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The body of Ali Aqeel Abdulla Marhoon, 18, carries the marks of sadistic torture inflicted on him two days ago. The Bahraini youth was walking on his own just before sunset on Tuesday 3rd December in the middle of his town, Al Sanabis, when he was abducted. Several masked men belonging to Alkhalifa Death Squads jumped out of a civilian vehicle, grabbed him and forced him into the car. Six hours later, at 1.30 AM he was dumped at the graveyard of Barbar’s town, four kilometres to the West of Sanabis. His mutilated body indicated the horrific torture he had endured at a secret torture house used by Hamad’s thugs. His father took him to Salmaniya Hospital which is run by the military. The officers asked his father to sign an undertaking not to reveal anything about what had happened to his son in return for treatment. This is just one of the latest of the episodes of torture. It happened three days before the “Manama Dialogue”, organised to mask the real face of the Alkhalifa dictatorship.
A week ago a young Bahraini youth, Ahmad Abdul Ameer, from Aali Town, died at the same hospital. He had suffered burns to his body resulting from an exchange with the foreign-staffed riot police. His condition was not life-threatening when he was taken to the hospital. The military officials at Salmaniya are now adopting a policy of liquidating anyone who is brought to the hospital for treatment from injuries incurred in demonstrations. Because it is managed by the military, Salmaniya is the only hospital allowed to receive Bahrainis injured in clashes with the police or Death Squads. There were serious clashes both at his burial and at the end of the three days of mourning. People chanted anti-regime slogans including: “People want regime change” and “Down with Hamad”.
Nabeel Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights has been denied the right to be released after serving three quarters of his two years prison sentence. On Monday 2nd December, the Alkhalifa court refused the request by his lawyers saying he was not eligible for early release. The regime is exacting maximum revenge on Bahrainis opposing its dictatorship and calling for transformation to democracy.
Last week a legal team of British and American human rights lawyers, solicitors and barristers, assembled by advocacy organization Bahrain Watch, filed a formal complaint with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) National Contact Point (NCP) in Korea against Dae Kwang Chemical Corporation. The company is believed to be originating the shipment. The complaint requests that the NCP respond within 7 days to clarify whether it is prepared to act to prevent exports in this regard. Dae Kwang has admitted to supplying approximately 1 million tear gas canisters to Bahrain in 2011-2012, and the Korean National Police Agency told Amnesty Korea that over 1.5 million tear gas units have been exported to Bahrain since 2011. A journalist who contacted Korea’s tear gas export authority, DAPA, was told that DAPA had recently received a request from an unnamed Korean company to export more tear gas to Bahrain. A leaked tender document released by Bahrain W atch last month shows that the Bahrain Government apparently intends to acquire 1.6 million more canisters.
On Wednesday 4th December a Bahraini youth confirmed that he had been severely tortured and forced to sign false confessions. Two years ago Ali Al Taweel was sentenced to death for his alleged role in the death of a policeman. The regime failed to produce compelling evidence and the sentence was seen as another case of brutal revenge against Bahraini natives. He is illiterate but was forced to sign the pre-prepared statement. In the past two years he and his family have endured enormous pains and ill-treatment. His family blame Alkhalifa Western friends for encouraging them to commit heinous crimes against humanity.
Many people have been detained in the past few days. At dawn yesterday, Ali Al Hayki, from Bilad Al Qadeem was arrested from his home and taken to unknown location. Ahmad Falah was snatched by masked militia men from his home in Maqaba town. More than 15 people were arrested on Wednesday from various parts of the country. At least 12 were from Duraz Town.
Meanwhile the fathers of martyr Mahmood Abu TAki, martyr Ali Jawsad Al Sheikh and detainee Hussain Jawad have been on hunger strike for the past three days. They are protesting against the increasing repression by the Alkhalifa dictators.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
5th December 2013
Torture is rampant in Bahrain, despite the passage of two years after the publication of the BICI damning report that confirmed that torture in Bahrain was “systematic”. The main recommendations of that report have not been implemented especially those related to ending impunity and discrimination against more than 70 percent of the population. Today, a Bahraini detainee pointed to one of the “prosecutors” present at the court saying: “He had forced me to sign false confessions and tortured me”. The “judge” who is himself an enemy of the victim ordered the immediate removal of the victim from the court. The lawyer of the group on trial, Mohsin Al Alawi, said that he had asked the “judge” to order examination of the victims on trial for torture marks but he waited more than two months until most torture marks disappeared. Another victim, Sajjad Al Alawi was convicted on basis of false confessions signed un der torture. His lawyer had asked the “judge” to examine him for torture marks but he refused to do so. Another victim of torture at the hands of one of the prosecutors is Talib Ali. He was asked by the prosecutor to sign the confessions or he would be returned to the torture cells. The boy shouted: I am not signing on something I had not done. The prosecutor became angry, pointed his gun to the victim’s face threatening to kill him, but the victim refused to sign. The prosecutor threw the cigarette ashtray on the victim.
In the early hours of 17th November Ebrahim Marhoon was abducted from his home and taken to unknown location. Several others have been summoned to the torture rooms at the prosecution office. Among them is an elderly citizen who is a keen protester despite his age. He was threatened with serious revenge if he continued his protests. Also the fathers of the two martyrs; Sayed Hashim Sayed Saeed and Yaseen Al Asfoor were summoned to receive more threats and asked to stop calling for the prosecution of the killers of their sons. Another senior figure received the same treatment. Sheikh Ali bin Ahmad Al Jidhafsi was also summoned and threatened by the prosecution office whose members also administer torture on Bahrainis.
The Alkhalifa regime has refused to allow representative of the international human rights bodies entry to the country to observe the trial of human rights activist: Naji Fateel. The judicial system is tightly controlled by the royal court and its sessions are held under strict conditions. These courts have become a trap for many detainees who would be tortured severely after their trial if they contradicted the charges laid against them. They have no right to seek examination for torture marks or withdraw their consent to confessions drawn under torture.
In the past two weeks Bahrain became “theatre of operations” with running battles between Bahrainis and Alkhalifa troops and members of Death Squads. This year those mercenaries wreaked havoc in the country; tearing banners and terrorising natives who held religious commemorations for the martyrs of Karbala and Bahrain. Police were video-taped removing banners, flags and images depicting the state-terrorism implemented against opponents of the state whether during Imam Hussain’s time or in today’s life. Bahrainis were incensed by these sectarian attacks by foreigner mercenaries.
On 17th November The Washington Post published an editorial titled: Bahrain crackdown intensifies amid U.S. retreat”. The paper said: In keeping with Mr. Obama’s new policy, the administration has ignored the Bahraini crackdown. As the president put it, “the United States will at times work with governments that do not meet, at least in our view, the highest international expectations, but who work with us on our core interests.” The paper ended its editorial saying: Mr. Obama’s 2011 speech spelled them out:
“A strategy based solely upon the narrow pursuit of these interests will not fill an empty stomach or allow someone to speak their mind. Moreover, failure to speak to the broader aspirations of ordinary people will only feed the suspicion that has festered for years that the United States pursues our interests at their expense.”
On Tuesday 19th November, BBC website published an article titled: (Bahrain opposition leadership “systematically targeted” BY Leana Hosea). It highlighted the regime’s attempts to split the opposition by claiming that part of it is engaged in terrorism. The writer quoted Sheikh Ali Salman, Secretary General of Al Wefaq Society, who blamed the regime for ill-treatment of Bahrainis and becoming more dictatorial.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
21st November 2013
As the Ashura processions and fervor were intensifying the regime’s forces waged several attacks to intimidate Bahrainis who have observed the occasion for centuries, long before the Alkhalifa occupied Bahrain. On Wednesday 13th November a wooden boat made to represent the salvation offered by following the Holy Prophet’s progeny was confiscated by members of the Death Squads operated by the royal court. They defaced the structure and threatened more abuse of Bahrainis if they tried to prevent the attacks on religious practices and symbols of native citizens. Documented videotaped evidence showing regime’s thugs tearing and defacing banners in the streets of towns and villages have convinced Bahrainis that the Al Khalifa and Al Saud were out to uproot the native Bahrainis, their culture and religious rituals .The situation was made more tense when Alkhalifa interior minister, Rashid bin Abdulla Alkhalifa threatened the Hussaini congregation Halls of mo re reprisals and revenge after the season has ended. His threats implied that centuries old religious practices by over 70 percent of the population are a threat to others without specifying further. Bahrainis have defied the occupiers and took to the streets, defeating the regime’s thugs and Death Squads. They are now more emboldened to continue their Revolution to achieve fundamental political change in the country and rid it of the hereditary dictatorship. One of the main mouthpieces of the occupiers, Al Watan newspaper, has been beating drums of war urging the Death Squads to attack Bahrainis.
The attacks and intimidation of natives have continued unabated over the past few days. On 13th November, two Bahrainis returning from Kuwait were arrested at the airport . Sayed Ali Sayed Salman and Hussain Ashoor were snatched and taken to unknown destination. It is feared that they may have been taken to the torture houses which are not listed official offices. All police stations have denied holding the two citizens. They have not been allowed either to contact their families or their lawyers. On the same day, a young Bahraini, Sajjad Al Alawi, 23, was arrested and tortured . Another young Bahraini was also kidnapped. Amin Ma’tooq  from Iskan Aali was kidnapped on 11th November but nothing has been heard about him since.
Concern is rising for the well being of Ahmad Al Biladi and Akbar Ali  from Bilad Al Qadeem after they were sentenced to five years in jail on trumpeted charges. Their total sentences are now 8 and 34 years respectively after they had been convicted of other charges.
