The Shame of Bahrain

by craig on February 14, 2013 9:54 am in Uncategorized

I shall be chairing a discussion at the Frontline Club this evening on Bahrain, which I hope will concentrate not only on the dreadful human rights abuses of the despotism, but on British complicity with that appalling regime, whose daily continuing abuses are now almost unreported in the mainstream media.

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23 Comments

  1. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Feb, 2013 - 10:12 am

    What is more important is Saudi complicity and Britain sucking up to them. On the other hand Britain was in Middle East long enough to understand details of Middle Eastern politics. As one fictional Russian Revolutionary hero said “East is a very delicate matter”. It is either Iran or Arabs. Others can just pick a side.

  2. Here’s a handy primer for anyone wanting to learn more about the situation in Bahrain ahead of Craig’s talk.

    Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, interviewed by Julian Assange on The World Tomorrow shortly before he was jailed by the Bahrainian authorities on trumped-up charges:

    http://assange.rt.com/episode-four/

    This page seems to have the full transcript of the raw, unedited interview on it but, on my PC at least, it’s greyed out and overlaid with photo montage background. I can’t work out how to foreground the text – in white text or something – to make it legible against this background. Perhaps others will have more luck.

    http://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/episode-4.html

  3. Thanks Arbed. Not greyed out on mine but if I go from 100% magnification to a higher setting, it is.

  4. Arbed: it displays fine in my browser. You could try copying the text (it should highlight OK) and pasting it into Notepad or similar.

  5. Craig Just two questions. Are you replacing Mark McDonald and do you know if the debate will be online? Tnx

  6. Mary,

    Actually Mark McDonald was replacing me as I was unwell, but now I am able to go. I think we’ll both be there.

  7. I suppose your appearance, chairing as you say,
    will ensure that no muppet stream media will report on it.
    Will medialense be allowed in?

  8. More on ‘The Butcher of Bahrain’

    Also Former Asssiatant MP Commissioner John Yates has taken up an ‘advisory position’ their. He of the high profile ‘Cash for Peerages’ then ‘Phone Hacking’ investigations. I once held a highish opinion of the guy (as senior police officers go that is). Not any longer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Yates_(police_officer)

  9. Thanks Craig. Glad to hear you are better.

  10. Bahrain Watch is exploring electronic attacks on activists and journalists exposing a British company FinFisher, owned by the Nelson family that allegedly provided this repression technology to the Kingdom.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/02/uk-firm-spyware-bahrain

    The spying software which I have evaluated spoofs an iTunes software update and loads when the user clicks on update. It also runs on Mobile phones.

    http://www.welivesecurity.com/2012/08/30/finfisher-helps-people-spy-on-you-via-your-cellphone-for-good-or-evil/

  11. ‘So why was the commissioner hired, if not for his ability to implement genuine reforms? It’s possible the Bahraini government saw him as part of a package. Kristian Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the London School of Economics, told me that Yates was seen as a key to “the highest levels of government”, although British ministers insist there was no contact over Yates’s appointment, reports suggest he has since enjoyed an unprecedented degree of contact with British officials. In June, he accompanied interior minister Lt Gen Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa to diplomatic engagements in London, even meeting with junior Foreign Office minister Lord Howell.

    A number of similarly well-connected British lawyers were also hired between December 2011 and March 2012 to advise on institutional reforms that would pave the way for the enactment of BICI’s recommendations. This included advising on measures to improve accountability, including the creation of a national body to investigate police officers responsible for torture, death or mistreatment of civilians.

    Among their number was Sir Daniel Bethlehem, a former Foreign Office legal adviser who had left the government’s service in May 2011, returning to practise at his chambers in late September. As with Yates, the involvement of Britons as advisers has resulted in few tangible changes at institutional level. Despite extensive documentation of state-led human rights abuses, only five low-level personnel have been imprisoned, taking the rap for what the BICI called “systematic … mistreatment which … amounted to torture.” The gulf between Bahraini rhetoric surrounding the lawyers’ appointment and their practical achievements reinforces an impression that they too have been hired as the publicly acceptable face of a reform process that is going nowhere.’

