“Time for Regime Change in Bahrain”: London Seminar

“The UK Foreign Office together with other countries are not robust in the condemnation of the human rights abuses committed by the al Khalifa regime,” says veteran British peer Lord Avebury.
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - “The UK Foreign Office together with other countries are not robust in the condemnation of the human rights abuses committed by the al Khalifa regime,” says veteran British peer Lord Avebury.

Averbury, an elected Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, was also critical of the weak stance taken by the EU's Foreign Affairs high representative Catherine Ashton about the brutal suppression of anti-regime peaceful protesters in Bahrain.

“We need more robust condemnation from them,” he told a seminar at the British parliament entitled 'Bahrain; Time to support regime change and end occupation.'

He suggested that the UK government could at least call for the release of the political leaders in Bahrain and for the 3000 workers to be re-instated and compensated for lost income.

“Ultimately the people of Bahrain want to change their political system and we have to support them, not just for reform but for real transformation,” the 83-year old peer said.

He referred to NATO intervening in Libya in support of regime change to maintain stability and asked “what was the difference with Bahrain?”

“We can ask for Saudi Arabia to withdraw its forces so that Bahrainis enjoy peace and freedom,” Avebury further suggested.

“Pro-democracy activists have been languishing behind bars for months under the worst possible conditions such as Abdul Wahab Hussain, Hassan Mushaime, Abdul Jalil Al Miqdad, Mohammad Habib Al Miqdad, Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace and Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja,” he said.

Also speaking at the seminar was renowned international lawyer Abdul Hamid Dashti, who highlighted the peaceful nature of the eight month uprising, corresponding with other revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

The anti-regime movement in Bahrain hoped that the world would support them as in other countries, but it has never happened because of “double standards, the narrow interests of some countries and the oil money of the Saudis,” Dashti said.

However, he expressed that all attempts have been made for the uprising to be aborted, while it was being presented under a false guise in most of the international media.

A paper was also presented by the chair of the London-based (Persian) Gulf Issues Centre for Strategic Studies, Fouad Ibrahim, focusing on the aims and intentions of the Saudi occupation.

Ibrahim argued that the intervention of Saudi troops was intended to protect the al Saud regime in Riyadh and end any popular attempt in the region seeking democratic changes.

He also criticized Western governments for their silence at this aggression but which he said had failed to silence the people of Bahrain.

Tara O’Grady, coordinator of Irish doctors supporting Bahraini medics, spoke about the human crisis in Bahrain and described the actions of the group and the continuing campaign on governments and NGOs to pressure the al Khalifa regime.

O’Grady described the lack of legitimacy of the arrest and trial of doctors, dismissing the outrageous charges that doctors had weapons or planned to overthrow the regime.

She expressed outrage at the US attempts to stop the sale of weapons to Syria while ignoring the plight of the Bahraini people.

Mohammad Mushaime, the son of the political leader, Hassan Mushaima, spoke of being severely tortured throughout his incarceration, suffering ailment to his back and being denied proper care or attention.

Images of their wounds have shocked people and are available on the internet.

Another speaker Mohammad Fakhrawi, the nephew of Martyr Karim Fakhrawi, described the way his uncle had met his end at the hands of torturers.

His uncle was brutally killed after he endured extreme form of torture for a week when he was summoned to appear at a police station and when he went he was arrested.

Mohammad voiced the determination of his family, saying they would not rest until justice has been achieved.


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