On Sunday 10th November Alkhalifa court sentence two men to life in prison and two others to 15 years for an alleged car bomb attack outside a mosque in July  No one was hurt in the explosion outside a mosque in al-Riffa, south of the capital Manama, where some members of the royal family live. The mosque was not in use at the time as it is used only for official functions. Observers who checked the images released by the regime said they found no destruction resulting from the alleged explosion; no shattered glass or twisted metal. The place was clean and neat.
One year after the Bahraini authorities had revoked the nationality of 31 opposition figures, Amnesty International  has called for its reinstatement. It said: “Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior must immediately rescind the decision to strip 31 members of the opposition of their Bahraini nationality made a year ago”. Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East Programme, said: “Stripping away the nationality of government critics shows that the Bahraini authorities continue to lash out and discredit anyone they deem a threat. Instead of addressing the criticism leveled against them, the authorities have found no other way to respond than depriving Bahraini citizens of their nationality.”
On another level the health of several jailed political leaders is rapidly deteriorating as a result of ill-treatment and lack of proper medical care. Mr Abdul Wahab Hussain suffers serious medical problems that have prompted several human rights bodies to demand immediate care for him. On 8th November Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action  calling for his immediate release and provision of proper medical care. It urges the Bahraini authorities “to provide ‘Abdelwahab Hussain urgent specialised medical care; calls on them to grant him immediate and regular access to his family; and urges them to release all 13 opposition activists immediately and unconditionally, since they are prisoners of conscience, convicted solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
15th November 2013
The health of one of the most prominent leaders of Bahrain’s Revolution had deteriorated because of ill-treatment and repression by Alkhalifa ruling family. Abdul Wahab Hussain, 59, is suffering from chronic paresthesia (tingling and numbness) affecting his nerves and has difficulty moving. He is sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in calling for fundamental political reforms. Two other senior figures also suffer from serious illnesses but receive no real medical treatment. Hassan Mushaima, 65, had been treated for Cancer but received no remission treatment since his arrest in March 2011. Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace suffers from Polio since birth but has also developed heart problems and high blood pressure. They are all denied suitable medical treatment. When international pressure mounts on them they take them to the clinic but no further treatment is given afterwards unless more pressure is mounted. Today Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action  which said: “Prisoner of conscience ‘Abdelwahab Hussain, one of the 13 jailed prominent Bahraini opposition activists, needs urgent access to specialised medical treatment. His health condition has deteriorated and his family’s last scheduled visit to the prison was cancelled without explanation.” AI also called for the immediate and unconditional release of Bahrain 13; the jailed leaders of the Revolution.
Denying detainees the necessary medical care is being used as a weapon by the Alkhalifa against Bahrainis. On 5th November Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action  on the case of Hussain Hubail and Hassan Sudayf. Both are charged with, among other thins, using social media networks to incite hatred of the regime and calling on people to ignore the law. Hussain Hubail has a heart condition and he fears he is not receiving adequate medical treatment. His health has deteriorated since his detention and he suffers from shortness of breath and frequently loses consciousness. He has been given medication by the prison clinic and was taken at least once before to hospital. However he told his family that his medication is being given to him randomly and he does not know what the medication is. Amnesty called for their immediate release, grating them access to medical treatment and investing their torture ordeals.
Meanwhile the regime’s kangaroo courts have been in full swing, issuing lengthy jail sentences against activists and protesters, some of whom are children. Hussain Ali , 15, has been sentence to two years imprisonment charged with taking parts in illegal gathering and protesting against the ruling family.
Concern is mounting for the plight of Ahmad Jum’a , from Al Malikiya, who had been snatched by members of Death Squads two weeks ago. No news have been received about him and his family is seriously worried about his condition.
The STOP THE SHIPMENT  campaign against the supply by South Korea of more than 1.6 million chemical and tear gas canisters to Alkhalifa has continued unabated. South Korean activists have joined the campaign with protests and letter writing to demand an immediate halt to the shipments. In London, protesters stood for two hours  outside Downing Street yesterday to call for cancellation of the deal. South Korean Prime Minister had a two hours meeting with UK’s Prime Minister and was surprised to see protesters challenging her decision to export these lethal weapons to Bahrain where more than 60 people have been killed with those gases.
AS the first anniversary of the revocation of the Bahraini nationality of 31 Bahraini natives approached, a Press Conference was held at the House of Lords on Tuesday 5th November. Lord Avebury invited the Press cover the proceedings of the Conference which was addressed by human rights experts, victims and international law experts. Letters were sent to world leaders calling on them to take action against the rogue regime of the Alkhalifa who has weaponised every aspect of society, including nationality, jobs and medical care.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
8th November 2013
As the details of the proposed sale of 1.6 million chemical and tear gas canisters emerged more international groups have joined Bahrain Watch in urging the South Korean authorities to stop it. In addition to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Korea office did an urgent action; Korean activists have staged protests and held a press conference organized by 31 Korean NGOs calling for the shipment of these lethal gases to stop. They held a rally at Korea DAPA (teargas export authority) asking them to Stop The Shipment of teargas to Bahrain.
Within a week two Bahrainis were killed by the regime’s Death Squads and security forces. First came the martyrdom of Hussain Mahdi Habib, 20, from Sitra Al Kharijiya on Saturday 19th October. He was subjected to violent attack by members of the regime’s Death Squads, near A Malkiya Beach. He had earlier been sentenced to 15 years in jail for taking part in anti-regime protests and was able to escape from Alkhalifa torture chambers. Then came the brutal killing of Ali Khalil Al Sabbagh, 17, from Bani Jamra on Tuesday 22nd October. He was hit by plain-clothed members of the Death Squads using a strong “sound shot” that hit him in the neck. He was on his way to his home to get some food as he has been living in hiding for some time. More than 1000 Bahrainis have escaped Alkhalifa terror and are hiding in various places. His injuries confirm that he had been hit in the neck, contrary to the regime’s claim that he was carrying a “bomb” wh ich exploded and killed him. He was buried on Wednesday in the presence of thousands of people who were subsequently subjected to a vicious attack by riot police using chemical and tear gases.
As this state violence continues, so are the repressive measures being implemented by the regime. In addition to the excessive use of chemical and tear gases on civilian areas, the daily raids on homes have increased dramatically in the recent weeks. In the early hours of Thursday 24th October, at least ten citizens were abducted from their homes in the towns of Samaheej and Aali. On Tuesday more sentences were issued by the Alkhalifa-controlled judiciary. Four Bahrainis, Mohammad Abdul Amir Mushaima, Hussain Abdul Ghani, Ahmad Abdul Amir and Jassim Al Saffar were sentenced to ten years in jail each. One day earlier, Five years sentences were passed on Mohammad Ibrahim Al Masjan, Ali Ibrahim Al Sayegh and Ali Jaffar from Maqsha Town for their role in anti-regime protests.
The repression inside the torture dungeons has also intensified with raids on cells and beating of detainees. Family visits have also been curtailed. Today, the families were stranded for long times as they wanted to visit their sons languishing behind bars. They were ill-treated and threatened without justification. The two prominent figures; Hassan Mushaima and Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace have remained isolated from the world and denied urgent medical care for their serious illnesses including cancer, heart and neurological ailments. They have not been allowed family visits for more than seven months. Also, Zainab Al Khawaja, one of the most prominent human rights activists in the country has been summoned by her torturers and informed of a new trumpeted charge against her. The intention is to ensure that she stayed much longer in torture dungeons.
But perhaps the most significant development of the week has been the international campaign against shipment of up to 2 million chemical and tear gas canisters from South Korea to Bahrain’s ruling family. The campaign started after an official document from Bahrain’s ministry of the interior was leaked. It contains a list of up to 1.8 million gas canisters wanted by the Alkhalifa regimes from South Korea. News media and human rights bodies have condemned the deal and called upon the Government of South Korea to stop their shipment. The Financial Times, The Independent and New York Times published some details of the clandestine deals between South Korea and the Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship. Several human rights bodies took up the issue and called for its annulment. More than 70 people have died as a consequence of such deals. Protests were held outside South Korean Embassy in London and petitions were signed calling for an immediate halt to the shipment of t hose lethal weapons.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
25 October 2013
It has been reported that the Government of South Korea is supplying Bahrain’s regime with large amounts of chemical and tear gas canisters. This is a big blow to human rights principles and to codes of decent human relations. While crowd-control equipment may be supplied to governments, it becomes a criminal act when they are given to a regime that has “weaponised” them.
In August 2012 Physicians For Human Rights confirmed that the Bahraini regime had done exactly that.
In January 2012 Amnesty International issued a report on the subject titled “Bahrain’s use of tear gas against protesters increasingly deadly”.
It is thus an outrageous move by your Government to agree to supply more than 1.6 tear gas canisters to a country whose native population does not exceed half of that number. A secret document from Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior contains some details of the proposed stockpiling of tear gas canisters for use against peaceful demonstrators.
Last year the tear gas used against Bahraini demonstrators was tested by Dublin University medical team and concluded that the CS gas used is up to 10-times more toxic than in normal teargas canisters.
In the past 30 months more than 70 Bahrainis have died as a result of inhaling tear gases fired by security forces on protesters. Images of their corpses show how horrible their death had been.
It is suggested that South Korea may be the source of these weaponised items.
We urge you to support our campaign to halt the sale of these lethal weapons, and call on South Korean Government to establish an inquiry into this and previous deals to Bahrain’s regime and offer an explanation of the continued economic and political dealing with a regime that had been found by its own Commission of Inquiry to be engaged in “systematic torture”. Pro-democracy protesters do not deserve to be exterminated by those lethal weapons.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
18th October 2013
Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior is planning to import 1.6 million tear gas canisters and 90,000 tear gas grenades, according to a leaked document, published Wednesday 17th October by research and advocacy group Bahrain Watch. The document -- apparently a tender issued by the Ministry of Interior’s Purchasing Directorate -- shows that Bahrain’s security forces are stockpiling massive amounts of tear gas, despite serious concerns of international NGOs and the United Nations Human Rights Council. These groups have called Bahrain’s use of tear gas "unnecessary and indiscriminate", and “lethal”. This planned new shipment will supply Bahrain with more tear gas canisters than the entire population of the country. Efforts are underway to challenge this massive deal which has confirmed what the opposition had claimed; the Alkalifa are there to kill, maim and torture as many Bahrainis as possible.
