2017: This is Bahrain; 15 Martyrs, 14 Death Sentences, Al-Wasat Suspension, Wa’ad Dissolution, Diraz Raid, Israeli Visit
2018-01-08 - 4:31 am
Bahrain Mirror - Exclusive: 2017 was an exhausting year with rougher escalating violence. The political situation ended its 6th year falling deeper into crisis, with eradicating freedom of expression and opinion, issuing harsher and retaliating judicial verdicts. Everything is heading towards ending the last margin of the "state", and in return rule with oppression, tyranny, and suppression of voices and lives.
15 martyrs passed away this year, 3 of which were executed. Others were directly targeted by Bahraini security forces. 14 Bahrainis witnessed death verdicts in politically-motivated cases; 8 of them in civil courts, and 6 in militaries courts. 155 Bahrainis witnessed their citizenship revocation by the judiciary, due to politically-motivated reasons. Life sentences were upheld almost on a daily basis.
Bahrain's Al-Wasat Newspaper was suspended and closed, and thus the last independent media voice was shut down. The National Democratic Action Society (Wa'ad) was dissolved, and thus the last margin of public political work in the country was eradicated.
Moreover, Bahraini authorities introduced additional cases and accusations against already imprisoned activists and politicians, in a bit to harshen their sentences. On another hand, a 1-year suspended prison verdict was issued against Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, with the confiscation of 3.3 million Bahraini Dinars and 2 properties. This year also witnessed the raid on Diraz, which was under siege for over a year, with the martyrdom of 5, and detention of 286. Sheikh Isa Qassim was put under house arrest. Sheikh Ali Salman on another hand, along with others, were faced by a new accusation of conspiring with Qatar.
On an international foreign affairs level, Bahrain cut its diplomatic relations with Qatar, and participated with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in their siege against Qatar. Washington on its part, approved a 3.8 billion dollar arms deal with Bahrain, while the FIFA Congress was held in Bahrain, in the presence of Israeli representatives. The year was finalized with a Bahraini official delegation visiting Israel openly.
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