The US-supported dictatorship in Bahrain has revoked the citizenship of 31 leading opposition activists for allegedly “undermining state security.”
Last month, the regime in Bahrain banned all forms of public gatherings, protest or demonstration, desperate to put an end to the pro-democracy movement pressuring the regime for reform for almost two years.
Five bombs went off in Bahrain’s capital on Monday, in a dramatically escalation. The regime blamed the explosions, which killed two workers, on the opposition, but opposition leaders like Matar Matar of the Shi’ite party Wefaq suggested the regime was to blame.
“I’m worried that police and military are losing control of their units or it is (preparation) before declaring martial law,” he said.
The regime hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which allows the United States to “project power” in the Persian Gulf and patrol the Straits of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil passes. That ruthless geo-political advantage is not something the Obama administration is willing to give up for the sake of democracy and human rights.
Banning all demonstrations and revoking the citizenship of opposition activists are dramatic violations of basic rights, but it is only one aspect of the repressive response from the US-supported dictatorship. Others have included systematic torture, beatings, weaponizing tear gas, imposing curfews, harassing well-known activists, show trials and detentions, and cracking down on press freedoms.