The ferocity of repression was laid bare in recent days. Yesterday regime’s security forces attacked peaceful protests in many areas causing serious injuries. The intensification of repressive attacks by those forces are desperate measures to stem the deepening political and humanitarian crisis engulfing the country. At the end of the three-days mourning of last weeks’ martyr, Yousuf Al Nashmi, 31, at Al Musalla Town, the funeral service was attacked by regime’s forces using chemical and tear gases and shotguns against participants. A young man from Karzakkan Town received a direct hit fired by the police using shotguns. He has been admitted to intensive care as his condition remains critical. He suffers broken skull and severe internal bleeding.
Many Bahraini youth have been detained in the past week. Among them is Mohammad Al Nashaba, 21 who was snatched from his house in the early hours of the Eid Day, Tuesday 15th October. Another youth, Jaffar Al Wada’ei, 19, was also snatched from his home and taken to Alkhalifa torture dungeons.
On 14th October, Foreign Policy website has published an article titled “Ignoring Bahrain’s iron fist”. It was written by Sarah Margon, acting Washington director at Human Rights Watch and Mary Laurie, a fellow in the Human Rights Watch Washington office. It said: “For two years, as the United States has condemned massive abuses of protesters throughout the Middle East, it has largely turned a blind eye to equally horrific treatment in Bahrain, a small but significant ally. As the situation in Manama shows no sign of abating, the United States needs to step up its game -- before it's too late.” After detailing America’s stands on Bahrain in the past two years including what President Obama said in his address at the UN recently, it concluded: “If the United States is trying to gain leverage with Bahrain's rulers by limiting its criticism, there is no evidence that this app roach is making a difference. In fact, it appears to be making a bad situation worse.”
Although the regime’s forces are committing atrocious crimes against Bahrainis every day, only a portion of those crimes are documented. The link below shows how those forces are waging war against Bahraini natives. The crime which has been recorded took place at Al Ekr Town. Those forces prefer to commit their crimes on the secluded roofs of houses they raid without legal permission. A similar video was broadcast about a similar crime at Alaker Town last year.
Meanwhile, the protests have continued in most parts of the country under different mottos. The regime’s failure to contain the situation or defeat the Revolution has taken the struggle steps ahead and created more pressure on Alkhalifa’s allies especially Washington. The protest on Tuesday to mark the end of the commemoration service of Martyr Yousuf Al Nashmi, has proven beyond doubt that the people are clear in their minds about what they want, and possess power and carriage to counter the regime’s mouthpieces.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
18th October 2013
Number of Tear Gas Canisters in Shipment is Larger Than Bahrain's Total Population
Manama Bahrain's Ministry of Interior is planning to import 1.6 million tear gas canisters and 90,000 tear gas grenades, according to a leaked document , published today by the research and advocacy group Bahrain Watch. The document - apparently a tender issued by the Ministry of Interior's Purchasing Directorate - shows that Bahrain's security forces are stockpiling massive amounts of tear gas, despite serious concerns of international NGOs and the United Nations Human Rights Council . These groups have called Bahrain's use of tear gas "unnecessary and indiscriminate" , and " lethal ". This planned new shipment will supply Bahrain with more tear gas canisters than the entire population of the country.
The document , signed by "Assistant Undersecretary Abdulla Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa", calls for all proposals to be submitted "not later than 16th July 2013". Ministry of Interior tenders are typically not available on the Government's Tender Board website. This is the first time that an apparent tender for tear gas has been made public. The tender calls for arms companies to supply Bahrain with the following items:
- 800,000 CS Tear Gas Long Range Shells 37/40mm
- 400,000 CS Tear Gas Short Range Shells 37/40mm
- 400,000 CS Tear Gas Shell, Multiple Submunition (Five Way) 37/40mm
- 45,000 CS Hand Grenades (One way)
- 45,000 Tear Gas Hand Grenades (Five way)
- 145,000 Sound & Flash Grenades
The tender also requires the bidders to commit to both "carrying out the necessary training of Ministry of Interior personnel at your factory upon request" and inviting "a delegation of Ministry of Interior to demonstrate production and testing process upon request" if deemed necessary.
Bahrain Watch understands that no shipment related to this tender has yet been made, however, such a shipment could begin at any time, given the date of the tender.
Bahrain has historically used US-origin tear gas, but the State Department apparently blocked further U.S. exports over concerns about its "excessive use" in May 2012. Bahrain Watch believes that one of the firms that seem to be supplying Bahrain currently may be planning the shipment:
- Rheinmetall Denel Munitions - a German / South African company. Tear gas made by this company has been seen in Bahrain since 2011. The canister that killed 14-year-old Ali Jawad al-Sheikh on 31st August 2011 is visually similar to those manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel.
- DaeKwang Chemical Company Ltd. and Korea CNO Tech Ltd. - two South Korean firms. Unmarked tear gas canisters , as well as tear gas grenades , which are visually identical to those originally manufactured by DaeKwang and exported by CNO Tech have been seen in Bahrain since late 2011. The canister that killed 15-year-old Sayed Hashim Sayed Saeed on 31st December 2011 looks visually identical to those manufactured by DaeKwang.
In an attempt to stop any further shipments of tear gas, Bahrain Watch is launching a campaign entitled "Stop The Shipment" ( Http://stoptheshipment.org/ ), and @ StopTheShipment on Twitter. The campaign invites participants to send complaint messages via e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook to Bahrain's tear gas suppliers, as well as export licensing authorities in these countries. With enough public and media pressure the campaign could result in export licenses being revoked, and shipments being blocked similar to what has happened previously with US-made tear gas products.
"We have never seen a document like this before," said Bahrain Watch member Bill Marczak. "Now, we have a unique opportunity to come together and save lives, by blocking upcoming deliveries of tear gas to Bahrain. Let's stop these shipments before it is too late. "
Since 2011, tear gas in Bahrain:
- has reportedly caused 39 deaths , according to Physicians for Human Rights, both from direct canister hits, and exposure to the gas. Victims include men, women, children, elderly, and the disabled
- may be responsible for an increase in Miscarriages , sickle cell disease deaths , blindness, and serious respiratory illnesses due to its use in enclosed residential areas
- has been used as a form of collective punishment of entire villages through the indiscriminate and unnecessary targeting of the general public in residential areas
- has been fired Recklessly into homes , mosques , places of worship , vehicles and even football pitches
For more documentation about arms and ammunition used by Bahraini security forces, see Bahrain Watch's Arms Watch project.
Bahrain Watch is a monitoring and advocacy group that seeks to promote effective, accountable, and transparent governance in Bahrain through research and evidence-based advocacy. About Bahrain Watch: Https://bahrainwatch.org/about.asp
Six major British and American public relations firms have made bids of between 1.9 and 25.7 million US dollars to win a new PR contract offered by the Bahraini government, as it seeks to stave off international criticism of its ongoing human rights abuses. Research and advocacy group Bahrain Watch called on the bidding PR companies not to play a role in the Bahraini government’s attempt to whitewash its image amidst its repression of pro-democracy protesters.
According to a posting on the website of the Bahraini government’s Tender Board, the following companies have made bids for the tendered public relations contract:
|Bell Pottinger||London||US$ 0.9 million
US$ 6.1 million
US$ 9.3 million
|Hill & Knowlton||New York||US$ 5.2 million|
|Weber Shandwick||New York||US$ 1.9 million|
|Portland Communications||London||US$ 25.7 million|
|Citigate Dewe Rogerson||London||Not available|
|Consulum||London||US$ 3.9 million|
The Bahraini government has been struggling to improve its international image since February 2011, when it launched a military-backed security crackdown on Arab Spring-inspired protests in the country. The government has received widespread condemnation from international human rights bodies for human rights abuses, including arbitrary detentions, torture, mass political sackings and severe restrictions on freedoms of expression and association.
In August 2012, Bahrain Watch launched its PR Watch project, documenting how the Bahraini government had spent or allocated at least US$ 32.5 million for the services of eighteen different British and American firms to improve its image in the Western media after the 2011 political unrest.
Bell Pottinger, Hill & Knowlton and Weber Shandwick have previously held multiple PR contracts with the government of Bahrain. Consulum is a newer company formed by former Bell Pottinger staff based in the Gulf, managed by Matthew Gunther-Bushell, the former managing director of Bell Pottinger’s Bahrain office.
According to an April 2011 report in the Independent newspaper, Bell Pottinger sent out regular emails to journalists following the start of the February 2011 uprising, putting forward the Bahraini government’s narrative. One email described the Bahraini government's "readiness to receive the injured in hospitals" just before it began detaining doctors. Under public pressure, Bell Pottinger eventually suspended one of its Bahrain accounts in April 2011, but this was short-lived as at least four new contracts were signed with the government in the following twelve months, including a new US$ 10.5 million deals with the EDB.
“Rather than spending public resources on creating the illusion of reform in the foreign media, the Bahraini government should focus its efforts on implementing genuine human rights and democratic reforms in the country,” said Bahrain Watch member Fahad Desmukh.
Human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch point out that while the Bahraini government has made some minor reforms, the crackdown on dissent continues, and more worryingly, there has been a failure to hold any senior officers to account for human rights violations.
“We urge the bidding PR firms not to participate in the whitewashing process of the Bahraini government’s human rights record,” said Desmukh.
