Friday, January 18, 2008

Bahraini blogger and activist arrested

It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform the online community of the arrest of another Bahraini blogger in the recent escalation of events. On the 21st of December 2007, the author of the blog Bahrain Eyes was picked up in the wave of arrests following the death of Ali Jassim on 17th December. I am told that he has been questioned on his online writings there and elsewhere on the internet. I came to identify the blogger from the unique style of poetry and my subsequent inquiries confirmed my suspicion.

This arrest follows a string of harrassment of bloggers over the last few years, with some even being banished from the country. But due to the sensitivity of these matters, their identities must remain anonymous for their own safety and their families.

Recent reports from inside the jail tell of atrocious conditions, torture and the denial of visits, with confessions obtained under duress. I urge the blogging community to rally and call for the release of all of the prisoners.

A disturbing testimony of a family member of one of the prisoners who was forced to kiss the feet of a police officer:

Why we are in a gloomy mood...

"IT IS not easy to be an Arab these days. If you are old, the place where you live is likely to have changed so much that little seems friendly and familiar. If you are young, years of rote learning in dreary state schools did not prepare you well for this new world. In your own country you have few rights. Travel abroad and they take you for a terrorist. Even your leaders don't count for much in the wider world. Some are big on money, others on bombast, but few are inspiring or visionary. "

The Arabs - Between fitna, fawda and the deep blue sea

Arab generosity

Some offered their blatant hypocrisy

Some offered their remaining dignity

Some offered thier beloved children

...and some offered simple rage

ملك البلاد اراهم قد اسرفوا اذا قلدوك من النفاق وساما