For months, Bahraini and Saudi security forces targeted nonviolent protesters and activists wanting the repressive Al Khalifa monarchy replaced by constitutionally elected government, political freedom, and social justice, what Bahrainis never had and don’t now.
Three previous articles discussed it, accessed through the following links:
Still functioning despite authorities terrorizing people brutally, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) provides regular updates on the ground, expressing great concern about King Hamad’s ruthless:
“actions and arbitrary penalties against citizens who it believes participated or supported the peaceful protest movement in February and March, whereas, Bahraini authorities (unleashed) great violence (against them, resulting in) dozens of deaths, especially after” thuggish Saudi and Emirati forces also suppressed them.
On March 15, martial law was declared (the so-called State of National Safety), now lifted but nothing changed. Daily state terror continues unabated against all sectors of society, including opposition leaders, independent journalists, human rights and political activists, students, trade unionists, and other civil society sectors and institutions, targeting women and children as brutally as men.
Moreover, thousands of workers were arbitrarily fired. On May 29, the General Federation of Bahrain trade unions listed 1,724 sacked. In fact, many more are affected, their numbers increasing daily. Many were at the state controlled Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) and Aluminum Bahrain (ALBA), including anyone suspected of anti-regime sympathies.
Some weren’t given reasons. Others were asked whether they participated in peaceful protests and about their political affiliation.
These, in fact, are revenge firings, punishing workers for their views, political activities and sectarian affiliation in violation of the International Labor Organization’s Convention No. 111 on Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation. Its Article 1 prohibits it based on race, sex, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, as well as violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Even Bahrain’s labor law was violated, allowing dismissals only in cases of excessive numbers of unreasonable absences, preceded by sufficient advance warning in writing.
Mass Arrests, Disappearances and Torture Continuing
As of June 1, BCHR reports over 1,000 detentions and/or disappearances since imposition of martial law State of National Safety harshness. Many are missing and unaccounted for. Moreover, at least 35 were killed since mid-February and many others injured. In addition, 68 or more journalists were threatened, fired, and/or arrested for revealing information the regime wants suppressed.
Online activist Zakariya Al Aushayri was detained and killed. Others have harmed also, including reporters Faisal Hayyat, Hayder Mohammad, Ali Jawad, and many more, as well as warrants issued to arrest others. As a result, some fled the country for their safety, thankful to get out alive.
BCHR calls Bahrain “a dangerous zone for the freedom of press and journalists.” Those arrested “could die in view of the current security laws (the emergency law,)” as well as arbitrary brutality unleashed against anyone with anti-regime sympathies, especially human rights and political activists, as well as independent writers and bloggers. Many were arrested and/or threatened, including:
BCHR’s Sayed-Yousef Al-Mahafdha on March 20;
BCHR President and Vice Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Nabeel Rajab on the same day;
Mohammed Al-Masqati, President of the Bahrain Youth Human Rights Society (BYHRS);
Abdulhdi Alkhawaja, former BCHR President;
Naji Fateel, BYHRS board member;
Salman Naji, member of the Committee for the Unemployed;
Abdul Gani Khanjer, head of the Committee of the Victims of Torture; and
many others for supporting equity and justice over tyranny.