Opposition Leader Urges Bahrainis to Expand Popular Protests
The imprisoned President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab, on Wednesday called on the Bahraini people to rely on their own and expand and increase popular protests against the Al Khalifa regime, reiterating that pinning hope on the international community would be wrong.
“Sitting at homes and pining hope on international organizations to rescue us is a mistake, do not pin your hope on a mirage and rely on the presence of yourselves on the scene and in the squares,” Rajab said.
He further described as “worthless”, the Bahraini regime’s decision to ban protests, reiterating that all the political spectrums should challenge the decision and take to the streets.
Hundreds of Bahrainis staged large demonstrations across the country on Sunday, calling for the ouster of the al-Khalifa regime and the establishment of a democratic ruling system in their tiny Persian Gulf island.
The protesters asked for the downfall of the Bahraini regime, establishment of a democratic system, and voiced support for people in Mahza village, southern capital City of Manama, which has been under siege by the Bahraini security forces since two weeks ago.
According to the Bahraini media, the security forces have launched several night raids on the village residents.
The Bahraini government, facing protracted unrest by an overwhelming majority of the people, has resorted to any harsh measure to suppress popular protests and arrest political activists. It also revoked the nationality of 31 men on charges of harming national security earlier this month.
The men include London-based dissidents Saeed al-Shehabi and Ali Mushaima, the son of jailed opposition leader Hassan Mushaima, as well as clerics, human rights lawyers and activists.
Also on the list published by Bahraini News Agency (BNA) were two former parliamentarians from the leading Shiite party Wefaq, Jawad and Jalal Fairooz.
Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty’s over-40-year rule, end of discrimination, establishment of justice and a democratically-elected government as well as freedom of detained protesters.
Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar – were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 13, 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.
So far, tens of people have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.