At this moment crown prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, son of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, king of Bahrain is in the Netherlands for queen Beatrix’ abdication and the investiture of the new king: Willem. A good time for some background information about Bahrain against the background of the current, often forgotten, uprising.
Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous joins us to discuss his recent trip to Bahrain, where the Sunni monarchy continues its crackdown on a two-year-old uprising. Since February 2011, at least 87 people have died at the hands of U.S.-backed forces. While talks are taking place this week between the Bahraini government and opposition groups, several of Bahrain’s leading human rights defenders remain imprisoned. “Bahrain had the feeling of a country under occupation,” Kouddous says of his visit. “There was helmeted riot police in full armor wielding shotguns, tear gas, sound grenades, deployed around villages outside of the capital. There was helicopters buzzing overhead conducting surveillance. … Many people lament there, from the opposition movement, that they have been forsaken by the international community and forgotten by the world’s media for this uprising that doesn’t get a lot of attention.” [rush transcript]