HRC urged to investigate war crimes in Yemen,
UN Special Rapporteurs challenge Bahrain’s dictator
In a report published on Tuesday 5th September, the UN human rights office challenged the U.N. Human Rights Council, which meets this month, to agree to look into atrocities committed during what it called an “entirely man-made catastrophe”. The 47-country council has shied away from that task for two years, leaving the job to Yemen’s National Commission, which reports to “The perceived partiality of the National Commission and its limited access have prevented it from executing its mandate comprehensively,” it said.. “I …join you in asking why the members of the Human Rights Council are not taking their responsibility and their membership to this body seriously,” the office’s head of Middle East and North Africa, Mohammad Ali Alnsour, told a news conference. “The perceived partiality of the National Commission and its limited access have prevented it from executing its mandate comprehensively,” it said.
On another level, Mercedes-Benz has been accused by a human rights group of supplying the Saudi military with mechanical parts for tanks and other military vehicles used to attack their own civilians in Awamiyah, a Shia-majority town in eastern Saudi Arabia. The Bahrain Institute for Human Rights and Democracy (BIRD) claims that the German car manufacturer equipped armoured Al Kaser vehicles driven by Saudi soldiers with engines and frames. The Al Kaser vehicles have been deployed by Saudi forces in their demolition of the 400-year-old city, which has claimed the lives of at least 23 civilians. Daimler has denied any supply deals for the manufacture of the Al Kaser model.
On Monday 4th September nine Bahraini natives were snatched in dawn raids on their homes in Sanabis town. They called their families later to tell them that they were at the notorious CID headquarters. There are growing fears for the safety of women prisoners at Isa Town jail after many of them showed symptoms of food poisoning. Ibtisam Al Sayegh is one of those affected. They were not allowed to call their families who are extremely worried for their daughters. Summons were also given to others in various towns and villages. Woman activist Zainab Abdulla Salman was among those summoned to attend the torture offices today. On Monday 3rd September human rights activist, Fatima AlHalwachi, was banned from travelling outside the country. Her father, Khalil Al Halwachi, has been behind bars since September 2014.
On 31st August Amnesty International (AI) issued an Urgent Action about the torture inflicted on Mrs Ibtisam Al Sayegh. AI said that on 23 July, a forensic doctor diagnosed Ebtisam al-Saegh with fracture around her left hand and a broken rib dating back to her 26 May 2017 detention and torture, including sexual assault. Amnesty International believes that her arrest relates to her human rights work. She urged people to write to the Alkhalifa dictators; Calling on the authorities to release Ebtisam al-Saegh immediately and unconditionally as she is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of her right to freedom of expression and her human rights work; Taking positive note of the NSA Ombudsman’s investigation into Ebtisam al-Saegh’s allegations of torture and sexual assault during her detention in May, and urging to conduct an impartial, independent and effective investigation; and ensure that those who are reasonably suspected of responsibility are prosecuted in proceedings which meet international standards of fair trial.
On a more sombre note the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Bahrain needs to urgently implement further fiscal reforms as economic vulnerabilities have increased in the country in the wake of the oil price decline. IMF executive directors said that “additional sizable and frontloaded fiscal adjustment is urgently needed”. They said in a new research note that sustained fiscal efforts will be needed over the medium term to put debt on a downward path and rebuild policy space. Directors recommended measures to contain current expenditure, including the wage bill and further reducing energy subsidies, while raising non-oil revenue, including through the VAT and exploring other revenue measures.
Six UN Special Rapporteurs have written to Bahrain’s dictator about the case of the family of human rights activist, Sayed Ahmad Al Wadaei. Four members of the family have been in detention since early March. They are Mr. Sayed Nazar Naama, Baqer Ali Yusuf al-Wadaei, Ms. Hajar Mansoor Hasan and Mr. Mahmood Marzooq. After describing the trumpeted charges against the four, the Special Rapporteurs set out the conditions of their arrest, the treatment they had received, the coercion used to extract “confessions” and called for opening the case for real and objective scrutiny. They said they would refer the case to the Human Rights Council for further action.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
6th September 2017 (firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vob.org)