Through its recent official statements, the Persian Gulf dictatorial countries are indeed imposing an unjust and hostile diplomatic aggression against Lebanon due to remarks by al-Wefaq society members.
The fabricated crisis has been launched against the backdrop of resigned Information Minister George Kordahi’s criticism of the Saudi-led war in Yemen, and its latest development is the Bahraini Foreign Ministry’s discontent with a human rights press conference for top opposition group Al-Wefaq Society, in Beirut, to release its annual human rights report.
Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement accusing Lebanon of hosting “hostile units classified as supporting and sponsoring terrorism, for the purpose of promoting abusive and malicious allegations against the Kingdom of Bahrain”.
To precisely depict the scene in Lebanon: it is a complete political mercenary, whereby the slogans of freedom, for which Beirut has long been famous, are sought to be replaced by others that fit the Gulf mood and its aggressive agendas.
What Bahrain is trying to do is pressuring the Lebanese government to take arbitrarily measures against peaceful Bahraini dissidents, who were forcibly deported from their homeland, after outlawing al-Wefaq in 2016.
Far from examining the legality of the government’s decision, in a critical period of rampant chaos in Lebanon, it is quite obvious that the deportation will never take place, because the targeted are not the Bahraini opponents but the Lebanese sovereignty.
Therefore, Lebanon, which has never been subdued to any aggression, will not submit to this aggressive coalition that wages futile wars, supports terrorism and promotes takfir, and now it is suffering bitter defeats at the hands of Yemenis.
Those who are acquainted with politics know well that the contemporary history has not witnessed a peaceful opposition that fully respects laws and United Nations human rights standards such Al-Wefaq Society, as described by several international organizations.
The aforementioned conference was preceded by dozens of similar human rights conferences and events hosted by Beirut. Thus, why do Lebanon’s politicians rush to appease Mohammed bin Salman and the rest oppressive monarchs?
For decades, Lebanon has always been a peaceful haven for dissidents and political activists, who were suppressed by Arab regimes. Those Bahrainis have been forcibly deported by the Al Khalifa regime, in the aftermath of the 2011 crackdown.
As far as the Lebanese are concerned, the decision is the most blatant decision ever recorded by a Lebanese government.
Lebanon’s prime mister, Najib Mikati’s blind obedience to the monarchs of oppression and tyranny would never be manipulated at the expense of these persecuted exiles, whose only crime is demanding freedom, following their leader Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the Al-Wefaq Society, who languishes oppressed in Manama’s notorious prisons, based on fabricated charges of “colluding with Qatar to carry out hostile acts in Bahrain and damage its prestige”.
The harassment of Sheikh Salman and Al-Wefaq is only part of the government’s broader attack on opposition political groups. Al-Wefaq was outlawed in 2016 when the Justice Ministry accused it of “undermining the state, spreading sectarianism, and having connection to terrorist activities”.
Consequently, Mikati is trying to pave the way for those dictators to attack the national sovereignty and violate Lebanon’s commitment to Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has “the right to seek and enjoy asylum … to escape persecution.”
The right to asylum in Lebanon to escape persecution is a constitutional right, as affirmed by the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which Lebanon acceded in the year 2000, and which states that no state party may expel any person, return him, or extradite him to another state if it has reasons that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
Meanwhile, the black record of Bahrain’s human rights violation has exposed more than ever before. The solution is not to persecute and restrict these exiled opponents, but rather to radically address the reasons for their presence outside their homeland. The prosecution should be carried out against the violators of human rights in Bahrain not against who expose these violations and demand political reform.