2011-02-19 More cables reveal corruption in #Bahrain

Every day the constant flow of leaks reveals why the people are fighting so hard to tear down the regime and write a new constitution: they show Bahrain as a country based on media manipulation, government lobbying and all sorts of corruption and trafficking of influences.

Policies in Iraq

2011-02-18 Cables: Human Rights Watch's Torture Allegations Threaten Bahrain Government's Credibility

ImageThe streets of Bahrain are becoming increasingly violent. Security forces are using live rounds on protesters. Just over a day ago, right before dawn security forces ambushed protesters camping peacefully in the Pearl Roundabout, an area they had turned into their “Tahrir Square.” Many were injured, a few were killed. And, the world is witnessing the brutal discriminatory practices often used by the regime against Shia citizens and activists who dare to criticize the regime or exercise freedom of expression.

For years, a monarchy headed by King Hamad bin Isa al- Khalifa has come under sharp criticism for its use of torture. Amnesty International published a report on February 11 titled, “Crackdown in Bahrain: Human Rights at the Crossroads.” And now, WikiLeaks has released several cables detailing the torture of political prisoners and other Bahrainis.

2011-02-17 25 Bahman -Protestas en Bahréin

No suníes, no chiíes, solo bahreiní” es el cántico que se escucha ahora mismo en Manama, capital de Bahréin. Hasta ahora los enfrentamientos políticos en el país habían sido siempre motivados por diferencias entre estas dos etnias, sin embargo, desde el 14 de Febrero (25 Bahman), miembros de ambas partes, jóvenes, viejos, mujeres y niños se han unido para luchar juntos por sus derechos. Gracias a blogs y cuentas de Twitter que lograron escapar la censura del gobierno, sabemos que las protestas pacíficas que se estaban llevando a cabo en la glorieta de Lulu terminaron en una masacre de civiles: hay un número no confirmado de muertos y heridos, así como centenares de detenciones.

Asuntos Internacionales

Para entender mejor el pasado político y militar del Reino de Bahréin debemos retornar una vez más a los cables filtrados del Departamento de Estado. En 08MANAMA496, C. Henzel, Charge d’Affaires de los EEUU en Bahréin, dice que como este es “el Estado más pequeño del Golfo, históricamente ha necesitado mejores relaciones con el Occidente por motivos de seguridad que el resto de sus vecinos”. Otros cables aseguran que en 2008 los líderes de Bahréin estaban “enfocados prioritariamente en defenderse del potencial de los misiles Iraníes pero también en maximizar radares costeros”. Así, en ese mismo año “el gasto militar de EEUU en Bahréin fue de 3.9 millones USD. El Departamento de Estado presionó para incrementar ese número para el siguiente año.”

2011-02-05 February 14 is Revolution Day in Bahrain

ImageYesterday in Bahrain, hundreds of protesters gathered after Friday prayers in front of the Egyptian embassy in Manama to support Egypt and also to call for reform of Bahrain's own government. The request to protest was rejected by the Interior Ministry on Monday and again later in the week, but the eight political societies organizing the event managed to obtain permission late on Thursday. The request was rejected on the grounds that it is illegal to hold gatherings near diplomatic missions in Bahrain, even though the same groups were allowed to protest a few kilometres from the Tunisian embassy last month. The groups include Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, Brotherhood Society, National Democratic Action Society (Wa'ad), Islamic Action Society (Amal), Democratic Progressive Tribune, Democratic Gathering Society, National Gathering Society and Islamic Arabic Wasat Society.

Bahrain, which is currently ranked 144 out of 178 countries on Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index for 2010, has also been looking this week at further censorship of social media in the country, particularly of Facebook. The Bureau of Information and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority are working to develop mechanisms that allow for greater government control of the movement of electronic communication sites, which they say could be used by some to "undermine the achievements of the State and the unity of their people, and this requires constant vigilance and awareness in this aspect". There are an estimated 200 thousand Facebook users in Bahrain, and approximately 70 per cent of them are young people.

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