From Fidawiya to Death Politics


Abbass Al-Morshid, a Bahraini human rights activist presents a cursive introduction to the evolution of the carceral system in Bahrain. He focuses on the genesis of “political prisoners” in Bahrain as interlinked with the rise of “politics” as Bahrain instituted itself as a state centered around “public order” in the 1920s. He also focuses on the transformation of the Fidawiya, the traditional security organization under the personal command of individual rules, to the modern system of a political apparatus managed under state institutions. 

Al-Morshid’s work places the transformation of the Bahraini carceral system as part of similar transformations that occurred around the Mashreq and Maghreb under colonial rule and throughout state-forming processes. However, he calls out the fact that Bahrain’s case remains unique due to the rapid transformation it underwent, rendering the Bahraini carceral system exemplary in its own right.