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16 Mon. February 2015      16:20
Bahrainis not to roll back uprising

Press TV has conducted an interview with prominent Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab about the ever-deteriorating political situation across Bahrain.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: How close do you think that Bahrainis have come to getting their goals? Has there been any improvement at all or just continued repression?

Nabeel Rajab: First of all, I have to remind you that for past few years I was in jail. So on 14th of February I was in jail, and the last time when I witnessed February 14th, it was 2012.

And what I have seen today, yesterday and before yesterday, I have seen an increase in number of people and protesters and they all protest all around Bahrain.

I had not expected this especially taken consideration the four years of repressions, killings, torturing and jailing thousands of people.

I thought things will be much less than that. But it really surprised me seeing a lot of people on the streets.

Unfortunately, the [Bahraini] government did not meet any of the demands, the legitimate demands on democracy, human rights, justice, on parliament or elected government.

And rather than that we have seen a lot of setbacks, a lot of laws being created that violate human rights. We have seen a lot of repression, more use of excessive force by military or security institutions.

More people are being brought from outside to work in security institutions and to take part in the repression. More discrimination is being practiced [against] the majority of the population.

A lot of laws are being created that violate human rights. For example, today you cannot protest, and that is why all the protests were attacked, shot and teargassed.

Hundreds of people were wounded today and yesterday. Many of them were shot in eyes and would be blind unfortunately. Tens of thousands of people were on streets today and thousands of police were deployed everywhere and thousands more were dressed as civilians. These armed men in civilian dresses belong to security institutions.

Bahrain is almost blocked today by the police and protesters. Checkpoints are set up everywhere.  Attacks and house raids were conducted and tens of people were arrested.

The situation doesn’t look like that it is going to the right direction. The government policy, institutions, attitudes, behavior is going from bad to worse.

Press TV: More and more Bahrainis are being stripped of their nationalities. How do you describe this continued dedication of the people in Bahrain despite the very high penalty they may have to pay?

Nabeel Rajab: Stripping people of nationalists and jailing me for past two years, and again I am sentenced for six months. And I am on bail till next month, and I have to stay my six months in jail.

This happens when power is all given to the wrong people. When there is no democracy and when there is no checks and balances, when there are no monitoring bodies to monitor the government.

In such condition, the judiciary and all other institution will be used in the hands of regime to suppress the nation.

That is what happened to me and to many people who are in jail today. They were stripped from their nationalities and replaced by new people who got from outside.

That again shows the misuse of the power. That is why we are on the streets and that is why we are struggling for a change. We are struggling for justice to be at large.

We cannot allow the same system continue ruling us as they did in past 200 years. But I can guarantee you as we are very committed people, we do believe in goals that we are fighting for, and there is no way back.

On 14th of February 2011, we had gone out and it was one-way ticket, and we say we would not go back. We have given a lot of cost… paid a price.

A lot of people were killed, and a lot of others were wounded. Thousands of people are still behind bars and thousands of others left the country.

But we would fight peacefully and in peaceful manner, and stand against repression to achieve our goals. We wouldn’t go back.



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