For details on previous contracts between the government and Western PR firms, refer to Bahrain Watch’s PR Watch project at: http://bahrainwatch.org/pr
Bahrain Watch is a monitoring and advocacy group that seeks to promote effective, accountable, and transparent governance in Bahrain through research and evidence-based advocacy. About Bahrain Watch: https://bahrainwatch.org/
Copyright © 2013 Bahrain Watch, All rights reserved.
Yousuf Al Nashmi, 31, a young Bahraini citizen, is dying as a result of severe torture inflicted on him in jail. This week the regime ordered his release when it became clear that he was approaching “clinical death”. His family protested his ill-treatment and detention. His lawyer, Zainab Abdul Aziz repeatedly called for his release but the Alkhalifa insisted on keeping him at the torture dungeons despite his severe brain tumour. He was tried while his body was on machines. Only when he approached death did the Alkhalifa ordered his release so that he dies outside jail.
Bahraini detainees at the Dry Dock and the central prison (Jau) have been on hunger strike since 2nd October. They are protesting against ill-treatment, intolerable prison conditions and the new restrictions imposed during family visits. Several detainees collapsed as a result. Those prisons have become notorious for the lack of essential facilities needed for human habitation and intensification of repression, attacks on, and torture of detainees.
A young Bahraini sentenced to life imprisonment went on strike demanding that his solitary confinement be ended. Kumail Al Manami has been kept in his small cell for two years during which he reached the verge of death. He fell into coma several times and his body began fading away as a result of torture, ill-treatment and psychological effects of his incommunicado detention.
On Tuesday 8th October, five youth from Duraz Town were seized by members of Death Squads and taken to unknown destinations. Among them is Sayed Abbas Sayed Mahdi, whose brother, Sayed Mahmood is already in jail on trumpeted charges and false accusations. He is married with two children. At mid-day Wednesday, three youth were snatched from their homes at Bilad Al Qadeem Town. Among them was the brother of Martyr Hani Abdul Aziz.
The ruling Alkhalifa family has summoned both Sayed Hadi Al Mousawi, a former MP from Al Wefaq block and Yousuf Al Mahafdha of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. The allegations directed to them are linked to their claims that Bahrainis often face ill-treatment in detention. The two are among only few who have not been jailed for long periods although Al Mahafdha had been kept for more than one week behind bars earlier this year for criticising the ruling family for its bleak human rights records.
Another Bahraini, Younus Hadher, 19, is also dying slowly at the Dry Dock Prison as a result of severe form of epilepsy. His family has repeatedly called for his release but the authorities have, hitherto, refused to heed these calls. His condition has recently worsened; he is losing his sight, hearing and movement. He cannot walk in normal way and his epileptic attacks have increased dramatically. This week his brother has staged a one-man protest outside the notorious Dry Dock prison calling for his release. His calls have fallen on death ears.
Amnesty International has, meanwhile, issued an Urgent Action appeal calling for the immediate and unconditional release of a popular orator. Mahdi Sahwan has been convicted of “insulting” Bahrain’s dictator and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for “calling for an illegal gathering”. Amnesty has urged its members to write to the Bahraini authorities to demand Mahdi Sahwan’s release, to ensure that he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment and that he has regular access to his family and lawyers. It has also urged the Alkhalifa “to repeal laws that criminalize the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression”.
These crimes by the regime have only solidified the people’s resolve and determination to pursue their legitimate demands especially the right to determine their own destiny, write their constitution and elect government. From Dair Town in the North to Karzakkan in the South, daily protests have continued unabated. Many houses were subjected to collective punishment including intensive use of chemical and tear gases. Two schools were attacked as students participated in the protests. Al jabiriya and Al Ta’awon Secondary schools were attacked by security forces and students were injured and detained.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
10th October 2013
In one week alone, more than 90 Barhainis have been sentenced to prison terms ranging between five and fifteen years for opposing the dynastical Alkhalifa rule. First came the sentencing of 50 Bahrainis to sentences of this kind, with the allegations that they are part of the 14thFebruary Coalition that started the Revolution in 2011. Those implicated in this group are so diverse in ages, locations and political affiliations that it was viewed as a cheap joke devoid of value, logic or substance. Some of these people had already been sentenced several times on other allegations including affiliation to other groups. It is a sham of democracy and justice and can only undermine the regime’s credibility and human taste. International human rights bodies have condemned this contempt of justice and called for quashing those sentences described as “unfair”. “It’s appalling what passes for ‘justice’ today in Bahrain. The authorities simply sl ap the label ‘terrorist’ on defendants, and then subject them to all manner of violations to end up with a‘confession’,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.
More people have subsequently been sentenced to similar terms for their active roles in opposing Bahrain’s hereditary dictatorship. In one of the cases, known as the Case of Duraz, 37 people were sentenced to jail terms ranging between 5 and 15 years. Another group of four people including a child (Sayed Hassan Fardan) from Sitra were jailed for 15 years for allegedly exploding a small cooking gas cylinder at Adliya district. Amir Al Hurr, had his detention period extended by 30 days. In the absence of his lawyer, Abdul Shahid Abbas Al Tawq had his detention extended 60 days. In one of the outrageous regime’s judicial crimes is the sentencing of a Bahraini youth to lengthy jail terms for a crime committed while he was on hospital bed. Mohammad Mushaima, was jailed for seven years for allegedly being one of those involved in the civil campaign at the financial harbour in March 2011. The popular orator, Mahdi Sahwan, was sentend to 15 months in jail for chanti ng a poem criticising Bahrain’s dictator.
Another outrageous judicial crime by Alkhalifa dictatorship is the sentencing of Bahraini citizen, Abd Ali Al Khair to ten years for re-sending an anti-regime statement on What’s Up. On the same day a policeman accused of torturing Ali Saqr to death while in prison, was sentenced to two years. He is unlikely to serve the sentence. Among those sentenced on Tuesday was Volleyball player, Jassim Hammad, 16 who was punished for his anti-regime stands with one year in jail.
Meanwhile the regime’s case for its crackdown against the Bahraini people has been significantly weakened in recent days, especially at the UN General Assembly annual session in New York. President Obama has called for an end to sectarianism in Syria, Iraq and Bahrain. Those remarks angered the Alkhalifa ruling family and exposed the case of Bahrain to the world at large from the UN platform. Other leaders, including Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, have also highlighted the case and afforded it international recognition. This meant that the efforts by the regime’s foreign minister and the millions of dollars plundered on public relations efforts have been fruitless. In the past 30 months many delegations have wondered around Western capitals to deceive the world on what is happening in Bahrain.
At the same time, Death Squads have continued their attacks on Bahrainis outside the realm of law. On Wednesday 2nd October, masked members of Alkhalifa Death Squads in civilian clothing abducted five people at dawn from a flat at Jid Ali Town. There has been no news about them since. Also, a young Bahraini, Sayed Ali Hashem Shubbar was arrested on the Bahrain-Saudi causeway and led away to unknown destination.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
3rd October 2013
In one of the most outrageous acts of revenge a victims of police brutality has been detained for 60 days. Haidar Al Shughul is the victim in a short video clippe commonly known as “The video of the slap”. In the clip Mr Al Shughul, his child in his arms, approaches a policeman in uniform to ask for information. The police immediately slaps him for no reason whatsoever. When the victim was slapped again, the child started to cry and the man walked away, having been humiliated and abused. As usual, the Alkhalifa interior ministry said it would “investigate” the incident. Instead of arresting the policeman, the victim was arrested and taken to the torture dungeons.
A young man, Yousuf Ali Al Nashmi, has been transferred to intensive care after his health had deteriorated due to severe torture and lack of medical care. The Dry Dock prison is notorious for the lack of care and serious abuse of Bahraini prisoners of conscience. At the Jaw prison, a young Bahraini boy has been banned from setting his exams. Hassan Mahdi who had been sentenced to 15 years in jail for taking part in anti-regime protests hoped he would continue his studies while behind bars.
Three Bahrainis, one of them holding an American passport, have been given harsh prison terms for taking part in protests against Alkhalifa dictatorship. Taqi Abdulla Al Maydan, (with US passport), Ali Yousuf Abdul Redha and Ali Al Banna were sentenced to 10 years in jail for protesting against Alkhalifa regime. Any protest is now considered by the ruling family a “terrorist act”. Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action calling for investigation of torture inflicted on Mr Maydan and that confessions obtained through torture are not used in evidence against him.
The raids on towns and villages have continued. In a lightning attack on Sitra on 25th September, 15-years old child was snatched. Nidal Ali Hussain was taken to an unknown location and there are fears for his safety.
The father of the martyred journalist, Ahmad Ismael, has been snatched from his house by hooded members of the Alkhalifa Death Squads. On Tuesday 24th September at least six Bahrainis were kidnapped by those Squads from Duraz Town during raids on homes. From Bani Jamra Town a young boy, Mohammad Jaffar was also kidnapped and taken to the torture dungeons.
The father of Yousuf Al Mawali, who was tortured with electricity before his body was dumped in the sea in February 2012, is still behind bars since his arrest two weeks ago. He is charged with taking part in “Illegal gathering”. The father has been calling for the arrest and trial of his son’s torturers, but dictator Hamad Alkhalifa insists on protecting those torturers. He believes without them (alongside the Saudi forces occupying Bahrain) his family’s rule cannot continue.
