On the 9th of April last year it was reported by the BBC that prominent human rights defender, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, was arrested and beaten up and, as if to give us an example of the BBC’s “balanced” reporting we were further informed that for many Mr al-Khawaja “ is a respected human rights activist, to others he is a dangerous republican, a Shia who has called for the overthrow of the 200-year old Sunni monarchy.” “A dangerous republican, a Shia” who wants to get rid of the corrupt 200- year old, imposed by the British, Sunni monarchy?
Still, credit where credit is due, and, the same BBC was at least willing to tell us on the 30th of march that the same Abdulhadi al-Khawaja “has been on a hunger strike for the past 51 days and as his condition deteriorates there is growing concern that he may die in prison.” Therefore, the ‘Angry Arab’s’ caution is not misplaced when he writes; “I’m not really up to date with the news but as far as I know only AlJazeera English has written an article about him. It seems that he may slip into an irreversible coma.” No, it is in the news and if there is any substance in the Bahrain Center for Human Rights’ report from two days ago, Mr al-Khawaja is now in the 54th day of a hunger strike and with the added complication that, because of his being subjected to torture during his incarceration, he was not in good health when he started his hunger strike, there are fears that “he might fall asleep and not wake up”, that the continuation of his hunger strike could cause him to go into a permanent coma.”
Of course, while the ‘Angry Arab’ wasn’t quite right regarding the coverage this issue is getting, if the implication is that the events in Bahrain are generally being neglected or reported with bias is bang on. However, the news is there and the English version of ‘Al Jazeera’ appears to be at least a little more diplomatic when it comes to forcing the Qatari agenda of its paymasters down our throats. Therefore, we could read today in ‘Al Jazeera’ that “a disproportionate use of tear gas for the dispersion of protesters,” and the fact that many towns are blanketed in the gas, might be responsible for long-term health problems including cancer.
Moreover, we can also read that John Timoney, the former US police chief who was hired to advise Bahrain’s police force, sees it a bit differently when he says: “There’s a complaint that there’s excessive tear gas,” Timoney said. “What I’ve observed is a huge increase in the number of Molotov cocktails being thrown at police officers, night after night.” Of course, we should find it quite remarkable that ‘Al Jazeera’ actually quotes someone who is, after all, no more than a mercenary. Indeed, stop empowering and arming the foreign thugs like Mr Timoney who keep this regime in power our “consultant” from the States will soon discover that the people of Bahrain will have no need to throw molotov cocktails and that the al-Khalifas, unlike Gaddafi and, no doubt, Assad, will all be in London in time for the Olympics with no intention of going home and with their wealth still stacked untouched in western banks.