Al-Ghanmi’s Mother: “End Solitary Confinement Against My Son and Set Him Free”
Those who have met or heard of the Bahraini Ali Al-Ghanmi and admired his honorable position as a Policeman, should make note that his virtue should not be a surprise, because he is an extend of a remarkable woman! His mother!
I am here honoring Mother’s Day by supporting a woman of strong will and faith, the mother of Ali Al-Ghanmi!
Before going into details of the interview, here is a brief background on Ali Al-Ghanmi:
Al-Ghanmi chose the road less travelled by men of honour and dignity; he chose to be a Policeman in a country that only recruits heartless savages and mercenaries from other countries with the aim of protecting selected few and brutally attacking the most!! He was jailed for NOT KILLING his own people!
Ali and few numbered Bahrainis were the exception; they thought that could bring a brighter light to the darkest line of work known in Bahrain! They tried and the price they had to pay was very high, they were among the first people to be targeted and harshly attacked!
The above YouTube video shows the Human Rights breaches by the mercenaries recruited in Bahrain as Policemen! Ali’s morale dictated him not to be part of that, and so he resigned and joined the protestors!
In Praise of a Bahraini Police Officer :
Ali Jasim Al Ghanmi is a 25 year-old policeman, married with a daughter. On February 17 he heard that protestors in Bahrain were being shot by the security forces – he went to the hospital and helped the medics treating the wounded.Dressed in his uniform, he went to the crowd of protestors and publicly announced he would no longer work for the repressive dictatorship.
He was carried on the crowd’s shoulders and became a mini-celebrity among the protestors, impressed that a policeman would take such a stand.He went into hiding after the security forces attacked and removed the protestors from the central protest area of the Pearl Roundabout in mid-March. His family said they received threats that he had to turn himself in.
He was eventually discovered on May 4 and arrested. His family says their house was raided twice after that date anyway, and his brothers and mother assaulted.
Ali claims he was tortured in detention and, since September 24, has been put in solitary confinement as punishment for shouting ‘Down, down, Hamad’ in the prison”.
Human Rights First; Link : http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2011/11/04/in-praise-of-a-bahraini-police-officer/
I had an incident that made me realize why people like Al-Ghanmi should be celebrated and honoured not only in Bahrain by in the whole world as a policeman aimed to protect people.
Back in 2011 I had meeting in a public coffee shop with some university students who were expelled out of revenge for expressing their demand for freedom and democracy in social networking sites. After we finished and on my way back home, I have noticed a civilian car closely chasing my car from the beginning of the main highway, honking and flashing lights! I was well aware then of ex-MP MatarMatar and how he was kidnapped and tortured by men in a civilian car wearing civilian clothes; I had a strong sense that I might be next!
Horrified, I went inside my village and tried to make him lose track by going into small roads but I was not able to succeed! I saw a Police Check Point and for the briefest moment I thought of going to them seeking for protection! Then I thought to myself; what if I go to them and the car that is chasing me stops and men inside come out and tell the Policemen at the checkpoint ; “Ahh !! She made our job easier and came directly to you, ARREST HER!”
I had to call relatives in my village who came and cornered that unknown suspicious man and kicked him out of the village without physically harming him! Which brings me back to Al-Ghanmi, if people like him are widely recruited as Policemen; people would have felt a little bit safe!
In light of the above, Al-Ghanmi gave a very profound and enlightening speech during the prime of the Protests in Bahrain on 22nd Feb 2011;
Part of his speech : “O, my people; I may have resigned from my role as a Policeman from the Ministry of Interior; but be assured that I have not resigned from my duty as a policeman who vowed to protect people against any harm!”
Interview with Ali’s Mother:
I had to emotionally prepare myself before talking to Ali’s mother especially that it was scheduled right before mother’s day; I knew that I’ll be touching a raw wound and it shall bring forward so many intense memories that might cause her profound pain!
I brought my sincere apologies forward before talking about Ali; saying: “Please forgive me, for I might hurt you by talking about a dear son who’s out of sight!”. It seemed to me as if she was hunting any chance to talk with pride about her son therefore she welcomed me with an open heart.
While answering the questions, many times she would give me the answer and then carry on talking about her son bringing phantom memories of his past, laughed at times and choked up in tears in others!
-I hope I am not disturbing, if you are busy I shall talk to you at a different time.
My dear, I am all yours till 8:00 PM; I will be joining a peaceful protest later.
