Tuesday, April 26, 2005expansion of freedom (allowing civic participation eg in the 50s, 70s and 2002), and before people get too used to it, a sudden or gradual contraction of this freedom (arrests of activists, dismantlement of civic institutions eg sudden dissolution of parliament in 73 etc) which then leads to an uprising (protests, resistence, opposition etc) which then leads to human rights abuses etc. When the situation reaches this state of deadlock, after a period we may see the government under intense, domestic and international pressure, allow a degree of public freedom, hence going back to the beginning. This cycle has happened over and over again.
If this cyclical theory is true, then I would say that right now we are most definitely in the 'contraction' part of the cycle. Unfortunaly, my fellow bloggers seem to jump the gun a bit too quick and failed to read the rest of today's newspaper (alwasat) beyond the article regarding the orders for every webmaster to register their site inside or outside of bahrain (I agree this sucks). In today's issue also, 'terrorists' laws are about to be introduced that carry the death penalty and include criticism of the constitution, and another law that bans the disclosure of names of defendents to local or international media prior tothe final court verdict (eg Free Ali campaign is totally illegal). So if it's not going to be failing to register your site with the MoI, then the content of the site may easily be judged as breaching 'terrorist' laws AND if you get arrested (if not executed), then you're family or any human rights organisation cannot reveal ur identity or campaign on ur behalf!! WOW i think we've just hit a triple whammy!!
I also further argue that this decade, although sharing the cyclical charecteristics of previous times, is facing a unique predicament in that what is essentially happening right now, is that autocracy is being ENSHRINED in law before our very eyes; through the constitution, royal decrees, press laws, law 56 etc, that have outwardly stated that one man rules this country. This is a precedent. Whereas before, the situation may have been more chaotic and ad-hoc, NOW I feel it is concerted and is clever enough to emerge behind different facades like a lizard changing his skin and cunningly gaining a degree of legitimacy under the banner of 'democracy'. This is much more dangerous as such laws will be very difficult to reverse and could easily drag the political crisis on for many years to come in the absence of the true will to reform this country.
That's my simple opinion, don't give in, our forefathers never did.