Why Doesn't Bahrain's King Hold Al Atiyatullah Sons at the Ritz-Carlton?

Ahmed Atiyatullah Al Khalifa
Ahmed Atiyatullah Al Khalifa

2023-05-22 - 12:56 p

Bahrain Mirror: Why doesn't the King of Bahrain hold Ahmed Atiyatullah and his brother Salman at the Ritz-Carlton, as Mohammed bin Salman did with princes and wealthy figures years ago? Why doesn't he impose a travel ban on him and prevent his private jet from taking off? Why doesn't he put him under house arrest? Many questions are being raised by everyone in Bahrain over one of the largest semi-public thefts, which the state has, at all levels, ignored.

About a month ago, during the holy month of Ramadan, it was revealed that Ahmed Atiyatullah and his brother Salman (head of King Hamad Hospital) had been dismissed from their posts after their involvement in an embezzlement case estimated at BD 400 million (more than $1 billion).

Of course, the king's anger was not over the state's property and money, but it was rather rooted in him and his sons being robbed of stealing the country and the people's wealth, which he believes they are more entitled to. 

Ahmed Atiyatullah stopped the murmurs about his escape to Morocco and made an appearance performing Eid prayers; he, however, was in the back rows this time. Ahmed Atiyatullah no longer has the status and prestige in the country to stand in the front lines alongside the king and his entourage.

But the return of Atiyatullah to Bahrain opened the door again to the question about the reason behind not legally prosecuting him, or punishing him the "Ritz-Carlton Riyadh" way through pressure, threats and intimidation. The talk about his embezzlement with his brother remained only words in "councils" behind closed doors, which were not accompanied by official statements, reports and press and media campaigns, even though [media campaigns] are the preferred weapon of the ruling family when they want to indirectly attack any party or entity. 

Of course, no one will hold Atiyatullah accountable for his act, as he is primarily protected by his uncles who were standing in the first row next to the king performing Eid prayers, Royal Court Minister Khalid bin Ahmed and Field Marshal Khalifa bin Ahmed.

And since the ruling family is used to not punishing any of its sons publicly, it is not only about the influential Khawalid wing, but also those close to them, especially those who work with them in fighting and confronting the opposition and the Shiite majority.

None of us have forgotten the words of former Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman to the executioner and torturer Mubarak bin Huwail, when he told him that the law does not apply to you, and what applies to you is what applies to us as a ruling family.

It seems that Bin Huwail is not more important to the ruling family than the one who oversaw in two decades the greatest demographic change in the country's history, by marginalizing Shiites and excluding them from state institutions, stoking sectarian strife, and organizing the elections farce, influencing their outputs in a way that satisfies his majesty.

Arabic Version