Author Topic: WikiLeaks cable: London-based pro-government NGO accuses BCHR of politicization  (Read 1262 times)

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enrica

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We all know activist Nabeel Rajab is actually imprisoned in Bahrain for his role of political oppositor, after he was interviewed by Julian Assange, and we all support his right of freedom of expression.

Here I've found anyway certain wikileaks cables that instead of describing him as a hero of the Bahraini opposition, accuse him of politicizing the Bahraini Center of human rights.

Given the current fights in Bahrain beteen Shia and Sunni, both politicized wings trying to get power on the country, I think it worths reading this side of the medal, reported by Rajab's oppositors, too:


Code: [Select]
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000705
 
SIPDIS
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARP, DRL
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/13/2019
TAGS: PHUM PGOV BA
SUBJECT: NEW HUMAN RIGHTS NGO ALIGNED WITH GOVERNMENT
 
REF: MANAMA 587
 
Classified By: Ambassador Adam Ereli for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
 
¶1. (C) Summary: In the course of an 80-minute diatribe, the
president of a London-based, pro-government human rights
group denounced the "politicization" of the Bahrain Center
for Human Rights (BCHR) and accused BCHR president Nabeel
Rajab and BCHR co-founder Abdulhadi Al Khawaja (an outspoken
Shia rejectionist) of being in the pay of the Iranian
government.  He acknowledged that his own organization
receives funding through the Bahraini embassy in London, but
denied that he was employed by the government.  End summary.
 
¶2. (C) During a meeting with poloff December 6, Hasan Moosa
Shafaei, a "part-time, independent human rights consultant"
for the Bahraini Embassy in the UK, said he established the
Bahrain Human Rights Monitor (BHRM) to provide international
actors with an alternative point of view to that promulgated
by BCHR.  (Note: BCHR, which has ties to the Shia
rejectionist Haq Movement, has lost credibility in recent
months with inaccurate, somewhat sensationalist allegations
against GOB security forces; see ref A.  End note).
 
¶3. (C) A former exiled oppositionist, Shafaei provided a
full-throttled defense of King Hamad's ten-year-old reform
process.  He said he was a co-founder of BCHR but fell out
with Rajab and Al Khawaja when their work took on a more
"politicized" hue in 2003-04.  In addition to critiquing
BCHR's political activities and alleged ties to Iran, he also
spoke at length about BCHR's ties to London-based Bahrain
Freedom Movement leader Saeed Al Shehabi, who he claimed was
in the pay of Iran's Supreme Leader.  Shafaei also voiced
criticism of the Haq Movement's leadership, as well as the
new Shia rejectionist group, Wafa, accusing it of undermining
national unity and stability.
 
¶4. (C) Shafaei had little to say about the human rights
situation in Bahrain, beyond praising the King's reforms.  He
stated that he established BHRM in January 2009 and operates
the organization from his home base of London, where he has
lived since the late 1980s.  He was generally laudatory of
the State Department's annual human rights reports, though he
urged the embassy to be wary of BCHR's allegations of police
abuse and to provide details on BCHR's and Haq's purported
foreign connections.
 
¶5. (C) Comment: Shafaei is clearly aligned with -- and
remunerated by -- the GOB and its efforts to improve its
human rights reputation, and counter allegations of abuses
from Shia rejectionists.  Shafaei was open about his close
relationship with Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al
Khalifa (formerly Bahrain's ambassador in London).  Post has
no evidence to support Shafaei's assertions of Iranian
funding of, and influence over, BCHR and the main Shia
rejectionist movements.  End comment.
ERELI

Source/ Full cable: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/12/09MANAMA705.html