What if Sheikh Ali Salman Refused to Receive Hamad bin Jassim's Call in 2011?
2022-12-28 - 10:44 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): At the height of the events of the February 14, 2011 uprising, a Gulf delegation publicly attended and sat with the King of Bahrain for the purpose of coordinating with him. This delegation comprised the late former Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal, and then Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim, whose country had good relations with Bahrain during that year, and was chairing the Arab League at that time.
After the two ministers sat with the king, it was decided that Hamad bin Jassim would make a phone call, on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council states, to the Secretary-General of the Al-Wefaq Society, Sheikh Ali Salman, and this indeed took place. It was a public and completely open call, and made with the permission of the Manama authorities. This was later confirmed by Hamad bin Jassim during a television interview.
The question here is what would have happened if Sheikh Ali Salman rejected Hamad bin Jassim's phone call, and refused to speak with him at that very moment in 2011?
Was it politically possible for the opposition leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, to refuse this call from a GCC representative? What would have been said about such a rejection? Wouldn't they have described his refusal as a stubborn response to a good-willed Gulf endeavor to resolve the crisis? Wouldn't they have said that such a rejection is a rejection of a peaceful solution to the crisis? Wouldn't they have said that this refusal leads to sacrificing the blood of the people as well as the country's present and future? They would have all said that all the kingdom's economic blows, its public debt, and the crisis plaguing the country are due to Sheikh Ali's refusal to speak with Hamad bin Jassim.
What is worse of all is that the authorities came out after five years of his trial to accuse and charge Sheikh Ali Salman with espionage, sentencing him to life imprisonment. All of this was because he received and cooperated with a call from a GCC representative.
It has been eight years since the resilient, peaceful and giving leader was summoned and put behind bars and the reasons behind the eruption of the February 14 events remain all the same, in addition to a plethora of more. Meanwhile, Sheikh Ali Salman's voice continues to emerge loud and clear from inside his cell: Let us build a stable homeland through dialogue! Are there any that heed his call!