This post is part of our special coverage Bahrain Protests 2011.
Release our activists, release our students, release our medics, release our women, release our teachers, and now release our military personnel. All of these are Twitter campaigns that Bahraini netizens have been pushing for to create awareness about the different segments targeted by the Bahraini regime since protests started on February 14.
Activists say there are scores of military and police personnel who have been arrested and trialed in military courts during the unrest for refusing to shoot protesters, sending text messages, attending funerals, protesting, or just for being members of the Shia'a sect. The sentences they have received vary between 1-12 years.
Activists insist they have not had fair trials, just like the rest of those prosecuted in Bahrain since pro-democracy protests shook the nation. They add that the military personnel, who work for the defense and interior ministries, were also not able to appeal their sentences and that the media has unfortunately neglected their cause, especially with the lack of information about their cases.
Free Ali Al-Ghanmi (who refused to shoot protesters) by Twitter user @HoPeGlObE
On Twitter, activist Hadeel Kamalaldin (@hadeeloosh) asked people to use the hashtag #FreeMilitary to demand the release of soldiers and to tweet their names and details of their cases [ar]:
شاركوا معنا اليوم في حملة التغريدات حول العسكريين من الثالثة وحتى السابعة مساء باستخدام هذا الهاش تاغ #FreeMilitary
: Participate with us today in a Twitter campaign about the soldiers starting from 3pm to 7pm using this hashtag #FreeMilitary
The campaign encouraged many to share their stories and experiences. @adharinews tweeted about two cases:
العسكري محمدعلي حبيل كان بالأمس عيد ميلاده ولكن داخل السجون الخليفية محكوم جورا ٤سنوات لمشاركته في تشيع جاره الشهيدفاضل متروك
: Military personnel Mohammed Ali Hubail's birthday was yesterday but he is spending four years in the Al Khalifa [Ruling Family] jail for taking part in the funeral of martyr Fadhel Matrook.
العسكري السيد محمود المحكوم ١٢سنة بسبب مشاركته إلثوار ورفضه قتل اخوانه في ميدان الشهداء فهل رفضه قتل اخوانه جريمة يعاقب عليها؟
: Military personnel Sayed Mahmoud was sentenced to 12 years in jail for joining the revolutionaries and refusing to shoot his brother in Martyrs Square (Pearl Roundabout), so is refusing to kill his brothers a punishable crime?
@aljamsee tweeted about yet another case:
ياسر عبدالعظيم أحمد مدن ، عسكري من المعامير أعتقل مباشرة بعد دخول قوات درع الجزيرة وتم الحكم عليه بعشر سنوات وفصل من الخدمة
: Yasser Abdulathim Ahmed Madan, a soldier from Al Ma'ameer was arrested directly after the intervention of Peninsula Shield
forces and was sentenced to 10 years in jail and fired from his job.
@al3abas tweeted about her own brother:
اخي عسكري و يحاكم ظلماً فقط لمشاركته في مسيرة سلميه داعماً إخوته و اهله بعد الخميس الدامي فأين العدل
: My brother is a soldier and is being unfairly trialed for taking part in a peaceful protest in support of his brothers and family after ‘bloody Thursday
‘. Where is justice?
Khalaf (@wald_khalaf) posted several tweets under the campaign's hashtag:
ان تحاكم مدنيا في محكمة عسكرية يعني ان حقوقه ضائعة ولكن تخيل محاكمة العسكري في نفس المحكمة تعني ان لا حقوق ولا قانون سيساعدهم
: To be put on trial in a military court means your rights are lost. For a soldier to be trialed in such a court means that he has no rights and that there is no law to help him.
بعض العسكريين لا يعلمون ماهي تهمتهم فقط عدد السنوات المحكوم عليه، من سنة واحدة الى ١٢ سنة كل احكامكم باطلة
: some soldiers do not know what their charges are and only know that they will spend a year or 12 years in jail. All those charges are unfair.
بعض العسكريين لم يذهبوا الى الدوار ولم يشاركوا في المسيرات، ولكنهم استهدفوا فقط لأسماء عائلتهم ولكونه شيعي المذهب
: Some soldiers did not go to Pearl Roundabout
and did not participate in the protests but were targeted because of their last names or because of their Shia sect.
هناك ما يقارب ال١٥٠ عسكري معتقل، فهل يمكن ان ننساهم ولا نتضامن معهم بنشر قضيتهم، نحن قوم لا نترك اسرانا في السجون
: There are 150 detained military personnel, is it possible for us to forget them and not stand by them by speaking about their cause? We do not forget our prisoners.
