Press TV has conducted an interview with Saeed Shahabi, with the Bahraini Freedom Movement, in London about the trials of anti-regime protesters by the Bahraini regime.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Again, we are looking at a situation that seems like the deterioration of rights for the Bahraini people. Again, we have seen what appear to be very unjust sentences taking place.
What will it take to turn this around? We are almost into the third year of demonstrations and also the repression by the Bahraini regime. What do you think it will take to turn this around?
Shahabi: It makes me proud to feel that our people have been on the streets for the past almost three years and they are not going back.
They are being targeted with harsh sentences as we have seen today. People are sent for ten years jail just because they had taken part in peaceful demonstrations and anti-regime activities.
These activities, which have always been peaceful and non-violent, are met by these harsh sentences. Of course, we believe that these sentences are politically motivated and they are decided prior to the trials.
We can still see the people going to the streets on a daily basis despite the enormous attacks that are being waged by the security forces and despite also the reverses in the fortunes of the regime. The regime today is much, much weaker than it was.
As we have seen yesterday from the reaction of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee in the UK. The response to their report came from the Saudi embassy in Manama. Nothing has been said by the regime. Since a few hours, ago I didn’t hear any response from the regime, but from the Saudis, who said we would not allow anyone to intervene. The whole sovereignty of Bahrain has come to the Saudi occupiers.
Press TV: Let’s look at that, as you said there is a response from the Saudis. Let’s look at the role of Riyadh in this situation that is taking place in Bahrain.
Shahabi: I can only say that with the situation in the world as it is now, [there] would be changing signs in the Arab world with the rewriting of coalition and the balance of power in the Middle East.
I can say that the next few months or few years only will see major changes. I do not believe that we have reached a stage of desperation from the Arab Spring although there has been a lot of controversy against that Arab Spring and against the revolutions; yet the people of the Arab world cannot continue to be subjugated in this way.
And the people of Bahrain have really remained steadfast and they are probably the only revolution that has remained pure, non-violent, all-inclusive and also clear in its demands to force fundamental change in the political system and I believe that will continue.
And now the changes that we have seen with the agreement that has been reached between Iran and the West, I think the situation will be better for those who are seeking liberty, freedom, democracy, human rights in the Middle East because so far it is those black countries – those countries which have black policies, bad policies – that have dominated the scene.
It may be the case now that we see a different scenario altogether in terms of human rights, the people’s representation and democracy in our region.
Press TV: Are you optimistic that eventually your people will be victorious?
Shahabi: I have no doubt about that. I really do not have any doubt that the people who have sacrificed so much cannot be expected to go back to their homes and to also allow the history to repeat itself.
They are going forward; they are marching forward; and the only way is forward; there is no way backward. So that makes me feel really optimistic especially knowing that other people in the world have been able to achieve real results.