Since I have now posted several times about the arrest of Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja, and the closure of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, I've decided to compile links to all of the posts (with short excerpts) here. Whenever I add another post about this topic I will add the corresponding permalink here, so it should be easier to keep track of everything that's going on. There is also a link to this post at the top of the sidebar on the right, under "Continuous coverage".
Here are the posts, starting with the most recent one:
- 28-Apr-04: Al Khawaja revisited
More from my backlog of unfinished posts. So way back in December 2004, a week or so after he was released from prison, I interviewed Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, the vice-president of the now outlawed (but still active) Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. Somehow I never got around to posting about the interview until now, so sorry for the delay.
25-Nov-04: Creating avenues for change
So King Hamad decided to play the wild card of the Royal Pardon and saved the day. Yesterday afternoon I thought it would be unlikely that he would step in, but now in hindsight it seems as though it had to happen. Here are a few possible reasons that might have pushed the King to make his decision.
21-Nov-4: Al-Khawaja pardoned by the King
From AP via the Guardian: MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) - Bahrain's king pardoned a human rights activist who convicted of inciting hatred of the government and sentenced to one year in prison Sunday in a case linked to criticism of the prime minister.
21-Nov-04: It's only just begun
It was always expected but never to be accepted. This morning a court sentenced Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja to a year in prison, convicted of "inciting hatred against the government". He is now Bahrain's first political prisoner since King Hamad's reforms starting in 1999.
21-Nov-04: Al-Khawaja gets one year in prison
I just got back from the courts. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, the vice-president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights has been sentenced to one year in prison for criticizing the Prime Minister. Disgraceful.
20-Nov-04: Disrespecting 3ammo PM
I wasn't able to attend the protest in support of Al-Khawaja that took place yesterday by the Bahrain Financial Harbour, but by the looks of it the turnout wasn't huge. Look at some photos here, or watch a video (wmv 4.5MB). Well, that's what you get at 10am on a Thursday morning. It was comforting however to see that the government did not interfere with this demonstration.
17-Nov-04: Protest tomorrow
Just a reminder that there will be a protest tomorrow morning at 10am near the Bahrain Financial Harbour site in support of Al-Khawaja and the remaining 12 detainees. Apparently they will be releasing lots of "balloons of freedom" as part of the demonstration (it took me ages to figure out what "بالونات" was. I kept reading it as "balwinat"... yes, I'm a fool).
14-Nov-04: Al-Khawaja update
This is just an update on the Al-Khawaja affair for those of you who are checking. It's Eid right now so I'm not able to put in a full post.
11-Nov-04: Time to wake up
This issue about a draft law to "regulate" protest demonstrations is really quite concerning. You can read some of the penalties under the proposed law by clicking here. Also, the GDN has finally got its act together and published a good report about this issue, which you can read by clicking here (Good on ya, GDN!).
9-Nov-04: Step in to my time-machine
Step in to the magical time-machine my friends and let's go back in time to the 90s!!! Re-live those oh so enjoyable memories of the State Security law when you could get jailed for merely taking part in a peaceful protest. Oh how I cherish those days when it was impossible for anyone to say anything out loud in public without being threatened by the government. Ah, those were the days my friends.
8-Nov-04: Al-Khawaja verdict on Nov 21
Some of you outside of Bahrain have been asking me what happened of Al-Khawaja's third court session that was scheduled to have taken place on Wednesday Nov 3. The session was posptponed to yesterday (I assume because of Shaikh Zayed's death).
1-Nov-04: Al-Khawaja continued
I know I was supposed to post my full write-up of the rally-gone-wrong in support of Al-Khawaja that happened last Thursday. But, for some reason I can't be bothered. Maybe I'll post it over the weekend. You may also have heard about the few isolated incidents of violence that have taken place since then.
29-Oct-04: Photos from today's rally
Right, here are some photos from the protest. Sorry they are so poor quality. There was very little light, and my camera sucks.
29-Oct-04: Trouble on the highway
Folks, I've just come back from the the car rally demonstration in support of Al-Khawaja that was planned for today. You'll have to wait until tomorrow for my full write-up and pictures, but here is what happened in a nutshell.
27-Oct-04: Protest rally on Thursday
The details of the car protest rally this Thursday in support of Al-Khawaja have been released. The BCHR website posted something this morning with the directions, but it was a bit confusing. I stole the above map from a thread at the Ahrar al-Bahrain discussion board which makes things much much clearer.
