Gov't War on Activists Cars: A Series of Electric Contacts
2017-05-16 - 11:10 p
Bahrain Mirror - Exclusive: On December 17, 2012, Al-Wefaq Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman addressed the authorities in a tweet, deeming them responsible of the assaults against properties of opposition members. Sheikh Salman, currently serving a 4-year prison verdict, attached to his tweet a picture for "Seasons" restaurant, after unknown people burnt it. In his tweet he said, "An opposition calls and works for the preservation of private and public properties, while authorities watch assaults on the properties of opposition citizens."
معارضة تنادي وتعمل من أجل الحفاظ على الأملاك الخاصة والعامة وسلطة تتفرج على الاعتداءت على أملاك المواطنين المعارضين pic.twitter.com/qaMR3FHo— علي سلمان -البحرين- (@WefaqGS) December 17, 2012
The authorities said that unknown individuals burnt "Seasons" restaurant, and similar unknown groups attacked a chain of 24-hour stores owned by the Jawad Group (a Shiite business owner). Years later, authorities now blame the electricity. The authorities re-launched its war on private properties it previously adopted during the years that following the crackdown against the popular uprising stemming from the Pearl (Lualua) Roundabout in February 2011. It had stopped this method for years.
In a surprise incident, unknown individuals broke on May 4, 2017, the rear glass of the car owned by former Secretary General of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions, Sayed Salman Al-Mahfouz. Other parts of his car were damaged early dawn. In the morning of the following day, Sayed Mahfouz's son found his car burnt. The civil defense said that the cause of the fire was an electric contact resulted by a short circuit! Here, the series of fires reached the cars of opposition members. The political assistant of al-Wefaq Secretary General Khalil Al-Marzouk's car was subjected to fire on (May 7, 2017), so were parts of his house's outer structure.
Authorities claimed that the reason behind the fire is "short circuit". Until that incident, none of the damaged parties wanted to accuse the government, or point fingers at it.
However, burning the car of rights activist Ibtisam Al-Saegh after a media campaign launched against her, made it beyond any doubt that a government agency, or a party affiliated to it, is behind this.
Activists and journalists sent tweets on social media platforms mocking the government's repeated lies about the consecutive incidents. Prominent opposition figure Ibrahim Sharif called for "holding "Mr. Short Circuit" accountable before he burns the country!"
في دولة القانون، لامكان ل "ماس" كهربائي لا يصيب الا المعارضين.— Ebrahim Sharif (@ebrahimsharif) May 15, 2017
فليطبق القانون ضد السيد "ماس" قبل أن يحرق نصف البلد أو يموت أحد في حرائقه. https://t.co/bwU3rQL9va
Journalist at Al-Wasat Newspaper, Qassim Hussein, wondered how a parked car could be ignited due to a short circuit.
من اسبوعين وانا افكر في هالمسالة الرياضية العويصة: اذا كانت سيارة واقفة والمكينة ما تشتغل شلون يحدث ماس كهربي؟ صراحة صراحة.. سيارات اخر زمن!— قاسم حسين (@kassimhussain1) May 15, 2017
If government forces are not involved in these attacks, then it is at least covering for the perpetrators. More than two months passed since the attack on cars of participants in a seminar held by the National Democratic Action Society (Wa'ad) early March by unknown individuals. The perpetrators remain unknown.
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