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Bahrain: Profile of a Police State - Wed, 31/12/2014 - 05:47
Bahrain: Profile of a Police State
by Stephen Lendman
Monarchal despotism runs Bahrain. Democracy is verboten. None whatever exists. Nor human and  civil rights.
Anyone criticizing Al Khalifa rule risks arrest, imprisonment, torture, even death.
Repression persists. New "Protecting Society from Terrorism Act" legislation the latest example.
Americans for Democracy for Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) expressed deep concerns.
The new measure updates a 2006 law. Clarifying Bahrain's definition of terrorism. Including provisions further undermining fundamental rights.
The law was revised earlier in August 2013. Used ruthlessly against pro-democracy activists.
Banning dissent. Imprisoning hundreds in 2013 alone. Including children young as 15. 
Many receiving lengthy sentences. For wanting rights everyone deserves.
The updated law includes a separate prosecution office. For whatever authorities call terrorism-related crimes.
"(E)ffectively creating an entirely new process of criminal procedure for persons (unjustly) accused of terrorism," according to BCHR.
Suspects can be held up to six months without trial. Violating fundamental international law. Including Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), stating:
"Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release."
Not in Bahrain. Or America. Or Israel. Or likeminded states. Brutality defines their agendas. Torture is longstanding US and Israeli policy.
Bahrain's ruling authorities routinely detain victims for prolonged periods. Denying them all rights. New legislation authorizes prolonged pre-trial detentions. In brazen violation of international law.
Authorities can detain suspects up to 28 days without charges or investigation. Three additional days for interrogations and charges to be drawn.
Further detention is allowed. Up to seven months pre-trial. During initial days after arrest, suspects routinely are denied access to family members or counsel. According to BCHR:
Most detainees "report that they are subjected to torture and ill-treatment during the pre-trial period." 
"Such was the case of photographer Hussain Hubail, human rights defender Naji Fateel, and children Jehad Sadeq and Ebrahim Al-Muqdad."
Police now have greater than ever authority. Permitted to search anyone anytime without court authorization.
Allowed to stop and search public and private vehicles. Ban free movement indefinitely.
Interdict private communications. Up to 24 hours. Without court authorization. By order of the special prosecutor for terrorism-related crimes.
Anyone suspected of terrorism can be banned from certain areas up to 15 days. New legislation "provide(s) legal justification for many already utilized police practices that violate basic human rights," said BCHR.
Shaheen Al-Buainain serves as senior prosecutor for alleged terrorism-related crimes. In 2013, he was accused of involvement in torture.
A complaint was filed against him with Bahrain's Interior Ministry's Special Investigations Unit.
New legislation shows its government intends silencing dissent. Peaceful protesters can be accused of terrorism.
Arrested. Tortured. Sentenced to long prison terms. For exercising their rights to free expression, assembly and association. Police states operate this way. Bahrain is one of the worst.
On December 29, Al-Wefaq Political Society secretary-general Shaikh Ali Salman was lawlessly arrested.
BCHR and other human rights groups condemned his detention. For peaceful political activities. As leader of Bahrain's largest opposition political party.
On December 28, he was summoned to appear before Bahrain's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
After concluding his AQl-Wefaq's General Assembly conference. He was arrested and interrogated. Denied access to counsel while ongoing.
Accused of inciting anti-government hatred. Urging youths to disobey its authority. Insulting the judiciary and executive power.
Inciting hatred against other unspecified people. Seeking external support. Broadcasting false information able to cause panic.
Breaching security. Participating in demonstrations causing economic harm. According to BCHR President Nabeel Rajab:
"The silence of the international community contributed to the arrest of Shaikh Ali Salman, as it also contributes to the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain."
"With this high-profile arrest, however, the Government of Bahrain has gone too far in targeting its peaceful critics."
Al-Wefaq boycotted earlier 2014 parliamentary elections. So did other opposition parties. Refusing to participate in a sham process.
Al-Wefaq members have been targeted for years. For their political and human rights activism. 
Former party members Matar Matar and Jawad Fairooz were arrested, tortured and detained for month.
