VIDEO: US-Backed Bahrain Arrests & Deports 2 US Human Rights Observers As 1st Anniversary Of Democracy Protests Nears
Two American peace activists, Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath, were arrested and detained this Saturday, while acting as Human Rights Observers in U.S.-backed Bahrain. Both are members of the Witness Bahrain initiative.
The Bahraini monarchy deported the two on Sunday, and they were flown — handcuffed behind their backs, and prohibited from using the bathroom, and from eating or drinking for the entire seven hour flight — to London.
According to Arraf, Bahrain appears to be removing all human rights activists and observers in the run-up to the one-year anniversary of the democratic uprising against the ruling monarchy:
[We] also were getting reports of journalists and human rights organization representatives being denied entry into the country in the lead-up to the first anniversary of the Bahrain revolution, and this caused great alarm, that the government was planning to escalate its oppression of the people.
A November 2011 report, conducted by an independent commission, and authorized by the Bahraini monarchy in an attempt to ease tensions, concluded that grave violations of human rights had been committed by government troops. These violations included disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force and firearms to repress the protests, and a systematic and deliberate policy of torture.
The panel confirmed that government forces murdered dozens of people during the protests, and five reform activists had been tortured to death while in custody. Other detainees were tortured by electric shock and by beatings with wires and hoses. Additionally, the panel found that activists were later targeted and fired from their jobs and universities and caused to lose their homes.
Just weeks ago, the Obama Administration was reported to be quietly selling arms to the Bahraini monarchy, in spite of these documented human rights abuses against its people. Read the rest of this entry →