An Open Letter Seeking Justice

Dear Sir/Madame,

Dignity is the grace of God blessed on each one of us. When people are humiliated and their dignity stripped off by powers that be – it becomes a direct challenge to the will of God.

In the past, a few lucky Bahrainis avoided the violation of their human rights, humiliation and discrimination, by moving from one country to another. Thanks to the new world order, people are no longer free to pack up and leave to where they could live with dignity. Only capital and goods are allowed to move freely, and that is what the Free Trade Agreement with USA delivers to Bahrain.

Deprived of their fundamental human rights and justice, a vast majority of Bahrainis have been forced to live as refugees in their own land.

Back in 2002, The Kingdom of Bahrain decided to change overnight - from a police state to a democracy. To this day, the power structure remains the same; the so-called changes are merely cosmetic in nature to give a face-lift to a decadent power structure.

The people of Bahrain who would have otherwise been empowered in a real democratic state – are even now forced to live in a state of terror and fear. The days of tyranny are not over yet.

The human rights situation in Bahrain continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate. When freedom becomes a privilege for an elite few then the whole concept of democracy becomes a farce. Human rights get violated, justice fails to prevail and a nation becomes a prison for its own people.

As a result, most people opt to remain cautious and accept humiliation rather than confront the authorities – the very authorities who ruled with an iron fist under the State Security Law before the dawn of ‘democracy’ in 2002.

How can the people of Bahrain trust in a regime, which has failed to protect them, and has continued to terrorise and violate their rights for decades? Perhaps the powers that be assumed that the dreams of a better tomorrow would bring about a general amnesia among the masses.

The amount of pain, agony, and the sheer feeling of helplessness my family is going through since May 2004 is a testament to the state of affairs in Bahrain. My life along with the lives of my extended family is in a shambles as the justice system in Bahrain refuses to be just.

I come from a middle-class family, which has managed to get away from the grip of the authorities – until recently.

In May 2004, Ahmed (born September 20, 1976) was arrested in drug-related charges.

I will not discuss the merits of the case here or argue whether he is innocent or not because that is up to the Court to decide on – despite my strong reservations on the judiciary system in Bahrain.

It is what has happened since he was arrested up until today that has infuriated me and made every living moment a living hell for my extended family.

Ahmed was literally "kidnapped" by the authorities from the doorsteps of his Muharraq home at 10pm, on Friday, May 7.

He was "snatched" by the Bahraini CID forces as he returned from shopping with his heavily-pregnant wife, and his four-year-old son. He was whisked off in a police car and another CID official took his car. His wife did not know what had happened to him. His family only knew he was in custody after THREE days from his arrest. He was not given access to a lawyer… or the right to make a phone call. I don't know if those things happen in television only or whether they apply to real life.

He was taken to the CID headquarters in Adliya, Manama, after his arrest and remains there until today.

He was taken to court a few weeks after his arrest. The Public Prosecutor says that the case is still under investigation and the court adjourns every hearing for another 45 days.

Today (December 11), his family again went through the agonising wait for justice. Ahmed was due to appear in court. Again the hearing was adjourned until January 15. This time, no reason was given. Justice delayed is indeed justice denied.

I cannot help but shed a little bit of light on Ahmed: he had a stable job for the last 10 years (10 years – with the same company day in and day out)
And now… he doesn’t have this job anymore.
He has not been involved in any criminal cases.
His police file was clean.
He was about to embark on his master's degree programme
He is a loving father, and he has still not seen his newborn daughter.
He has nothing left now.

Ahmed has now gone on a hunger strike. He and almost 70 other human beings who have been held in custody still awaiting a fair and just trial have decided to protest against their long long wait.

Please pray for Ahmed and his family. All we are seeking is justice. Remember that Ahmed is not alone in suffering this grave injustice. Also remember that in Bahrain no one is immune from suffering injustice at the hands of the very authorities meant to protect them and uphold justice.

Ahmed's court case number is: 2004/3889.