(@Fa6ima_) wrote about another case:
العسكري عبدالمنعم محكوم بـ 3 سنوات لأنه حمل الشهيد أحمد فرحان ! وقاتل أحمد فرحان حر طليق
: The military personnel Abdulmonem is sentenced to three years in jail for carrying martyr Ahmed Farhan while the killer of Farhan is free!
Om Mujtaba (@OmMujtaba2005) brought up the issue of sectarianism in the army:
اخي المغرد,أتعلم ان ابناء الطائفة الشيعية محرومون من الخدمة العسكرية منذ عقود,هل تعلم ان البلاد محرومة من اوفياءهم؟تمييزا ضدهم
: Dear Tweep, Did you know that Shias have been denied the right to serve in the army for decades? Did you know that the country is denied the service of its loyal citizens because of discrimination against them?
Sayed Jalal Mohammed (@Sayed_Jalal) tweeted about one of the policemen and the treatment the imprisoned soldiers receive:
شرطي أول محمد حسن حبيب.. محكوم ثلاث سنوات بتهمة غيآب 7 أيام فقط..!؟
: Policeman Mohamed Hassan Habib was sentenced to three years in jail for being absent for seven days!
كانت مدة استخدام دورة المياه للمعتقلين العسكريين دقيقتان فقط كل مرّة استغلها كما شئت..!؟ حقوق إنسآنية بحته.!؟
: Imprisoned military personnel were allowed to use bathrooms for only two minutes a day. Human rights?
Hadeel Kamalaldin noted the case of a Pakistani soldier:
الحرية للعسكري الباكستاني نجم المحكوم بسنتين و بالابعاد عن البلاد لأنه رفض ما يحدث من قمع للمتظاهرين
: Freedom for the Pakistani soldier Najim who was sentenced to two years in jail and will be deported from the country for refusing violence and oppression against protesters.
Hussain Al-Aali (@alaali_hussain) spoke about a personal incident:
في احدى ليالي الإعتقال،أدخلوا لنا طفل يبكي لم يكمل ال17، سألته:ما بك؟ قال: وضعوني مع العسكريين خطئًا وهم يبكون من شدة التعذيب
: In one of the nights I spent in jail, they brought us a child who was younger than 17 years old. He was crying and when we asked him what was wrong, he said: “They put me by mistake with the soldiers, who were crying from the extreme torture.”
@Dwarseeker wrote about the case Abdulhadi Al-Araadi:
عبد الهادي العرادي .. المحكوم ٦سنوات، تهمته”الطبخ”في الدوار !!مع العلم أنه لم يحضر ولا مرة واحدة للدوار
: Abdulhadi Al-Araadi was sentenced to six years in jail for ‘cooking’ in Pearl Roundabout – although he has never been to the roundabout during the protests.
Abdulla Abuidrees (@aabuidrees) is one the military personnel who were jailed and he tweeted how his imprisoned colleagues were treated:
من طرق التعذيب التي واجهها العسكريون الشرفاء : الوقوف لساعات طويله بلا أكل ولا ماء
: One of the torture methods used against the honorable soldiers was to let them stand for hours without food or water
بعض المعتقلين العسكريين كان تعذيبهم على مرائ من أهاليهم في مراكز الشرطه
: Some soldiers were tortured in front of their families in police stations.
احمد عبدالله كاظم يواجه حكم 4 سنوات توفيت والدته وهو في السجن و رفضت الاداره حضوره الى تشييع والدته رحمها الله
: Ahmed Abdullah Kathem is facing a four year jail sentence. His mother died while he was in prison and they refused to let him attend her funeral.
كاد سجن المحرق العسكري ان ينفجر من الاعداد الهائله لنا المعتقلين حيث كنا نعيش بعدد 20 معتقل في زنزأنه واحده
: Al-Muharraq military jail was about to explode from the huge number of prisoners. We were 20 in each cell.
According to (@iGulfObserver) there are soldiers who were killed during the uprising. Here, he tweets about two of them, including their pictures [WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURES]:
الشهيد العسكري عبد العزيز عياد:انقطعت اخباره من تاريخ13مارس وتم تسلييمه لأهله جثة بتاريخ 24مارس http://t.co/cGU2D5Aa
الشهيد جواد شملان عسكري تم تصفيته بمقر عمله 16 مارس وتم تسليمه لاهله بشهادة وفاة يوم 20 مارس http://t.co/68VGEfpY
: martyr Jawad Shamlan is a soldier who was killed in his work place on the 16th of March and his body was given to his family on the 20th of March. http://t.co/68VGEfpY
This post is part of our special coverage Bahrain Protests 2011.