26th Oct, 2013 –
Following the death of a Bahraini teenager on Tuesday 22 October, Press TV issued a report entitled “Bahraini forces kill teenage activist”. They stated that Ali Khalil Al Sabbagh, from the village of Bani Jamrah, had been shot in the head by security forces. Numerous other Iranian and Lebanese outlets, such as the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar TV, carried the same story, reporting that Bahrainis took to the streets condemning the killing.
The televised Press TV report featured shocking images of 17-year old Ali’s disfigured and bloodied body. However, Ali Khalil wasn’t shot. He was carrying a homemade bomb that exploded in his arms.
Numerous media sources, Bahrain’s Interior Ministry and opposition sources, all confirmed this. Local opposition source, “Bani Jamrah News” (@BaniJamrah_News) reported on its Twitter page that the boy died due to a “technical error” that occurred while carrying out a “mission”; praising him as martyr that died in the line of duty. Another online opposition source, @PearlVoice14, also attributed Al Sabbagh’s death to “technical errors”.
As well, there was no comment at all from Bahrain’s main opposition bloc Al Wefaq, or from its Secretary General Shaikh Ali Salman, on the incident. Al Wefaq is extremely vocal about human rights abuses in Bahrain. However, It has become fairly common practice for Al Wefaq to deliberately ignore the issues where their supporters are evidently at fault.
Despite the evidence, human rights defenders, Press TV and Al-Manar did not refrain from making malicious claims and libelous accusations against the Bahraini government.
Will we hear Al Wefaq or the global champions of human rights condemn those responsible for promoting militancy among Bahrain’s youth and exploiting them for their own political gain? No, because it will distort the “peaceful” image that the opposition has worked tirelessly to promote.
Will we see an apology or retraction from Press TV and other Iranian networks? No, because it serves their purpose to spread lies and disinformation about Bahrain.
We can only guess how many of those who went out protesting about Ali Khalil’s death did so because they watched Iranian media sources proclaiming that he had been murdered by Bahraini police and shamelessly displaying his broken body with the aim of inciting rioting and unrest in response to Ali’s “martyrdom”.
More information on this story can found in the links below: