First Hand Report From Bahrain
I am a moderator at a message board with a Bahraini member. Here are a series of posts he has made from Bahrain. The dates are when they were posted, not necessarily when written:
Feb 17 2011
My first post ever in the [edited] is sadly in the worst days in my life, I had a peek over the main page to see if a similar thread exist but didnt find one, as my mind is a bit blurry and so is my eye sight i apologize if there is one.
This thread is for anyone thats interested in whats happening here in Bahrain, without the media’s garnishing.
currently its worst than it was an hour ago, a state of shock/tension/grief/anger fills the country, added upon continious hatred generating propaganda by the state television.
I know of doctors breaking down in the hospital under the shock of what they are witnessing, stories persist about a refrigator truck with bodies in it, confirmed deaths in one hospital are 8, mostly shot at close range from the back in the head and chest by some sort of shotguns used for bird hunting.
Feb 18 2011
Yes i am in Bahrain, I have been camping there for the past 2 nights, living the most joyful days of my life.
To give you guys a sense of relation to me as a source of information, against whats doing the rounds in the Media, ill give a brief back ground of myself.
Am a born and bred bahraini, self-made father, private schooling, very patriotic, did university studies overseas, enjoy friendships with people from all over the world and consider myself as secular. I have no “support” from iran, neither do i want this place to be one.
we were protesting for our basic human rights, have certain press laws repealed, as well as laws protecting torturers. and the stop of rapid nationalization of pakistanis, jordanians, yemenis aimed at changing the demographic of the country while citizens cant even afford housing.
Ill work on copying my posts about how things evolved now and post them here.
Feb 17 2011
he police riot presence is HUGE. its still work time in Bahrain, there has been several clashes in the morning in some villages, but most are scheduled to protest at night
Protest going out in big force in Sitra right now heading out to the main road where a large group of riot police are standing, same scenario taking place in villages across the country. it is very tense. most private companies closed early.
Clashes confirmed through out various villages, roads all jammed up into the city center so no one knows whats going on in there.
I lost contact with many friends on the ground, i believe its due to high demand on the telecommunication networks. King just finished giving a speech live in regards to the celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the new constitution, nothing new in it.
2 confirmed dead, one in a peaceful protest, second in the funeral of the first victim on the 15th
King just finished his speech,
Set up a committee to probe the two deaths, no mention of the demands of the protestors.
Meanwhile 20000 and counting took over pearl-roundabout in the capital, and plan on making it their tahrir square.
Getting ready to join the masses.
later around midnight:
Back from Pearl Roundabout, or Freedom roundabout, or Freedom pearl roundabout square central market !
I couldn’t be in a better mood, this is by far one of the best days in my life, it was spectacular, goosebumps inflicting. They reached the roundabout this afternoon after being tear gassed in the funeral and the hospital where the second body is, within minutes the first tent came up, within hours it was filled with thousands of chanting protestors, women almost equaling men. by night fall it was filled with families, kids playing and dozens dozens of tents and a speaker system. People started donating money and buying food in bulk, they set up a tent for lost and found, a tent for the media, a tent for water supplies and so on.
It was as peaceful as it can get, there was dozens hookas around and people smoking on them in a relaxed fashion between chats, it was mostly shiites obviously with a lot of sunnis as well, there was conservative and girls in tight jeans and a top. it was bahrain like i always imagined but laughed at myself for even daring to imagine it.
the police all backed off and stayed behind a huge mall in their jeeps, estimated at 150. all highway entrances was closed (guys bahrain is so small, so small, please google earth it for some perspective!) “Bahrain tv” started with the propaganda machine, non stop. posting videos of clashes from years ago which were violent etc and labeling it as much as possible as some shiite/irani/violent/pointless “drama”. its like they’ve been trained watching egypt’s state television!
I literally have just came from the biggest camping festival sort of speak! i beg of you guys, as a friend and a follow f1 fan. please dont listen to rumors and fear mongers, we are a peaceful people with a clear set of demands. westerners lived happily in Bahrain for decades, heck many of them were in the roundabout today holding bahraini flags and trying to their best to keep up with the arabic chants! and these lovely guest know the bahraini people, they know what we are all about and they are hand in hand with everyone in the “media center” trying to push the real word out into cyber space. so i ask you of you to at least put your stereotypes away if you have any, and give us a shout out if you can!
I am typing this, not worried about my i.p or the lot, the fear is gone!!
