Human Rights Watch (HRW) press conference in Bahrain on Thursday 28th February was an interesting work of fiction that conveniently omitted the voice of the majority in Bahrain. In the background were posters of Nabeel rajab, clearly indicating their judgment was without impartiality.
HRW speakers Sarah Leah Whitson and Mariwan R Hana were on a five-day visit and had the privilege of free access and meetings with Minister of Interior, Director of Public Security, Attorney General, Head of Special Investigations Unit, Representatives of Ministry of Social Affairs, Minster of Labour, Representatives of opposition societies, political associations, detainees and families of the detainees. Their agenda did not include families of injured or murdered policemen or workers, nor did they meet with any other prisoners or expatriates who have suffered at the hands of brutal protestors. The report submitted by HRW should therefore be considered null and void for failing to take into consideration a cross section of society in Bahrain.
Leah announced that they appreciated the transparency and willingness of the authorities to grant them access but their findings suggest that there is “no real accountability at the highest level of gross abuses during the government’s efforts to suppress uprising in 2011”. Despite palpable evidence it appears that HRW distorted facts to suit their financiers’ agenda. Reprehensibly, she referred to these treachorous criminals involved in a coup d’état as human rights activists, political detainees, medics and doctors. Another peculiar point she made was that the Ministry of Interior (MOI) must look at the absence of ethnic diversity but failed to clarify that in Bahrain citizens and residents are never asked their sect – Leah also failed to reveal that shiaa MOI employees had been forced to move due to threats and attacks by protestors that consider them traitors.
All legal paths have been exhausted so Sarah Leah has suggested a Royal Pardon for the masterminds that HRW believes are innocent. What is disturbing about this statement is the extensive suffering at the hands of the very people she refers to as activists. The visit to Jaw prison is like salt on raw wounds. Access to prisoners by HRW seems completely unnecessary and goes against the people’s trust in the legal system. These prisoners are convicted terrorists and architects behind a plot to overthrow the government. The small fanatical minority through increasing brutality claim to represent the majority, thus HRW are essentially in support of and condone terrorism in this country.
HRW’s history is sullied with highly questionable employees and donors. However, what is of more importance to the people of Bahrain is the damage organizations like HRW try to do to the reputation of a nation that has come through a major crisis. This country was built on a foundation of truth and non-negotiable trust in the government. The people have not lost faith and are determined to excel to new heights.
Human Rights Watch have once again failed Bahrain and the silent, peaceful majority.