25-Oct-04: Irony of freedom in Bahrain
Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja's trial today was adjourned until next Wednesday (November 3rd), and once again the judge refused to release him on bail, or house arrest. However I heard that the judge did allow Al-Khawaja to sit in the courtroom without handcuffs this time. Outside, there was once again a demonstration by his supporters, numbering about 100 or 120 people I would estimate.
22-Oct-04: Peaceful protest makes the point
Continuing my coverage of events related to the Al-Khawaja affair, here is my report on the protest march held last night (Thursday) in Manama. (Sorry for taking so long to post this, I've been busy). There was a relatively large turnout; somewhere between 2000 and 2500 demonstrators, including many women, children and old folks.
21-Oct-04: Hooligans ruin a legitimate protest
Right. Here is the full report on the Al-Khawaja trial protest that I promised you. From the start. When I arrived at the public prosecution court Al-Khawaja had already been taken into the courtroom (I was bit late because I was having trouble finding a parking space). There were I would say about 100 protesters in total which consisted of mostly male youths.
20-Oct-04: Rocks fly at court demonstration
I've just came back from the demonstration outside Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja's court session today. Things got slightly out of hand this time. The supporters were not allowed to go in to the building. Tempers were raised, pushes turned to shoves, sticks and stones were thrown, and the goons (read "riot police") came out and sprayed the crowd with mace.
19-Oct-04: Al-Khawaja trial photos
While browsing through one of the many Bahraini discussion boards I came across some photos from Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja's court session on Saturday, and the associated demonstration.
19-Oct-04: It's not so gloomy
More bad coverage for Bahrain. Today's Financial Times has an article headlined "Trial of Bahrain human rights activist overshadows reforms".
16-Oct-04: Abdul-Hadi pleads not guilty
I was planning on attending Abdul-Hadi's court session scheduled for this morning, but I wasn't able to make it unfortunately. It seems like I missed some action.
13-Oct-04: Abdulhadi to appear in court
Here's the latest statement to be issued by the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights about the ongoing Al Khawaja affair
10-Oct-04: More protest pictures
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights have updated their website with photos from the various protests they have held over the past two weeks.
7-Oct-04: Crowds pledge loyalty to Premier
Really, our press needs to grow some backbone. It's been two weeks now since Alkhawaja's comments against the Prime Minister at the Oruba Club, yet our press is still obsessed with displaying its loyalty to the regime. Is it not possible for them to take a slightly more balanced and objective approach to reporting? I don't mean that they have to go around bashing the regime, but how about reporting both sides of the story?
There was another demonstration today for the release of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja. This one took place on the section of Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway (ironically) that is adjacent to the Bahrain Mall, so they probably got more exposure than last time. However there were not as many demonstrators this time since it was a working day. I'm quite bad at estimating numbers, but I would guess there were no more than 200 people this time.
3-Oct-04: More on Al Khawaja
So neither the GDN nor the Bahrain Tribune had any mention of the big protest I reported yesterday. The GDN did have a long article about a demonstration against a slaughterhouse in Muharraq, but nothing about the protest in Manama. Obviously, orders have come from up above restricting the press from reporting about it.
2-Oct-04: A superstar is born
When I got to Ras Rumman there were only 15 or 20 other people around since I was a bit early. That's why there aren't too many protesters in the first few photos I took, but as you can tell, the crowd quickly grew in size. Reuters has reported (via Aljazeera.net) that there were about 2000 protesters, which agrees with my own estimate. The protesters seemed to come from all walks of life: businessmen, truckdrivers, students, grandparents, grandchildren, everyone. And of course the ladies' contingent was strong in numbers also.
2-Oct-04: In support of the prisoner of conscience
I've just come back from the protest against the closure of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights which took place in Manama. There was a big turnout, and thankfully, no trouble at all. I have a ton of photos to share with you all, but I won't be able to upload them all until later tonight. So here are just a few to keep you busy until then.
30-Sep-04: Brown nosing
It's quite nauseating to see the reports in the newspapers of "crowds" of supporters affirming their loyalty to the Premier in response to the Al Khawaja affair. Apparently, tomorrow there will be a rally tomorrow in Budaiya to pledge support to the ruling regime.
29-Sep-04: Centre for Human Rights shut down
Continuing on my last post about Abdulhadi al Khawaja, the latest news is that the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights has been dissolved by the government! Really, this is a low move on the part of the Old Guard... but I can't say I didn't see it coming.
29-Sep-04: The North Wind and the Sun
If you haven't heard about it already, the vice president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights was arrested after criticizing the Prime Minister at a seminar about Poverty and Economic Rights in Bahrain a few days ago.