overthrow the government,” an official in the Information Affairs Authority told CNN.

Both men pleaded not guilty and will remain in custody until their next hearing, said the official, Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Mubarak. He said their lawyers have been given more time to prepare their cases.

Both men were seized May 2, family members said.

The trials come after the small, strategically important Gulf kingdom was swept by protests earlier this year as part of the Arab Spring demonstrations.

The legal proceedings began Sunday without prior notice, according to a Matar family member who asked not to be named for security reasons.

Fairooz’s lawyer only found out the charges once he appeared in court Sunday, the defendant’s brother Jamsheer Fairooz said.

Jawad Fairooz said he was being treated well and looked to be in physically good condition but had “aged 10 years — his beard and hair have both gone white,” his brother said.

Matar, 35, was taken from his car by armed men in masks on May 2, according to a relative. He represented the biggest constituency in Bahrain, with approximately 16,000 people.

Elected to the lower house of Parliament in October 2010, Matar resigned along with other Wefaq lawmakers earlier this year to protest the government crackdown on demonstrators. Wefaq is a Shiite party, the predominant religion in the kingdom whose rulers are Sunni.

Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab said the trials are “not (of) an international standard,” saying the defendants had “not only (had) no access to lawyer but even their families (were) not informed they were being taken court.”

Meanwhile, poet Ayat al-Qormozi, 20, was found guilty of assembling at Pearl Roundabout, the epicenter of anti-government demonstrations in the kingdom earlier this year. Additional charges included speaking out against Bahrain and the king.

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights said she read a poem criticizing government policy at the Roundabout.

Mubarak, the government official, said Bahrain had freedom of speech, but that there were limits.

“Freedom of speech in this country has its boundaries and cannot touch on the leadership, and cannot call for the overthrow of the government,” he said.

Her poem, he said, “caused incitement and hatred to his majesty the king and to the prime minister” with lines such as “we are people who kill humiliation” and “assassinate misery.”

Amnesty International called the charges “unfair” in a statement after the sentence.

“By locking up a female poet merely for expressing her views in public, Bahrain’s authorities are demonstrating how free speech and assembly are brutally denied to ordinary Bahrainis,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Al-Qormozi had been detained since March 30, after her father led security forces to her in the face of threats to his other children’s lives, a family member said.

She alleges that she received electrical shocks to her face and was beaten with a hose while in detention, according to the relative, who asked not to be named for security reasons.

Her mother and father were the only family members allowed in court, the relative said, adding that a lawyer was present with her.

Bahraini security forces went to her house around midnight a few days before she was detained, but she was not home, the relative said.

The security forces broke things in the house and told the family they would return the following day for her. They returned the next night but she was still in hiding, the relative said.

The family member said security forces then took two of the poet’s four brothers and threatened them with guns in their faces. The father, fearing for his family’s lives, took the security forces to her. The family was assured that she would not be harmed, the family member said.

Bahrain’s government declined to comment on the specifics of al-Qormozi’s case, but said: “All detention centers conform to the conditions set down under international human rights regulations and the detainees are treated as innocent until proven guilty.”

Thousands of Bahrainis protested their government Saturday in a rally organized by the Wefaq party.

Unafraid, pro-reform demonstrators hit the streets with their faces uncovered, said a journalist at the scene who was not identified for security reasons.

Rajab, the human rights activist, put the turnout at “no less than 10,000,” while police put it at 4,000, the national news agency said.

Rajab said the march went off peacefully, with no security forces present.

It was the second such protest since the government last week lifted emergency laws that were imposed in mid-March, allowing a crackdown on political leaders and journalists.

Bahrain’s ruling royal family — Sunnis in a majority-Shiite nation — accuses protesters of being motivated by sectarian differences and supported by Iran.

Ali Salman, the secretary general of al Wefaq, told the large crowds that he supports the government’s offer of dialogue but said he could not endorse it fully until the conditions for such talks were clear.

Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa pledged cooperation from the government “to reach national consensus so as to ensure a better future for the kingdom,” the state-run Bahrain News Agency said.

Crown Prince Salman, who met with U.S. officials in Washington Wednesday, thanked President Barack Obama for his backing of a national dialogue in Bahrain.

Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, and the United States has been concerned about the instability in the Persian Gulf island state.

Obama Praises Bahrain Tyrant on Visit, Dims Awakening’s Prospects « Antiwar.com Blog.

Obama Praises Bahrain Tyrant on Visit, Dims Awakening’s Prospects

John Glaser, June 08, 2011

There have been various moments since the start of the Arab Spring where the level of blatant, outright support for Middle Eastern dictatorship on display should have embarrassed Obama and his team, but yesterday was a highlight.

The Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa visited the White House, meeting with Obama and his National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. The President “reaffirmed the strong US commitment to Bahrain,” praised the King’s supposed “efforts to initiate the national dialogue” (whatever that’s supposed to mean), and looked forward to (some fictional) “compromise to forge a just future for all Bahrainis.”

This reaffirmation of support on behalf of the American people to a Bahraini government brutalizing it’s own citizens who are fighting for their own dignity should warrant terrified gasps and accusing disbelief. But no, not in the Imperial City. This is protocol.

