Behind U.S.-Backed Bahrain Regime’s “Dialogue”

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Behind U.S.-Backed Bahrain Regime’s “Dialogue”

WASHINGTON - Protests in Bahrain today took to the U.S. embassy with signs including “Stop Supporting Dictators.”

For updates on the Bahrain uprising, see the #Feb14 hashtag on Twitter; for breakdown: accuracy.org/uprisings

REEM KHALIFA
Available for a limited number of interviews, Khalifa is senior editor for diplomatic affairs at Al Wasat in Bahrain. She said today: “The regime says that it wants a dialogue, but there’s no change on the state TV and radio. It’s still filled with the same sectarian, one-sided view of events that seems designed to divide people and maintain the regime. The first step toward changing things would be an open dialogue on state TV and radio. No other TV or radio station is allowed in Bahrain. We are the only independent newspaper. When we tried to put multimedia on our webpage, the government stopped us. The government spreads malicious rumors around about anyone doing independent journalism.

“Al-Jazeera Arabic, and of course Al-Arabia, unfortunately seem to have decided that they will not actually cover what is happening in Bahrain.”

[Note: The network Al-Jazeera is based in Qatar; Al-Arabia is tied to Saudi Arabia. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all belong to the Gulf Cooperation Council.]

HUSAIN ABDULLA
Abdulla is director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain. He recently wrote the piece “A Decisive Phase: Bahrain’s Revolution,” which states: “The people’s revolution is on its track; calling for the removal of the regime and performing various activities on the road to victory. In the past week several remarkable activities were undertaken with resounding success. First came the picketing of the Financial Harbor owned by the regime’s prime minister, Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. It was conducted at night when hundreds of protesters moved from their base at the Pearl Square and took position near the main financial center. Then came the massive demonstration and picketing of the main torture headquarters at the Bahrain Fort where a human wave flooded to highlight the role that place had been playing in torturing Bahrainis over the years. It stands as a reminder of the most brutal periods of the Al Khalifa reign of terror. The revolutionaries then organized another qualitative demonstration outside the main TV station which is the mouthpiece of the repressive Al Khalifa regime. In addition to these there have been massive demonstrations nearer to the Pearl Square where hundreds of thousands took part chanting anti-regime slogans and calling for a regime change.”

Correction: In a March 3 news release, IPA attributed a U.S. attack that killed nine Afghan children to drones. It was apparently executed by U.S. helicopter fire.

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A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.

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