3.03.2005

Letter to Ahmed

Dear Ahmed,

The whole world has left you alone to rot in your cell.

Nobody cares for you anymore. Everyone is fed up. Your case is a lost cause: it doesn't involve politics. No one wants to get involved in it because it is just an ordinary drug case.

Your family and friends tackled it the wrong way: they should have shut up and stopped questioning whether it was right or wrong to kidnap you, frame you for a crime you wittingly or unwittingly got yourself involved in and then deny you access to justice. They should have known their place in society and not confronted the authorities when you went without access to a fair and just trial. They should not have had all those confrontations with your captors.

You too have played a role in this by holding your head up high and behaving like a man. You should have not stood up with pride and demanded justice. Your family and friends were wrong to even suggest that the criminals at the CID and the Public Prosecution and the Ministry of Justice were corrupt. That was just hot air. They were maintaining law and order in a country where not everyone is treated equally and where everyone shouldn't really be treated equally.

Ahmed, you and everyone who sympathised with your case, are so naive to believe for a split second that there is light at the end of this tunnel. Ahmed, in the 10 months you were locked in that cell and humilated, you have lost your job and livelihood. You have also lost your reputation, which cannot be salvaged now because people are whispering: if you really haven't committed a hideous crime, why are you still held in custody behind without access to a fair and just trial?

Yes. Like a silly little boy with no sense of responsibility, all you did was smoke hash. I realise that everyone does it. This doesn't mean that you had the right to do it. You knew it was against the law. You should also have realised that you yourself are not above the law. That the law will not treat you with justice because you are a Shia boy. You are from the wrong ethnic background. You are from the wrong sect. You cannot bribe the correct people. Your sisters cannot please the right people. Your family has pride. They cannot stoop so low.

I realise how confused you are as to why it has taken so long for you to be put on trial for a criminal offence which carries a six month suspended prison sentence. You shouldn't be confused though that no one should dare question the law keepers because that is against the law.

I am sorry to tell you that I have no answer for any of your questions. I am equally sorry to tell you that the questions we have raised have angered the authorities. That we should never have linked your case with justice and human rights - stupid values which don't exist here.

Ahmed, I deeply apologise to you and your wife and children, to your mothers and sisters, for all the damage we have caused you. I realise now how wrong we all were to demand justice. We should have kissed hands and feet and opened our legs for the right people to get you out.

I am really sorry someone like ***** is keeping a close eye on you and continuing to humiliate you everyday. I know he is doing this because I personally complained about him to all the Shaikhs and influencial people I know as well as common men on the street.

Ahmed, next time you see this bastard, please kiss his feet and ask for forgiveness. Holding your head up high and withstanding all the horror you have gone through is not the trait of Bahrainis. Bahrainis, or rather Bahranis like you, should be humiliated and trodden upon all the time. This is where we belong - under the feet of our masters.

Ahmed, please realise that we are slaves. That we cannot think freely and shouldn't aspire to do so. Remember our place in the great scheme of things. We are second or perhaps third class citizens. We have no rights. But this isn't all, please remember that we have no right to ask for any rights. It is a futile exercise and we may end up as cell mates.

We should thank God for being allowed to live in this great land of paradoxes. I realise that we have no other place to go and that it is the land of our ancestors. Always remember that there is a God who doesn't leave anyone alone. However, Ahmed, I beg you not to show them that you praying to Allah to release you from your prison. They might take this as an act of defiance on your side and they may punish you in different ways you may not have seen before. Remember how that bastard ordered his men to make you stand in the sun that day for three hours? Remember how he has now ordered no human contact with you? Remember how you are in solitary confinement now, in a cell with three Sri Lankans you cannot even communicate with? Do you see how he has ordered his men to treat your visitors? How the girls from your family are paraded through the CID headquaters before being allowed to see you for 10 minutes and then thrown out like dogs? Do you realise that this is nothing compared to what he could really do to you?

Ahmed, please allow those people to break your spirit. This is what they want. I beg you to stoop down to them. There is no way out. No hope.

Remember that you have no one backing you. Remember that you have no cause. You are not a political prisoner. You are just a junkie. Remember you are NOBODY. You are only a normal Bahraini citizen who is not above the law.