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Leaders of the Revolution Jailed for Life by Military Court

Bahrain Freedom Movement, June 27, 2011

The ruling Al Khalifa family took revenge from its opponents yesterday by issuing life sentences against eight of the leading figures. A military court presided by a senior member of the ruling family read out the ruling in the presence of several envoys representing the USA and Europe. It remains to be seen whether these countries will issue condemnation of this show trial that had been condemned by international human rights bodies including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. It was one of the most blatant moves by the embattled regime fighting for survival and legitimacy. The sentencing of those innocent men has deprived it of both. Political and human rights figures have stressed that legitimacy cannot be achieved by military means or military courts. With no impartial human rights observers and with the presiding judge appointed by the military, there has been unanimous verdict among human rights bodies against its fairness or neutrality. When the executioner becomes the judge, the whole notion of justice becomes irrelevant.

Bahrainis have been infuriated by the verdicts which are considered political decisions by the Al Khalifa. With marks of severe torture visible on the faces of some of the victims and the assertion by all of them that they had been subjected to most horrific wounds as a result, the regime became the accused in the eyes of the world. The defiance of the political leaders upon hearing the sentences surprised those present at the court. Mr Abdul Wahab Hussain shouted with no fear in his heart: “The struggle will continue against this dictatorship”, while Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja and his daughter, Zainab, were set upon by members of the Death Squads present at the court as they started chanting anti-regime slogans. The summary attacks by those thugs became an embarrassment of the regime as members of the US and European countries were stunned by those vicious attacks on liberty, freedom and justice.

One of the positive outcome of those trials has been the ending of any talk of reconciliation with the Al Khalifa. The wedge between them and the people has now become unbridgeable. No free Bahraini is in the mood to participate in helping the defunct regime from its quagmire. The 1st July proposed “dialogue” has now become redundant for three main reasons. The first is the harsh sentences of the leaders of the revolution whose consent will determine the success or failure of any dialogue. The second is the continuing attack on the people’s demonstrations and rights. The third is the transformation of the “dialogue” into a public meeting for the people, and not a serious discussion of the future of the regime and the relations with the people. The ruling family has abandoned any intention for reforms and attempted to deceive the world with the talk of dialogue as being a public debate about various issues in which more than 300 of the registered societies would take place. That is not the political dialogue publicized by Al Khalifa’s Western backers.

The people have now reacted with utmost rage especially after the sentencing of the leaders. Over the past few days many demonstrations were held in towns and villages such as Duraz, Bani Jamra, Sanabis, Sitra, Karzakkan and elsewhere. They were also outraged by the killing of Mr Hassan Al Sitri, 70, who was killed by members of the Death Squads on Monday 20th June. He was kidnapped in the early hours of the morning, and was hit with hard instrument, possible a sword on his head and what appears to be an axe on his neck and back. His family was ordered to bury him in a hurry before any investigation was conducted. He is the fourth Bahraini to be killed by the regime since the martial law was lifted on 1st June.




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