Against the repression of the predominantly shiite opposition in the gulf state, the west remains quiet, the arab spring is only celebrated elsewhere
The west continues to hold back against the sunni monarchy in bahrain, while loudly complaining about human rights violations in iran, syria and other countries, or celebrating the arab spring against authoritarian regimes there. The rich gulf states, from which oil is bought and to which weapons and other things are sold, hardly hear anything about criticism, because the regimes are supposedly important for stability. Bahrain is a strategic ally especially of the usa, whose 5. Fleet stationed here. Security forces continue to massively and brutally crack down on protests, which are supported by the shiite majority, but also by sunni citizens who want political and economic reforms, while the judiciary is imposing harsh sentences on opposition activists.
Satellite image of bahrain. Image: nasa
The monarchy, like other arab regimes, is trying to portray the protests as controlled from abroad. It is suggested that iran in particular is behind this
Now bahrain has banned all demonstrations and gatherings, as well as all "public activities" banned until "security and stability" are restored, interior minister shaikh rashid bin abdullah al khalifa declared. With the graveyard peace shall "national unity and social cohesion will be preserved and any form of extremism from any side will be prevented" will be. Those who call for or participate in demonstrations will be punished. The reason for the ban was participants in public protests who had not followed the rules. There have been calls for the overthrow of the regime, and "slogans against the national symbols and the sovereignty of the state" given: "the lack of respect and the open insults have disturbed the social peace and the public order and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances", said the minister of interior.
The demonstrations, which were accompanied by violence and acts of sabotage – the role of security forces is naturally concealed -, had "provoked anger among some sections of bahraini society". They are mude of the protests, so these will be "dividing society" helped by the repression of freedom of expression and assembly, clearly directed against the shiite majority and the shiite opposition groups that, like al-wefaq, had organized the protests.
Since the unrest in the spring of 2011, more than 50 people have been killed. The government has carried out some reforms, but for the opposition everything is going too slowly and too little far. In addition, allegations of torture and violence against opposition members have been made, but investigations are not progressing. The situation is worsening again because some activists are becoming radicalized, while the security forces continue to take brutal and arbitrary action against opposition members. Teachers, members of human rights organizations and doctors are being punished, sometimes drastically. Increasingly, action is also being taken against insults to the royal family, which could be aggravated after the announcement of the minister of interior.