Al Wefaq‘s latest creative campaign on social media is “capital of torture”. Their manipulated images, information and propaganda for the vast majority in Bahrain is infuriating. Western powers feed into this sensationalism and ludicrous accusations, actively ignoring the peaceful majority in a multi-cultural and tolerant society. Bahraini people by nature are calm and laid back and this vile aggression by Al Wefaq and abuse of their God given and government endorsed freedom has agitated the most docile person in the country. Al Wefaq spiritual leader Isa Qassim and political leader Ali Salman could demand an end to the Feb 14 Coalition Group violence but neither is permitted to make a decision without approval from their bosses in Iran.
In 2012 there were over 500 executions in Iran with many public hangings for relatively minor crimes including apostasy. This cruel despotic government still practices stoning where the victim if male is buried up his waist and a women to above here breasts and large stones are thrown at their heads causing a slow painful death. Surely the world should be standing up to this barbaric and cruel murder of the innocent citizens of Iran.
On February 28th 2013 UN reported on Iran; “The Secretary-General remains deeply troubled by reports of increasing numbers of executions, including of juvenile offenders and in public; continuing amputations and flogging; arbitrary arrest and detention; unfair trials, torture and ill-treatment; and severe restrictions targeting media professionals, human rights defenders, lawyers and opposition activities, as well as religious minorities”. This rather telling piece went unnoticed and yet there is no outcry from the west.
Iran leads the world in the execution of juvenile offenders (i.e. individuals under 18 when they allegedly committed the crime). Iranian law allows capital punishment for persons who have reached puberty, defined as 9 for girls and 15 for boys. In late 2012, there were more than 100 juvenile offenders on death row.
Rights Lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani was barred from practicing law for 20years and for “propoganda against the state”, assembly and collusion against the state and establishing the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD). Mohameed Ali Dadkhan’s sentence of nine years was upheld on the charges related to interviews with foreign media and membership of CHRD. He was also fined and received corporal punishment in the form of lashes and a ban on teaching for ten years.
On September 2, 2012, journalist Jila Baniyaghoob was sentenced to one year in jail for “spreading propaganda against the regime” and “insulting the president.” Authorities also banned Baniyaghoob from practicing journalism for 30 years. According to Reporters Without Borders, 48 journalists and bloggers were in Iran’s prisons as of August 2012.
Simon Rogers published amnesty International report showing executions around the world in the Guardian on Friday 12th April 2013 where he states “China, together with Iran, North Korea, Yemen and the US (the only G7 country to still execute people) carried out the most executions last year”.
On January 2013 the quarterly report by the Criminal Justice Project of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc reported that there were 3,125 inmates on death row in the USA with 63 of them being female. Nancy Mullane, a reporter for KALW Radio in San Francisco is one of the few reporters to visit California’s death row at San Quentin Prison. In a report released on 29th April 2013 she stated that in the block she visited, there were 500 inmates, in 4-by-10 foot cells, stacked five tiers high. Many of the inmates have been on death row for over 20 years. One of the inmates she met with, Justin Helzer, had stabbed himself in both eyes leaving him blind and partially disabled. He later committed suicide.
So, one must question the objective of western powers who join hands with Alwefaq to condemn this small country and progressive leadership. Alwefaq condemned the bombing in Boston yet encourage and promote terrorist acts on their own doorstep. Numerous police and civilians have been injured, maimed and killed by petrol bombs, mowed down with cars, shot with metal rods, bombed and attacked with a wide range of home made weapons. The targets are police and non-shiaa residents and civilians. Just recently an Indian couple were attacked and the woman suffered 80% burns. Non of this is remotely peaceful and yet Human Rights Watch together with western powers encourage and board the propaganda train to criticize a leadership that encourages women empowerment, freedom of speech and freedom of choice. Bahrain is a tax-free haven, where the government heavily subsidizes essentials including fuel, offers free housing for citizens and world-class health and education free for citizens and is available to all residents.
Bahrain is not the “Capital of Torture”.