FP: The revolt in Bahrain caught the attention of the media on the occasion of the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Then the media forgot about it again. Do you think that the Bahraini Spring is an invisible revolution?
MK: Our revolution is inconvenient. It is inconvenient for the Middle East, for the West, for Saudi Arabia, and for a lot of people. There is some coverage, but it is very superficial. I am sure that there are some media figures that have decided on purpose not to cover the revolt. The Bahraini and Saudi Arabian regimes are using all their influence to avoid honest coverage. This is not happening by mistake.
FP: A few weeks ago, 13 doctors and nurses who treated anti-government protesters during demonstrations earlier this year were given jail sentences of 15 years for crimes against the state. Seven other medical professionals were given sentences between five and 10 years by a special tribunal set up during the emergency rule that followed the demonstrations. What's your response?
MK: The doctors' trial has been closely watched and criticized by rights groups for Bahrain's use of the security courts, which have military prosecutors and both civilian and military judges, in prosecuting civilians. Most of the medics worked at the Salmaniya Medical Centre in Manama, which was stormed by security forces after they drove protesters out of nearby Pearl Square -- the focal point of Bahrain's protest movement, on March 16. Since 2011, the protests have never stopped. They take place almost every single day.
But something has changed. What has changed is the confidence that the Bahraini regime has about itself. Now they feel as though they have international immunity. They feel that, no matter what they do, they are not going to face consequences for their actions. This allows them to do whatever they want. They are moving against the most prominent human rights defenders. They would never have done this last year. Now they feel free to do what they want because they know that, even if there are international statements, there are no consequences.