Bahrain Sentences 4 Protesters to Death

The four Shiite Muslim protesters were accused of killing two policemen last month during protests against the Sunni Muslim-led government.

Comments: 27

  1. Why does this newspaper headline read that 4 "protesters" are sentenced to death? This gives an incorrect political and moral slant to a story whose headline should read 4 convicted "murderers" are sentenced to death.

    Can't you see a difference?

  2. Having worked for many years in and with the people of Bahrain, I certainly hope that their leaders do their best to contain the barbarism of the protesters, and maintain the level of civility the Kingdom is known for.

    Certainly, the Kingdom of Bahrain is a beacon for the region to follow- may they not err in their pursuit of peace and justice.

  3. Gee, I thought these were peaceful protesters who wouldn't harm a fly. Not so much, I guess.

  4. One thing the rebels in Libya are showing the rest of the Arab world, now especially true for Syrians, is that in order for the United States government and the U.S. media to recognize them as innocent civilians, they must first take up arms--preferably U.S. made weapons--and then start killing people.

  5. Isn't it clear as day what really happened here? A kangaroo court summarily convicted and is about to execute 4 people and deprive more of their liberty for life without proper due process. If you've really lived in the Persian Gulf states then you would know what kind of justice is meted out to anyone who dares to question the authority of the rulers, who by the way, were not elected by the people that they oppress so successfully.

  6. In response to Jason (#1) -- these men were convicted in a closed court and one of the lawyers was detained. That alone casts doubt on the conviction. And yes, I know Bahrain quite well.

  7. You know, NATO should really have conducted air strikes against the Saudi troops who invaded Bahrain as part of the effort to crush the peaceful demonstration - but then, the Saudis are off limits, correct? No matter how thuggish or brutal they get, we want to keep selling them billions in weapons - it's a lucrative business.

    The stench of hypocrisy here is overwhelming.

  8. The lack of transparency and due process in this case is appalling. These death sentences are clearly intended to send a political message even if the 4 convicted actually did commit the crime. They give the government an opportunity to crack down. This also gives the government the opportunity to grant clemency to build public support if it chooses.

    Bahrain is a kingdom with serious religious divides and a lack of real democracy. The U.S. needs to encourage this ally to take real steps toward representative government. Democracy might be messy and scary, but it beats having key allies implode by failing to respond to their own people.

  9. And will Obama send one of his favorite Predator drones crashing into the Bahrain absolute monarch's palace to stop this killing of civilians?

  10. The only thugs are the ruling family who called in foreign troops to kill its own people and is about to execute the protestors.

    The US is silent as usual because the 5th Fleet station and oil interests are more important than liberty and human rights.

  11. That's Right!! Criminals must be killed, rather then feeding them in the jail & wasting vast amount of foods unnecessarily. How DARE??? KILLING THE POLICE!!!!

  12. one persons freedom fighter is another persons terrorist,or murderer.

  13. But Libya and Syria, oh no, that cannot stand what they are doing.

  14. Commentators 1 through 3 either have not fully read the article or have deliberately chosen ignore what appears to be a judicial travesty in a police state.

    Let us look at some of the facts stated in the article:

    1) Within a month of the alleged incident, the defendants are tried, found guilty and condemned. How does any lawyer locate impartial eyewitnesses (other than those provided by the Bahraini state), gather exculpatory evidence or prepare a defense of their client in a capital crime case in 30 days?

    2) The attorney of at least one of the defendants is jailed within that 30 day period;

    3) The case is being prosecuted by a "military prosecutor" outside of the civil judicial system.

    This is nothing more than a show trial worthy of the worst police states and for our country to ignore this travesty because Bahrain is governed by "our Tyrant" of choice is an affront to those values and human rights we claim to cherish in America. How can we justify criticizing Syria while ignoring Bahrain, a Monarchy which subjugates its citizens who are of the Shiite denomination, nearly half of the country's population, and denies them democratic rights and equal opportunity?

    But no matter how much we choose to ignore it and however many of his subjects King Hamad Al Khalifa executes, the aspirations for freedom of the oppressed will remain; and my guess is that sooner rather than later the King’s own head and that of his cronies will either be on the chopping block or at the end of an assassins bullet or bomb.

