‘Oppression of Bahrain Subjects by the Ruling Family in Bahrain in the early 1900s: The Full List

Back in August I wrote a blog post about the abuses carried out by the Al Khalifa family and their fidawis against the Baharna in the early 1900s. I included a number of examples provided by the then Political Agent Major Daly. Below is the full list of abuses provided by Major Daly. It is also worth mentioning that this is, in itself, an abridged list. Major Daly did not have time to provide an even more extensive report. Many of those responsible were members of the Al Khalifah family. As I said back in August, it is amazing that those accused of terrible crimes later went on to be an important part of the administration. Abdulla Al Khalifa for example, was one of the three judges that sat on the court of appeal in the high profile trial of 5 members of the HEC committee sentenced in 1956. His desire to preserve Al Khalifa rule in Bahrain went back to the early 1900s where, on a trip to Britain, he went to the UK to complain about British interference in Bahrain’s (read Al Khalifa’s) affairs. Given the list of abuses documented below, it is pretty incredible someone like him could ever be in a position to administer justice.

The list, taken from the Records of Bahrain. 

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10 comments

  1. Steve says:

    Hey Marc, have you been blacklisted from Bahrain? I noticed you said on your twitter you weren’t spending New Year’s there for the first time. Quite a sacrifice. Fair play to you for committing to your beliefs, but do you really think it was worth it?

  2. An interesting piece which strengthens the argument that present policies by the ruling family are continuing on the same path of Ahmad, the Conqueror. In fact, king Hamad has reiterated in his speech on December 16. http://www.bna.bh/portal/en/news/537883?date=2012-12-16

    The documents in your post, portions of which were translated in Dr. Said Shehabi’s book, tell of a mixture of bi-ethnic mixture. Locations stretch from Muharraq, Manama, Sanabis to Zallaq. Names mentioned in 1920s documents such as Abu Dib, al Araibi, (al Oraibi) Haichi ( al Haiki), al Madhub, Saru, bin Khamis, Zainal, (zainalaabideen?), Siyadi, al Doi, … are to be found among today’s activists. (Maatem bin Khamis in Sanabis witnessed the birth of NUC in 1954)

    Unfortunately, alkhalifas continue to perceive themselves, and actually behave, as conquistadores refusing to integrate in local society. West Rifa’a is just a symbol of this.

    Land grab by the king (Umm al Naasan), the crown prince (sheikh Bahar), the prime minister (jida) and the rest of al-Khalifa is a more advanced form of the plunder practiced by their grandfathers.

  3. For some reason the reply I posted to this never materialised here. I blame ghosts in the machine.

    I think it is interesting too that the Al Khalifas were forbidden by the British in the 1920s of selling their land to anyone except Al Khalifa, mainly as they would squander it, and there would be more Al Khalifas begging the shaikh for an increase to their allowances!

  4. alialjamri says:

    Great list – did the file come from the National Archive or the British Library, and do you still have the reference code? Would love to have a leaf through those files

  5. […] ‘Oppression of Bahrain Subjects by the Ruling Family in Bahrain in the early 1900s: The Full List […]

  6. […] relationship with the Al Khalifa grew progressively worse in the 1920s, when the Ruling Family’s oppression of the indigenous Shia Baharna increased. Persia, incensed by the maltreatment of their Shia […]

  7. […] relationship with the Al Khalifa grew progressively worse in the 1920s, when the Ruling Family’s oppression of the indigenous Shia Baharna increased. Persia, incensed by the maltreatment of their Shia […]

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