So was deputy party secretary-general Khalik al-Marzooq. Most recently, Al-Wefaq's Shura Council head Sayed Jameel Kadhem was prosecuted for Twitter comments citing corruption.
Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) director of advocacy Sayed Ahmed Al-Wadaei said:
"Earlier this month, Britain announced that it will be building a naval base in Bahrain, which the Government of Bahrain is bankrolling."
"The UK's support for the Government of Bahrain, despite the human rights situation and harassment of Al-Wefaq Society, has given the Bahraini authorities the green light to further attack political societies."
Shaikh Ali Salman was harassed before. Interrogated twice in 2014 for expressing his views freely.
In July, US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Assistant Secretary Tom Malinowski met with Al-Wefaq members.
Bahraini authorities expelled him. Sued Al-Wefaq. Summoned Shaikh Salman and al-Marzooq for questioning.
On October 28, prohibited Al-Wefaq from conducting normal activities. According to Americans for Democracy for Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) executive director Husain Abdulla:
"The international community and the United States must condemn the detention of Shaikh Ali Salman, for it is a clear sign of the Bahraini authorities disregard for the human and political rights of the Bahraini people."
State terror defines official Bahraini policy. Anyone can be targeted for expressing political views freely. Championing human rights. 
Supporting democratic change. Daily crackdowns continue. Challenging repressive rule is considered terrorism.
Beatings. Arrests. Disappearances. Torture. Imprisonments. Cold-blooded murder are standard practice.
Women and children are brutalized like men. So are students, doctors, nurses, other medical personnel, journalists, human rights activists and foreign observers.
Elections when held are farcical. Business as usual persists. Ordinary Bahrainis have no say whatever. 
Police states operate this way. Bahrain is one of the region's worst.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Escalated US Wars Ahead? - Wed, 31/12/2014 - 01:46
Escalated US Wars Ahead?
by Stephen Lendman
Obama is out-of-control. Deranged. Obsessed with war. His appetite for mass slaughter and destruction insatiable.
Monday's ceremonial nominal end to over 13 years of war in Afghanistan belies longstanding US plans.
Including permanent occupation. Thousands of US combat troops remaining. Drone wars continuing. Afghanistan a de facto US colony.
Obama lied saying "our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible end."
Fact: America planned naked aggression on Afghanistan long before 9/11.
Fact: Despite its government posing no threat to America.
Fact: Or its neighbors.
Fact: Or had anything to do with 9/11.
Fact: Not bin Laden or anyone else Washington blamed.
Fact: US state-sponsored terrorism bears full responsibility.
Fact: America's combat mission continues - indefinitely!
Fact: Permanent occupation is planned.
Fact: So is plundering Afghanistan's resources.
Fact: Controlling its world's largest opium supply.
Fact: Flooding world markets with heroin.
Fact: Providing enormous profits for Wall Street.
Fact: Giving CIA access to billions of dollars in illicit drug money.
Fact: Afghanistan is a key part of encircling Russia and China with US bases.
Fact: Part of Washington's strategy for unchallenged global dominance.
Don't expect Obama to explain. Big Lies substitute. Longstanding US policy goes unmentioned.
Wanting planet earth colonized. Societies made unfit to live in. Wars without end continuing.
Monday's ceremonial Kabul deception belies America's real intent. Continuing Afghan war. Death and destruction a daily reality. 
More planned elsewhere. Media scoundrels ignore what demands headlines. Press TV reported US helicopters dropping boxes of weapons "in areas held by (Islamic State terrorists) in Iraq."
Video evidence "showed masked terrorists inspecting" grenades, mortar rounds, other weapons and supplies.
IS and other extremist Takfiri groups are US proxies. Shock troops against America's adversaries. Including Syria's Assad. Targeted for removal.
Perhaps others yet to be named. Zero Hedge reported America stockpiling enormous amounts of equipment in Kuwait.
Intended for Iraq. For a US-led offensive? More combat troops on the ground? Escalated war? 
