Saudis intensify killings as Alkhalifa persecute Bahraini women
On 14th July Saudi forces killed three citizens in a state terrorism on AlAwwamiya town in the Eastern Province of Arabia. Jaffar Mubairik, Hassan Mahmood and Sadiq Darwish were mowed down as the attackers sprayed people and property with bullets. Fourteen others are facing imminent execution for protest offences, including a disabled man and a juvenile. Amnesty International has accused the Saudi government of carrying out a “systematic crackdown” which has seen “virtually all independent human rights activists and other critics silenced, prosecuted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms or forced to flee the country”. A report this year by human rights organisation Reprieve found that 41 per cent of those executed in Saudi Arabia in 2017 were killed for non-violent acts such as attending political protests. Human Rights Watch expressed concern at the lack of due process, the possibility that individuals are tortured into giving confessions and prosecutors’ inability to provide any other corroborating evidence. Liberal Democrat MP, Tom Brake, said: Saudi Arabia’s execution of minors and protesters can’t be ignored. Yet this Tory government is more interested in trade deals.
The US intelligence agencies have confirmed that the United Arab Emirates had hacked the Qatar’s News Agency and orchestrated false statements attributed to its Emir, Sheikh Tamim Al Thani. This criminal act resulted in one of the most serious crisis facing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) since its inception in 1981. It is widely agreed that the four countries that severed relations with Qatar; Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain, have grossly miscalculated their move and are facing humiliating political and media defeat.
In another setback to Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship, a group of UN experts on 17th July issued a statement on human rights activist, Ibtisam Al Sayegh, who had become the clearest example of Alkhalifa human rights crimes: “Ms. Alsayegh has been denied her fundamental right to due process from the very moment of her arrest to this day,” the experts said. “We are very worried at information that her health has dramatically deteriorated in the last few days.” “We express the gravest concern at these allegations of torture and ill-treatment suffered by Ms. Alsayegh and we fear that she may be currently subjected to further acts of torture,” the experts said. “The Bahraini authorities have a duty to investigate all allegations of human rights violations committed against Ms. Alsayegh, including torture by security forces during interrogations, and to prevent their re-occurrence,” they emphasized. The US has also called for the release of Ibtisam Al Sayegh. In her daily briefing on 13th July MS Nauert, the spokesperson of the US State Department said: “she’s now been detained for a second time. She’s been detained without charges. We continue to follow that case. We are now aware of hunger reports or a hunger strike that she’s been on, apparently, since the 11th of July. So one of the things that we continue to do is call upon the authorities in Bahrain to not only ensure she has access to adequate medical care, but also to release her. We’re also aware of some disturbing reports that she was abused, allegedly, during her detention back in May. We continue to urge the Bahraini authorities to investigate those allegations and thoroughly, impartially, and hold anyone who was responsible for that to the appropriate account.” To counter this demand, Alkhalifa dictator has since accused Ms AlSayegh of terrorism, a ready-made ridiculous charge used to justify persecution.
On 17th July The Guardian published a damning article about Alkhalifa regime titled: How Bahrain uses sport to whitewash a legacy of torture and human rights abuses”. It said that campaign groups argue that Bahrain’s association with glamour sport is used to ‘launder’ a more wholesome image for the country. The article by David Conn said: During that repression, the king’s son himself called publicly for the punishment of sports people who had taken part in demonstrations, and retribution did follow. On television on 4 April 2011, He issued this injunction: “To everyone that demands the fall of the regime, may a wall fall on their heads. Everyone involved in such issues and networks will be punished. Whether he is an athlete, an activist or a politician, he will be punished in this time. Today is the judgment day … Bahrain is an island and there is no escape.”
Meanwhile the attacks on Bahraini women by Alkhalifa occupiers have intensified. On 13th July two sisters were remanded in custody for 15 days. Fatima Ali Abdulla and her sister, Iman, from Duraz were snatched by masked members of Death Squads in raids on their home. They were subjected to horrific torture and there are fears that they may be accused of terrorism; the usual charge levelled against activists by Alkhalifa. Reporters Without Borders has called on Alkhalifa regime to stop persecuting Naziha Saeed for doing her media work. She has been ordered to pay $2500 for reporting. On 12th July Hussain Abu Al Qassim was attacked by a known torturer during a family visit. The prisoner had protested against the humiliating search of his family. He was taken to a closed room and subjected to horrific torture.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
19th July 2017 (firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vob.org)