Bahrain: Elderly Men Arrested for “Protecting Women” from Police

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011/12.

The elderly are not immune to arrest for taking part in “unlicensed” protests in Bahrain, where demonstrations should be sanctioned by the state. According to netizens, two elderly men were arrested for “protecting women from the police” in the village of Karzakan.

Photojournalist Mazen Mahdi complains about the arrests. He tweets:

@MazenMahdi: The 2 elderly men they arrested in #karzakan yesterday .. Do they even know by arresting them they confirm targeting of right to assembly?

@MazenMahdi: The 2 represent no threat to national security .. They are not armed .. And they didn't attack anyone

@MazenMahdi: Arresting them and calling them law breakers only make those holding them still as abusers of the law – ask Timoney :)

Abdulmajeed, an elderly man arrested in Bahrain reportedly for defending women

Abdulmajeed, an elderly man arrested in Bahrain reportedly for defending women. Photograph shared on Twitter by @yassmha

John Timoney is the former controversial Miami Department Chief (Google Timoney+Lexus), who is now a special security adviser in Bahrain. Netizens routinely use social media to vent off about the heavy-handedness of the security forces, sharing videos and photographs of the atrocities committed against protesters. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are the only means of sharing such stories as local news media outlets are either government owned or controlled – or heavily censored.

On Twitter, Mohamed Almakna shares a link to a video on YouTube showing the elderly men, named as Abdulmajeed and Mohammed, apparently arguing with armed and masked security forces. They are reportedly “defending women” [from harassment or arrest] in the village of Karzakan, before their own arrest.

Almakna tweets:

@Almakna: Video of arresting the elderly Abdulmajeed and Mohamed when they stood to defend women in Karzakan #Bahrain

He further explains:

@Almakna: News that the elderly Abdulmajeed has been arrested today! Abdulmajeed is one of the faces that are seen in all protests #Bahrain

@Almakna: Elderly Abdulmajeed is the true definition of “Steadfast” in cold or hot weather he's always taking part of pro-freedom protests #Bahrain

At the time of writing this post, it is not known whether Abdulmajeed and Mohammed have been released.

Anti-government protests started in Bahrain on February 14, 2011. In March that same year, the movement was crushed when Saudi forces entered the country. Thousands of people, including professionals like doctors and teachers, were sacked from their jobs. Many of them were also jailed. The Pearl Roundabout, where the main protests were staged, was razed and a junction [which has been turned into a military zone which is still closed to traffic] was built in its place. Sporadic protests continue in villages and are attacked and contained by security forces. Almost 90 people have died in the unrest.

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011/12.

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