Bahrain: Mahazza Village Still Under Siege

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011/2012.

For almost a month in Bahrain, the village of Mahazza in Sitra has been under a security siege by the country's Interior Ministry. With the absence of free media in the country, citizen journalism, once again, was the only means of getting reports on what was happening on the ground. Through Facebook and Twitter, Bahrainis have posted their rallies in support of Mahazza and shared information about raids on houses and many arrests. In an event in solidarity with Mahazza, Al-Wefaq opposition bloc stated on December 2, 2012, that there have been more than 90 arrests and around 330 house raids until that date. The numbers have gone up since then.

Protesting the Siege
After a series of raids on houses and illegal arrests, the residents of Mahazza decided to be in an open protest as their village fights the security siege. On November 29, this video shows an attack with tear gas by the riot police against the residents of the village (posted by RevolutionBahrain):

In return, villages around Bahrain held their protests in solidarity with Mahazza. This video was posted by nabihsalehmedia on YouTube showing the residents of Nabih Saleh protesting and chanting “Down with Hamad” – Hamad being the name of the king of Bahrain. The video also shows riot police throwing tear gas on protesters:

This picture shows women in Mahazza protesting the siege:

Posted by “Mahazza village Network” on Facebook

Another protest took place in Bilad Al-Qadeem

Posted by @BiladAlQadeem

In Sanad, protesters burned tires and blocked Istiqlal street in protest of the siege on Mahazza and against the trial of opposition figures:

Posted by @taha9988

Solidarity on Twitter
Through Twitter, a “media campaign” was launched to generate attention to what is happening in Mahazza. This poster circulated online declared a week of solidarity with the Bahraini village starting on December 2.

(Posted by @ModmorSupport)

The following pictures were posted to give information about the situation in Mahazza:

Posted by @AlModmor

Posted by @AlModmor

The picture states that posters have been posted on walls in Bahrain regarding the media solidarity week with Mahazza:

Posted by @Tailos0

Cartoonist Ali AlBazaz posted this work on Twitter mocking the Bahraini regime and its way of applying international recommendations to respect human rights:

Posted by @bazzaz32

Continuous Arrests
Since early November, Bahrainis have been sharing the pictures of the first detainees of Mahazza who have been arrested weeks ago and there is still no official information is given about them. To emphasize the illegality of arrests, the detainees are considered to be “kidnapped” since they have been taken with no legal orders and their families are still hoping for news. Here's the most shared picture of the first five detainees:

Posted by @Feb14Media

Another shared picture was of this young girl who is the daughter of Talib Ali, one of the five detainees. Her sign says “Where is my dad?” and the writing on her cake reads “Will I celebrate my birthday without you dad?”

Posted by @a7rar_sitra

After the recent visit of the United Nations Human Rights Council to Bahrain, activist Said Yousef Almuhafda from Bahrain Center from Human Rights, wrote on Twitter:

و نطالب وفد المفوضية بالضغط على النظام من اجل الكشف عن المختطفين من قرية مهزة و السماح للمعتقلين المرضى المحرومين من العلاج بحقهم في العلاج

@SAIDYOUSIF: We demand the UNHRC to pressure the regime to unveil information about those kidnapped from Mahazzaa village and to allow the injured detainees to get their right to medication.

With no political solution on the table, protests and security crackdowns continue.

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011/2012.

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