Sinister indeed are the ways of some human rights organizations. So sinister in fact that they even manage to swing opinion in the highest echelons of the august United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This ugly attitude of some rights outfits has hurt Bahrain immensely. No surprise that activists in the tiny Arab kingdom are hitting back.
The UN rights office has issued a string of statements since March criticising Bahrain. However, according to a detailed report in Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News, the UN’s Human Rights Council based in Geneva relies for its reports on the feedback provided by its Middle East regional office based in Beirut. And that’s where the trouble lies.
The suppliers of information to the UN’s Beirut office are biased elements with a dedicated agenda to show Bahrain in a poor light. One has to remember that Beirut is the capital of Lebanon which is ullulating with the henchmen of the Hizbollah, the Iran-backed terrorist outfit, being their headquarters.
That’s the ground where the hardcore anti-Bahrain activists and their sympathizers meet to feed the UN office fact-gatherers. Is it surprising therefore that the UN reports have issues with everything Bahrain’s government and the judiciary do to contain civil strife, terrorism, illegal assemblies and anti-national activities?
Take the case of the revocation of the nationality of Bahrain opposition patriarch Shaikh Isa Qassim. The UN report cricitised Bahrain without taking into account the fact that Qassim was exhorting a section of the populace to go out and kill policemen. He also received thousands of dollars from abroad illegally, distributing it to troublemakers. His trial on these charges is underway in a Bahrain court where he has not made an appearance while his residence remains surrounded by his followers to avert attempts to arrest him. Would a first-world country have treated such a character any differently?
Or take the example of a leading political society called Al Wefaq being dissolved by a court with a court ruling that it tended to support terrorists, seek foreign intervention in Bahrain’s internal affairs, misused places of worship for political activities and exhorted people to flout the laws. Before that, Al Wefaq chief Ali Salman faced trial for, among other charges, seeking to overthrow the government. Found guilty, he received a jail sentence. Would a first-world country have treated such a character any differently?
And the closure of Al Wefaq does not mean a lid is on all opposition activity in Bahrain; numerous political associations are still thriving.
The point is, if gangs of thugs burn tyres and block roads, throw Molotov cocktails at police and burn patrol cars, and their leaders issue anti-national exhortations from places of worship and run campaigns of lies and falsehoods in social media, any government would come down on such elements with a heavy hand.
In lesser circumstances, the US, the UK, France, Turkey and a host of other countries used a heavy hand when under the onslaught of terrorist outfits. Americans might also remember what happened in Waco, Texas, when 76 people died in a government siege and subsequent fire. Then why blame Bahrain alone?