“Fire and Fury” shakes Washington & Riyadh, high prices rattle Bahrainis

The White House has been shaken by the publication of “Fire and Fury”, the book written by Michael Wolf which detailed Donald Trump’s failings, his deteriorating mental health and his treatment of women. On Saudi leadership the book attributed to Mr Trump saying: “We’ve put our man on top” referring to crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS). The author anticipated that the US president would be forced to resign as a result of the book. Meanwhile Saudi authorities made a fresh round of arrests of royal-family members as a group of princes staged a palace protest in the capital over the policies of the self-appointed crown prince. On Thursday 4th January Security services arrested the 11 princes after they refused to leave Qasr Al-Hokm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General, Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb, said in an emailed statement. The princes, who objected to the palace coup staged by MBS and his subsequent crackdown on senior Saudi princes, will be held at al-Ha’er prison pending their trial, Al Mojeb said.

Yesterday, Sheikh Mohammad Al Habib, a Shia cleric from the Eastern Province of Arabia was sentenced to seven years in jail. Last year he was acquitted of the charges against him, but the prosecution appealed forcing another court to impose the long prison sentence. He was detained in July 2016 for promoting reforms and condemning the execution of Sheikh Nimr Al Nimr in January 2016. He was kept in solitary confinement for 130 days.

In Bahrain, Mrs Najah Al Sheikh, a female native, has had her detention renewed for 15 more days for her anti-regime protests. She is one of a dozen native women who are undergoing severe forms of persecution at the regime’s torture centres. Mrs Fawzia MalAllah, the eldest among the women detainees was imprisoned despite her failing health. She has now suffered a heart attack behind bars. Her condition is unstable, as the only treatment she was given was a “sublingual tablet

 Ahmad Ali Hussian Al Atiyya who has lived all his life in Bahrain has been deported. He has spent several years in jail for taking part in anti-regime protests. His mother is native Bahraini while his father has Saudi nationality. He has two brothers serving long prison terms. Both have spent four years behind bars. Faisal Al Atiyya was sentenced to 45 years, and Hassan Al Atiyya to 15. Their mother has none of her children with her now.Meanwhile there are growing concerns for the four citizens sentenced to death two weeks ago. No news have been heard of them and fears are growing for their safety.

The health of senior opposition figure in jail is rapidly deteriorating. Mr Hassan Mushaima has been denied access to proper medical treatment for his cancer and other ailments. His sugar level in the blood has taken a sharp rise due to lack of medicines. He was forced to use the tablets of Mr Abdul Wahab Hussain. Both men desperately need these tables and other medicines for their serious ailments. Periodic cancer screening have also stopped. This new policy is clearly aimed at causing slow death.

Public fury has surfaced among Bahrainis who have been shocked by the sudden decision to raise prices of basic commodities, after subsidies had been curtailed. The price of petrol and other items have sharply increased as the regime continued its struggle to fund its ill-fated political policies. In the past three years Bahrain’s dictator has plundered people’s wealth on recruiting mercenaries at every level, starting with the riot police, intelligence officers, experts and advisors and reaching public relations mercenaries. The aim is to silence opposition views and activism and to transfer the battle away from the streets to the places where deportees reside in. The result is the depletion of the country’s reserves. The people’s purses have been raided at an alarming rate with the removal of subsidies and raising the prices of essential commodities. Supporters and opponents of the regime are tweeting against the raising of petrol cost using the hashtag #petrol price increase, #Corruption and regime policies affect everyone in the end, not just those critical of the regime.

A local newspaper said on Monday (January 8, 2018) that the government plans to borrow 8 billion BD ($13 billion.) The government raised the ceiling of public debt last year to 13 billion BD. Al-Bilad local newspaper said that Bahrain’s Central Bank intends to issue government debt instruments that exceed 5.2 billion BD, within the annual plan for borrowing from the market in coordination with Finance Ministry.

In his first decree for 2018, Bahrain’s dictator issued orders for appointment and promotion of senior figures at the interior and finance ministries as well as the endowment directories. Out of the 12 posts none has been given to members of the majority Shia citizens who are more than 70 percent of the population.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

10th January 2018 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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