Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): It is said that birds of a feather flock together. This applies to politics as well. Bahrain gave the task of delivering the opening speech of the Manama Dialogue Forum to a minister involved in vast human rights violations in his country. This minister has been banned from entering the United States for 20 years and he was only allowed to enter it during the era of former President Donald Trump.
Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto delivered the opening speech in Manama Dialogue. He confirmed that his country's relationship with the Middle East is strong and intertwined. This was not in the context of praise as it seems, the Indonesian minister added that "a large number of Indonesian religious hardliners have received ideas from members in the Middle East." This word reinforces the stereotype that the Arab region is the epicenter and source of terrorism, as many Western media portray.
Minister Subianto is a controversial figure. He is an Indonesian merchant and politician, born in October 1957, and a former husband of former President Suharto's daughter. The Indonesian community says that Subianto divorced his wife as soon as her father resigned and left the presidential palace in 1989. This minister ran for presidential elections in 2014 and failed.
The Minister, in the eyes of human rights activists and international organizations, is the perpetrator of major human rights violations in his country.
It was remarkable that no senior US official attended Subianto's opening speech yesterday, although they were participating in the conference.
Prabowo Subianto is a former Commander-in-Chief of the Special Forces Command (Kopassus). He was accused of involvement in military crimes in various parts of Indonesia, including the East Timor military operation, where Prabowo led a military squad that abducted student activists, noting that 13 activists have been missing since then.
The Indonesian human rights violator was offered an important platform provided by countries that violate human rights like him. "Unfair trials of protesters, online critics of the government and relatives of these individuals continued, as did other suppression of freedom of expression. Detainees were ill-treated and, in some cases, tortured," Amnesty said in its 2020 report.