20 December 2007

Who killed Ali Jassim?

I have to say that I tried my best to stay away from this issue, simply because as everyone else, I don't know all the facts. I don't know if tear gas can kill a person, and I don't really know if it was police brutality that killed Ali Jassim Makki.

But responsibility extends beyond the direct act of murder. Ali Jassim and hundreds with him were out there because it was their way of demonstrating their grievances. In a tightly-controlled political system where the government controls all the Shura, half the parliament, the judiciary, the executive, and the word "bandar" cannot even be mentioned, "political reforms" seems to be reduced to the glossy brochures we take to international conferences. We look around and we see naturalization (tajnees), corruption, unfairness, sectarianism.. yet many of us keep quiet because we can still live comfortable lives without getting involved. The problem is, not all of us have this comfortable life. These demonstration an act of desparation, and all government measures and anti-demonstration laws will not make it go away.

On 10 December 2005, Al-Wasat reported this about Ali Jassim:
إن مشكلته كبيرة، إذ بيّن أن والده «طالب ومازال يطالب بأرضه في باربار التي سرقها أو استولى عليها أحد الأشخاص المقربين لأحد المتنفذين، ولم يحصل عليها طيلة السنوات الماضية على رغم إلحاحه في المطالبة بها».

Government propaganda is not making it any better. It seems that Al-Menbar, Akhbar Al-Khaleej, and (poisonous) Al-Watan are unleashing their attacks against "disorder" and "illegal" demonstrations. Frankly I don't know where they get the audacity to even speak. Supporting a "reformist" agenda espoused by the King cannot be separated from supporting the right of free expression and public demonstration. In any casem Jassim and people like him don't really care to know about our anti-demonstration law, our independent investigation committees, or even the International Declaration for Human Rights that we signed, apparently. They want to know that their government is not stealing their wealth, perpetuating their poverty, or selling the country's land to foreigners. Until the leadership is ready to treat its people as citizens (not subjects), no amount of propaganda can change this sad situation.


Anonymous said...

This is really sad to read. Sometimes I wonder where we are heading or regressing to- especially as I've been away for 10 years.

I strongly believe you can rule, govern, and control people by incentives (i.e. economic). Such events and implications of the previous blog entry are astonishing- because they're unnecessary and archaic. Countries in the far east are good examples of this concept in execution.

On another note, I challenge the figure of 1M for Bahrain's population, we are closer to 710K with 240K non-citizens. The blog's conclusion should have lead to re-examination.


eshda3wa said...

all i can say is may god be with his family during this hard time

SILVER said...

i totally agree, the issue goes beyond what happened to our fellow citizen, its about frustration. there is only so much people can take before they explode. Now its the turn of Sunnies to blow (which i dont think is that far of). The government has to clean their act very soon or ESLE!!!
Lulu, welcome back. We missed you!!

LuLu said...

Thanks guys.

Simsim, I kind of hope you're right about the numbers.. tho I doubt anyone will actually bother to look into it, sadly!

Shda3wa, amen.

Silver, thanks so much!

heraish said...

Why cry on naturalisation. Why is it a dirty word. People from foreign countries who work here should have a voice among others.

bath mateUS. said...

nice posting..............