  15. We are always on the wrong side of these battles.
    Because our foreign policy (except under Carter) has always been to
    support whoever is in power to protect the American superrich at the
    expense of American interests in general. And especially at the expense
    of humanity.

  16. #14 EMIP: We understand that's the narrative they're putting out. But this seems at least as fair as the trials at Gitmo. After all, it's their own country judging. The whole "arrogant tyrant versus innocent protesters" thing has been overused. It's worn off. We're not buying.

  17. Bahrain's decision sounds vicious doesnt it? But in the US, we routinely sentence young people to life in prison for drug infractions. In fact, our sentencing is so rampant that we are host to politically influential unions lobbying for more incarceration.

  18. The US needs to immediately make strong public statement denouncing the sentences and the lack of transparency and due process therein, and to work behind the scenes to ensure that no one is executed. We must always and unequivocally support democracy and human rights, even if that means alienating so-called "friends" like the reprehensible Saudi regime. It's not about picking winners and losers before we decide to take a stand. It's about always supporting human rights, self determination and democracy, no matter the situation and players. We enjoy freedom here, we must stand or freedom around the world.

  19. While it is possible that these people really killed the policemen (an act that is horrible no matter what you're protesting, peacefully or not), their punishment is well deserved. However, given Bahrain's recent use of Saudi military force against protesters and its spotty human rights record, it is also possible that the trial was heavily staged. We may never know for sure, except that it is clear that Bahrain needs to be strongly pushed towards fairness and equality. You can't pay for the 5th Fleet with blood.

  20. Those of you who are criticizing this verdict should get off your high horses and look at what these 'innocent protestors' tried to do - trying to get rid of one of the more tolerant monarchies in the world. The King has given the Shia EVERY chance to join in the government and work towards a bright future. When he took over from his father he held a referendum on his vision of what he thought direction Bahrain should move to and there was a 98% positive vote for this. And don't try to say that the vote was 'fixed' - everyone was free to vote yes or no.

    And in case you guys living in the US have forgotten, Iran - yes, the same Iran that held your embassy staff hostage, who are the main sponsors of Hezbollah and who provided Shiite and Al Qaeda groups with IEDs to maim your soldiers in Iraq is behind this. Mr. Ahmanutjob has practically admitted it by trying to fire his intelligence guy for failing to overthrow the Bahraini Al Khalifa dynasty.

    Listen, you guys may sob and weep for the 'innocent protestors' while you are living safely in the US - come here and live here and see for yourselves. Don't come flitting and fluttering by like Mr. Kristoff - you need to take a good look at the situation from both sides.

    Human rights?? Do you know what happened here? Do you know that a poor Pakistani laborer had his tongue cut out and his skull bashed in? Why didn't Amnesty International highlight that? Or the other laborers who were assaulted by 'innocent protestors' and then refused treatment and even assaulted in hospital by these protestors? I'm sure if this had happened in the US, these 'protestors' would have been shot down in no time.

    Bahrain is a country where religious tolerance and freedom is granted - even to the small Jewish community that lives here. We have churches, temples and synagogues - amid countless mosques for Sunni and Shia Muslims. Shia are free to commemorate their religious ceremonies, even their bloodier ones where they beat and cut themselves silly.

    EVERY Bahraini (Sunni or Shia) is guaranteed free healthcare and free university education all expenses paid by the government. Those who need treatment abroad are given it free of charge. And no taxes whatsoever except custom duties. If there is discrimination, I have not seen it and I have been living here since the late 80's. Corruption? Ask yourselves is there any place in the world free from corruption? Is the US free from corruption? I don't think so.

    You are outraged that YOUR tax dollars are used to fund a naval base in ‘dictatorial’ Bahrain? Try living without oil from the Arabian Gulf – that’s why your base is here – to protect the supply of oil, so you can drive around in your gas guzzlers.

    So keep your fancy-smancy outrage to yourselves and don't pass judgment on something you don't know anything about. If you break the law, you pay the price.