Iraq war III? Perhaps against Syria? Expect more US aggression ahead.
According to US News & World Report:
"Since June, the US military has been slowly stockpiling massive amounts of its gear coming out of Afghanistan at a depot in Kuwait adjacent to a bustling commercial port, in preparation for ultimately shipping it across the border into Iraq for an allied offensive against the Islamic State group."
"The facility's warehouses and large asphalt yards now are home to roughly 3,100 vehicles, most of them MRAPs - the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles that have been ubiquitous in America’s prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." 
"There is also some electronic equipment and other supplies at the depot, located at Kuwait's Shuaiba port, defense officials say."
"The gear, primarily from the Army, will be fixed up and held as top US planners in Iraq determine what they’ll need to defeat the Islamic State group in the coming months, says Air Force Maj. Gen. Rowayne 'Wayne' Schatz, the director of operations and plans for US Transportation Command."
" 'From June to December, we’ve worked a lot on moving items into Kuwait,' he says. 'The Army is holding the gear there, and it has room to hold it, as the mission fleshes out.' "
"The US military and its allies are reportedly planning for a massive spring offensive to help Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga fighters retake territory from the Islamic State group, particularly traditional Sunni Muslim bastions such as Anbar province west of Baghdad and the key city of Mosul."
"It represents a full circle for the protracted Middle East wars the US continues to be drawn into: Much of the equipment taken out of Iraq during America’s complete withdrawal in 2011 was sent to nearby Afghanistan, where it had to be retrofitted to be effective in the rural mountains of the Hindu Kush and deserts of Helmand and Kandahar provinces, as opposed to the urban environments of Baghdad and Mosul." 
"Now, as the war winds down in Afghanistan, the Islamic State group's sweeping incursion toward Baghdad has forced the US to again focus its attention there."
Does Washington plan invading Syria? Toppling Assad remains official US policy. Replacing him pro-Western vassal governance. 
Making Syria another US colony. Eliminating an Israeli rival. Isolating Iran. Expect 2015 to remain bloody. Perhaps including direct confrontation with Russia.
Obama's pledge about no US combat troops on the ground in Iraq is rubbish. One of his many Big Lies.
At least 1,700 US forces are currently in Iraq. Another 1,300 ready to join them. On Friday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered 1,000 paratroopers deployed to Baghdad, Irbil and other locations.
Perhaps greater numbers of US forces than announced are already involved. Or heading for regional combat. 
What's ahead bears close watching. America's wars don't end. Some escalate. Others segue to new theaters. Peace is a convenient illusion.
America's war on humanity rages. With no end in sight. Obama the latest in a long line of US warrior presidents.
His comments about bringing America's longest war to an end don't wash. One of his many Big Lies.
Stated earlier on December 1, 2009. Saying "we are bringing the Iraq war to a responsible end. (By) end of 2011."
Ignoring millions of Iraqis America killed. Throughout decades of war and sanctions. Millions more Afghans. Libyans. Syrians. 
Others in many other countries. America's dirty hands operate everywhere. Wherever involved, mass slaughter and destruction follow.
What does Obama have in mind for 2015? More of the same and then some. America's killing machine never rests. 
Permanent wars define its agenda. No nation in world history matches its ruthlessness. None its imperial ambitions.
Wanting planet earth colonized. Space dominated. Global resources plundered for profit. Total information control.
Populations exploited. Neoserfdom institutionalized. Big Brother watching everyone. Freedoms entirely eliminated.
Ruthless rule replacing them. People power able to change things is absent. Especially Americans. Addicted to bread and circuses.
Mindless of maelstrom conditions affecting them. Their daily lives. Welfare and futures. In real time. In plain sight. 
Too blind, indifferent, detached or distracted to notice. Mind control manipulates them to accept what demands resistance.
An accompanying article looked ahead. Calling the American dream more illusion than reality. 
Expect no change for the better next year. Expect business as usual like always. 
Perhaps on steroids like never before. It bears repeating. Because people able to make a difference do nothing. Dark forces running things have nothing to fear.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 



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