Joe Stork, the Deputy Director of the Middle East Department at Human Rights Watch called on the US to condemn the arrest of Khalil al-Marzooq of Al Wefaq Society. He said: “When a reporter at the State Department daily briefing in Washington DC asked deputy spokesperson Marie Harf to comment on al-Marzooq’s arrest, she said she was “disappointed that opposition groups have suspended their involvement in the national dialogue … we’ll continue to encourage everyone to participate in it.” Her line never wavered, even when she was asked follow-up questions. Thursday evening, US officials expressed concern about al-Marzooq’s detention – but still didn’t denounce it. He added: “Given the failure to produce any evidence that al-Marzooq or Al Wifaq advocated violence, Harf’s ham-fisted evasion on Wednesday of repeated opportunities to criticize al-Marzooq’s arrest must have been sweet music to the ears of Bahra in’s ruling family hardliners who are determined to quash all manner of dissent. Her next-day reversal displays an alarming inconsistency in US messaging aimed at a government known for repression.” Mr Stork concluded: “Washington now needs to publicly denounce al-Marzooq’s arrest, and condemn the wider escalation of repression in Bahrain.”
Bahrain Freedom Movement
26th September 2013
In one of the most damning developments for Alkhalifa regime The European Parliament on Thursday 12th September issued a long and powerful resolution on the human rights in Bahrain. The resolution listed a long series of human rights crimes including the attacks on children, women, journalists, the banning of the the Special Rapporteur on Torture, the new draconian laws issued by the ruling family and rubber-stamp[ed by Hamad’s council, the repeal of nationalities of Bahrainis, the banning of foreign human rights bodies and journalists, the various repressive laws on terrorism and the continued imprisonment of political leaders, women and human rights activists. The regime’s attempts to deceive the world by establishing various human rights bodies have not fooled the world which is aware of the tactics by dictators to deflect the attention from their torture and other forms of human rights abuses. The document is one of the most powerful international indictments against the Alkhalifa rulers. It has proven the futility of the regime’s deceptive tactics and the hopeless performance of its “human rights” bodies, officials and the minister himself.
One more martyr fell in the battle of dignity. Mohammad Abdul Jalil Yousuf, 20, passed away as he was doing his duty, fending off attacks by the Alkhalifa militias and Death Squads in the town of Karbabad. He was blocking the road to stop the enemy forces from raiding people’s homes, terrorising its people and destroying their property.
In London anti-arms campaigners protested against the sale of lethal arms to the Alkhalifa rulers. From Sunday 8th September the exhibition halls of Excel Exhibition Centre at the Docklands in East London were picketed by hundreds of peace campaigners who blockaded the entrances and impeded the movement into and out of Exhibition halls. Bahrainis also took part raising their flags and chanting anti-regime slogans. Jalal Fairooz, former MP from Al Wefaq block, addressed the rally expressing dismay at the invitation of Bahraini officials to this major defence exhibition. Police arrested scores of protesters after trying to evict them from the path of the incoming vehicles. Many campaigners presented images of barbaric acts by Alkhalifa and Saudi regimes against their own people. The killing last week of Ahmad Al Muslab by Saudi forces has infuriated the public who rushed to the streets in an expression of solidarity. Bahrainis also took part in anti-arms protest outside Parliam ent on Thursday. Jeremy Corbyn, MP, talked about the grim situation in Bahrain and called for arms embargo against the Alkhalifa dictatorship.
In a joint operation by the militia and the mercenary forces of Bahrain’s Alkhalifa regime, a young Bahraini athlete has been kidnapped and taken to an unknown place. Ammar Hassan Mansoor, 20, the handball player of Al Ittifaq Club, was taken away during a raid on his house in the early hours of Tuesday 10th September. The militias attacked the house without legal permission or arrest warrant. The family of this young Bahraini have expressed deep concern about his fate. Nothing has been heard of him since his disappearance.
Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action in relation to the detention and torture of a Bahraini child by the Alkhlaifa regime. Under the heading “Child tortured in detention in Bahrain” it said:Bahraini boy aged 14, Ali Hatem Ali Salman, was arrested on 26 August 2013 and reportedly tortured and otherwise ill-treated during interrogation to “confess” to rioting. On 3 September the Juvenile Prosecution extended his detention for another week. AI has called for the immediate release of the child and urged its members to write to the authorities asking for his release.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
13th September 2013
As the daily protests sweep across Bahrain, the regime’s brutal forces have intensified their immoral attacks on civilians. Of particular concern is the detention and torture of the fathers of the martyrs for refusing to accept to sell their sons’ blood cheaply. On 22nd August, Abdul Hadi Mushaima, the father of the first martyr of the Revolution, Ali Mushaima’, was arrested by Alkhalifa torturers from his home at Daih Town. Also Ahmad Al Mawail, the father of Yousuf Al Mawali, who was tortured to death in January 2012, was detained on 23rd August. He was taken to an unknown destination. The two have spearheaded the calls for action against those who had tortured their sons to death.
The plight of Bahraini women prisoners have come to light in some tweets by their relatives or human rights activists. It paints harrowing pictures of Alkhalifa torture dungeons, with freedom to torture, abuse and snatch victims at will. Yousuf Al Mahafdha highlighted the agony of a young Bahraini female activist, Zahra Al Sheikh, 23 years, who has spent several months in hiding fearing for her life after she had been summoned for another round of torture. She was detained last year and her experience is highlighted by the Al Mahafdha’ tweets. She had been beaten up severely on various parts of her body, pictured as she was strip-naked and had toilet brush cleaner stuffed in her mouth. After her release she attempted to register at the University but was sentenced to one year in prison for trumpeted charges. Having experienced the horrors of the dungeons, Zahra went into hiding where she has remained for the past six months. Another experience of women behind bars is th at of Zainab Al Khawaja, detained for criticising Alkhalifa dictatorship. Her mother, Khadija Al Mousawi, wife of the internantionally-renouned human rights activis, spoke of her agony at what her eldest daughter, Zainab, is going through behind bars. In her first visit for six months, Zainab narrated harrowing details of how female prisoners are abused and denied the most basic of rights.
These facts have, themselves, become major hindrance in the way of any attempt by Alkhalifa to gain any form of popular legitimacy. Despite the recent reverses in the political democratic experience, Bahrainis will never again embrace the Alkhailfa as rulers. The ill-treatment of Bahraini prisoners is of such magnitude that all threads between Bahrainis and Alkhalifa have been severed. The status quo may continue but no reconciliation is possible without full power returned to the people. This is made worse by the continuing crackdown against Bahraini people and residential areas.
Today, the father of the first martyr of the Revolution was snatched from his home by hooded members of Alkhalifa-run Death Squads. Earlier this year, Jawad Al Sheikh, the father of Ali Al Sheikh who was killed on Eid Day two years ago, was detained for 50 days for demanding that his son’s killers be brought to justice. Many Bahrainis have been snatched from their homes or the streets and taken to secret locations where they are subjected to severe forms of torture. This morning nine people from Muharraq were detained; Abdulla Al Sayegh, Yousuf Zainal, Ashraf Ghuloom, Omran Amiri, Hassan Al Sakran, Mahdi Kalzaman, Hassan Al Sayegh and Moosa Al Hayki. Many houses were raided over the past week. In Juffair, Nu’aim and Sitra properties were damaged and children horrified.
Protests and demonstrations have continued unabated despite the horrific actions by the regime’s terror machine. Manama was the scene of a protest in which tens of people took part today. Other places also witnessed protests including Daih Town. Tomorrow, there will be large protest by the political societies demanding real change in the country.
Yesterday, 21st August, The Bahrain team at Amnesty International, issued an Urgent Action on behalf of Nafeesa al-‘Asfoor, a mother-of-two, who was arrested along with Rayhana al-Mousawi on 20 April as they were peacefully protesting near the Formula One Grand Prix circuit in Manama. They are both to be tried, have been tortured and Nafeesa al-'Asfoor is being denied the medical care she requires. The team urged people to write to the authorities calling for providing the two women with adequate medical treatment, release them immediately and arrange for impartial investigation into allegations of torture and other forms of abuse.
Bahrainis were grateful to Janet Salmon, is a consultant, writer and activist, who wrote to the Guardian yesterday about the situation in Bahrain. She said: In all the coverage of David Miranda's detention for nine hours at Heathrow, there was no mention of the journalists detained in Bahrain before the banned 14 August independence day marches. Among them was Mohammad Hassan Sudayf, a blogger who helped foreign journalists. He was arrested on 31 July, tortured and detained for 45 days. His lawyer, Abdul Aziz Moussa, who commented on the torture after seeing him on 8 August, was sentenced to seven days and his licence may be withdrawn.
A photographer, Hussain Hubail, was picked up separately at Manama airport on 31 July, leaving for Dubai. He was tortured and also detained for 45 days. So while I have sympathy for the Brazilian, I would like to see the Guardian and other international papers support the Bahrainis who have put their lives at risk to get out the news. Attacks on a free press are important, whether they are westerners or Arabs, but the latter tend to get ignored.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
22nd August 2013
The Day of Tamarrud (Rebellion) yesterday was a success by all measures. It has confirmed people’s power to challenge the Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship and sent a clear message to the world that Bahraini people would not give up their demands to self-determination and choice of their own system of government. The outdated family rule is antiquated, reactionary and ruthless. It must be stamped out. The day started with a general strike that closed most of the shops and retail outlets in the country. Tens of local protests erupted in towns and villages where the revolutionary youth braved the regime’s onslaught against Bahrainis and demonstrated in their subtle ways. They were attacked with chemical and tear gases but were not deterred from calling for the fall of the Alkhalifa regime. In the afternoon the country remained at a standstill as more protests and sit ins outside homes. By nightfall running battles continued between the peaceful protesters and the fo reign-staffed riot police and Death Squads. A strong message was made by the people who have established the most serious, longest and peaceful Revolution in the Arab world.
