The people of Syria continue to fight on. In Bahrain the people were put back in their place by the strict and relentless regime.
Today a police officer in Bahrain who was caught in the momenet and joined the protesters has been jailed for 12 years.
25-year-old Ali al-Ghanam was a junior police officer at the time of the incident. It was February 17, 2011, and the Middle East was about to implode. A harsh clamp down on the protesters in Bahrain, that day, left two people dead. Ali left his post and joined the rebels protesting against the Bahrain Royal Family instead of doing his duty.As the authorities meted out rough justice shooting unarmed individuals Ali felt he could not participate any further. After witnessing much violence, his brother claims that, "He was very emotional. He stood in front of people in his uniform and said I cannot work for a killer institution."
He left the force and joined the protesters. He acted openly and addressed rallies of protesters. When the uprising was quashed Ali went into hiding until some time later when he was captured. Sentenced to 12 years in jail on January 9, 2012, his sentence breaks down to "seven and a half years for taking part in 11 rallies and for absence without leave, three years for incitement to hatred against the government and two years for disturbing the peace".
Whilst we in the West will abhor this tough sentence you have to wonder how western authorities and royals would respond in the same situation.
In Bahrain, once again religion is at the heart of the problems. The ruling royal family, the Al Khalifas, are Sunni Muslims. The protesters by and large were Shia Muslims, as was Ali. Shia's have complained for years that people who are Sunni Muslims fare best in the kingdom of Bahrain. They get the best of everything, including the plum jobs.
Today's tough sentence is said to represent the anger of the authorities. Ali was able to persuade other officers to follow his lead and join the protesters. A group of Doctors are also facing possible stiff sentences after medically assisting injured protesters. This is what any medical professional should and would do without prejudice. In Bahrain it seems that the authorities believe they should have left the protesters injured to simply suffer. Remember it was their fellow countrymen and women who they were treating.
.Last weekend there was a hoo ha in the UK regarding jewels given to the Countess of Wessex by the Prime Minister and Royal Family of Bahrain. She has been urged to sell them and ensure that the proceeds go to helping those in need in Bahrain. The sooner the better sounds a good idea.