On 3rd August, Saudi forces committed another crime, killing one citizen and injuring several others. Hajji Mohammad Al Ruhaiman received a direct hit by a live bullet about 100 metres away from the Awwamiyah town’s post centre. He was among a group of 40 people being transferred outside the town to avoid the ongoing shelling by regime’s criminal forces.
This brings the number of martyrs to 25 since the regime initiated its war on Awwamiyah on 10thMay as part of the its policy of genocide directed against the native Shia Muslim population residing mainly in the oil-rich Eastern Province. Yesterday a Saudi court sentenced a prominent Shia Muslim scholar to a lengthy jail sentence for his political views. Sheikh Hussain Al Radhi was given 13 years for protesting against the execution of Sheikh Nimr Al Nimr. He has been in detention for more than one year.
On 3rd August the editorial of New York Times was titled: “An Ally Is Set to Execute Critics. Will Mr. Trump Be Silent?” It said: Mujtaba al-Sweikat was a bright 17-year-old student on his way to visit Western Michigan University when he was arrested at King Fahd Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2012. Since then, Mr. Sweikat has been in Saudi custody, subjected to torture, including beatings so severe his shoulder was broken, in order to extract confessions that sealed his fate: condemned to death, likely by beheading. The human rights group Reprieve, 116 Western Michigan University faculty and staff members and the American Federation of Teachers are calling on President Trump to intervene with King Salman on behalf of Mr. Sweikat and the other men. The article concluded: “Mr. Trump could take advantage of his new friendship with the Saudis and make an immediate appeal to King Salman to halt these horrific executions.”
As the situation in Yemen deteriorated further with the Cholera epidemic spreading, the country director of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said thatJet fuel deliveries to the rebel-held capital of Sanaa had been blocked by Riyadh. Auke Lootsma, UNDP’s country director, told reporters via a video link from the city on Tuesday: “We have difficulties obtaining permission from the coalition and from the government of Yemen to transport this jet fuel to Sanaa to facilitate these flights,” Around 70 per cent of the 27-million strong population is now reliant on some form of humanitarian aid. A total of 14.5 million people don’t have regular access to clean water and 7.3 million live on the brink of famine. Less than half of the country’s medical centres are still functional.
On 6th August, masked members of Alkhalifa Death Squads snatched Ali Makki Marhoun and took him to secret torture dungeons. Days earlier, his brother, Hassan, had also been detained. From Karzakkan Town, four members of the family of martyr Fadhel Abbas were detained: Hassan Makki Abbas Marhoun, his brother Ali, his sister Zainab and her husband Amin Habib Mansi. Two other young men were detained in a raid on their home. Mohammad Atiyya Mohammad and his brother, Hassan were snatched by regime’s brutal mercenaries. There are at least four native Bahraini women languishing behind bars for protesting against the tribal dictatorship.
On 7th August Nabeel Rajab’s trial was convened only to be postponed until 9th September. In the proceedings it became clear that Alkhalifa revenge was the only motive for his detention. The regime’s prosecutors could not produce credible evidence that constitutes a criminal activity by Mr Rajab. The trial was held two days after 13 international NGOs signed a letter expressing disgust at UK’s FCO for remaining silent on Mr Rajab’s continued detention. It said: “It is appalling that while the FCO recognises the brave work of human rights defenders worldwide, it has turned a blind eye to the human rights abuses in Bahrain, including the reprisals against Mr. Rajab.” They raise the FCO’s Human Rights and Democracy Report, published last month, which applauds the work of human rights defenders globally and state that silence on Rajab’s case contradicts policies to support human rights defenders.
The letter was signed by Article 19, English PEN, FIDH, Front Line Defenders, Index on Censorship, the Jimmy Wales Foundation, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders and World Organisation Against Torture, alongside the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, Gulf Centre for Human Rights and European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights. The letter was also signed by Sue Willman, Director of Deighton Pierce Glynn and Julie Ward MEP.
Bahrainis will mark the Independence Day on 14thAugust in their own style, calling for an end to Alkhalifa reign of terror and reminding UK of its obligation to protect human rights. This is the 46thanniversary of the British withdrawal from the Gulf in 1971. There will be activities inside and outside the country.
Bahrain Freedom Movement