The Gulf State of Bahrain is known for its extravagance. Gloating over multi-million dollar investments in tourism, sports and banking, the kingdom does not shy away from showing off with the Grand Prix races, or celebrity visitors the likes of Kim Kardashian. This alone, makes the Kingdom look like a miracle of some sort to many who associate the Middle East with subsequent failures, instability and conflict.
However, what does not make international headlines anymore is a resilient and defiant social movement and creative forms of civil disobedience challenging the kingdom’s legitimacy and holding it accountable to its human rights violations. For decades, but especially since the uprising of 2011, Bahrain housed a call for democracy and fundamental rights, which consequently led to thousands of people jailed and tortured - some even to death. Many continue to be jailed for merely advocating for democracy and fundamental rights. Two things Western democracies have ample support for in theory but not so much in practice, especially outside their borders. The US, and UK, and many other EU states, are the biggest enablers of Bahrain in arms and trade.
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