Open Letter to His Excellency King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, H.E. Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior, and H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, Minister of Justice as well as NGO´s in Bahrain.
Since early 2011 I have been monitoring the phenomena which is often described as “The Arab Spring” and the political, geo-political, social as well as military changes and situations that have swept over the region from Northwest Africa to Syria and the Gulf Region closely.
Even though the political dynamics of what has initially been a genuine popular demand for political as well as social and legal changes have been hijacked by foreign nations, suiting the geo-political interests of former colonial powers and allies, it remains a fact that there exists, also in Bahrain, a legitimate popular demand for political, social and legal change which had been present for a long time, but which had been frustrated by static national and international politics, which to a certain degree have been dictated by international, geo-political developments.
Sadly, the popular demands for reforms in Libya and Syria have been radicalized and manipulated by foreign powers, resulting in political, social, economical, military, as well as humanitarian disasters rather than reforms. Taken the volatile geo-political situation of Bahrain into account as well as it´s history, including recent history, it is not only normal, but also responsible to prevent that foreign nations governments would be taking advantage of the political dynamics of the popular demands for reform in Bahrain. The popular demands for reform, however, are in my opinion not founded in an “Iranian Conspiracy” as the largest poster that I observed on my way from Manama Airport to my Hotel at the Old Palace Road suggested. It is, however, very likely that repressive measures against those citizens and organizations in Bahrain, who are voicing legitimate demands for political, social, as well as legal reforms will sooner or later facilitate that foreign interests, including those Bahrain counts as belonging to it´s allies, and who do not have the best interests of Bahrain and it´s people at heart will attempt to radicalize larger segments of the population in an attempt to bring about change that suits this foreign interests.
On 9 May I arrived in Bahrain with three intentions. To commit an interview with the Director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Nabil Rajab; to offer the BCHR my services with respect to consultations; and to offer myself as honest broker between your Excellencies and those citizens of Bahrain, who have legitimate demands for political, social and legal change in Bahrain. This includes Nabil Rajab. Sadly neither of my intended tasks was achieved due to Mr. Rajab´s arrest on 7 May.
Your Excellencies; I am understanding of the fact that the Al Khalifa family and the Al Khalifa tribe build on centuries of tradition. Moreover, if you would look at my written work on Libya, you will see that I most certainly do not object against tribal traditions as well as tribal political systems as far as they are maintained with the best interest of the people at large at heart. When tribal and family traditions disenfranchise one tribe, one family over others, and that is historical fact, there will come a time when this system will be successfully challenged. It is my honest opinion that the development and increase of legitimate protests in Bahrain has long reached critical mass. My best advise for you, in the interest of Bahrain´s independence, in the interest of the Al Khalifa family and centuries of tradition, and in the interest of the people of Bahrain, would be to establish a national forum for political, social and legal reforms.
I would be honored to assist in facilitating the establishment of such a forum as well as the initiation of peaceful and constructive dialog based on a realistic agenda. It is however, impossible to negotiate constructively with one party residing in government buildings, and the dialog-partner residing in prison cells.
I am suggesting the immediate release of Mr. Nabeel Rajab and other prisoners of conscience in Bahrain as a show of goodwill towards a constructive dialog.
I am calling on Your Excellencies or representatives of the Government of Bahrain as well as any representative of Non Governmental Organizations in Bahrain who are working towards political, social and legal reforms, and who are aware of that the mistakes of Libya and Syria must not be repeated in Bahrain, to contact me as possible facilitator of a constructive dialog.
I can be contacted by telephone at 0045 71 486 488
Copies will be forwarded to recipients via an Embassy of Bahrain in Europe.