Peace for all.
My post at feb 17 2:00 a.m, an hour before the attack
In regards to things on the ground for who’s interested:
The amount of people at the roundabout today at its peak was maybe 1.5 times of what i saw last night, amount of tents easily tripled. Family presence more prominent as well as sunni’s presence. a sunni sheikh actually lead prayers in the afternoon!! shiites and sunnis pray separately in separate mosques in Bahrain so this was a very great thing to see! Media center went high tech with different “departments” and the camps spread outside the actual roundabout due to lack of space.
It is mostly a media war now, the government hiring ads in facebook, twitter is an all out civil way sadly, Bahrain TV working its divide and rule agenda very aggressively and rumors/propaganda wont stop. Checking pages on FB tonight and BBM messages about how a traffic police car was burnt to the ground at the roundabout and a foreign journalist beaten up is pure fiction. Me and my friends camped behind the main tent of the seculars/liberals, had a bbq and discussed politics etc, theres a huge sense of united, with people from every background possible.
Good times.. good times.
2 hours later:
WE GOT ATTACKED, SLEEPING FAMILIES IN 100S AT 3 AM/!!
3 confirmed dead, am safe, friends still being chased and shot at a kilometer away, army tanks involved, no warning, shooting on sleeping families, please, help us, f1 has a strong media, help us.
right now, army out in force, 8 dead atleast, dozens missing.
btv spreading hate. hospital been tear gassed, doctors and nurses beaten, one of them to almost death.
its very quiet, very tense, very sad, the country is in shock.
i can confirm to you all those accounts are 100% true, using first hand sources from the hospital.
thank you for your support
Feb 18 2011
NO, our islamist opposition has already declared publicly they dont want a islamic type of governance, secondly, they understand Bahrain’s economy is based on its liberalism.
Other points include how a huge slice of the public is liberal/westernized/secular.. call it as you like.
and then again… thr royal family here WONT fall, it simply will not be allowed to happen by the states and the neighbouring countries,
there seems to be a huge crack between the crowne prince and the king, i have my own analysis and sources in that regards, I believe the only way out of this current situation if and it will.. heat up more. is for america to back up the son and start a new white page with the people. and over throw the king.
Again i remind you of perspective, I come from one of the very most religious families in Bahrain, and my uncles are quite popular even across the “shiite” islamic world extending even to the west. and none of them want bahrain to turn into Iran. its a media stir – up
Feb 18 2011
You’re right on many levels, but keep in mind al khalifa is a BIG family. for years the people of Bahrain knew and witnessed the forming of two factions in the royal family, the reformist (mostly educated in the states, liberal in thoughts and less discriminating) and the hard-liners (opposite), most of the reformist (crowne prince is their leader sort of speak) are of the younger bracket.
i know for a fact, from first sources that many of them, in very high positions did not expect this (the massacre) and are very much disturbed by it, and find it completely wrong to kill a bahraini on his land whatever the reasons maybe.
I HOPE AND PRAY that the crowne prince is truly feeling the same way, thats the only way out.
right now thousands upon thousands are burying the victims, a lot of sad and anger and the friday afternoon sermons were filled with very angry chants interrupted by heart breaking weeping,born and bred Bahrainis of both sects are nothing more than 700,000 says estimates, it’s a very small community. YET the government, even after banning gathering by the military yesterday, planned and went ahead with a “pro government” rally, currently taking place, with 1000s of people mostly the ones recently nationalized, or indian and pakistani labour works.
how can they be so insensitive? they are throwing petrol on fire! funerals kept chanting bahrainis and sunnis unite… but i doubt thats the case in the pro government rally… many dont even speak arabic there to be able to chant!!!
its a sad sad sad sad sad situation, I would say 80% of the people am close with are determined to die for their country now, and we are all out in funerals and getting ready to protest tomorrow as planned topless to show that our naked chests are ready for their bullets.
long live Bahrain. the land of Tylos, Dilmun and Awal.
Feb 18 2011
Huge gather in main hospital, thousands upon thousands arriving from close by funeral, chanting. medical stuff and doctors staging their own protest in side hospital grounds as well.
They are vowing to take back the square which is currently filed with the army, it is a 30 minute walk away.
