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Bahrain: Biggest march in the history of Bahrain calls for regime change

The biggest demonstration in Bahrain’s history took place this afternoon. Hundreds of thousands marched from to Maqsha with two parallel columns;

 one for men, the other for women. Chants were deafening coming from every part of the human sea “People want regime change” and “Down with Hamad, Down with Hamad”. Banners and images of martyrs and detainees filled the horizon. The route to Duraz where the main Friday prayers were held had a lot of services by volunteers who wanted to help the participants and offer them refreshments. Food was served in many places, mosques, congregation halls and clubs. The whole country appeared to be on the move to prove to the world that Bahrainis were united in their revolution and that
they wanted a real change including the right to determine their destiny, writing a new constitution, a fully-functioning democracy and an end to the tribal hereditary dictatorship. Impunity for torturers and criminals must be removed.

The demonstration came at the end of a week when at least two Bahrainis were martyred as a result of excessive use of chemical gases. On 5th March, a 45-days old baby died as a result of inhaling chemical gases. His family, from Ras Rumman town were devastated when their house was sprayed with excessive amounts of those lethal gases as part of the Al Khalifa retaliation from Bahrainis. On 6th March another martyr passed away as a result of inhaling excessive gases. The woman, from Abu Saiba’ suffered immensely as she struggled with the effects of those killing chemicals.

Meanwhile daily protests and demonstrations have continued all over the country in on daily basis. Men and women would demonstrate every day and night in at least thirty towns and villages calling for regime change. In retaliation, police and security forces have continued their attacks on residential areas and houses.

A worldwide campaign against holding the Formula1 races in Bahrain. The decision by Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula1 chief, to go ahead with holding the race despite the rising number of martyrs and human rights violations has shocked the human rights world. International bodies and personalities including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Lord Avebury and seven other peers have expressed dismay at the irresponsible decision that would bring the race into disrepute. Human Rights Watch said: “The FIA should consider the serious human rights violations committed by Bahraini authorities”.
Lord Avebury said: “The Bahraini Government continue to show that they are more concerned with their international image than with the security and rights of their own citizens. They do not deserve to hold an important international event like F1. The Grand Prix should not be held in Bahrain”.

A petition calling for the immediate release of Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja, the renowned international human rights activist has been signed by 48 NGOs. Mr Khawaja has been on hunger strike for the past four weeks and his health has deteriorated sharply in recent days. He has been taken to hospital several times but doctors have been unable to locate his veins to inject the blood vessels with Saline. He has complained of ill-treatment and demands his immediate release. He had undergone three operations to repair his jaws after being broken during torture sessions.

Prisoners at Dry Dock prison have recently been subjected to horrific treatment. On Wednesday 8th March riot police and security personnel working under the notorious John Timoney and John Yates stormed into
their cells accompanied by police dogs and started attacking them. At first they said they were searching the prison but then they started beating the prisoners indiscriminately. Copies of the Holy Quran were desecrated and the prisoners belongings were thrown all over the place. It was part of the process of revenge against Bahrainis after it had become clear that the campaign of intimidation, torture and collective punishment has failed to dislodge them from their principled stands and calls for regime change.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

9th March 2012