Bahraini revolutionaries expressed outrage and disgust at the massacre committed by the Egyptian generals in which hundreds of peaceful protesters at Rabi’a Al Adawiya and other locations were killed by the army as it tried to break up their encampment outside the mosque. For Bahrainis it is a painful reminder of what had befallen their peaceful protest and encampment on 16th March 2011 at the Pearl Roundabout. The Saudi-backed Alkhalifa army and police deployed their forces to prevent any peaceful protest. They were encouraged by the bloody massacre committed by the Egyptian army. The BFM has repeated its assertion that either all Revolutions would succeed or all would fail. The abandonment of the Bahraini Revolution by the post-Revolution regimes in other countries encouraged the Counter-Revolution forces to commit their atrocities in Egypt and plan others in Tunisia.
The on-going crackdown by Alkhalifa against activists has continued. Hundreds have been arrested in the weeks preceding the Day of Tamarrud. Collective punishment was meted on the towns and villages of the natives. Amnesty International warned the regime not to pursue the policy of violence against peaceful demonstrators. In a statement issued on 13th August it said: “The people of Bahrain have the right to express their views freely and to protest peacefully without the threat of violence,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International. It further added: “ It further added: “For years the authorities in Bahrain have shamelessly sought to stifle freedom of expression, taking increasingly drastic steps to stamp out dissent with complete disregard for international law.” AI gave shocking examples of the pre-emptive arrests, detentions and ill-treatment of Bahrainis.
On 9th August, Amnesty had also issued an Urgent Action on the case of an active blogger and photographer detained for expressing their opinion. The statement said:
“Bahraini blogger and translator Mohammad Hassan Sudayf and photographer Hussain Hubail have reportedly been tortured or otherwise ill-treated. Mohammad Hassan Sudayf’s lawyer was arrested on 7 August for tweets saying that he had seen torture marks on his client and revealing the charges both men face. AI urged its members to write to the Bahraini authorities to release these bloggers and not to punish them for expressing their opinion.
In addition to the people’s activism in Bahrain, there were several other protests in other places. In London the Bahraini Opposition Bloc organised protests outside the Saudi Embassy on Monday 12th August. A Press Conference was held on Tuesday 13th chaired by Lord Avebury and addressed by several speakers. Another protest was held outside the Bahraini Embassy in Belgrave Square. This was followed by a march to Downing Street to protest the proposed sale of Typhoon aircrafts to Bahrain.
In Brussels Several Belgian peace activists staged a protest outside the Bahraini Embassy in support of Bahraini people’s Revolution. They raised a banner saying “We don’t want Alkhalifa Mafia”.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
16th August 2013
As the Day of Tamarrud (rebellion) approaches the Alkhalifa regime becomes more frustrated, aggressive and disoriented. The latest of its irrational and illegitimate acts is the dictator’s decree to punish those who take part in peaceful protests. One day after meeting David Cameron in London (on Wednesday), dictator Hamad Alkhalifa announced more draconian measures to deter Bahrainis from protesting against his rule, vowing to withdraw the Bahraini nationality from those who take part in those protests or their fathers if they are under-aged. The ruling Alkhalifa dynasty is alien to Bahrain. They had occupied the land in 1783 by force and have never integrated with the rest of the society. The use of Nationality as a weapon is an indication of their inferiority complex being foreign invaders occupying other people’s land.
The atmosphere in the country is sombre as the dynastic Alkhalifa regime intensifies its repression and imposes wide ranging human rights abuses. With clear footage of security officers throwing under-age boys from rooftops into police vehicles, the sweeping arrests of bloggers, vivid images of scarred victims at court rooms and the silence of the world community is deafening. Among the particularly worrying signs are what appears to be connivance by certain Western governments in Alkhalifa repressive policies and the continued embracing of officials accused of crimes against humanity. The en-masse trials of Bahraini youth for taking part in anti-regime protests indicate a system out of touch with its own obligations under international law.
Human Rights Watch has condemned these laws. In a statement released today it said: “Bahrain has spent the last two years cracking down on peaceful protest, violating people’s rights from start to finish. Now it’s planning a whole new set of draconian restrictions, effectively creating a new state of emergency, even while peaceful protesters from the last round are sitting in prison with long sentences.” It further added: “The Bahrain parliament’s call at an extraordinary meeting on July 28, 2013, to impose a series of emergency measures will severely restrict basic rights. The action would give the authorities excessive powers to act arbitrarily to restrict such rights as freedom of assembly and speech.”
On Thursday 31st August, Amnesty International (AI) published a statement on Bahrain titled: New anti-terrorism powers would pose further risk to human rights. It said: “Since February 2011 when large anti-government protests started the human rights situation in Bahrain has deteriorated sharply. Scores of opposition activists were arrested and tried before military courts. Many were tortured. Some, including 13 prominent figures, are serving lengthy sentences of up to life. Dozens of people died, including from torture, but mainly as a result of unnecessary and excessive use of force during protests. Human rights activists have been jailed for their work.” Amnesty International warns against the imminent adoption of proposed amendments by the Bahraini authorities to the anti-terrorism legislation as it will lead to further violations of Bahrain’s international human rights obligations.
These laws and others have led to a crackdown on bloggers. On Wednesday 31st July security forces raided the house of a known blogger, Mohammad Hassan (also known as Safi) and arrested him. In the evening of the same day a known photographer, Hussain Hubail disappeared from the airport as he was leaving the country. In his last call he said: I am surrounded by police, they may arrest me”. His family said they did not know what happened to him. In the past year, at least 11 people have been imprisoned and charged with insulting the King on Twitter, according to media reports. They have been sentenced to periods ranging from 1-12 months for violating Article 214 of the Penal Code, which proscribes offending the King. These are: Abdullah Al-Hashemi, Salman Darwish, Ali Mohamed Watheqi, Ali Al-Haiki, Hassan Abdali Isa, Mohsen Abdali Isa, Ammar Makki, Mohammed Al-Aali, Mahmood Abdul-Majeed Abdulla Al-Jamri, Mahdi Ebrahim Al-Basri and Ali Faisal Al-Shufa.
Amnesty International, meanwhile, issued a statement on Wednesday 31st July appealing for two health professionals in custody. It called on the Bahraini authorities to release the two health professionals immediately and unconditionally, as they are detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly -- as such are prisoners of conscience. Dr ‘Ali ’Issa Mansoor al-'Ekri and Ebrahim ‘Abdullah Ebrahim al- Dumestani have been in detention since early October 2012, prior to which they had been free on bail. They are serving prison sentences of five and three years respectively after the Court of Cassation upheld their convictions and sentences on 1 October 2012. Dr ‘Ali al-Ekri and Ebrahim al-Demstani were among dozens of Bahraini health professionals who were arrested in 2011 following widespread anti-government protests which started on 14 February that year. They were accused of direct involvement in the anti-gov ernment activities. They were first tried and sentenced by a military court before their case was transferred to a civilian court.
These developments are coinciding with unprecedented campaign of repression against Bahraini people who are preparing to re-invigorate the Revolution on 14th August. Under the name “Tamarrud” (rebellion) the country is expected to rise against Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship to mark the day of independence from UK in 1971. Hundreds of people have been rounded up and many have been injured by the security forces. One of them is Sadiq Sabt, from Sehla Town who was yesterday run over by one of the police vehicles and is in serious condition.
On 29th July another martyr was killed in police custody. Ali Mansoor was killed within hours after his arrest from his home at Malikiya Town.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
1st August 2013
The past few days have witnessed one of harshest campaigns, collective punishment and en-mass trials in the country. Scores were kidnapped from their homes, offices or the street, taken to torture chambers and subjected to most horrific treatment. The towns of Samaheej, Duraz, Sitra, Karzakkan and others were raided by armed security men and hooded militias to induce fear in the hearts of Bahrainis. Those detained suffered great deals of torture to the extent that the regime’s torture personnel have denied that they had arrested some of them, leading to fears that some prisoners may have perished in the torture chambers. This campaign of state-terrorism started at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadhan to disorientate the people and divert them from the path of worship and struggle.
At the same time the Alkhalifa kangaroo courts resumed their sessions to send more Bahrainis to prison on trumpeted charges. On Thursday 25th July scores of Bahrainis were brought into these courts only to be humiliated by the Alkhalifa judges. Among them was Raihana Al Mousawi, one of two women arrested during the Formula 1 race in April. At her last appearance two weeks ago she told the court that she had been subjected to torture, abused and stripped off her clothes. The judge refused to document her torture complaints and failed to take any action to investigate these heinous crimes.
The group which is being tried is accused of being members of the 14th February Coalition. Among those present were Jihad Mohammad Ali and Ali Habib who were limping as they entered the court room due to the severe torture they had endured. A third person was Abd Ali Al Singace whose hand and neck had wrappings indicating the extent of torture. The fourth was Naji Fateel who had removed his shirt in the last session to expose the horrific wounds due to severe beating and hanging from the hands and legs. Another person was Hamid Al Safi who became furious when he saw Raihana Al Mousawi at the court again after her first ordeal two weeks ago. The judge ordered his removal from the court. Three others were also brought; Jaffar Al Jamri, Mohammad Ali Ashoor and Abd Ali Mohammad Khair. The Bahraini patriots started detailing their torture ordeals , but the judge kept interrupting them and asking them to stop talking. The ruling family had prevented a representative of Front Line D efenders and a Bahraini human rights activist, Mohammad Al Masqati from attending in order to keep the lid on those tales of horror. The session was abruptly brought to an end when the defence team refused the presence of one of the Alkhalifa members and the son of a prominent regime’s crony as judges. The families of the Bahraini victims were not allowed into the court room.
A Bahraini young man, Salman Ahmad Al Nakal, was arrested on Wednesday 24th July on the causeway linking Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. He was taken to an unknown location and nothing has been heard of him since.
