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A study of income inequality in Bahrain highlights the failure of the Government to extend its aid to those who need it most.
Can you guess the country? For decades, the people of this Middle Eastern state have lived under what is effectively a hereditary dictatorship. In spring last year, however, it looked like things might finally change. A long-repressed people began to feel emboldened.
Activists Refute Bahrain Government Claim of Reform Implementation Researchers launch "Government Inaction" website to track government’s implementation of BICI Recommendations [Manama] The Bahraini government has failed to fully implement any of the recommendations made by a prominent rights commission last year, said a team of independent activists on Thursday. The group, calling itself Bahrain Watch, made the statement on the launch of their new website Government Inaction ( http://bahrainwatch.org/govinaction ).
In spite of claims that Bahrain’s revolution has failed, the reality is that peaceful protests, a campaign of civil disobedience, and anti-Al Khalifa energy is at an all-time high. The regime’s reliance on heavy-handed violence has failed to quell the country’s revolutionary spirit or stamp out the opposition. If anything, the yearlong brutal siege against its own citizens has strengthened the resolve of anti-regime critics and their determination to carry on. Among the most determined to keep the revolution alive is the Coalition of February 14 th Youth , an anonymous and decentralized political network that has coordinated months of activism and protest. While Bahrain’s older and more visible political societies, including al-Wefaq and Wa’ad, have sought and failed to negotiate with the government over the last year, the Coalition of February 14 th Youth has steadily earned popular legitimacy for its commitment to revolutionary principles and action.
[The following press release was issued by Bahrain Watch on 22 April 2012 regarding Alaa al-Shehabi's arrest earlier today.
[The following press release was issued by Bahrain Centre for Human Rights on 26 March 2012.] BCHR publishes today its new report, Post BICI Report , presenting the key findings from the ongoing effort to document human rights violations occurring in the state of Bahrain since the publication of the Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) in November 2012. Our investigative report supports the rights of victims, no matter their political or religious background.
MANAMA, Bahrain—Fourteen months after the Arab Spring hit the shores of Bahrain, revolution has at least two major hubs.
MANAMA, Bahrain – In a house at the end of a maze of narrow streets, I sat listening to a dozen young men as they described their close encounters with the full force of Bahrain's government crackdown. We were in one of the poor, Shiite villages scattered across the country, which have remained hotbeds for revolt despite the government's persistent attempts to suppress the uprising that began last year. The boys wore an assortment of soccer shirts, and those awful rat-tail haircuts teenage boys all over the world think look cool. They said they had been severely beaten by the police in the previous two days. "They beat us until they got tired, then other policemen would take over and beat us more," said one boy. For all of the Bahraini government's efforts to show progress on human rights in response to the inquiry it commissioned last year, not much seems to have changed in places like this.
There are currently an estimated six hundred political prisoners in Bahrain, as a result of the regime's ruthless retaliation against a popular uprising that started in February 2011. 397 citizens are thought to be currently serving sentences delivered by military and civilian courts that fall far short of international standards for fair trials. On Saturday, 7 April 2012, one of these prisoners was transferred to a prison clinic after allegedly losing twenty-five percent of his body weight as the result of a hunger strike begun on 8 February 2012. Fifty-one-year-old human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has reportedly said: " My hunger strike is a part of my human rights defense inside jail.
Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, the 51-year-old co-founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, reaches his 78th day of a hunger strike today, just as world media attention turns away from the island after the Grand Prix. The Bahraini authorities tell us he is in good health. But what if they act too late?
An important aspect of many of the popular movements of the Arab Spring has been the emergence of different generations of activists from the same families. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his daughters Zainab al-Khawaja and Maryam al-Khawaja epitomize such cross-familial activism. Abdulhadi is among the most renowned human rights activists in Bahrain. A co-founder of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), a regional representative for Ireland-based Frontline Defenders, a consultant for Amnesty International, and a member of The Arab Group for Monitoring Media Performance, al-Khawaja has dedicated his life to achieving political freedom and human rights for all in Bahrain. After being forced to seek political asylum in Denmark for twelve years, following constant persecution by Bahraini authorities for his activism, the al-Khawajas moved back to Bahrain in 2001, based on promises of “democratic reforms” that would transform the hereditary emirate into a constitutional monarchy.
Since the start of the Arab Spring, which has led to many new seasons of protest in turn, the media has often gravitated to individual activists who have become leading figures in mobilizing the public during these revolutions.
MANAMA, Bahrain — When the boys at the head of the column bolted, so did we.
Just 10 days before car racing's biggest event, the Formula One race (F1), is scheduled to hit Bahrain, serious questions are emerging about whether the country can or should host the sporting event. Human rights activists point to a barrage of ongoing abuses that they argue discredit the government from putting on an international spectacle.
There have been some people willing to forego the hyperbole. ‘It’s a car race’, said F1 driver Mark Webber: ‘There are a hell of a lot of people in the world who don’t have a clue there is a grand prix in Bahrain next weekend so let’s not get too wrapped up in our own bubble about how important it is.’