UK urged to publish damning report on Saudis as Alkhalifa torture activists

The silence and indifference of the Western powers, especially USA and UK is emboldening the Saudis to wreak havoc on the region and their own people. On Monday, several newspapers reported on one of the official tactics to appease the Saudis; burying any bad news about Saudi involvement with international terrorism. The Guardian said: “A report on the foreign funding of extremism in the UK was given to Downing Street last year, but Theresa May is still to decide whether to make its findings public. It quoted the Green party co-leader, Caroline Lucas, saying that the delay in publishing the Home Office investigation, believed to focus on Saudi Arabia, “leaves question marks over whether their decision is influenced by our diplomatic ties”. Since the beginning of her premiership, May has sought to deepen the UK’s relationship with the Gulf, visiting Saudi Arabia as one of her first trips after triggering the formal Brexit process in March, a highly symbolic move. The whereabouts of the report into foreign funding of extremism and radicalisation in the UK became a controversial issue in the final days of the general election after the terror attacks in Manchester and London Bridge.”

Saudi Arabia is the chief foreign promoter of Islamist extremism in the UK, another report has claimed. The foreign affairs think tank, The Henry Jackson Society, said there was a “clear and growing link” between Islamist organisations in receipt of overseas funds, hate preachers and Jihadist groups promoting violence. It called for a public inquiry into the role of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. Labour MP Dan Jarvis said: “This report from the Henry Jackson Society sheds light on what are extremely worrying links between Saudi Arabia and the funding of extremism here in the UK… In the wake of the terrible and tragic terrorist attacks we’ve seen this year, it is vital that we use every tool at our disposal to protect our communities.”

The Saudi-led attack on Qatar is taking new dimensions following the blockade of this small Gulf country and is throttling the Saudi regime more than the Qataris. People worldwide are disgusted by the Saudi policies of bullying, distorting the facts and attempting to shift the blame for grooming and supporting international terrorism to its smaller Gulf Cooperation Council ally. Most media coverage has been unfavourable to the Saudi action. Several seminars have been held in London to highlight the crisis. The Qataris have not accepted the Saudi conditions that amount to unreserved surrender. More punishments by Saudi dictators are expected soon following the submission by Qatar of its response to the 13 conditions.

In one of the most fragrant acts of state-terrorism, Alkhalifa regime raided the home of human rights activist, Ibtisam Al Sayegh. Masked members of regime’s Death Squads terrorised her children and snatched her in the middle of the night to punish her for telling the world of the torture she had endured a month ago. She was subjected to most horrific torture throughout the night before being dumped in prison. There are great fears for her life after the “free world” led by US and UK failed to heed calls to stop their staunchest ally from exacting revenge from this powerless woman. These powers have become so audacious in their support of the regime that they continue to insist on “training” the very people who are torturing and killing native Bahrainis. In a brief telephone call to her family today, Mrs Al Sayegh sounded drawn out, frail and terrified, confirming the extent of torture she has been subjected to. Another human rights activist, Mohammad Khalil Al Shakhouri, was also snatched in a raid on his home in the early hours of yesterday. A woman human rights lawyer, Balqids Al Manami was stopped on Monday at the airport and interrogated for four hours. On Tuesday, Sheikh Hani Al Banna was detained when he visited his imprisoned son, Taher, at the Dry Dock prison. Regime’s judges ordered his detention for two weeks.

Under the title “Stop the torture of human rights defenders in Bahrain, Amnesty International (AI) issued an Urgent Action calling on Alkhalifa regime to stop persecuting activists. It said that “The Bahraini authorities have started rounding up people that stick up for the rights of others in Bahrain, torturing and sexually assaulting them” adding: “This kind of treatment has, of course, intimidated human rights defenders in Bahrain – and silenced many of them. It’s another risk for these brave people to face along with the usual threats, travel bans, interrogation and charges for participating in “illegal gatherings”. AI urged people to “Act now and stop the Bahraini authorities torturing and ill treating, detainees, and harassing and intimidating the brave people that speak out for human rights in Bahrain.”

Yesterday thousands of Bahraini prisoners started hunger strike to protest the inhumane conditions in Alkhalifa torture cells. They said that they are being denied proper medical care, healthy food, sanitation or freedom to practice their religious duties. Meanwhile ten women political prisoners have issued a rare statement accusing the dictator of gross violation of their human rights and vowed to remain steadfast as freedom fighters until people’s rights are realised. In the statement the women implied that rape has become a routine method of torture in addition to beating, electrocution and threats to rape their relatives.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
5th July 2017 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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