- How is Ali? When was the last time you have seen him or spoke to him?
Ali is Sumoood**, I have talked to him this morning and visited him last Saturday. He is a very strong person and unbreakable! I derive my strength from him, even his lawyer always says, Ali has a strong inner strength which is admired by all.
** (Sumood:An Arabic term used widely by Bahrainis after 14Feb meaning strong and Resisting)
- How does it feel celebrating the first Mother’s Day and Ali is not with you?
I miss my son, I achingly do! Ali is the most affectionate and emotional person I have ever known and not to have him around anymore made me live with a melancholic heart! Whenever I speak to him and I start crying; he calms me down and asks me to be strong, I always reply “I am strong my son, I cry not because I am weak, I cry because I am a mother”.
- How does he usually celebrate Mother’s Day with you?
He used to work in different work shifts and because he is financially poor, his brothers would all pitch in with the little they have and buy me a small gift. He used to kiss my forehead and ask me to forgive him for any shortcomings; I tell him “The joy you bring to me by seeing you is an enough gift to any loving mother”.
- What was your first reaction when you heard that Ali has bravely resigned and supported the Pro-Democracy Movement?
I was out of the country when I heard that Ali has resigned and joined the peaceful protestors. I called him to remind him that he has a sensitive job and that he should be careful! He replied “Till when shall we remain silent to all the violations? I have seen men, women and children being attacked and killed! I have to be with my people, this is my life and I have chosen this path, please do not be saddened”! I told him:”May Allah be with you, you have my blessings to stand for what is right!”
- What happened after the crackdown?
When the major crackdown happened, Ali received threatening calls and so he went into hiding, they attacked my house twice looking for him! One time at 12 AM and the other time at 2 AM. Mercenaries attached and have pushed me twice on the floor.
When Ali was discovered, he was dragged and we heard nothing about him for 2 months.. … I knew nothing about my son, if he was dead or alive … nothing..
I lost her voice, Ali’s mother was chocked up and started crying remembering those horrifying 2 months. I myself was deeply touched and moved by her tears that I started crying and we had a long moment of silent … I was not sure if I was able to continue!
- What would be the best Mother’s Day Gift for you?
To remove my son from the solitary confinement and bring him back to me! That would be the most precious gift! He is on his 5th month since he was put in solitary confinement out of revenge! Even the Political Leaders who were sentenced for life in prison were in solitary for 45 days only!
My son reached 5 months ! Why are they punish my son? Isn’t is enough having him in jail for unjust reasons?Why the physiological torture? Are they trying to drive him mad? My son is slowly dying with almost no human contact except for guards! Have hey no mercy?
Most of the cases related to Military and Ministry of Interior personals were halted and they were released! Why my son is still being detained?? He should be freed! Charges against him are derived from FREEDOM OF SPEECH and it should be dropped and released specially after spending almost a year in prison! While criminals and mercenaries are free!
- What do you want to tell the world?
I demand the release of all detainees, not only my son! All youth detainees are my sons and daughters and all leaders are the jewels of this land, and they all should be released.
Each time I see my son hugging his 2 year old daughter, my heart just stops of pain! Seeing how eager for human contact he is (due to solitary confinement) let alone to his own daughter! I told prison guards many times, take me instead and let my son go with his daughter!
Finally, I humbly thank all those who supported me and my family. They may have taken my son away from my sight for the moment, but I am thankful that God have introduced me to amazing people who are still following the path of righteousness and were not deviated by money like some did, I pray that God keep you strong and forgive the others.
End of Interview.
One comment I shall give the Ministry of Interior , instead of recruiting conterviosual UK and US Policemen like John Timoney and John Yates to re-train “untrainable” Security Forces in Bahrain, I suggest you free Ali Al-Ghanmi and let him train them on “Ethics” and “Code of Conduct” that does not aim to killing or torturing people!
My last remarks, I stand in awe whenever I meet a family member specially mothers of martyrs or a detainees and I am always puzzled on the level of patience they have within them and their ability to still stand strong living with the fact that their loves ones are out of sight!
They are the source of our inspiration and the fantom of strength that we feed from.
More Details on Ali Al-Ghanmi Case:
1. Statement by Human Rights First – USA
2.Al-Wasat Newspaper : “Lawyer Reem Khalaf raising a complaint for assaulting Ali”
3. BBC Report: Ali Al-ghanmi and the حكم تعسفي