الأحد، فبراير 12

Translated Articles

The Settlement of the Mysterious $20 Million
The recent settlement between Aluminuim Bahrain (Alba) and the Swiss company Glencore is strange, suspicious, and encircled with questions that needs clarification. The brief statement issued by Alba noted that it has reached an agreement with the Swiss company whereby the latter pays money to Alba as a settlement to end the dispute between the parties. This dispute has to do with the involvement of a person who receives bribes and commissions in order to seal the deals between the two companies. The statement said that this agreement is "a prelude to reinstate trade relations between the two companies".

In a separate comment Mahmoud Kooheji, Chairman of the Board of Directors in ALBA, said that this settlement is the "fruit of the huge and lengthy efforts" and it is the result of "a thorough investigation carried out by Alba and its advisers".

At first glance, this seems good but lots of questions rise up to the surface:
- According to the newspaper "The Wall Street Journal", the dispute between the two companies is related to $4.6 million whereas the settlement amount, as quoted by some sources, is $21 million!
Why should the Swiss company pay a settlement which is more than four times the disputed amount? Isn't it puzzling?

- Second, is it rational that Glencore confirms the payment of bribes and was not prosecuted in its own country, especially in light of what we know about Switzerland and its stringent laws in dealing with corruption cases? Switzerland is one of the top ten countries in the world in the field of anti-corruption.

- Third, if Glencore confirms paying bribes to officials in Alba, how can this file be closed without taking those involved to trial?! And who are those responsible / involved?!Are they the former sales and marketing staff who were brought to trial for corruption previously? Is it rational that they are the only ones who got the whole portion of the "cake"?

Of course we thought - at first glance - that this has to do with the billion dollar case of Alba and Alcoa. However, an official released a statement clearly indicating that such a settlement and I quote "is not related with civil proceedings brought by Alba against Alcoa at the Criminal Court in West Pennsylvania".

Who are the real heroes of this case? Why don't they take them to trial especially knowing that they transformed Alba's profits and successes to losses and failures.

- The statement stated that it came to pave "for the resumption of relations" between the two companies, which means new contracts and transactions. The question is: How does Alba commit itself to proceed with business relationships and transactions with a company that is already embroiled in a corruption case and has caused Alba great financial loss? Is it a way to reward them for luring the officials of the company?!
That \ the Crown Prince, Chairman of the Economic Development Board, has repeatedly stressed the importance of the Attorney General to continue to hold those responsible for any legal irregularities in the companies they manage or work within it.
The Crown Prince, head of the Economic Development Forum, urged the staff of such companies to disclose any financial or administrative corruption in order to maintain public money. And the preservation of public money cannot be restored if corruption cases take place repeatedly without finding and prosecuting who is really accountable.


A Record For History..
On March 15, 2010 a parliamentary report finally provided a logical explanation for the emergence of a class of new rich people who have multiplied recently in a short period of time while more than half of the people of Bahrain fell under the poverty line. The report proved the loss of 65 km, equivalent to one tenth of the area of ​​Bahrain, was turned into private property. The report, however, could not explain the loss of an additional 100 km because there is insufficient evidence about the circumstances of how this much of public property changed from state ownership into private property. The report says around 150 people have illegally seized the wealth of a country with a population of one million.

A record for history..
On March 27th, 2010 the parliamentary blocs were in front of a historic opportunity which will not be repeated. In the last 45 days of its mandate, the Parliament, which was taken as a material for satire and ridicule, had the power to undertake a real change. The blocs had a powerful weapon, and the evidence in their hands was solid. But unfortunately they were veterans made of paper only. They got scattered like grains on a windy day and fled like terrified chicken when it was time to fight.  They failed in questioning the Minister of Finance as a representative of the government and they reneged on their honesty before God and before the people. They let down the same people who voted for them so that they acquire the posts they were in now, enabled them to ride German cars, and made them negotiate with the ministers who would not have even knew such people existed.
They allowed people’s rights to be lost. We do not know what the price of selling the country is.

