SHAFAQNA – The United Kingdom collaborated with the regime in Bahrain to introduce mechanisms to the country to purportedly instigate “reforms”. From it, a number of judicial reforms have been carried out, and an Ombudsman has been set-up – all to ensure a form of ‘legitimacy’ to the regime, pardoning and protecting torturers in the process, as well as ensuring the regime remains in power.
The Ombudsman, which has been around for approximately a year now, has received hundreds of complaints from families of political prisoners in Jaw prison, yet has wholly ignored them. Thousands of prisoners were reportedly tortured and insulted. International organisations condemned the brutal repression inside the prison. Horrific images surfaced on many social platforms.
Prisoners have repeatedly stated that senior prison officials and Jordanian police officers were involved in the internal repression. Yet the Ombudsman opts to release an indifferent statement, does not get in contact with victims, and does not pursue any torturer or even attempt to stop the ongoing torture.
More British-inspired “reforms” were apparently introduced to Bahrain’s judiciary to ensure “neutrality”. This same judiciary has opted to continue the unlawful and prolonged detention of the opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary general of Bahrain’s largest party, Al Wefaq. The accusations remain baseless with no tangible evidence shown incriminating him of any crime at any time. In addition to this, the court refused to accept the statement of a witness that supports Sheikh Ali Salman’s case, and more bizarrely forced Sheikh Ali Salman to stand for approximately 3 hours whilst his hearing went on.
These cosmetic reforms to legitimise an illegimate regime have in the process allowed torturers to remain immune from sentencing, like Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and evidently will never work. The continued backing of Al Khalifa regime will serve to fan the flame of anger expressed by the people of Bahrain and will guarantee instability in the country, especially when considering that the Bahraini revolution is a nationwide and popular uprising with its ultimate goal being for the people to rule.