Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Update on Bahrain

A source sent me this:  "It seems like the Bahraini government has finally succeeded in their crackdown.  Yesterday they closed down Al Wasat Newspaper - the country's only opposition newspaper and then reopened it with a new editor that is pro-government.   Here is a Christian Science Monitor article on it:  Everyone in Bahrain is silent now.  No one is talking.  Human rights activists, journalists and bloggers who under their real named have completely dissapeared.  Many have been jailed whilst others are in hiding.  Mohammad Al Masqati, a human rights activist who is in his mid 20s, has been in jail for the past 5 days.  He was first threatened by a member of the royal family on twitter and then he got arrested.  His family has apparently only spoken to him once so far.  Businessmen and CEOs are also being interogated and threatened for not firing striking workers and cutting their wages.  Most are no longer in control of their companies and now mass firings have begun.  Most are not willing to take any stance because they are too scared. Very few people are tweeting or posting on facebook.  Even those who are not using their real names are scared.  Shia families living in mixed neighborhoods are moving out because they are being threatened either by letters sent to their houses telling them to leave or in checkpoints.  People speak in code on the phone and constantly declare their loyalty to the government just in case.  I feel that Bahrain has turned into a Syria or Iraq (during Saddams era).  Even Bahrainis abroad are too scared to speak. We are definitately back in the 90s but it is worse because the army is more brutal and there is disguisting sectarianism and blatant discrimination against shia.  So I would say Bahrain is a mixture of Syria and Palestine.   The media is completely silent and the Obama administration has completely stopped commenting on Bahrain.  I feel that the next 10 years or so will be a horrible period for Bahrain.  While other Arab countries are moving forward, we are going backwards."