PRESS RELEASE: Bahrain – Why the police can easily open fire on protestors; Background to the Pearl massacre

Injured demonstrator in Manama, 16 February 2011

The Bahraini monarchy has attempted over the last decade to doctor the Bahraini demographic.  It has offered citizenship and benefits to an array of non-Bahrainis for places within various professions.  Those naturalised are all Sunni, and this forms part of a sectarian agenda on the part of the monarchy and its backers in Saudi Arabia and the USA.  Protestors, though largely from the Shia community which forms the majority in Bahrain, have avoided sectarian confrontation, with chants of “Neither Sunni or Shia, just Bahraini” being heard during current demonstrations.

Notably, and most sinisterly, The Bahraini authorities have developed the police forces in this way.  As a result, the Bahraini police forces are a mix of mercenaries for hire, and non-Bahraini officers incentivised by a better life for themselves and their family in a Bahrain that offers them financial and other privileges.  As such there is less attachment between law enforcers and the protestors.  Effectively it is much easier for them to follow orders, and for Bahraini authorities to give orders that involve attacking unarmed civilians.

IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh said:

“We await a proportionate condemnation of Bahrain and its supporters in Saudi Arabia from its allies in the White House.  

“The mass movement for reform in Bahrain has been gaining momentum over many years, yet there is little acknowledgement of it.  It is clear that just as the Bahraini monarchy has hired mercenaries to do their violent bidding, the monarchy itself is one of the many regional mercenaries hired by the US to do its violent bidding in the region.”

For more information please contact the Press Office on +442089044222, or +447958522196.


1.     Interviews with Bahraini activists in the UK and Bahrain can be arranged.[ENDS]


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