Saudi Arabia on brink of flare up as HRC chief blasts Bahrain

The situation in Saudi Arabia is deteriorating sharply due to the ill-conceived policies of the ruling Al Saud family. In the past week, the regime arrested scores of prominent figures including religious scholars who had supported the regime in the past. They include Salman AlAwdah and Aa’edh Al Qarni. Also, the prominent scholar, Sheikh Hassan Farhan Al Maliki, was detained. The regime claims that some of those detained are “agents of two foreign countries”, presumably Qatar and Iran. There are also widely circulated reports that scores of Al Saud family members have been rounded up including Abdul Aziz bin Fahad, the king’s nephew. There has been deepening turmoil within the rank and file of the house of Saud since Mohammad bin Salman staged a palace coup against his cousin, Mohammad bin Nayef and replaced him as the new crown prince. The regime has panicked after calls were made for country-wide protests on 15th September. This is a rare call that may herald a new period of instability in the kingdom. Since the Arab Spring in 2011they led the bloody “counter-revolution” to crush the people’s revolt, invaded Bahrain to put down its people’s revolution, groomed and financed terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, launched a destructive war on Yemen and recently targeted the state of Qatar with sanctions and blockade. None of these acts has produced results. It now appears that time is over for this most reactionary regime.

On 11th September the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the Government of Bahrain’s crackdown on civil society and its use of torture, stating the people of Bahrain “deserve real respect for their human rights.” The High Commissioner criticised the Bahraini government’s “unreasonable” attempts to block UN missions to the country and said, “no public relations campaign can paper over the violations of being inflicted on the people of Bahrain.”

On the first day of school, regime’s Death Squads snatched 16 year old Adam Ibrahim in a raid on his house at Demstan town. On 6th September Mahdi AlSafra from Sanabis town was detained at the airport on his arrival from a religious trip to Iraq. Hussain Marhoun, also from Sanabis, was arrested. On 5th September, Mahmoud AlMowali from Muhrraq was detained. From Samheej young citizen, Hassan Al Aradi was arrested on 11th September. This week thousands of inmates at Jaw prison started a strike to protest their ill-treatment at the hands of Alkhalifa torturers. Members of regime’s Death Squads attacked them to break the strike, beating many of them and transferring some to solitary cells. The situation in the prisons is rapidly deteriorating with lack of beds, proper sanitation or health care. Also the family visits have been significantly curtailed.

Veteran human rights activist, Abdul Nabi Al Ekri, 74, has been charged with taking part in a peaceful protest at Shakhoura town on 23rd June and chanting anti-regime slogans. This ploy is a means of preventing him from travel abroad. The summons and charge came in time to stop him travelling to Geneva where the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council began its sessions on 11th September. Mr Radhi Al Mousawi, the president of Wa’ad society was also summoned and interrogated. The prominent politician, Ibrahim Sharif, the former president of Wa’ad was also summoned to appear today at the torture center. He has now been charged with participating in a peaceful protest at Bilad Al Qadeem. Journalist Ahmad Radhi was summoned yesterday by the notorious torture apparatus and charged with the same “crime”. Yesterday, former prisoner, Jalila Al Salman was prevented from leaving the country and turned away from the airport.

Yesterday, Bahrain’s dictator issued a decree to appoint Adel bin Khalifa Al Fadhel as the new director of the most notorious National Security Agency (NSA) where native citizens were tortured at its underground dungeons. Apparently the dictator was “advised” to remove the former head after the torture methods, including rape, became widespread and embarrassed his supporters in Washington and London. In the past 16 years, NSA was headed by five Alkhalifa figures.

On Thursday 7th September the Bahrain Team at Amnesty Internationally (AI) published a new report which says that since June 2016, Bahrain has rapidly deteriorated into a full-blown human rights crisis. The authorities have dramatically stepped up their clampdown on freedom of expression. They have subjected over 160 peaceful critics to arrest, prosecution and imprisonment, as well as other forms of harassments. Those particularly targeted have been human rights defenders and political activists, as well as lawyers, journalists and Shi’a clerics. Credible reports indicate that security forces have subjected several of them to torture or other ill-treatment in custody. The authorities have also targeted Bahraini activists residing outside Bahrain, subjecting their families to interrogation and prosecution in reprisal for their relatives’ human rights activities or participation in protests abroad.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
13th September 2017

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