A Bahraini opposition political organization has censured the presence of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom, emphasizing that the deployment is illegitimate and not welcome by ordinary Bahrainis.
“The American military presence in Bahrain lacks any legitimacy and is not welcome. US forces stationed in Bahrain do not have any legal legitimacy, because their presence is based on treaties concluded without any legislation. Such agreements have been reached secretly and caused sufferings for the people of Bahrain for decades,” the Haq Movement for Liberty and Democracy said in a statement released on Monday.
It added, “The authority in Bahrain lacks popular legitimacy and the system is a dictatorial one, in which people have no role or participation in decision-making and legislation, especially sensitive ones. People do not have a real representation in the sham parliament, and therefore foreign military bases like that of the US Fifth Fleet and HMS Jufair (a British Royal Navy base) are illegitimate and against the will of the free Bahraini nation.”
The opposition organization highlighted that hostility towards the United States has reached an unprecedented level due to President Donald Trump’s flawed policies, and that US troops have become persona non grata in the eyes of the peoples of the region.
“Trump brags and is trying to deceive the world. He claims support for popular protests. Where is Trump then as the regimes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia practice repression and their prisons are filled with thousands of activists and political detainees,” the statement pointed out.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established. Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3, 2017.
-American military presence