Monday, October 29, 2012

A Visit With Friends

Readers of this blog may recall how, during the so-called Arab Spring, our Bahraini friend, Shubbar, was first arrested and arbitrarily detained, only to be released after fifty days, by which time the government of Bahrain had arrested his father-in-law and two brothers-in-law.

Yesterday, even as Hurricane Sandy was blowing in to our region, we had the privilege of meeting with him and his wife, Hajar, for an all-too-brief lunch here in the States. And we are delighted to report that he and the family are doing very well. Shubbar is enjoying his freedom.

However, his father-in-law received a ten-year sentence from the Bahraini government last year--merely for expressing his political opinions non-violently. Hajar and Shubbar are trying to tell their story and raise awareness of what the government of Bahrain is doing to continue to crack down on the majority population of the country (the Shia, who make up around 60-65% of the population).

Whether Romney or Obama is president for the next four years, I hope either administration will put pressure on the Bahraini government for its ruthless crackdown on peaceful dissent in the spring of 2011. 

Hajar's father's case is being appealed, and there is a chance that a judge might release him or reduce his  sentence. That would be a good sign for the future reconciliation of the Bahraini people--something we should all hope for.