The hopes of those who had been relentlessly promoting the Alkhalifa crown prince that he may lead a reconciliation process were dashed in the past two days after he uttered statements that exposed his real nature and that he is no more reformist than the rest of his family members. While visiting the house of one prominent people he called on the Bahrainis to apologise to the his family for calling for their natural and legitimate rights. He insisted that the victims of his family’s state terrorism stop their political campaigns and ask for forgiveness from those who have been abusing and torturing them. The people reacted in fury to those comments that were ill-placed and ill-advised. If anything, those words have exposed the reality of his personality and that he is not different from the rest of the Alkhalifa thugs. Those remarks came only a few days after he had met with the military and security personnel and thanked them for the crimes they are committing on dail y basis against Bahrainis. If this is the kind of man the Western allies have in mind to lead what they perceive as “reconciliation” process, then the whole exercise has exposed its futility and failure.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
26th July 2013
A citizen was martyred on Sunday 14th July as a result of inhaling excessive amounts of chemical gases used by regime’s forces. Hajj Saeed Abdulla Al Marzooq, 55, from Duraz Town was in an area which was bombarded with large amounts of killer gases to subdue the people who seek political change in the country. He collapsed and his life could not be saved as the gases had managed to destroy his internal organs.
In continuation of the repressive policies and terrorizing tactics, several Bahrainis have been kidnapped by members of regime’s Death Squads. Two youth from the town of Al Ma’amir were snatched by those forces and nothing has yet been disclosed about their well being or their whereabouts. On Tuesday 16th July, Abdulla Al Qassas and Mohammad Eid were taken to an unknown location by members of Death Squads. One week earlier, Dhaif Abdul Nabi was also kidnapped by those forces from his home town of Sitra. Sayed Saeed, the father of one of the young martyrs, Sayed Hashim (martyred January 2012) from Sitra has also been abducted. The people of Sitra staged several protests demanding his release or disclosing his whereabouts, but the Alkhalifa have refused.
On Wednesday night, 17th July, a gas cylinder placed in a car at a mosque car park exploded causing loud noise in the vicinity. The regime was the first to announce it and blamed the opposition for it. But its claim was ridiculed by the opposition many of whom believe that the regime had planned this incident to justify more crackdown against the people of Bahrain. The cylinder was allegedly placed near a Sunni mosque where people were attending prayers. It was clear from the moment of the explosion that the aim was to create the atmosphere for more sectarian strife after it had become clear that both Shia and Sunni Bahrainis were calling for serious political reforms. Two weeks ago a Sunni Muslim group presented a set of steps that would see the longest serving prime minister in the world, go unceremoniously. The Alkhalifa have all along been worried by the revival of a nation-wide awareness that could culminate in collective challenge to Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship. T he explosion is clearly meant to forestall any attempt of political reconciliation between the two major components of the Bahraini society; the Shia and Sunni Muslims. As the opposition condemned the dirty plot by Alkhalifa, it also challenged the dictator to stop killing Bahrainis, and bring to trial torturers and abusers.
On Monday 15th July The Times newspaper published a story titled “Bahrain; torture double standard”. It said: “Britain has been accused of operating “double standards” for turning a blind eye to human rights violations in Bahrain, while taking a much tougher stance with some other countries in the region. Nazeeha Saeed, a Bahraini journalist who was detained and tortured by her own Government, said that it was time the international community took stock of the human rights abuses going on there. The article added: “People think that the UK and the international community have been soft regarding violations of human rights and of freedom of speech …They say that they are ‘concerned’ about what’s going on but they don’t help the people there get justice. It’s double standards,” she said.
On Tuesday 16th July the Washington-based CATO Institute published an article on its website by Ted Gallen Carpenter titled “Bahrain Emerging as Washington’s Next Middle East Crisis”. It said: “The Obama administration, already preoccupied with the unpleasant developments in Syria and Egypt, may soon be facing a new crisis in the small Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain. If violence in that country continues to grow, it will have a more immediate and significant impact on Washington’s role in the region… There is little doubt that Bahrain’s political environment is increasingly volatile. The country is on the front lines of the Sunni-Shiite struggle for dominance in the Middle East. The Sunni monarchy of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa rules a population that is nearly 70 percent Shiite, and stark discrimination against the latter is evident in nearly every aspect of life. It further added: “Despite that crackdown, though, insurgents might well have toppled the monarchy if Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies had not intervened with 2,000 troops in March 2011.” The article quoted Frederic Wehrey, a scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who noted in his important study on Bahrain that “the United States finds itself in the undesirable position of maintaining close ties with a repressive regime that has skillfully avoided meaningful reforms… .”
Bahrain Freedom Movement
19th July 2103
The military coup in Egypt has shocked those who aspire for democratic change in the Arab world and bring the Arab Spring to fruition. While accepting that the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi may have gradually become incumbent, other constitutional means, than the military takeover, must have been utilized to achieve political change within the constitutional framework. The military has always been linked to absence of rule of law and the marginalization of people’s participation in running their own affairs. While acknowledging the shortcomings of the elected regime, the military junta has been at the core of Egypt’s problems in the past five decades and cannot be allowed to replace the role of the Constitution. The Muslim Brotherhood have clearly been unable to form a strong leadership, create trust among the people or take real and strong action when needed.
Pressure is mounting on the European countries to abandon the policy of appeasing Gulf dictators, call for democratic change in that region and stand firm on the issue of human rights. This has come to light as the foreign ministers of these countries are preparing to go to Bahrain for the EU-GCC annual meeting in Manama this weekend. The silence by the EU on the crimes committed especially by the regime of the host country has been condemned by Bahraini human rights activists and their Western sympathizers. In the past two weeks activists from human rights bodies have travelled to Brussels to lobby for a humane stands by the EU delegations. They were urged not to shake hands with Alkhalifa torturers and those who have spearheaded the policies of hate and sectarianism like the foreign minister and the crown prince. Both are seen by Bahrainis as instrumental in what had befallen them in the past two years despite the Western attempts to present the latter as a “moderate& rdquo;.
The calls on the EU to take a pro-active stand in support of the pro-democracy movement and its leaders were also raised in several meetings and seminars held in London in the past few days to mark the International Day in Support of Torture Victims. Redress, the London-based body which supports torture victims, organized a seminar on Monday 24th June to highlight the policies of torture in Bahrain. Several speakers took part in the seminar including the Bahrainis people’s delegation consisting families and lawyers of those victims. Farida Ghulam, wife of the jailed liberal leader Ibrahim Sharif, Khadija Al Mousawi, wife of Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja, Maryam Abu Deeb, daughter of Headteacher Mahdi Abu Deeb and Lawyer Mohammad Al Tajir, narrated details of the torture inflicted on their beloved ones. The audience was horrified by the crimes committed by Alkhalifa regime at the torture dungeons, especially those built in the basement of the National Security Agency (NSA).  ; On Tuesday 25th June, Human Rights Watch held a landmark seminar at their London office which was addressed by its Middle East Director, Joe Stork and the Bahraini people’s delegation. Mr Stork who has been working on Bahrain for more than two decades raised several points; Europe must act to curtail the Bahraini regime’s excessive violations of human rights, policy of impunity must be challenged head on, the Bahrain’s 13 (leaders of the 14th February Revolution) must be immediately and unconditionally released. He lambasted Alkhalifa for provoking the nationalities of 31 natives saying: “By doing so the regime has opted to become one of the very few repressive regimes that adopt this policy like Pinochet’s Chile”.
On Wednesday Lord Avebury, the Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group organized a Press Conference at the House of Lords to mark The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Several speakers, Bahrainis and others, narrated horrific details of the torture inflicted by Alkhalifa on Bahrainis. Lord Avebury urged the UK Government to act in a responsible way against this policy and stop appeasing a regime whose main source of legitimacy to stay in power is the use of “systematic torture” as described by the Alkhalifa-funded Bahrain’s Independent Investigation Commission (BICI).
21st June, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement titled “Human rights record in Bahrain still abysmal - Europe must act” in which it urged EU representatives attending Manama annual meeting with GCC countries to act: “When European Union ministers meet their counterparts from the Gulf Cooperation Council states for a summit in Bahrain on June 30, the dismal state of that island kingdom's human rights record needs to have a prominent place on the agenda. Despite King Hamad's claims of reform, Bahrain is clearly heading down the road of greater repression and the EU ministers should make a point of clearly and publicly saying so.”
A day earlier HRW launched a report titled “Interfere, Restrict, Control… Restraints on Freedom of Association in Bahrain “. This 87-page report examines restrictive laws and policies that stifle civic and political groups and trade unions. The report shows how authorities use unjust laws to restrict freedom of association by arbitrarily rejecting registration applications and intrusively supervising independent organizations. The government takes over and dissolves – more or less at will – organizations whose leaders criticize government officials and policies, and severely limits the ability of groups to raise money and to receive foreign funding.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
28th June 2013
Nasser and Khalid bin Hamad (Two sons of the king)
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights expresses serious concern about the continued policy of impunity and lack of accountability for those who participate in threats and human rights violations.
On the 16th of June 2013, Bahraini activist Yousif AlHoori protested in Berlin during the “Iron Man Race” in which Nasser bin Hamad and Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa (sons of the King) participated in. According to the information received by the BCHR, Yousif was surrounded by Nasser bin Hamad’s bodyguards, among them was bodybuilder Saeed AlJowhar, who took turns in reportedly beating and kicking AlHoori. Nasser bin Hamad personally reportedly threatened Yousif AlHoori that “he will show him”. TV host Tawfeeq Salhi who was accompanying Nasser bin Hamad, reportedly threatened AlHoori that his family will face retribution in Bahrain. Instead of arresting the bodyguards who physically assaulted AlHoori, German police arrested the activist and released him an hour later.
To add to that, Khalid bin Hamad reportedly threatened other protestors, Hussain Abbas AlKhal and Hussain Hameed, that they would face consequences if they go back to Bahrain.
