Support the struggle for democracy and social justice in Bahrain

By Valby og Sydvest mod krig (Copenhagen)

Manifestations against the king's yearly prestigious car race Formula 1 Grand Prix 21 April - Release Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and the other political prisoners

Protest in Bahrain
(Archive photo)

Unnoticed by Western mainstream media, almost daily impressive popular and peaceful mass activities for system change, democracy and social justice take place in the Gulf state of Bahrain.

The country is ruled by the absolutist monarch Hamad al-Khalifa, whom the opposition demands dethroned. Considering the size of the population - c. 1 mil. - this country has had the most comprehensive revolt of the total Arabian spring. However, the opposition is met by the despotic king's brutal security forces, who are committing considerable encroachments, killings, and mass arrests of the activists.

Just now, people are demonstrating against the yearly prestigious car race Formula 1 Grand Prix, which is being held 21 April. The demonstrators demand cancellation of the race and release of the imprisoned activists for democracy, among them the Danish-Bahraini citizen Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his daughter Zainab. Instead demonstrators are met with new arrests, violence, and tear-gas.

According to the human rights organisation Bahrain Center for Human Rights, for which Abdulhadi's other daughter Maryam is leader in charge, he and Zainab have in March begun a life endangering hunger strike in protest against the fact that they are denied family visits.

In the prison Abdulhadi has been tortured, and also in 2012 he carried through a hunger strike of 110 days, during which he came close to dying. Even doctors and nurses who have taken care of the wounded demonstrators, are being imprisoned and tortured.

But the democratic opposition receives no support from USA-NATO-EU, because the struggle for freedom and democracy takes place in the "wrong" country. In reality. Bahrain is a vassal state where USA has its fifth fleet in order to look after its geopolitical military and economic interests in the Middle East, the area in which 45 per cent of the known oil reserves of the world are found.

According to the estimate of the USA, the absolutist king is a better guarantee of US hegemony than a democratic mass movement.

The same situation is to be found in the other absolutist kingdoms of the Gulf, where especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar are important allies for the West and Israel, in unceasing conflict with Palestine, Libanon, Syria and Iran.

The aim is to weaken the global rivals Russia and China, who constitute a hindrance to the West and Israel in getting full control over the whole Middle East.

Foreign minister Villy Søvndal pretends to have done a steady and considerable effort to achieve the release of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who together with other activists for democracy has been imprisoned for more than two years.

Sadly, however, this is only a play to the gallery, since Denmark also under the SRSF government behaves as one of the most docile subjects of the USA, and as a member of NATO is even an allied partner of the dictatorial kingdoms of the Gulf.

All the Gulf states have made a musketeer oath of coming to each other's aid if the single régime is no longer able to withstand popular pressure for democracy.

When the kingdom of Bahrain was almost collapsing under popular opposition during the spring of 2011, Saudi Arabia invaded the country according to the musketeer oath. This happened two days after US minister of defense at the time, Robert Gates, left Bahrain after having expressed his support of Al-Khalifa.

Together with other activists, at a fake lawsuit in the high justice of Bahrain Abdulhadi al-Khawaja had his sentence confirmed, which to Abdulhadi means life imprisonment.

Only a broad international and popular support can ensure that he and the other political prisoners are released.

Support the struggle for democracy and social justice in Bahrain

Release Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and the other political prisoners

Valby and Sydvest against war (Copenhagen)

April 15th 2013

Danish version

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