Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:55AM
A protester throws a glass bottle containing paint at a police armored personnel carrier during anti-regime demos in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, February 14, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
A protester throws a glass bottle containing paint at a police armored personnel carrier during anti-regime demos in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, February 14, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

The Fourth High Criminal Court of Bahrain has sentenced 15 political opponents to long jail terms and also revoked the citizenship of all of them. While several international rights groups have criticized the Al Khalifa regime’s harsh crackdown on the Bahraini opposition, the Western powers turn a blind eye to the Arab state’s violations of human rights.

Edward Corrigan, an international human rights lawyer, told Press TV’s Top 5 program that the Western powers are trying to whitewash the crimes committed by the Arab dictatorships in the Persian Gulf region because such regimes are considered the West’s “lap dogs.”

“There is a double standard,” Corrigan said, explaining that Western powers say, “‘If you are a friend of ours and do what we want and give us oil and invest your money into European or American economy, we won’t question your human rights violations.’”

According to the analyst, “There is hypocrisy, double standards and this is really a big political game. Our dictatorships and allies are OK but somebody else that we don’t like for whatever reason, we magnify their crimes and even create false flags and do other things to try to discredit them.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Corrigan said the definition of terrorism in Bahrain covers any kind of opposition, because the regime does “not want to allow any sort of political movements there to try to reform the system, to redress this massive discrimination against the Shia population, and to have any sort of voice for democracy; so, all of that is ‘terrorism.’”

He added, “It is against the international law to remove people’s nationality from them and this is an extreme sort of punishment, very draconian, as they’re condemned by the international human rights organizations and other organizations.”

Manama has been cracking down on dissent since February 2011, when an uprising began against the regime. Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of Al Khalifah regime’s harsh crackdown on anti-regime activists.