A record for history..
On March 28th, hope was lost in facing the government with the wasted state funds because “The Future” bloc failed to vote; the “Islamic” bloc lagged behind, and a third bloc sank in an internal conflict between supporters and opponents. The “Independents” did not stand as one. The “AlWefaq” bloc stood alone to face the government and thus questioning failed. The Parliament thus became an accomplice in the crime, an authenticated mark, and it failed to condemn what had taken place against these defenseless people.

A record for history..
Bahrain’s coasts were buried using the people's money, and then handed over to individuals to sell it back to those people! The maps for the Nothern city shrunk from 17 islands to 10 only and the land that was confiscated for the benefit of the project “Nurana” alone equaled 3 billion dinars which is more than the entire country’s budget for a whole year. Two pieces of land, one worth a billion dinars and another worth two billion dinars are not documented. Who are the owners and how did they acquire them? The land allocated for the Muharraq housing project was privately owned too and a piece of land with an area of ​​2.65 million square meters in Sanabis beach vanished. All this took place while we were busy with our sectarian battle and the fabricated plays that were used by the government to distract us from concentrating on what’s important.

A record for history..
The government sold the land for the 'Riffa Views' to 55 fils per square meter live while land is very scarce in Bahrain. The land for Bahrain International Circuit, an area of ​​million square meters, was sold for 1dinar orphan. Whole areas of land which were mapped for the schools have become private property. Aluminium Bahrain had rented the land of its Aluminium smelter with 1 dinar annually. 94% of the permits for reclamation of the sea was for the benefit of private projects.

A record for history..
That the fig leaf has fallen.
And that our people are a joke because they elected clowns as their representatives.
We have failed in our most important and just battle and we have failed in uniting to retrieve what was lost. It is the right for future generations to question us about our humiliation.
A record for history.

A Message to the Fled Colonel

From the farces of this era, you stand to distribute national loyalty to those whom you see eligible although everybody in this country knows you have used your previous job in theft, extortion, and bribery. From the paradoxes of my life, a person like me has to address someone like you! But I need to do that since your threats targeted Nabeel Rajab, S. Yousif Al-Mahaftha, and Mohammed Al-Maskati (human rights activists in Bahrain). Silence is thus no longer an option.

Shouldn’t you retire in the dens and the discos that are owned by yourself day and night and wish that people would forget you and not dwell into your past? Your victims, those who you violated their chastity, tortured, and robbed are still alive and can still remember you very well. An example of these people is Ali Al-Jallawi. You told him that you are God while he was in prison and he can confirm that. Hajj Hassan Lari, whom you hanged upside down from his legs and looted from him 942 thousand dinars is still alive. He still has the checks and receipts that expose how you acquired your fortune from his source of income. Mr. Hadi Al-Moussawi whom you rubbed your shoes on his cheek and made him stand for days is a witness of your sadistic nature. Thousands of detainees, who were blackmailed, tortured, and looted by you whenever they mentioned God, are still alive. How can you preach people after all this?

How can you lead masses of people and become the head of an Islamic Society?! Wow!!
How can you be a leader while the government itself acknowledged your crimes and asked to get you back after you fled through the Interpol? But because you threatened to expose the high ranking people who are involved with you, you were not put into jail.

How dare you attack human rights activists like Nabeel Rajab, Syed Yousif Al-Mahadthah and Mohammed Al-Maskati? Don’t you know that these people are well respected by the international community and are employed by international organizations as renowned sources of information while you only appear in a TV channel that is watched by a minority?

Don’t boast your patriotism. We know that you are only trying to do this to delude people because you will be held accountable later on. You will then not find a place to live in especially after Australia deported you. You can then go to a country like Afghanistan where you can practice your hobbies in inciting people, selling weapons, and torturing others.