This is the same Bahraini government who has been gunning down unarmed activists with live ammunition, unleashing “live rounds, metallic pellets, rubber bullets, and teargas” at protestors for months, and violently supressing this eruption of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations at every turn. This government, Obama’s close friend and ally, arrested and sentenced doctors and nurses who treated protesters injured by the horrible repression, and followed up by declaring martial law and stepping up unprovoked attacks on civilians. Protests have still not moved the country toward more freedom and democracy and thus the Bahraini people remain enslaved under a harsh criminal regime.

All this, and the only thing the Hope & Change Candidate can say is that his support is strong and reaffirmed, and that the regime’s perfunctory lifting of martial law and entirely rhetorical credence to “national dialogue” is a positive step in the right direction.

Centrists and establishment types try to justify this as necessary for long term stability and in the best interests of America – those code words for empire – while simultaneously sympathizing with poor Obama and how hard it must be for him to have to be diplomatic with Bahrain. But the truth is that so long as the U.S. continues to meddle in the affairs of every single Middle Eastern country experiencing these revolutionary changes, the prospects for positive change for the millions of people living there are dim. The truth is, this kind of support for repression and tyranny needs  to start eliciting the gasps and condemnation it warrants.

Fidel Castro: The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden

Fueling Hatred and Revenge

The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden

By FIDEL CASTRO

Those persons who deal with these issues know that on September 11 of 2001 our people expressed its solidarity to the US people and offered the modest cooperation that in the area of health we could have offered to the victims of the brutal attack against the Twin Towers in New York.

We also immediately opened our country’s airports to the American airplanes that were unable to land anywhere, given the chaos that came about soon after the strike.

The traditional stand adopted by the Cuban Revolution, which was always opposed to any action that could jeopardize the life of civilians, is well known.

Although we resolutely supported the armed struggle against Batista’s tyranny, we were, on principle, opposed to any terrorist action that could cause the death of innocent people.  Such behavior, which has been maintained for more than half a century, gives us the right to express our views about such a sensitive matter.

On that day, at a public gathering that took place at Ciudad Deportiva, I expressed my conviction that international terrorism could never be erradicated through violence and war.

By the way, Bin Laden was, for many years, a friend of the US, a country that gave him military training; he was also an adversary of the USSR and Socialism.  But, whatever the actions attributed to him, the assassination of an unarmed human being while surrounded by his own relatives is something abhorrent. Apparently this is what the government of the most powerful nation that has ever existed did.

In the carefully drafted speech announcing Bin Laden’s death Obama asserts as follows:

“…And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.”

That paragraph expressed a dramatic truth, but can not prevent honest persons from remembering the unjust wars unleashed by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan, the hundreds of thousands of children who were forced to grow up without their mothers and fathers and the parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace.

Millions of citizens were taken from their villages in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba and many other countries of the world.

Still engraved in the minds of hundreds of millions of persons are also the horrible images of human beings who, in Guantánamo, a Cuban occupied  territory, walk down in silence, being submitted for months, and even for years, to unbearable and excruciating tortures.  Those are persons who were kidnapped and transferred to secret prisons with the hypocritical connivance of supposedly civilized societies.

Obama has no way to conceal that Osama was executed in front of his children and wives, who are now under the custody of the authorities of Pakistan, a Muslim country of almost 200 million inhabitants, whose laws have been violated, its national dignity offended and its religious traditions desecrated.

How could he now prevent the women and children of the person who was executed out of the law and without any trial from explaining what happened? How could he prevent those images from being broadcast to the world?

Having assassinated him and plunging his corpse into the bottom of the sea are an expression of fear and insecurity which turn him into a far more dangerous person.

The US public opinion itself, after the initial euphoria, will end up by criticizing the methods that, far from protecting its citizen, will multiply the feelings of hatred and revenge against them.

The disgusting double standard of the western media does not call this man for a hero, an unarmed youngster who’s only desire was to live in a society where is not being discriminated because of his race, his religion or his class. He was brutally murdered on the streets of Bahrain in front of the eyes of 100s of demonstrators. Thanks to the video captured by a bystander, we were able to see this crime. But that is not enough, the cold blooded murder of an innocent man is an acceptable behavior for dictators who are ‘friends’ of the US and the other western ‘democracies’.

It is just one more example of the pathetic double standard in our world.

Tribute to the Hero of Bahrain | ICU Online Blog Central

Tribute to the Hero of Bahrain

As a young Middle Eastern boy (Egyptian by blood) and raised in London, I remember observing the state of racism in the 80′s and asking myself, “if there were a war between black and white, would I be on both sides?”

With sadness I have observed that no matter where the violence comes from, its inappropriate.

Although embarrassing to think this way, I can just about get my head around the idea that killing our own as a reactive measure would make an example of the victim, warding off others who attempt the same actions.

In my heart of hearts, my response to that thinking is, if we kill our fellowman for any reason, we are making examples of ourselves, proving that we are not mature enough as a people to handle the business of running a planet.

If we ever reach maturity and move on with our thinking, convinced that doing harm is never appropriate, this is where I stand in silence, hopeful that we can one day move on.

Here’s to you Hero of Bahrain