The video that stunned Bahrain on its uprising’s anniversary

Screenshot of a video showing an outraged protester screaming at police officers.
 
The second anniversary of Bahrain’s popular uprising was marked by renewed violence, resulting in the death of a 16-year old boy. In the video, filmed right after the teenager’s death, a desperate protester can be seen risking his life to stand up to the police.
 
The victim’s name was Hussein al-Jaziri. According to opposition websites, the teenager was killed by fragmentary bullets. Overwhelmed by this death, which he had just witnessed, a protester walked up to police and screamed at them. The policemen tried to intimidate him, but seemed thrown off balance by the protester’s daring.
 
“You criminals! You murderers! You hope to escape God’s wrath? God will avenge us! Go on, shoot me! Shoot me if you dare, I won’t leave!”
 
This footage exemplifies the standstill at which the Bahraini opposition finds itself, faced with unyielding government repression. Since the start of the uprising, the confirmed death toll has risen to 82 protesters, including nine children.
 
Bahrain, a primarily Shiite country (Shiites make up about 75% of the population), is ruled by a Sunni monarchy. Since February 2011, members of the Shiite community, who claim they are discriminated against, have frequently protested in the streets.
Contributors

“Who can honestly believe that the government is sincerely open to dialogue when not a single prisoner has been freed?”

Said Yousif is a blogger and a member of the Bahraini Center for Human Rights.
 
On February 14, 2011, the revolution claimed its first victim in Daih. Two years later to the day, this sad milestone is marked anew by yet another death.
 
The opposition took to the streets all over the country to mark this anniversary. We tried to go to Pearl Square, a symbol of the uprising which is located at the center of Manama, the capital of Bahrain. Unfortunately, security forces were out in such force that it was impossible to get there.
 
 
There were dozens of protests throughout the country. They were violently repressed. The police doesn’t even fire any warning shots. Furthermore, they use arms that are illegal according to international conventions, like lead shots fired at short range at the protesters.
 
In addition to the protests, the call by the February 14 coalition [an opposition group] to go on strike was widely followed. Not only did stores close, but we also boycotted government offices. Activists also tried to block roads by burning tires.
 
“On strike”, a photo uploaded to a Facebook page for Daih.
 
Who can honestly believe that the government is sincerely open to dialogue when not a single prisoner has been freed? When doctors are still arrested for daring to treat protesters? When the number of deaths continues to rise? Opposition MPs have even resigned from parliament [11 out of 18 resigned in April 2011]. The government continues to turn a deaf ear. It only understands the language of violence. [Editors Note: the Bahraini Minister of Communications, Samira Rajeb, claimed Thursday on FRANCE 24 that she had tried to start a dialogue with the opposition and that the police repression was simply in response to the protesters’ violence].
 
Clashes between police and protesters in Daih.

Comments

european, north american,

european, north american, arab and other muslim governments talked a lot about syria, tunisia, lybia. if sunnis die they are provided with weapons to topple the dictators.

bahrainis demonstrate (well relatively peacefully) for more than two years, hundreds, maybe thousands have been tortured, thousands detained.
some, verifiably, have been killed.

so, wonder why is there are no more voices than some bahrainis, some persians, some human rights organizations to raise awareness of the plight of the shia in bahrain and to demand change.

the monarchy ought to take actions and let shia participate in the governance of the nation.

if they wait longer and longer, some shia might feel the urge to take up arms and start an armed struggle (as in syria, in lybia, etc.).
in this part of the world it seems only weapons make your voice heard (unfortunately).

despite the violence (rubber bullets, life ammunition, etc. by security forces) the protests so far (except for some stones that have been tossed) were mostly peaceful and nonviolent.

the ball clearly is in the field of the monarchies (saudi arabia included, since they send the police forces; mostly the police are saudis, they get paid well, and therefore are committed, act with fervour.)

so, participation in a possible democratic process or more violence and a level of escalation that may lead to more bloodshed. unfortunately, egypt, syria, etc. do not provide encouraging test cases and precedents.

Comparing the treatment of protestors in Bahrain to Syria

The video shows a protester in Bahrain who is confronting the police while he was insulting them and daring them to shoot him, and they refrained from even touching him, and while other protesters were throwing objects at the police! Amazing self retrain from a police force in a Arabic country, to say the least.
Now compare that to what is happening in Syria, where peaceful demonstrators were attacked using all kinds of weapons, from knifes to firearms to sharp shooters on the roofs.
A demonstration in the Syrian regime controlled areas carries the risk of death, and being suspected to be a reporter or being spotted with a camera near a demonstration carries a immediate death sentence. More than 70,000 Syrians have been killed so far by the Syrian regime and hundreds of thousands remain jailed, while getting tortured and many of them are killed daily.
Syrians would envy the Bahrainis for the treatment they are getting from their government when they protest, and it is shameful for anyone with any conscience to belittle the atrocities suffered by the Syrians and to equal them to the inconveniences that the Bahraini protesters are subjected to..

Close