The Al-Wefaq opposition Party in Bahrain, which is demanding an elected government, has been bombed with teargas and stun grenades by Bahraini forces during a demonstration.
The popular uprising initiated 18 months ago and still continues despite an excessively violent crackdown by the regime and a subsequent invasion and occupation by Saudi Arabia which aimed to save the regime from collapse.
The demands for democracy by the people have intentionally been avoided by mainstream Western media to aid their governments in hiding the anti-democratic and anti-human rights role played by them in the region.
Press TV has interviewed Mr. Saeed al-Shahabi, from the Bahrain freedom Movement, about the demands from Bahrain’s political society. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Despite Bahrain saying this was an illegal protest, demonstrators have decided to continue and take to the streets. Does that mean that the protesters basically have reached a point of no return? That the harsher the crackdown gets the more it makes them want to continue their struggle for freedom?
I think the situation a long time ago reached the point of no return. I do not think most Bahrainis now think they could cohabit with the ruling al-Khalifa family - simply because their regime has grown enmity, totally enmity to the people. They have tried to crush them… to discriminate against them for years and also to replace them as citizens and natives of the land.
When they (the people) tried to achieve a degree of civility and demanded some rights like a new Constitution and so on, they were rebuffed and they were hurt.
Now the situation has reached a point by words and actions that the Bahrainis can no longer cohabit or coexist with al-Khalifa simply as you have just shown in the footage that people are calling for a regime change.
“Down with Hamid! Down with Hamid! Every day, every moment, every night.”
The demonstrations have never ceased over the past few months. Never a single day has passed without major demonstrations in 30, 40, 50 locations around the country.
And the last one was Friday in Manama and of course that night after Manama there were more demonstrations throughout the night. But before that there was the demonstration in Manama, which was big it was a strategy… So I think … I can safely say that there is never going to be any settlement with the regime.
It seems that the regime is basically ignoring these demands. We saw very harsh sentences for those who had been arrested - even human rights workers - who had been sentenced to jail; we see the continual harsh crackdown; we are seeing the use of poisonous tear gas and reports of torture.
Why do you think the regime has responded in this way, that after all this time of protests on the street that they have not softened their stance, they have not changed their direction, but seem to get more and more harsh?
I think they also, the regime, has reached a point where it cannot coexist with the people of Bahrain. So I think it is a war of will; it is a war of existence… and also they have been involved in bribing the British and American support. Without this American and British support, the regime is down.
Today the regime is only there because they receive the American support with the US Fifth Fleet; they receive the British Security support through the presence of John Yates and also the team from Scotland Yard. And they receive the Saudi support through the army, which is occupying Bahrain. They also get their security assistance and intelligence assistance from Mossad.
Take all these forces and these powers out of the play and then the regime will collapse, in fact it collapsed last year. This is why it called on the Saudi forces.
So I think the al-Khalifa believes that they have to defend themselves because there is no point of not doing so from their own perspective because they simply have lost the war. The war is not theirs - the people hate them, they do not like them they want them out, they just do not want them to rule the country anymore.
And for this they want to break the will of at least the political societies like al-Welfaq Party. But al-Welfaq also has a mandate not to negotiate for anything less than for their own perspective an elected parliament and elected government and elected Constitution by the people and so on.
Of course it is not accepted by the people directly because they (the al-Khalifa family) do not relate to this age and time, they are just a tribal clan that wants the country to continue ruling the people in their old antiquated ways. That is not all
However, even the demands of the political societies are rebuffed and are rejected and as we saw yesterday how harsh the regime has been in crushing a peaceful demonstration by the political society.