And for those who do not know you, we will brief them on your history so that they would come to know the type of people who work for Bahrain’s government?
From an officer with a salary of around 600 dinars living in a very modest family, Felaifil became the owner of a financial empire collected from extortion and looting. The total debts and financial cases against the colonel that were recorded by the Bahraini courts amounted to 24 million dinars. Also cases were raised against him by the Saudi businessman Omar Babtain and the Qatari Khalid Almisnad asking him to return $45 million. Although he used $100 million to purchase property in the city of Brisbane, the Australian authorities expelled him from the country.

To those who named the colonel as their leader: Did you ask yourself what is the source of his money? The technique used by Felaifil in collecting his wealth was simple: he arrested rich people and he fabricated political charges and tortured them so that they would pay. Today, he accuses the opposition of treason and it is - itself - what he was doing since 1981, the difference that - at that time - had intended the money and today he seeks a rank!

The government is to blame today for all this tension: When you steal from people and torture them and then issue a decree to say: “It passed”, you create a crisis.
When you arrest people like A.Wahab Hussein because he did not accept your point of view and leave behind someone whose hands are contaminated with blood, you create a crisis.
When you arrest intellectuals such as Ibrahim Sharif because he asked for reform and leave those who call for armed confrontation, you create a crisis. Don’t blame people if they hated you and did not accept you.

To the colonel we say: stop yourself and your evil tactics, even if you had to use sedative drugs! Today is not the same as yesterday. The era you spent in raping, pillaging, and killing without being watched is gone. Today we live in an open world. Worldwide organizations monitor and people at home and abroad are documenting all your actions your breath. We are not cowards like you. We will not attack you treacherously but will sue you in international courts so that you would view the airplane as a dream and a nightmare at once.
We will wait since darkness would never remain forever and truth will prevail.


Badriya Ali is a Bahraini housewife in her fifties. She ended her life with her bare hands by burning herself. She saw flames eat off her clothes and burn her body. The day passed as if it was eternal before her soul left to its creator, leaving behind children, grandchildren and a husband who is still in need.
What state pushes a believer like this lady to end her life in such a painful way with her bare hands?
How can a person's hands obey its owner to torture himself/herself through burning? I would have wanted to ask those questions to Badriya directly, but Badriya left and I am in my optional exile. I have read much about her, but her story was not complete until I sat pondering the image which told me the rest of it.
Badria is a mother from Sanabis. It is a village that sleeps on the smell of teargas and the sounds of shots and wakes up on the news of those arrested and injured. Last April Bahraini security forces attacked them while they were asleep, as usual. Here security forces are like thieves. They attack at night and treacherously kidnap people. And I wish the distinguished Interior Minister would tell me why his men insist on storming houses after 2 a.m.  As if the sunlight terrifies vampires!!

That night Badria read Quran and slept to wake up to the sound of shattering in her house. When she gained consciousness, she saw dozens of masked men break into her house and were pointing guns to her head and the head of her husband. After a moment, she saw her son who was just over the age of 17 years in the hands of masked men. They kicked him and pulled his head and were beating his head repeatedly on the wall. Badriya pulled her son Ahmed from their grip. She screamed at them, "My son did not do anything, leave him" but the police who are not fluent in Arabic, shouted at her and pushed her brutally. They were pulling her child whose face was covered in blood.
She opened her eyes to see that Ahmed was taken away. They took him and she could not deter them. Badria began to cry that night and was not able to stop. She thought about how they would beat him, would they rape him or not, will they feed him, and will they torture him?
Questions were hovering in her head every minute of the day.
10 months, 300 days, 18 thousand hours, Badria spent crying over her son, shuddering every night for the idea that her son was tortured now. She feared that her other sons might be arrested too.
Her son was released after ten months while maintaining the charge of "participation illegal protests". Ahmed returned from prison after months of suffering to see that his mother was not the same. She was sad and depressed.
When Bouazizi burned himself after receiving a slap from the officer, the world sympathized with him and requested a revenge. In Bahrain, people ignored Badria’s story and the loyalists mocked it.
Badria is a victim of this regime’s atrocities. May Badria’s soul rest in peace, may all the Bahraini mothers remain strong, and may victory be granted to Bahrain’s people.

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