Press TV has interviewed Colin Cavell, a former Lecturer at the University of Bahrain from West Virginia, about a decision made by the Manama regime to dissolve Bahrain’s main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, as part of the ongoing crackdown on dissent.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Now for those of our viewers who might not be too aware of the politics within Bahrain, tell us a bit more about what al-Wefaq Islamic Society stood for and why is it such a threat to Al Khalifa regime?
Cavell: The al-Wefaq political society is the largest opposition party in Bahrain but because the monarchy prefers that there be no opposition they wouldn’t even allow it to be named as a political party. Instead they prefer that it be called a political society, but even as a political society it has now been not only banned from acting but it’s now been dissolved and all of its funds and equipment will go toward the treasury of the kingdom. Because this monarchy cannot tolerate any opposition any opposition which in particular is tired, sick and tired, , a dictatorship where there is no input from the population, an autocracy which is appalling to modernity which the people of the modern world cannot tolerate.
And so they blatantly violate both the UN Declaration of Human Rights, this Al Khalifa regime as well as the UN political Covenant on political and civil rights. So, the Al Khalifa monarchy acts with impunity because they know that their hegemonic sponsor - the United States - prefers easy access to oil and basic rights in the Persian Gulf to its rather than supporting its proclaimed support for human rights and democracy.
Press TV: Also it is interesting to note how the Bahraini regime is also cracking down on any symbolic people or icons when it comes to the revolution in Bahrain be it dismantling of the iconic Pearl Square, which was the focal point of the uprising to now stripping Sheikh Issa Qassim of his citizenship. It's a psychological repression as well as a physical one now isn't it?
Cavell: Definitely, it’s a psychological repression and it is reminiscent of the political novel 1984 where the existing political regime merely changes history on a day-to-day basis. They just proclaimed that what you thought, happened yesterday, did not in fact happen. And so, the Al Khalifa want to banish all symbols of opposition, deterrence from its rule, any type of ability of the population to have freedom of thought, freedom of association, freedom of religion. They even call the teaching of Shiism to be an alien ideology.