Bahrain's Foreign Minister: We Imprison our Citizens according to International Standards!
2018-01-17 - 8:27 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): "Screaming as much as the pain", this saying applies to Bahrain's Foreign Minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, who was screaming all over Twitter, expressing his distress and pain over what was revealed by a press conference held by human rights organizations in Beirut (October 2017) concerning prison conditions in Bahrain.
The Al-Jazeera TV channel's live coverage of the press conference and also their coverage on their website caused a very sensitive reaction from the Bahraini authorities, whose agitation was voiced by the Foreign Minister.
The Minister, who forgot or acted as if he has forgotten that more than 4,000 freedom-seeking prisoners are languishing behind bars in Bahrain and being subjected to the worst forms of abuse, began criticizing the Qatari authorities for their human rights record.
"Qatar's crisis is not only about its shameful actions and its conspiracy against its brethren, but also about its dismal societal state that is based on injustice, oppression and racism," said the FM in his rant on Twitter.
Many Qatari tweeters took on the task of responding to him by mocking the Bahraini FM for accusing their government of oppression and reminding him of the discrimination that his ruling family practices against their own people, while others responded by posting footage showing the extent of poverty in Bahrain.
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Qatar and other countries in the Gulf all have their own societal and political problems, but how could the Bahraini FM talk about the oppression and tyranny of others when statistics show that his country comes first in terms of poverty, number of prisoners, and persecution of citizens.
As for discrimination, according to reports issued by the US which is Bahrain's main ally, the ruling Al Khalifa family regime excludes the Shiite majority from working in the military and security forces and holding high-ranking government positions. The Shiite majority are also denied education as well as their right to practice religious rites.
Khalid Al Khalifa claimed that the inmates in Bahrain's prisons were criminals. "Those held in prison in Bahrain are criminals serving their sentences by court orders unlike Qatar, whose prisons are filled with free Arabs who were unjustly imprisoned without trial," he said.
The Minister may have not had time to clarify whether the leader of the Wafaa Movement Mr. Abdel Wahab Hussein, Al-Wefaq Secretary-General Sheikh Ali Salman, the head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights Nabeel Rajab or human rights activist Ebtisam Al-Sayegh, who was sexually harassed in prison, are among these criminals whom he claims are in prison!
The FM may find flimsy justifications for the arrests of opposition leaders and human rights activists, but where can he manage to find an organization that would testify that prisons in his country "operate according to international standards," as he alleges.
The head of SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights Jawad Fairooz, one of the speakers at the Beirut conference, asked the minister to mention one organization that attests to Jaw prison operating according to international standards.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued reports condemning the ongoing torture in Bahrain, while the UN Special Rapporteur on torture called on Manama to allow him access to the island kingdom, but the ruling family rejected his repeated requests.
"Even you do not believe yourself," said the main speaker at the conference, head of the Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, Baqer Darwish.
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