- BayBak, Voice of a Nation - http://www.en.baybak.com -
Bahrain protests resume
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 718 days ago | Friday, 3rd June , 2011 , 18:44 [pm] | International
|.|| Since then, hundreds of opposition figures, along with many doctors and nurses who treated protesters, have been arrested, with some being tried in military courts.
King Hamad Al Khalifa lifted
Almost three months ago, Saudi forces moved into Bahrain to crush the pro-democracy movement. Soon after, Bahrain’s king declared a three-month state of emergency.
Since then, hundreds of opposition figures, along with many doctors and nurses who treated protesters, have been arrested, with some being tried in military courts.
King Hamad Al Khalifa lifted emergency rule two days ago, and within hours, protesters had returned to the streets. Bahrain’s democracy activists say these protests will continue.
Nabeel Rajab, is the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, and has been a very vocal supporter of the democracy movement. I spoke to him earlier.
NABEEL RAJAB: Well as soon as the lifting of the emergency law people have come out in the street to protest, men and women. We’ve seen thousands of people in many different places, not like before as one central protest which gathered tens or hundreds of thousands of people, but we’ve seen tens of different protests in different area.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: What’s the reaction from the police or the government forces?
NABEEL RAJAB: As they were before, attack, severely attacking the protesters, peaceful protesters, by tear gas, by birdshot, by rubber bullet, we have many people injured before yesterday.
Yesterday at least one woman, out of shock of the sound bomb, she died and now, as I’m talking to you, people are burying her. And they’ve been protesting today, early morning, also in her specific place and they were attacked as they were burying the woman.
So we expect to see later today also at three o’clock, four o’clock in the afternoon more of protest around Bahrain and I expect to see also the police and the national guard attacking them severely. And I’m afraid we’re going to have more injuries today.
And what has worried us is that you can’t take them to hospital because we don’t have a hospital. Hospital is occupied by the military and as soon as they get to the hospital they get arrested and beaten and tortured inside the hospital. So most of the people, past two days were treated at home by some volunteer doctors or nurses.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: Previously the government and official media have suggested that some in the protest movement are not that peaceful, that they are indeed violent; how can you assure us that this is a peaceful protest?
NABEEL RAJAB: I mean they’ve been saying that for a long time but they could not prove it. As you’ve seen we’ve had hundreds of journalists around Bahrain, we have hundreds of many human rights defenders and from human rights organisations where in Bahrain witnessing those protests.
And it is agreed upon all of them, maybe the Bahraini’s protest was the only peaceful protest in all the revolution we had in the past few months. That we called if ‘Flower Revolution’ because people were carrying flowers in their hand and giving it to the police and army.
Our revolution was very peaceful, people have not even thrown stone on the policeman, it was seen by hundreds of TV station and the news media and the news agencies around the world. It was very peaceful and this is what’s being witnessed also by all human rights organisations.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: What was it that motivated you to become one of the key figures in the protest movement?
NABEEL RAJAB: I mean enough you see your people getting killed in the street, and you see how being humiliated, you see your people getting arrested and systematically tortured and systematic discrimination against people.
You see how government they rule Bahrain with the same tribal, bloody mentality that ruled when they invaded the country 250 years ago. You think the time has come for change.
And the whole world has changed, only our Arab region, now even our Arab region start to change, we start seeing a newly born democracies in Egypt and in Tunisia and maybe very soon in Libya and Syria.
Why, we are not different than those people, we need to see change in our country. We need to stop torture, we need to see human rights being respected in our country. We deserve to have democracy, as you have democracy in your country. We deserve to have elected government and we deserve to have a parliament that has power to legislate and monitor and that’s what we are fighting for.
BRENDAN TREMBATH: Doing this sort of interview would be common here in Australia, but how fearful are you of speaking out from your country?
NABEEL RAJAB: Speaking out is the most dangerous thing in Bahrain, as you know now. Not enough people that you can get easily to speak in the radio or TV station. It’s become the most dangerous thing.
Most of people who spoke out today, they are behind bars, they are in jail. Most of the bloggers and people even tweeting by their name or by the Facebook made a statement, they are in jail; presented or referred to a military trial. So it’s difficult to find someone to speak to in Bahrain.
Myself, two days ago, I was referred to the military prosecutor because of my interviews also and because of my Twitter account, that I’ve been updating people in what’s happening in this part of the world.
It’s very dangerous speaking out in this country. It’s very difficult to say to the outside world what is happening here, the crimes committed against humanity. But there are some people who have to come out and speak anyhow, no matter how much is the danger, no matter how much is the cost, but somebody has to come out and speak if we want to see a real change.abc, Voice of a Nation