House of Saud on fire; Alkhalifa revoke nationality of more natives

The House of Al Saud is on fire. Scores of its members are tasting the humiliation that their predecessors had inflicted on the rest of the population. The new dictator has been supported by the President Trump and Israelis to seek revenge on those Saudi senior and rich figures who lost favour in Washington and Tel Aviv. The crisis within the Saudi tribal regime is unprecedented. The making of a personality cult has never clearer. Coupled with the regional crisis that Mohammad bin Salman has created in the past three years, the present one within the House of Saud may push the whole region to pay heavy price for the adventure of this 32 years old leader. The past week has been among the worst in the history of the leaders of Arabia. Eight senior figures died in a suspicious helicopter crash near the border with Yemen. Among them is Mansour bin Miqrin, the deputy governor of Asir province. But the crackdown on senior Saudi figures by the self-appointed crown prince is more serious and has put the House of Saud on fire. Among those detained at the Ritz-Calrton Hotel in Riyadh is Al Walid ibn Talal, one of the richest people in the world, ten other princes, government ministers and businessmen.

Parallel with these arrests, the Saudis have barred Yemen’s deposed president, along with his sons, ministers and military officials, from returning home for months, Yemeni officials told The Associated Press. This is a sign of how much the leader-in-exile has been deeply weakened in a war fought in his name by the Saudi-led coalition against his country and people. The officials said the ban was prompted by the bitter enmity between Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the coalition and has come to dominate southern Yemen. Hadi and much of his government have been in the Saudi capital Riyadh for most of the war. Also the Lebanese prime minister, Sa’ad Al Hariri was forced to resign his post while on visit to Riyadh few days ago. He is thought to have been ordered to resign by the Saudis in order to create the impression of instability in Lebanon and pave the way possibly for more conflicts in the region.

In Bahrain a new batch of native political prisoners has been persecuted by regime’s “judges”. Two natives have been sentenced to life imprisonment and had their citizenship revoked. Ali Hassan Al Juffairi and Ali Abdulla Al Arnoot had been severely tortured and abused. Mr Al Arnoot is the brother of Ahmad who had been the victim of extra-judicial killing in 2011. A senior religious figure, Sayed Mohyi Eddin Al Mesh’al, has been sentenced to one year in jail for speeches he had made in Kuwait earlier this year. He was arrested on 14th August on the Bahrain-Saudi causeway upon his return from Kuwait. The regime fabricated a charge of undermining the Holy Prophet when they failed to see any political tone in his speeches.

Woman prisoner of conscience, Madina Ali has started a hunger strike to protest against the refusal by prison officers to abide by earlier undertakings not to impose barriers between the political detainees and their families during visits. Several women went on strike last month to demand removal of these barriers and they ended their strike only when this was accepted. Now the regime has reneged on its promises.

On Thursday 1st November two brothers were re-arrested soon after their release. Sadiq Hubail and his brother, Ahmed, from Sitra had been released the night before. Hassan Al Tayyar was also re-arrested after completing five years jail sentence. Ra’id Abdulla Al Hayki, 19, was detained at the causeway on his way to Iraq to commemorate the Arba’een (40th Day after Imam Hussain’s martyrdom). From Abu Saiba, Mohammad Jamil Al Malak was snatched by masked members of regime’s Death Squads and taken to one of the torture houses.

Bahraini regime has asked Gulf allies for financial assistance as it seeks to replenish its foreign-exchange reserves and avert a currency devaluation that could threaten the region. Corruption by the ruler and his household in addition to lavish spending on foreign public relations companies and lobbyists are among the factors affecting the finances of the country. Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait were approached. The countries responded by requesting the regime to do more to bring its finances under control in return for the money. The International Monetary Fund expects Bahrain’s budget deficit to be the highest in the GCC this year. The central bank’s foreign reserves, including gold, have tumbled about 75 percent since 2014 to just above 522 million dinars ($1.39 billion) in August, according to the most recent official data.

In another twist, Alkhalifa have charged Sheikh Ali Salman, secretary-general of the al-Wefaq society, and Sheikh Hassan Sultan, a former member of parliament, of colluding with Qatar to carry out “hostile acts” in Bahrain and damage its “prestige”, they said. This is absurd and reflects regime’s political bankruptcy.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
8th November 2017 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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