Press TV has conducted an interview with Colin Cavell, a former lecturer at the University of Bahrain from West Virginia, to ask for his take on Bahraini protestors’ demand for the release of prominent opposition figure Sheikh Ali Salman from prison in Manama.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: The regime it seems has failed to break the will of the Bahraini people in pursuing their demands. How much do you think the Al Khalifa can continue to cling to power by continuing to crack down on dissent?
Cavell: Rogue power like the Khalifas a military hunter will never be successful. It will have to continue imprison anybody that speaks out against it. And let’s look at the particular crime that the Sheikh Ali Salman has accused of. He has called, they say, for overthrow of the government, but what he did do. He only said that he wants people to have a vote, he wants democracy. In other words, in Bahrain if you call for democracy then you are a criminal and all of the opposition leaders who spoken out for democracy are in jail. So, what you have is a regime that has a little legitimacy and that has to imprison, torture and kill anybody that speaks out against it. But people will never give in to this type of repression. History has always indicated that when we have an oppressor regime with no legitimacy like the Al Khalifas, then they will eventually be overturned on. And you can see that happening not only within Bahrain right now, but the whole region as rising up against these unelected dictatorial monarchs.
Press TV: And of course, despite all these rights abuses in Bahrain, why do you think the West is backing the Al Khalifa regime so adamantly and brazenly, and on the other hand, we don’t see anything from the United Nations?
Cavell: The West is hypocritical, claims to support democracy to its domestic population, but … we support autocrats, dictators, hunters, any small group of people that can be controlled. If the Bahraini people were in control of the country, it would be much more difficult, just like Iran. Iran, the people control the country. The United States cannot control Iran, but if there were the Shah back in power then the US could control them. So, they want a small group of people that they can manipulate like the Al Khalifa family. And that way, they can extract resources particularly all of the natural gas from the region which is their primary concern.