Alwaght– A jailbreak that was reported on Sunday at the notorious Jaw prison in Bahrain has raised more questions than answers with suspicion being raised on who really was behind the alleged escape of prisoners.
Bahraini regime’s Interior Ministry announced the incident by claiming that, “several ‘convicted terrorists’ successfully managed to escape a prison facility in southern Bahrain, killing a policeman in the process.” The escape was made possible due to an “armed assault” on the Jaw prison facility, the ministry claimed.
Pretext to launch massive crackdown on Shia Muslims
Following the alleged jailbreak, Bahraini regime security force have launched a massive and brutal security crackdown on Shia Muslim areas in the country. In line with its disparaging policies, the Bahraini regime made unsubstantiated claims that Iran was involved in the incident adding that the proof of this is because ‘Ahlul Bayt’ TV in Iraq declared the prison break as successful. The Al Khalifa regime further made unfounded claims that the TV is funded by Iran.
Jaw prison is a correctional facility operated by the Bahraini interior ministry but after the Islamic Awakening uprising which began in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on 14th February 2011, the prison has been converted into a high security torture center where over 1000 anti-regime protestors are being incarcerated.
More restrictions on prisoners of conscience
Among the prisoners confined in the infamous prison include Islamic scholars such as Sheikh Abdul Jalil Al Miqdad, Sheikh Ali Salman, Sheikh Mohammad Habib al Miqdad, Sheikh Mirza al Mahroush and Sheikh Saeed Al Nuri. The fact that these are not among the alleged escapees puts into doubt the regime’s version on the prison break. The regime is expected to imposes more stringent restrictions on these prisoners of conscience in reaction to the alleged jailbreak.
Of course prison breaks are nothing new in Bahrain, in 2011 at the height of the uprising by the masses around 109 prisoners, mostly related to the Islamic Awakening protests managed to escape from Jaw Prison. A similar escape took place in 2012 and these operations were claimed by groups engaged armed struggle against the Aal Khalifa regime such as the Saraya al–Ashtar (the al-Ashtar Brigades).
Plot to arrest Sheikh Isa Qassim
However, no group has claimed responsibility for the latest prison break and a lot of uncertainty surrounds the incident. The Bahraini regime might have stage managed the incident or another armed opposition group has emerged. Some sources point out that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa wants to use this incident as an excuse to break into the house of top Islamic Cleric Sheikh Isa Qasim and subsequently arrest him. If this takes place, the Manama regime would have crossed the people’s red line and the country will explode.
Radicalization of the opposition
The Bahraini regime judiciary recently upheld an increase of Sheikh Ali Salman’s jail term to nine years from original four and this took place concurrent sit-in protests outside Sheikh Isa Qassim’s home which have been going on for nearly 200 days since June 20. The protests began when Bahraini authorities stripped the 79-year-old cleric of his citizenship. The stripping of Qassim’s citizenship took place less than a week after suspending the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the country’s main opposition bloc, and dissolving the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by the senior cleric, and the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association. These incidents have hardened and radicalized positions within Bahraini protesting masses and the revolution might take more revolutionary and militant dimensions.
Gradual downfall of Al Khalifa regime
The current incidents in Bahrain point to the gradual downfall of the Al Khalifa regime which has been suppressing peaceful protests in the country while continuing to ignore legitimate and rational demands of the masses. The continuation of the peaceful protests on a daily basis and the revolutionary atmosphere is an indicator that the Bahraini regime is in peril. To prevent its inevitable downfall, the regime intends to ignite violent response by the masses and use that as a pretext clamp down on protestors while strengthening political and security ties with foreign states to guarantee its existence. It is within this framework that the Bahraini is desperately engaged in efforts to transform the existing Persian Gulf Corporation Council to into a European- style union. The Al Khalifa regime has also given virtual carte blanche to the US and Britain armies to use the tiny Persian Gulf Kingdom as a military base. These measures are bound further strengthen the resolve of the masses in their struggle to oust the monarchy which has now become a puppet state of hegemonic powers.