Feb 18 2011
MASSACRE WE ARE BEING SHOT AT BY ARMY FOR PAST HOUR, HOSPITAL ATTACKED, MANY INJURIES CASUALITIES AMBULANCES NOT ALLOWED OUT PLEASE HELP US, DO ANYTHING IN YOUR HANDS INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE BEING MURDERED BY THEIR OWN ARMY LIVE AMMUNITION
Feb 18 2011
Immigration is not an issue, Nationalization is the issue, the government nationalized 200,000 this decade, sunnis from pakistan, yemen, syria in order to change the demographic, theyre are mostly emplyed in security and military, while bahrain currently has a housing crisis, 50,000 houses minimum needed for a population not exceeding 1 million!
The sunni shia chants are aimed at countering the popaganda machine of how the opposition is shiites trying to turn this into Iran and not national one, which is completely false.
The top brass of the military are not only sunni (all of them, no shiites in military and interior, only traffic police, customs) they are from certain handful families! or the royal family..
Feb 18 2011
disturbing images, they were chanting peaceful peaceful.
I believe the king lost legitimacy, and the regime can only stay in place through the crowne prince alongside admission of all mistakes of his predecessor
Feb 19 2011
Hey guys, havent went through the thread yet to answer/get back at any comments.
Its been a long day, well make it a long few days, I grew years since all this started, ive learned so much about societies, humanity, friendship, loyalty and the smell of grass.
So WE took back Pearl roundabout again, moment word broke out military was leaving it was such a rush, kind off like being on methylone I just drove my ass to the nearest point possible and ran to it, it was already filling up by then.. edging closer and closer I had the roller coaster of emotions of the past 5 days repeated in the period of a few minutes, Euphoria followed by sadness, tears, anger and euphoria again. The placed swelled up with more people than ever before, many gave speeches, asserting unity and anger at the events, and wanting answers about the missing, estimated at 60. the moment that stopped the place was already buzzing. tents being set up, media center up and running, the “missing people tent” haggling the MC on the make shift stage..the MC going on and on asking the people to stop pointing lazers at the helicopter.. just like the good old times. (2 days ago).
It is still tense though, the people want someone to go, PM, King or both, they say down down with the regime, but every one has his interpretation, its just been copy pasted from egypt’s revolt lol. I personally feel good tonight – mentally that is. Physically am a mess just like everyone else out there by midnight everyone just looked pale and exhausted, hardly anyone slept any hours the past few days so as much as 75% of the people at the roundabout went home to catch some rest, the exodus only took place once a CNN interview with CP where he said “absolutely” we’re around to stay and protest there. so people left knowing the others camping will be safe no matter how small the group gets.
These are all positive directions in the right decision, although propaganda from state tv spreading sectarian hatred is still going on. showing that they are under control of other faction/factions of the royal family.
It is a civil war within the royal family, and we are the catalyst.
Hoping tomorrow brings good news, but right now we are immune to shocks and fear of death… well you’ve seen the images of yesterday. Bahraini youth showed the world what theyre made off, and we’re all proud. very proud.
Mar 5 2011
The government after failing with using violence to quell the movement are now resorting to using sectarianism, by labeling the movement as shiite. this is done through twitter trolls, websites, forums that are all paid for by the government as documented in the “Bandar report”, The state tv initiated this, refuses to hear opinions from the other side or even have known journalist from the country on their constant talk show that covers the events.
A “rally for unity” in the country’s biggest Sunni Mosque (its sad that mosques for shiite and sunnis are separate here, part of the tactic of making the turbans happy while helps amazingly in segmenting society.. divide and rule). Except in this rally propaganda against shiites was distributed (read some of them) even labeling them with racist terms. The speech given by the Shaikh representing the sunni sect (his last speech was well balanced and first state acknowledgment of martyrs) except this time he requested people being removed from the roundabout, people punished for going on strike from work, government NOT stepping down. etc.
This was followed the next day with a big fight in hamad town, between “nationalized” new citizens (syrians) and Bahraini youth (from both sect), over 40 police jeeps were needed to disperse the situation, with tear gas used and quite a big area locked down.
Yesterday a huge demonstration took out from prime minister office alongside the financial harbor towards the lulu roundabout, estimates put it around 80,000 using calculation methods instead of eyesight.
This was followed today with a “unity chain” initiated by the pro democracy faction from lulu roundabout all the way to fateh mosque, except police are right now blocking roads around fateh mosque and not opening it for prayer.
It is all about making sure the sectarian card fails now, i have no fucking clue what they are thinking, it might work and make status quo stay for them (Royals) but it will send the country through hell, think iraq and ireland..?.
