Claimed video of a young man who was allegedly thrown from a roof by security forces:
I note a profile in The Daily Telegraph of John Yates, the former Assistant Commissioner of London's Metropolitian Police who was appointed late last year to supervise "reform" of Bahrain's security forces after the abuses documented by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.
The extended puff piece is so unusual, even surreal, that I am not sure it has its intended effect. It begins by noting that "Yates of the Yard...resigned from the Met last year" without giving the reason --- the Assistant Commissioner left amidst the "Hackergate" scandal surrounding News International's tapping of phones.
Then the policeman takes over. Echoing King Hamad, who said in an interview this weekend that there was no opposition in Bahrain, Yates comments, "This isn’t organised protests, it's just vandalism, rioting on the streets. Acts of wanton damage that are destroying the economy.” He explains, "The only danger is the women, they come up and run off with your baby. It’s the Bahrain way, so warm and hospitable, but quite disconcerting at first.”
But the most notable aspect of the publicity may be its timing, coming a day before the anniversary of the first mass protests against the regime. Yates explains, “The concept of reasonable reaction to provocation has been reinforced. Unless [the forces] face extraordinary provocation like last year, it will be about allowing people to gather and containment. It’s about learning techniques from other places like kettling – that would work really well around here.”
Nowhere in the article --- posted late last night --- does Yates' interviewer, Damien McElroy, note that Yates' security forces exercised "reasonable reaction" on Sunday by blocking an attempted return to Pearl Roundabout, the symbolic centre of last year's demonstration. A token quote from one of the opposition who does not exist --- "“It is so very bad here. We protest for jobs, houses and a better life and the government won’t give these things to us" --- does not extend to noticing yesterday's arrests of prominent activist Zainab Alkhawaja and other marchers or Saturday's seizure and deportation of two Americans.
Instead Yates of the Yard says ominously, "The Shia people out there don’t know why they are doing this. They get orders on Twitter to attack at 4 p.m. and off they go."
Yates' claim that recent training of Bahraini police has "reinforced" "reasonable reaction to provocation" rings, however, somewhat hollow, as a sample of Sunday's policing shows:
Police in Mameer throw an arrested protester into the back of a car and then beat him with a baton.
Police in Tubli, attacked by Molotov cocktails, throw them back at the protesters who threw them