I am an Australian now living in Thailand. I was an English teacher at a Polytechnic in Bahrain before I was dismissed for posting videos of the February uprising on YouTube and for making comments about it on Facebook, for which I have absolutely no regrets.
I am totally supportive of the Bahraini protesters who are simply seeking democracy in their country so that they can finally have a say in the running of Bahrain and the chance of a fairer life for themselves and their families. The ruling family of Bahrain currently has only 30% support of the people and it is to these people that the pick of the jobs and benefits go. The government of Bahrain is composed of ministers selected personally by the King, mainly from his own family, not chosen by the people. The Prime Minister is the King’s uncle and has held the position for 40 years. The Bahraini parliament is rigged so that the opposition can never achieve a full majority.
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report was recently released, revealing a littany of human rights abuses occurring in Bahrain including torture, false arrest and imprisonment and trials in military courts. It also found absolutely no involvement by Iran in any of the peaceful protests that had taken place and are still taking place in the country. In response, the King conceded only that “mistakes had been made” and did not even have the courtesy to apologise to his own people for so blatantly mismanaging his own Kingdom. Finally, he stated that although the commission found no link to Iran he still believed that Iran was involved.
I lived in Bahrain for three years and I miss it terribly and feel for its wonderful people who still constantly live in fear. They deserve more from their King and they deserve to live in a free, democratic society.