Bahraini activist’s triumphant return
The remarkable Al-Khawaja family continue to bedevil the dictatorial royal regime of Bahrain in ever more confounding ways.
On Thursday I reported on a growing worldwide groundswell of support behind the notion of the entire family’s being considered for this coming year’s Nobel Peace Prize. I described, among other things, the 52-year-old father Abdulhadi’s longtime commitment to nonviolent resistance in support of democratic civil society and against the profoundly repressive regime of the Al Khalafa royal family (local allies, alas, of the United States, which stations its Fifth Fleet there in Bahrain). I described his brutal arrest following the suppression (largely by the neighboring Saudi army) of the short-lived Pearl Revolution in early 2011; the farcical trial that ensued with its apparently predetermined life sentence; the repudiation of that trial (and others like it) by the regime’s own hand-selected International Commission; the refusal of the regime to recognize its own commission’s recommendations in that regard; the 110-day hunger strike that Abdulhadi launched in early 2012 (Feb. 8 through May 29) in response to the regime’s failure to honor those recommendations; his eventual suspension of the hunger strike amid regime assertions that the their own judiciary would be embarking on a good-faith review of all those sentences; and the final court’s blithe verdict earlier this week, reconfirming Abdulhadi’s ridiculous life sentence, and those of all his colleagues in the civil society movement.