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Al Khalifah seeks to end opposition by repression: Analyst

Bahraini human rights activist, Nabeel Rajab (File photo)

Press TV has interviewed Colin Cavell, an author and lecturer in West Virginia, about Bahrain’s prominent opposition leader and human rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, going on trial for posting messages on Twitter criticizing the dire conditions of a prison in the country and Manama’s involvement in the Saudi war on Yemen.

A rough transcription of the interview appears below.


Press TV: Looking at this situation, now we have human rights activist once again Nabeel Rajab being threatened with being imprisoned for years just because of tweeting about Bahrain’s prison system. What is going on in Manama?

Cavell: The illegal Al Khalifah regime is attempting to shut down all opposition in the kingdom by arresting all of the opposition leaders, by revoking their citizenship, and by deporting them from the country.

So they want to have a clean sweep and they think that by total repression that this will end the opposition to this illegal regime.  

Press TV: When you talked about deportations, we know that right now actually the leading Shia cleric there, Ayatollah Isa Qassim, actually has gotten deportation notice or cancelling basically of his citizenship. How is it that the nationals of that country, that this government, this regime, can get away with actually deporting people, cancelling their citizenship and there is no outcry, really international outcry?  The US has said a few things, however they continue to deal with Bahrain, UK is the same way, of course continuing to sell arms to them, what will it take, what has to happen in your perspective that we see more pressure from the international side of things on the regime in Manama?  

Cavell: Well it is true as you say that the United States and the United Kingdom have largely kept silent regarding the arrest, the deportations, the stripping of citizenship of all of these opposition leaders but that is a demerit on their part. It undermines their legitimacy as leading states in the international community.

On the other hand, you get comments from the leader of Iran Ayatollah [Seyyed] Ali Khamenei who said on Friday that attacking Sheikh Isa Qassim means removing all obstacles blocking the road for Bahraini youths from attacking the regime.

So by making this statement Iran demonstrates that it is one of the new leaders in the international community and it is standing up for human rights, it is standing up for freedom of expression, it is standing up for the principles embedded in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights whereas the United Kingdom and the United States are merely protecting their hegemonic ... interest.    

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