  21. Pretty much the world has sat back on this. The monarchy has suppressed peaceful demonstration with the help of an intruder and American media has succeeded in diverting attention from a political mutiny in Bahrain to an algaeda fueled rebellion in Libya. Trust me, the West is keen on supplying weapons to Libyan rebels, they better prepare for the fall back, again the UN has succeeded in handing offer legitimate leadership to fundamentalists in Libya
    There is NO democracy in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia, Iran is more democratic (they just had elections), so ironical that the king of Bahrain is attending a wedding in the free world, when in real sense the leader of the free world was not even invited

  22. Obviously a show trial.

    Still, in regards to all the talk of "how dare we support so and so simply because it's in our interests", well we're a powerful country. Throughout history powerful countries have done things to support their self-interests at the expense of smaller countries. That's one of the perks of being a powerful country. The Persians, the Romans, the Spanish, the Ottomans, the French, the British, and the Russians all did and we're doing it as well. The Chinese also do it. Is it pretty? No, but it's hardly a new historical development. It's always going to be that way.

  23. #16 Gary: And the trials at Gitmo are also a travesty.

    Being tried on the basis of hearsay evidence where you do not have a right to confront your accuser due to "National Security considerations". Being tried on the basis of evidence obtained as a result of torture (oop's sorry, I forgot, under "Enhanced methods of interrogation"). Do they represent a system you would ever want to be tried under?

    If you feel that is in keeping with what we stand for as a nation, then I suggest you read the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But of course they only apply to U.S. citizens and those within our borders; when it comes to them "foreigners" such as the Bahrainis all bets are off because the same human rights we claim for ourselves do not apply to them is that right?

    When you state "We're not buying", do you mean the majority of Americans who believe in fair play, or the local Virginia chapter of the Tea Party?

  24. We battle one brutal dictator in Libya and criticize the brutal dictators who rule in Iran and Syria...while we support or have until very recently supported other equally brutal dictators in Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

  25. I am still amazed when people say they can't stand living in the United States; or that the United States of America is the most corrupt country in the world.

  26. This is a fair trial where there are plenty of video evidence showing the killing by the protestors cars. The cars were identified in the killing, and still the murderers have the chance of appeal. Please note the killing happened before the arrival of the Gulf Council support. Bahrain is a good country open to all peaceful people but unfortunately many Shia get influenced by Iran and Hezbollah to cause havoc to the country to spread Shiasum in the muslim world. you may able to view this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OntucmrO5rU&playnext=1&list=PL7E1...

  27. Does the suggestion that maybe we all are willing to accept that maybe none of us knows what really happened, spark any idealist commentary?
    This is not any statement of ignorance guided to any thoughts mentioned in retrospect to the actual happenings, though maybe we all are refusing to look at the possibility that Life itself is trying to maintain some semblance of equality.

    Perhaps even rather more in regards to what is actually taken place is the very nature of most, if not all turmoil that plagues Humanities growth. The structures to which have stood the passing of time, or in fact the very walls that continue to surround our future, instead of being the very beacon that shows us the way home.

    Insanity is the notion of trying to maintain any system of governance that keeps things the way they were. Life's function is to grow into and beyond that which started the cause to begin with. So in essence, would it not be an act of aggression towards the very nature of Life, to act with the exact opposite energy that began it's dissent towards that which refuses to change? Proportional equality to all involved, actually involves the very thing that pervades growth, total commitment to all that is living.

    Many of us, if not all seem to realize that something is amiss in our world today, perhaps the very thing that misses our attention, is in fact the very thing that asks for us to look at it. Who you are in response to those that are oppressed, actually decides who we our in relational value to all Life, because they too, are in fact part of the same system of Life's willingness to become one. In reality this is Life's true nature, so is it now our time to realize our identity to resume Humanities growth?

    Any Law that tries to withstand that of Universal truth, only implies that we no longer can grasp what we all are creating, what this means is simply put, Life is in fact our true nature, consciously this pertains to all that Lives, all that Lives has every right to be part of its true nature, not just a few of us.

    Positive energy towards positive growth requires positive thoughts, for you and all else that Lives, simply undermining the authority that prevails any culture only leads to the inevitable, more of the same. Peace is endured by those that pave the way with intent to change the very thing that steered the mechanism, first there was those that did so in order to show there was indeed another way. Life is in charge, sometimes we just believe we know a better way. Well guess what? Maybe the time to understand is at hand.