Both Nasser and Khalid bin Hamad AlKhalifa have several allegations against them of their direct involvement in torturing Bahraini citizens. Given the brothers’ involvement in serious human rights violations the BCHR takes threats made by them very seriously. (Read cases of torture at the hands of Nasser and Khalid bin Hamad: http://bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/4516 and http://bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/5346)
The Bahrain Center for Center for Human Rights holds Nasser bin Hamad completely responsible should anything happen to any of Yousif AlHoori’s family members in Bahrain.
It is with great disappointment that the culture of impunity for Bahraini officials, including members of the Bahraini ruling family extends beyond Bahrain’s borders to countries which claim to respect human rights and accountability. When human rights violators, especially those involved in torture, are permitted to travel freely without any accountability for their crimes despite evidence against them it encourages them to continue and others to do the same.
It is of concern to the BCHR that Nasser and Khalid bin Hamad were allowed to participate in the Berlin “Iron Man Race”, instead of being arrested upon arrival in Germany. Although German police officers witnessed part of the beating of Yousif AlHoori, the officers arrested him instead of providing him with protection.
This is not the first time Nasser bin Hamad has enjoyed impunity in an EU country. In 2012 he attended the London Olympics despite a joint effort by BCHR and ECCHR to deny his visa application, which included the filing of a case against him in the UK courts providing evidence of his involvement in torture (Read: http://bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/4516)
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the Government of Germany and other EU countries to respect their responsibility towards human rights, and to take steps against human rights violators who travel to Germany.
A new “Urgent Action” issued by Amnesty International has highlighted the plight of Hassan Mushaima and Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace , two of the most prominent leaders of Bahrain’s Revolution, calling for their release and demanding that they receive medical treatment. Titled “Jailed activists denied medical treatment” the Urgent Action has been released by the international body which has documented many reports on the serious human rights violations by the Alkhalifa regime in that Bahrain. It said: “Hassan Mshaima’ and Dr ‘Abdel-Jalil al-Singace, two of the 13 jailed prominent Bahraini opposition activists, have been denied urgent medical treatment. They are prisoners of conscience.” It further added: “Since mid-March the prison authorities have insisted that the 13 must wear prison uniform during visits allegedly to humiliate them in front of their families. The 13 have refused to wear the uniform and thus have not been able to see their families. Amnesty International has urged its members to: Urge the Bahraini authorities to provide Hassan Mshaima’ and Dr ‘Abdel-Jalil al-Singace with any medical attention they may require, including access to regular check-ups in specialised hospitals, to release all 13 opposition activists immediately and unconditionally, since they are prisoners of conscience, convicted solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. It urged the Bahraini authorities to allow them immediate access to their families,, lawyers and to any adequate medical treatment they require.
In another development, Bahraini refugees in Germany have protested against allowing Alkhalifa thugs to pursue Bahraini refugees in their place of refuge. The Bahrainis have been protesting against allowing Nasser bin Hamad, the son of Bahrain’s dictator, who was attending horse racing when Bahraini protesters arrived at the race course, started shouting anti-regime slogans and calling for the arrest of the prince. He had been repeatedly accused of ill-treatment of prisoners, torturing detainees and threatening other Bahrainis who had called for a system based on “one-man-one-vote” system. They pursued Nasser but were stopped by his body guards and hitmen. The German police briefly detained one of the protesters, as calls by Bahraini human rights activists have continued for the arrest of Nasser bin Hamad who is accused of administering torture on prisoners. One of the protesters was set upon by members of the Death Squads accompanying Nasser, kicked and bea ten repeatedly under the eyes of the police.
Meanwhile the Bahraini Opposition Grouping in UK has organized a week-long programme of activities to mark the International Day in support of Torture Victims which falls on 26th June every year. The Grouping is holding a Press Conference on Wednesday 26th June at the House of Lords, a seminar by the Gulf Cultural Club in the evening of that day, another seminar (in Arabic) the following day and a protest outside Downing Street on Saturday 29th June. Also, Redress, which works to rehabilitate torture victims is holding a seminar at which families of the leading figures of the Revolution will tell the stories of torture inflicted on these senior figures in the Alkahlifa dungeons, built under the headquarters of the National Security Agency.
Under the headline “Spying software 'used in Bahrain to track activists” the World News website has recently published the following: “Finspy, UK-developed software that spies on computers and how they're used, has allegedly been sold to Bahrain to monitor pro-democracy campaigners. The Arab Spring exposed more than public anger over social issues. It also shed light on the high-tech tools used by repressive regimes to stifle dissent. In many countries the internet was simply shut down, but now we're learning about more sinister moves. A surveillance program called Finspy, produced by a British company, is just one that sits inside your computer, recording everything you say or write. Now evidence is emerging that the government of Bahrain is using the program to track pro-democracy activities.”
Bahrain Freedom Movement
20th June 2013
Bahrain: torture leads to miscarriage of woman detainee as US legislators condemn banning Mendez’s visit
In a tragic development the torture inflicted on a young woman has led to miscarriage. Nadia Ali Yousuf Saleh, from Bani Jamra, who has been in detention since 30th May, had a miscarriage earlier this week. The six months woman had been subjected to horrific torture after her arrest and did not receive medical care despite her pains and bleeding. Her husband is also languishing in the Alkhalifa torture chambers for opposing the hereditary dictatorship. She was beaten with her husband shortly after their arrest and was transferred to hospital for a botched up treatment. She was transferred to the regime’s dungeons where she received more ill-treatment that eventually led to her miscarriage. The Alkhalifa have banned the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture from visiting the country for fear that he would expose more crimes committed by the ruler, Hamad bin Isa Alkhalifa and his clique.
“We will remove you, Hamad” was the slogan of the countrywide demonstrations throughout the country in the past two days, in reference to the Bahrain’s dictator. From five points, the demonstrators braved the attacks by the regime’s forces aiming to stop their peaceful marches. They called for the release of the political prisoners and called for the removal of the hereditary dictatorship from power. They also called for swift international actions against the regime’s torturers and those who have destroyed places of worship and targeted the women and children.
On 28th May Sayyed Hadi Sayyed Hameed, 26, from Karzakkan was martyred as a direct result of excessive chemical gas inhalation. He had been affected few days earlier when regime’s forces attacked peaceful demonstrators in the town. His funeral was turned into anti-regime protest with people chanting “Death to Hamad” in reference to the dictator who is wreaking havoc on the country. Sayyed Hameed had been arrested in 2008 and sentenced to three years imprisonment. He was subjected to severe torture while languishing in Alkhalifa torture dungeons. He is a celebrated freedom fighter who spent the best part of his life protesting against the most brutal and reactionary regime in the region.
In one of the most bizarre episodes the Alkhalifa court acquitted the killers of Fadhel Al Matrook who was martyred by police bullets on Tuesday 15th February 2011 (second day of the Revolution). The killer of another martyr, Hani Abdul Aziz, was reduced from seven years to six months. In recent weeks the same courts have sentenced up to 200 Bahrainis for jail terms of up to 15 years imprisonment for peaceful acts such as taking parts in protests, tweeting against the dictator or raising anti-regime slogans. Among these are under-age children.
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights has issued an urgent action to stop ill-treatment of children behind bars. It said: “Reports from Bahrain’s Jaw prison identified some of the youth that were reportedly tortured that day, amongst them two children, Jehad Sadeq and Mustafa Al Muqdad. To conceal what had happened, they were removed from their cells and held in solitary confinement. Jehad was reportedly beaten, cursed and insulted at the time of arrest. He was tried under the internationally criticized terrorism law and was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment last month based on confessions extracted under duress.
Mustafa Al Muqdad, 16 years old, was arrested on 19 May 2011 after a house raid at dawn. He was reportedly tortured for two weeks after his arrest. According to the testimony, he was beaten with a plastic cable, deprived from sleep for three days and was forced to stand for days. He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment at the National Safety court (vis-à-vis the Military court) which was later reduced to three years
In London, several Muslim organizations addressed the British Foreign Secretary asking him to act to stop the relentless attacks by the Bahraini regime against religious scholars. They said: “We are very alarmed by these actions that the government of Bahrain and their security forces have embarked upon. This runs the real risk of escalating tensions through raising the stakes and agitating the population by targeting their senior religious leader. The forced entry into Ayatullah Qasim's home, as well as the attack on his family during the early hours of the morning, was a deliberate attempt to humiliate the Shia community in Bahrain. This represents a dangerous escalation, crossing a new red line that will have implications beyond just the Kingdom itself. We hope you will take a proactive stance to help in calming the current tensions in Bahrain and beyond.” The letter was signed by: Al-Khoei Foundation, The Council of European Jamaats, Dar Al Islam, Imam A li Foundation, Islamic Universal Association, Majlis Ulama Shia Europe, Muhammadi Trust, Rasool A’adham Foundation, The World Federation of KSIMC and World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League.
On another level, Zainab Al Khawaja, the jailed human rights activist has confirmed that a sectarian Apartheid regime is being implemented in her prison. The prison authorities have banned any interaction or mixing among the Shia and Sunni women prisoners. This action has coincided with the decision by the Alkhalifa regime to form an official militia groups comprising members of the Death Squads. This is yet another step to lead Bahrain into instability, chaos and absolute militarized dictatorship.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
30th May 2013
Serious escalation of state-terrorism has been reported in the last few days following the debacle of Bahrain’s dictator at the Ascot race course in London on Saturday 11th May . Many people have been arrested; most of them subjected to severe torture on the spots where they were detained. Harsh prison sentences have been passed against scores of Bahrainis. At least five people have been imprisoned for anti-regime tweets. Use of chemical gases has also been intensified, and many casualties reported in various parts of the country.