Fawziya Rashid: You Opened a Door which Better Remain Closed

2020-04-24 - 7:10 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Fawziya Rashid, a Bahraini national of Pakistani origin and "Akhbar Al-Khaleej" writer, opposed the call for pardoning political prisoners even amid the increasing fear for their lives due to the Coronavirus outbreak. In her view, they are "criminals" and "terrorists" who "betrayed this nation when they worked on overthrowing the government and state, through their association with Iran or western intelligence," she claimed. "These are suspicious and rejected calls," she said in a recent article.

If someone else had said this, one wouldn't have criticized their statement. But this being uttered by a writer, who participated in a march to the Pearl Roundabout in 2011 and whose name was mentioned at the top of a statement issued on behalf of an institution calling for listening to the demands of the demonstrators, whom she now calls "criminals", "terrorists" and "traitors", is a problem. 

She was personally pardoned for doing the same things she deems today treason and deems people who practiced them "traitors". Her repentance which came through her participation in "Al-Rased" program and then in her membership in the Gathering of National Unity was enough to pardon her, unlike other citizens.

Why is she then opposing that they have the same privilege she enjoyed; the privilege which kept her away from imprisonment and the brutality of the security services? Is her blood more precious than the blood of those unfortunate Bahrainis who have been in prison for nine years! 

She looked pitiful as she attempted to make excuses on air in the program she appeared in. She spent more than half of the episode trying to justify her participation in a march. "They tricked me," she said. When the presenter surprised her with her signature on one of the statements, she commented in what seemed like a joke, "It came without my knowledge. My approval to put my name came after the statement was read to me by phone, but it was not sent to me by email."

Based on Fawziya Rashid's logic, she has the right to promote such ridiculous arguments and evade prison, but others must stay in prison for years just for exercising the same right.

However, describing political prisoners as "traitors linked to Iran" is an accusation that rather suits her. For a decade, she has been a permanent guest of Iranian government conferences in Tehran and other Iranian cities. She was welcomed there and received tickets from the Iranians and greeted Iranians in the Persian language rather than in Arabic, which she uses in her articles, or even Urdu, her native language and the language of her ancestors. She was the one who translated this intimate bond between her and the Iranian government in her articles in "Akhbar Al-Khaleej" newspaper. A closer look at the newspaper's archives from the 2000s to 2011 is enough to see her defense of Iranian policy in the region and her repeated calls for Gulf States to hold dialogue with Iran and to stand against all calls trying to demonize the Iranian government and its people. This was very obvious in her articles. She did not change her position until she stopped receiving tickets and fees for her participation in conferences and after what could be her "big mistake" when she participated in the 2011 marches.

Fawziya Rashid lost the fees she used to get in exchange for participating in Iranian government conferences, but she still receives a salary from the Bahraini government. She has been unrightfully receiving a salary from the Bahraini government finances since 2005. She has been granted a monthly salary on a full-time basis for literary writing, but since then (about 15 years ago), she has not written a single literary book. Her latest publications date back to 2000. Fawziya Rachid has done nothing since then; however, she continued to receive the monthly salary from the government in exchange for books and novels she did not write.

The release of political prisoners from prisons is no doubt not a cheerful piece of news for Fawziya. How will she continue to enjoy the gifts she receives from the state of corruption and how will she enjoy a monthly allowance and a housing unit and "continue to change her stance" without objection or criticism. This is her main issue.

Arabic Version