Sweden’s (un)fortunate business with Bahrain

Posted on November 28, 2011

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The other day, I wrote a post about the tragic sale of weapon to Saudi-Arabia by the Swedish authorities. This deed made me of course as a Swede very shameful. However, the shameful feeling still remains and is beginning to increase, when I learn from reliable sources that my country is doing an equally lesser good deed in another undemocratic kingdom.

My country is helping the Kingdom of Bahrain to defend themselves against their opposition, their dissidents and more. The Swedish authorities will of course say that it is not that kind of weapons (small arms) that they sell to the Kingdom and it is not used for the above mentioned mischievous actions. Nevertheless, it has an affect in the long run, both domestically and internationally. By selling the weapons, they are acknowledging an inhuman regime. In this wealthy paradise political parties are forbidden, a censorship in discussions regarding domestic political questions exists, newspapers and human rights organizations have been closed by the authorities. There has not yet been any abolition of the death penalty. This is just a few examples of what the Kingdom is prohibiting people from doing or exposing them to.

From the beginning of the 21st century up til 2010, the export of weapon from Sweden has cost the Kingdom of Bahrain 79 million kronor (the Swedish currency) and probably some civilians’ lives. 45 of those millions is invested during the last three years. It is only one year, among the ten, that Sweden has had the decency to not sell weapons to the undemocratic Kingdom of Bahrain.

There are a lot of organizations all over the world that is urging countries to not sell weapons to undemocratic countries: Amnesty International, The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society
and more. They point out that the sales of weapon to undemocratic countries or countries that is abusing its citizens is a violation of the International Law.
Other actors, for example the European Union wants to impose a restriction on sales of weapons to countries with a rule that is not following democratic values or the human rights agenda.

I want my country to start acting as a defender of human rights and the democratic society that we consider ourselves to be, so that I can look my fellow Arabic beings in the eye.
If You want to help me in ending my country’s win on someone’s loss, just send the letter below to:
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (write Stop Sweden’s sale of weapon to Bahrain in matter at the top),
http://www.regeringen.se/pub/road/Classic/article/117/jsp/Render.jsp?a=70244&m=popup&l=sv
Minister of Trade Ewa Björling (write For acknowledge: Stop Sweden’s sale of weapon to Bahrain in subject),
http://www.regeringen.se/pub/road/Classic/article/117/jsp/Render.jsp?a=87754&m=popup&l=sv
Minister of Defence Sten Tolgfors (write For acknowledge: Stop Sweden’s sale of weapon to Bahrain in subject),
http://www.regeringen.se/pub/road/Classic/article/117/jsp/Render.jsp?a=87325&m=popup&l=sv
This is what you need to fill in from the top if you are not Swedish:
Matter
Message
Your name
Your e-mail

Dear Prime Minister,

It has come to my knowledge that Sweden is selling weapons to Bahrain. That is something that I thought would not be possible in a democratic and human rights-defending country. Bahrain is at the moment not following the international standards when it comes to human rights.

In this wealthy paradise political parties are forbidden, a censorship in discussions regarding domestic political questions exists, newspapers and human rights organizations have been closed by the authorities. There has not yet been any abolition of the death penalty. This is just a few examples of what the Kingdom is prohibiting people from doing or exposing them to.

Bahrain stand as a role-model for a country that You should not sell weapons to, therefore I would like to urge You to:
Stop the sale of weapons to Bahrain;
Put pressure on Bahrain when it comes to democracy and human rights;

Furthermore, You must also:
Stop the sale of weapons to undemocratic countries;
Stop the sale of weapons to countries in conflicts;

Yours Sincerely,