Opposition still demand a constitutional monarchy, stepping down of PM + whole government, and then they talk.
Mar 5 2011
Protesters have three fears in the following order:
1- Sending in of mercenaries in civilian clothing to the roundabout to cause mayhem.
2- Some sort of terrorist attack either in the roundabout, or somewhere else. in order to give the government “authority” to “protect the country from civil war”
3- The involvement saudi military in Bahrain, this scenario is less feared than the other two, because it’s believe the whole of the Khalifa family wont let it reach the point that they all lost out to the Royals of saudi just because their PM refuses to step down. It is a known fact he’s the dude in the way. the real dictator in Bahrain.
March 11th is promoted as the day of rage in saudi, however it is in no way linked to Bahrain, our day of rage was feb 14th when this all started.
Mar 13 2011
Besides clashes infront of financial district:
Thugs entered UOB protected and vandalized and attacked many students, dozens of injuries. State tv blames it on the protestors off course
Bahraini trying to video tape outside university gate when thugs were arriving PROTECTED by police: forward to 1:50
By nightfall thugs attacked manama, fights lasted for 2 hours, stones and hot water was used, many were caught. they were all pakistanis. many injured from the manama too. this is significant because manama downtown represents the “heart” of bahranis (shiites) in Bahrain, it’s a very old neigbourhoods with narrow alleys and its shocking that those thugs had the GUTS to attack there. below are some of their ids. One of the thugs has been pronounced dead.
Cant confirm yet but it seems GCC army/police is coming into bahrain right now to “help” while C.P announces assurances for dialogue which state tv ignores after a small announcement and focusing on spreading hatred between sunnis and shiites.
some videos of clashes today:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBdu98w-f4k = reuters english report
http://bit.ly/hGor1C < must watch, wait till :20
Things are not looking good my friends.. not looking good at all, one of the darkest days in Bahraini history due to thugs attacks on many villages and all the above. one confirmed dead so far even though some “reports” say it was in a traffic accident. 2 in critical condition from shots in the head.
Mar 14 2011
Todays update, as Saudi army or GCC black hawl iron man shield island unit whatever made it to Bahrain, Thousands upon thousands headed to the roundabout. Obstacles were increased as well as chanting against the government. Dont they get the people have no fear of death anymore?
Obstacles start with piles of sand, followed by a long stretch of the highway soaked in oil, then cement blocks and so on.
As nightfall came attacks with pistols all around the country took place, in many villages, no police support and even 999 the national emergency number is off. Many of the attackers have been caught and most had police ids on them. The plan is to submit each thug caught to the embassy of his country of origin.
Things are still very tense, roads are all empty and housing areas buzzing with fights, clashes or neighborhood patrols. Tomorrow state tv and press will off course blame violence on the peaceful protesters.
Many believe bringing in the GCC unit army whatever thing as a psychological tactic to scare people into going into their homes that backfired and consider it as another victory for the movement.
The way things are moving i SERIOUSLY doubt the ability to have a race here this year due to the short time period available to make a decision, such escalations dont fade away so fast.
Mar 15 2011
We are witnessing genocide, thugs in civilian clothingattacking all villages, shooting live ammuniation, bodies on the streets, they attacked sitra hospital and took it over and now sorrounding the biggest hospital we have (salmaniya) They are shooting frm cars, helicopters and ambulances, gun fire wont stop outside my house, there is no protestors here it is a quiet nice village and they came out of no where shooting randomly at houses and cars and anyone outside.
Please save us, spread the word in your respected countries, your governments, HELP US, check twitter for details, or msg me and ill add you on fb or whatever for you to see for yourself.
Mar 15 2011
unarmed innocent civilian attacked and shot at by riot police.
one of victims brought to hospital, sniped from helicopter as witnessed by friends.
Al Jazeera english report on march 14 attacks, not the more aggressive and violent march 15 attacks.
Album of some injured from only one village.
Thugs in civilian clothing with safety vest shooting terrorizing sitra
victim of birds shot gun on 14th march.
car shot at while driving down road.
Thugs of sitra protected by riot police.
Please help by writing to your governments, human rights watch, UN or whoever you can think of, Bahrainis are being massacred and terrorized by the regime here with saudi help and manpower!
Mar 16 2011
army attacked pearl square this morning 7 am, many dead many injured, military helicopters shooting on sitra. massacres everywhere, save my people