Bahrain’s interior minister says “security operation” not a pre-emptive move

September 9, 2010

Bahrain’s interior minister said that the “security operation” was not a pre-emptive move, stressing that it targeted lawbreakers and perpetrators of acts of sabotage and arson who terrified citizens and residents and disrupted their interests.

“The operation was launched after it became inevitable,” Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said. “The security measures came after a long period of patience and resilience during which tolerance and forgiveness reached such levels that security men were accused of complacency and failure to deter lawbreakers and perpetrators of the heinous acts of terror,” the minister said at a meeting with the leaders of the two chambers of the bicameral parliament.

Bahrain has arrested several people on security-related charges and on Saturday, the National Security Agency (NSA) named 23 people it accused of being the top and middle leaders of a network seeking to overthrow the regime through the use of force.

The public prosecutor this week formally pressed 12 charges against them and said that some of the 21 people arrested had confessed. Two of the leaders are based in London and were charged in absentia.

Several local religious figures and international rights organizations have called for the release of all detainees, saying that such a move would help ease the tension gripping the country.

However, Shaikh Rashid rejected the calls.

“Those who, out of kindness and compassion, call for the release of the detainees who have committed acts of terror should appreciate that sympathy and apologies need to be directed for people in our society whose safety and tranquility were at risk because of the dangerous actions,” he said.

Bahraini officials have recently been talking about an irreversible zero-tolerance policy towards any violation of law and that the numerous pardons granted by King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa had reinforced perceptions among some people that they were above the law.

In Kuwait, Al Wasat daily reported the Kuwaiti government discussed the security developments in Bahrain and decided to push for closer security cooperation between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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