A blind judiciary and a deaf government

The Ministry of Interior in Bahrain continues to terrorise people.

This is a fact. This isn't second-hand information.

This is information based on what I have experienced myself.

I don't want to be specific and relate all that has happened to my family at the hands of officers, who are supposed to respect and uphold the law.

I want to wage a campaign against the legal system. I need your support. I need you to supply me with information and incidents, which could help ensure that the humiliation and terror we have faced will not be repeated again in a kingdom, which counts itself among the free democracies of the free world.

His Majesty King Hamad and the Crown Prince should be made aware of the atrocities committed by the legal and law enforcement system.

He should be made aware of the corrupt legal system, beginning with the lawyers, to the law-enforcement officers, to the public prosecutors to the judges themselves.

I am ready to stand up to the authorities and confront them with this.

It has taken me seven months to collect evidence and ammunition for this battle to confront the undeclared war the authorities have waged against innocent unwitting boys - and I need your support.

There are scores of prisoners being held in custody for long stretches of time without trial.

All those accused are supposed to be treated as innocent unless proven otherwise.

In Bahrain, the situation is different. There is no justice. Not everyone is treated equally.

The poor don't get the same treatment as those with influence. The Shia are not treated with the same measuring stick by the authorities as the others in the kingdom.

The hunger strike scores of prisoners at the CID Headquarters in Adliya have started is just the tip of the iceberg. It is the beginning of a long struggle for freedom and human dignity, which they have been denied just because they come from modest backgrounds.

Can you tell me why someone who has smoked dope OUTSIDE Bahrain should be held in custody for SEVEN months?

I realise that not all 64 prisoners on hunger strike are innocent.

I also know that they shouldn't remain behind bars - unless the Courts (no matter what we think of their impartiality) make a verdict and convicts them for their alleged crimes.
I know for a fact that if they really were the drug cartels, who are smuggling narcotics to Bahrain, they wouldn't be in jail.

They would be in their palaces, enjoying the best of life that their criminal activities can afford them.

People are not blind and deaf and mute. Bahrain is a small country. Everybody knows all that is happening.

Can the Ministries of Interior and Justice explain how their civil servants whose salaries are not enough to purchase toilet rolls are living in palaces, driving expensive cars, spending long holidays with their families abroad, sending their children to private schools, relaxing in yachts over weekends and still managing to finance their whoring, alcoholism and other ILLEGAL activities?

I wonder what will happen if all the judges, law enforcement officers, public prosecution officers, drug law enforcement officers, lawyers and judges, were subjected to blood tests to check whether they have used narcotics?

I want to know if the Ministry of Interior is ready to face the result of this probe and announce it to the public.

If Bahrain wants to treat its people without dignity and strip them of all their civil rights, then it should start looking at the very people who are supposed to enforce the law.

The Ministries of Justice and Interior should start with cleaning their own backyards first.

Five days!

Yes.. five days.
The results. No news.
Everyone is busy with the Summit.
And the boys and their families have to pay the price.
Hurray. I am more proud of being a Bahraini than ever before.

Yes we are all watching

Always an honour to join a freedom movement.
Bahrain has a long way to go in becoming a civilized society.
Do these people know what it takes to be civil?

Destiny, you are right. As we read/hear/see too often, 'We people' have to bear the burden of a national shame - just because a handful of Morons are a law unto themselves.

I have read all the News Items published in the newspapers that you have posted in your blog. Has there been one Editorial written against the incompetent authorities?

It is so so so true that there can be no substitute for competence. No faith, love, god, devil can ever substitute for competence. Not even Viagra!

Here is to you Ahmed, Destiny and all people in this world who seek and want to live in an environment of justice and fairness - HawkEyes' words shall remain as sharp as his claws and beak - in your effort to make this world a better place to live for the weak.

Violence breeds only violence.

Mahatma's thoughts do have the power to ignite a bloodless revolution: "There is only one sovereign remedy, namely, nonviolent non-cooperation. Whether we advertise the fact or not, the moment we cease to support the government it dies a nature death."