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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=56: The magic number. Sorry for the trouble.

56: The magic number

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Photo source: Montadayat.org

Here's something that I had no clue was going on. From the Khaleej Times:

MANAMA — The controversy over the legal status of the Decree No. 56 issued by His Majesty the King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, earlier last year (2004), ended here with the Chamber of Deputies marking it as "constitutional." The "all-legal" decision on the King granting a general amnesty to certain individuals was approved by the majority of the Chamber members. (Continued)

Well done to our joker MPs on another job well done. I hope they are patting themselves on the back for doing such a good job of representing the will of the Bahraini people. Oopsy... they somehow missed the thousands of people who were on the streets just two weeks ago protesting specifically against Decree 56.

Actually, I had no idea that Law 56 was being discussed in Parliament. But with our elected rubber stamps in office, its not like we should have been expecting a meaningful outcome.

Photo source: Montadayat.org

Also yesterday, a protest was held outside the former office of Adel Flaifel, the notorious former security officer accused of torturing political activists. They were there to demand the rescinding of Law 56 so that Flaifel and his cohorts can be tried for torture and murder. (See more photos here). Similar protests are planned for the coming weeks (the next one will be on Jan 13, I think).

Photo source: Montadayat.org

In my eyes, the King's backing of Law 56 is the biggest obstacle obstructing the path towards truth and reconciliation between the different sections of Bahraini society. (Asides from it obviously being morally wrong) Politically, the King's support for such a humiliating law is a huge blot on all of his apparent efforts to portray himself as the "Good Cop", and it will certainly hurt him in the future if he doesn't do anything soon. Over time, it's possible for society to forget economic hardships, it's possible to forget sectarian discrimination, it's possible to forget restrictions on speech... but it's not possible to forget torture and murder -- these wounds will continue festering until they are treated.

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7 Responses to '56: The magic number'

Anonymous Anonymous says:

I have allways been curious as to why you are affraid to mention your nationality, what country are from why are you guys ashamed of your country is it stereotyping
or low self esteem please fill me in asian is a very generic term.    

Blogger El Savior says:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.    

Blogger El Savior says:

Its good to hear that there is a little bit of so called freedom in Bahrain. As I recall there were historic protests in Saudi Arabia in the cities of Riyadh and Jeddah, called by Saad Faqi, who lives in UK. As they were pre-determined protests the police was already present before they began. The police arrested a couple of protesters too (arresting is something the Saudi Police is good at). Let's just hope these protests continue.


Blogger Leila M. says:
1/02/2005 08:19:00 am

looks like you have more protests in Bahrain than they do here in Tulsa, OK. It's been a shit of a time finding people who want to be active here (and it's needed here, big time)

I got RSS when I re-did my blog, Chanad. Your blog is boss, though.    

Blogger Chanad says:
1/02/2005 11:06:00 pm

Anon: I've answered your question about my use of the term "Asian" on my intro page. Click here to read it.

Savior, Leila: Yes it is good to see people freely expressing themselves. Credit goes both to the people, as well as to the government for rarely interfering in peaceful protests (so far). However, I would like to see the activists get smarter with their methods. Right now protests are held often... sometime so often that their power is diluted. It would be good to see them be more imaginative with ideas about how to express themselves. That said though, the protests are a good sign and I hope they continue.    

Blogger Desert Island Boy says:
1/02/2005 11:33:00 pm

This is the forst major protest since Al Khwaja if I'm not mistaken.

The people have not forgotten about Law 56. I'm glad they held back on "Death to Al Khalifa" (The list of torturers is a different matter). But I did see a PR move that could amount to as much in a more subtle way.

They called for judging Bahrain's Pinochet. Now who could that be? I wonder who has a position similar to Pinochet's and has held it over a span of decades?

However, if it has parliamentary approval, its legality becomes harder to question. It wouldn't matter how many Bahrainis protested law 56, if the Al Khalifa wanted it passed, no price would have been too high. What I'd like to know is how well Parliament made out.

Let's not kid ourselves, Law 56 is in place to ensure that no investigation exer finds out how badly the riots of 94 were handled or how deep the divisions and issues are in Bahraini society. There are a lot of dirty hands in the matter. Flaifel, Khaled Al Mo'awda Khaled Al Wazzan and Henderson and only the tips of the ice berg and the trail of shit would probably encircle the island twice. As long as those further up the chain want to stay out of the fray, Flaifal and his cohorts have all the protection they need.    

Blogger ابدلرحیم says:
1/04/2005 06:15:00 am

Sounds like the situation in Bahrain is becoming more and more volatile. Is that true?    

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