…from beneath the crooked bough, witness 230 years of brutal tyranny by the al Khalifas come to an end
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Collective Punishment, the Kidnapping and detention of Ghazi Farhan – An Interview with Alaa Shehabi

Struggle for Bahrain: An Interview with Alaa Shehabi
15 November, 2011 – Shia Post

Alaa Shehabi (AS): I am Alaa Shehabi from Bahrain. I am a lecturer, economist, and writer by day. I am also the wife of a political detainee. My husband is called Ghazi Farhan, he is a businessman, completely apolitical.

A month after the Saudis invaded, he was arrested from his office car park. On that day, 12 April, he came home for lunch and played with our baby and then drove back to his office. I did not hear from him again. I went online and read on Twitter that Ghazi Farhan has been successfully arrested—someone from the intelligence network was tweeting about it, bragging about it. It was a very big shock. He was not expecting it; he was the guy that stayed away from this. He knows that politics is trouble in this part of the world, so he was not involved in any activism.

I am sure they went after my husband because of his relationship to me. I come from a strong opposition background, my father is an opposition activist in the United Kingdom. I was very active and I have never been quiet about my views. I think they knew of me so they selected one of us. I have seen his interrogation notes and I appear in most of them. It was punishment by proxy.

So, Ghazi was held for the next fifty days and then suddenly appeared in a military tribunal at the end of May. He was charged with participating in the protests. The technical term is “participating in an illegal assembly consisting of more than five persons,” and he was also charged with spreading false information. And then in a matter of ten minutes, he was sentenced to three years in prison. It has been seven months since he was convicted. It has been a very difficult time for my family personally. But I would like to emphasize that in the prison he is in, he is one of at least five hundred people who have been arrested, charged, and convicted because of their participation or involvement in the political uprising. …more