Calls to stop Saudi executions, UK MPs call for Rajab’s release

International pressure is mounting on the Saudi regime to stop the execution of 14 innocent citizens from the Eastern Province. They are accused of taking part in anti-regime protests in 2011.  Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, the human rights campaign group, called for Britain and America to step in.  “President Trump and Theresa May need to tell the new Saudi crown prince loudly and clearly that this is an unacceptable red line” she said. The victims are: (From Qatif) Hassan Abdul Wahab Al Jaziri, 20, Mohammad Mansoor Al Nasser, 23, Mustafa Ahmad Darwish, 22, Ahmad Faisal Al Darwish, 22 and Mohammad Khalil Al Sahqqaq, 24. From Awwamiya: Abdulla Hani Al Traif, 24, Fadhel Hassan Labbad, 25, , Saeed Mohammad AlSakafi, 21 Mujaba Nader Swaiket, 21, Munir Abdulla Al Adam, 23 Abdulla Salam Al Suraih, 21, Abdul Aziz Hassan Al Sahwi, 22 and Ahmad Hassan Al Rabi’s, 32. From Safwa Salman Amin Al Qurasih, 21, from Safwa. Two days ago Amnesty International urged Saudi Arabia to abandon what it termed a “bloody execution spree” after 14 more men are set to be executed. “By confirming these sentences Saudi Arabia’s authorities have displayed their ruthless commitment to the use of the death penalty as a weapon to crush dissent and neutralise political opponents,” Samah Hadid, of Amnesty international, said in a statement.

The Saudi attack on the Eastern Province has continued unabated. This morning the town of Awwamiya was bombarded with heavy guns causing extensive damage to civilian properties. Many houses were burnt as a result including the house of of Yousuf Al Ismail which received direct heavy guns hits. Scores of citizens were detained and paraded without their clothes. The attacks are seen as revenge for the defeat suffered by the Saudis in their crisis with Qatar. On Friday night 21st July, Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim Al Thani addressed his people telling them to remain steadfast in the face of the aggression and blockade by the Saudis, Emiratis, Alkhalifa and Egypt. He rejected the conditions of the Saudi-led coalition and vowed to preserve an independent policy.

On Thursday 20th July Alkhalifa regime stopped the wife of a prominent religious scholar on her arrival at the airport, interrogated her, revoked her nationality and deported her to the Iranian city of Mashad. Her husband, Sheikh Abdulla Al Daqqaq had his nationality revoked last year for his outspoken critique of the tribal rule. His wife was asked by the torturers to work with them and spy on her husband or face revocation of citizenship and deportation. On Friday 21st July Sheikh Bashar Al Aali, was detained at the Budaya torture centre. He had been summoned to attend the notorious police station where he was arbitrarily detained. He had been summoned and detained several times in the past.

An article published by the Middle East Eye on 19th July, written by Jamie Merrill said that UK government contractors have spent more than 650 days in Bahrain training prison guards, including officers at the notorious Jau prison where death-row inmates are held and tortured. The previously unreported scale of British involvement with the Bahraini prison system, revealed after a Freedom of Information request, has angered rights campaigners, who say it allows the oil-rich state to “shield itself” from international criticism and to “act with impunity”. The article cited the ongoing policy of systematic torture being used on native detainees, highlighting the most recent case of the torture and rape of Ibtisam Al Sayegh.

On 20th July The Guardian published an article by Rebecca Ratcliffe titled: “UN warned not to whitewash ‘grave violations against children’ in Yemen.” It said: Charities have urged the UN to name and shame the Saudi-led coalition over child rights violations in Yemen after research showed more than 120 children were killed or maimed in airstrikes by the alliance last year. A briefing by Save the Children and Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict said the coalition committed “grave violations against children” in a series of 23 attacks in 2016. In each case, the alliance bombed hospitals or schools, or killed or injured children. It went to say: Campaigners want the UN to highlight the actions of the Saudi-led coalition in its annual report on child rights violations in conflict, expected to be released next month. The report will include a blacklist of states and groups that have committed violations such as killing or maiming children, recruiting children, abduction, sexual violence, or attacking schools or hospitals.

On 20th July UK parliamentarians tabled a motion calling for the immediate release of Bahraini human rights defender, Nabeel Rajab. It was sponsored by Liberal Democrat MP, Thomas Anthony Brake, and calls on Manama to “commute his [Rajab’s] sentence, drop outstanding charges and to release all human rights defenders.” EDM 230 calls on the British government to “condemn his sentence,” the conviction and the charges against the activist relate to “freedom of expression…[and] highlight the fact that Nabeel Rajab’s prosecution violates the principles of a fair trial enshrined in article 20 of Bahrain’s constitution and article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

26 July 2017 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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