    Bahrain’s citizens pay the price for Britain’s dealings with the kingdom
    It suits the Bahrain regime and the British establishment to co-operate in a phoney reform process

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/06/bahrain-citizens-pay-price-for-britains-dealings

  12. A national uprising ignored by the international media.

  13. I don’t speak German but Muench has quite a record.

    Martin J. Muench
    http://buggedplanet.info/index.php?title=MUENCH,_MARTIN_J

  14. Interesting stuff Mark

    Privacy international have recently filed formal complaints against Gamma and another with the Governments here and in germany

    https://www.privacyinternational.org/press-releases/human-rights-organisations-file-formal-complaints-against-surveillance-firms-gamma

  15. Hi Craig,
    Sorry I cant be there. Hope the facts come out and are well reported.
    Stephen

  16. KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    14 Feb, 2013 - 1:55 pm

    Any chance of a minute of your time this evening to run past you a potentially commercial idea to hit back at these obnoxious sisters without having to pay £12 to listen to a panel on Bahrain (I ought already to be familiar with most of the issues on Bahrain without needing a Bahrain Expert Panel “booster”, although I don’t doubt their views would be interesting): we share a common loathing of the Karimova sisters and their father even if we differ on everything else on the planet. You may have the contacts to make my idea happen that I don’t have (since you recently talked to the Oxford Union). No, I haven’t achieved the glittering career success you have had and yes, I am fully cognisant of all the problems of changing hearts and minds in Uzbekistan given the repressive regime, the torture, the lies, the corruption, the censorship, the bogus trials and the secretive manipulation of the business environment to the advantage of those in power, but I still think there might be a, albeit perhaps remote, chance that we can do something about it (and maybe make money out of it – if that aspect is of interest. I could wait outside the club if you tell me roughly what time to be there.
    Kind Regards
    KRF

  17. Surveillance threat seems to be growing exponentially we seem to be living the 1984 dream…

    Intels new set top box contains a spy camera to watch you whilst you watch.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/13/intel_tv/

  18. I read some of the story’s about him on your link Mary,
    Munch is a nasty piece of work, he was astonished that he could be sued or castigated when he was only ‘helping the police to do their job’.

    Looks and sounds a bit like a fascist

    I have got a funny feeling that he will find a tragic end one day, too many people are already disadvantaged by his system and one wonders what Thomas Drake would say if asked whether the NSA is operating such system.

  19. very nice..had lunch once there as a guest of Kate Clark..Al Jazeera reporter in Afghanistan…not bad whiskys if I remember..

  20. I can install free, open source software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) onto most PCs; desktop or laptop. Software licensed under the GPL is open to public scrutiny, thus protecting you from malicious “features” similar to those described above. If you’d like me to install such software on your system, contact me by clicking the link on my name.

    Exexpat, 2:11 pm:

    “Intels new set top box contains a spy camera to watch you whilst you watch.”

    Yes, I wondered when that would happen. Keep your old hardware, folks; there was less of this invasive rubbish about in the past. You don’t need new hardware; it’s a con. GPL software runs just fine on older hardware because it is less demanding (maybe it needs less resources because it isn’t busy spying on you).

  21. Or, I can help to guide you through the learning process of using such software, or help you to install it yourself. If we all help each other, we can all have more secure systems.

    One of Dr Richard Stallman’s sayings:

    “If the user doesn’t control the software, then the software controls the user.”

    http://www.stallman.org/

    http://www.gnu.org/

  22. doug scorgie

    15 Feb, 2013 - 6:25 pm

    Upcoming business

    Wednesday, 27 February 2013

    Commons: Westminster Hall

    •Relations with the Arab world – George Galloway 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/calendar/?d=2013-02-27#cal32489

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