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Bahrain: Police Help Thugs Vandalize Shiite-Owned Shop

The owners of the Jawad Business Group, a Shiite-owned company, have released a video of one of their shops being stormed, robbed, and vandalized by a group of thugs on April 10, 2012, as policemen watched and even helped.

Businesses owned by Jawad have been a target over the last year as it has been claimed that the company provided food to the protestors at the Pearl Roundabout.

Blogger Marc Owen Jones wrote on April 13:

Profile picture of a Facebook page calling for the boycott of Jawad shops: "A boycott campaign against the Jawad Group that betrayed our country."

Profile picture of a Facebook page calling for the boycott of Jawad shops: "A boycott campaign against the Jawad Group that betrayed our country."

Yesterday I wrote a post about how the Ministry of the Interior [the police] treat Bahrainis differently depending on whether they are pro-government or anti-government. This was after their tame dispersal of a large group of regime supporters who, after gathering at the Alba roundabout, wrecked two cars and then vandalised a nearby supermarket. The reason the market was attacked is because it was owned by Jawad Group, which is maligned by many loyalists for apparently serving food to protesters at the Pearl Roundabout last year. Of course there are numerous examples of the police turning a blind eye to violence perpetrated by pro-regime supporters. There’s also a lot of evidence to show plain clothes thugs operating alongside the police. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the thugs are civilians, or just security officers in mufti [civilian clothes]. Today however, this CCTV footage from the attack on the 24 SuperMarket emerged. Not only does it show thugs breaking into and looting the shop, but it also shows police standing idly by as this happens. That’s not all, at 5.15 one of the security officers wearing a fluorescent bib smashes one of the windows. At 4.50 another officer helps himself to a bottle of water. Clearly ignoring crime is thirsty work.

The following six-minute video shows the attack:

Amir Jawad, a board member of the Jawad Business Group, has described the events of April 10 as being part of a systematic series of attacks; he reported that crowds also roamed outside the company's headquarters.

Policeman involved in the attack. Images posted by Twitter user @lord20003.

According to Al Wasat newspaper [ar], Jawad shops have been attacked 54 times. A Twitter account called @Jawad_storm has been started to document all the attacks against Jawad businesses. Here are some of the tweets:

رسمت معانات مجموعة جواد بعد ضربة الدوار الأولى مباشرة، من حيث التكسير والتخريب والتهديد والمقاطعة وغيرها الكثير
@Jawad_storm: The attacks on Jawad shops started after the first attack on Pearl Roundabout. Shops got vandalized, demolished, and the company was threatened and boycotted etc.
تعرضت الشركة لشتى أنواع الإستهداف ومن ضمنها التخريب لبعض المحلات والهجوم عليها بالرصاص الحي
@Jawad_storm: The company has been targeted and some of the shops were attacked by live ammunition.

More tweets relating to the attack can be found on the hashtag #غزوة_جواد (“the invasion of Jawad”).

This graffiti is evidence of the campaign against Jawad businesses:

Graffiti in Sakhir area: Shame on every Sunni traitor who buys from the "24 hours" shops. Image posted by Twitter user @jawad_storm.

A supporter of Jawad is shown with a sign:

A Bahraini holds a sign in solidarity with Jawad company in front of one of the shops. Image posted by Twitter user @Sadad_9mooD.

Others have treated the incident with humour in order to mock the regime. In this video, a group of young Bahrainis who call themselves Baharna Drama stage another attack:

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