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Opinion: Attacking Bahrain Season - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The story goes like this – three citizens were found guilty by a court of killing two Bahraini police officers and an Emirati officer. They were given the death sentence by the court of cassation after exhaustive trial proceedings in the presence of the defendants’ lawyers, and after their statements were heard in accordance with court rulings that are in line with internationally accepted procedures. After that, the customary party attended by international organisations and human rights groups began.

These parties have become dull, repetitive and routine and they do not bring anything new, even if they are supported by states and governments, in light of the west’s coarse human rights awakening whose influence has started to erode and is no longer what it was. This is not because people do not believe in the role of organisations in consolidating human rights that are violated, but because these same people are sick of the blatant politicisation of these organisations, the lack of effective standards that determine their reactions and their disparity when it comes to dealing with issues.

Since the events of February 2011, Bahrain has been the target of a fierce Western campaign that organisations, bodies, governments and, unfortunately, regional states have been involved in. However, it has managed to overcome the effects of the crisis gradually and successfully. The tolerance that it has displayed exceeds that of well-established states that experienced similar crises and confronted them with violence and repression. Instead of helping Bahrain achieve success with its project of reformation which ironically began ten years before the Arab Spring, the attack against Bahrain was fierce and everyone except its real friends abandoned it. However, this did not prevent the kingdom from overcoming the toughest crisis in its history and proving its unique ability to become stronger than it was.

Earlier this month, an attack on a prison in Bahrain led to the escape of ten convicted prisoners who were convicted of serious crimes. The well planned operation in which sophisticated weapons were used and a guard was killed is considered new evidence that what Bahrain is facing is bigger than can be imagined. There are many signs that innocent people are being exploited in cells supported by Iran that do not just pose a great danger to Bahrain’s stability, but also to the stability of the entire region. Attempting to isolate events such as these from the full picture of what is happening in Bahrain is a violation of human rights unless the victims are not human beings!

Unfortunately, the political exploitation of human rights issues often defeats their fundamental aim and turns these issues into an arena for political attraction instead of being an arena purely for human rights in Bahrain. In Bahrain, for example, instead of these international organisations carrying out their roles to deepen the necessary concepts, stopping any potential violations, assisting in the review of policies, practices and legislation and bringing them closer to international standards, we find that the whole issue turns into abusing Bahrain politically. We also find that this abuse is based on false information and suspicious sources; in the recent incident, coverage focussed on the execution of the three defendants and ignored the rights of the three victims and their families. 25 Bahraini police men have been killed and 3,800 individuals have been injured in clashes with demonstrators since 2011. Don’t they have rights? Shouldn’t their killers be held accountable?