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Bahrain: After UPR Geneva session, Alkhalifa lost legitimacy to remain


The week’s highlight has been the almost unanimous international verdict against the ruling Alkhalifa dynasty for its brutal violation of human rights. The regime was condemned by most of the EU countries at the Human Rights Council (HRC) meeting in Geneva on Monday 21st May when Bahrain’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was conducted. One of the ministers of the ruling Alkhalifa junta presented the report which failed to convince those present at the session. At least nine EU countries reacted with disgust at the dangerous abuse of human rights by the current dictator and his clique. Last year a commission funded by the regime confirmed that systematic torture and extra-judicial killings had taken place. The HRC then issued 176 recommendations, compared to nine in the earlier UPR session four years ago. The regime had dispatched scores of its mercenaries to lobby for support among HRC member states but it is clear that their mission has disastrously failed. Bahra inis are, however, unconvinced that the Alkhalifa would stop abuse of human rights, especially arbitrary detention, torture and attack on freedom of speech. None of the banned sites are expected to be allowed.

The inability of the regime to respond favourably to the HRC recommendations was immediately visible in the way human rights activists have been treated at Alkhalifa courts where the judge is the adversary. The four most prominent human rights activists remain the torture chambers for their peaceful expression of opinion; Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja, Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace, Zainab Al Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab. All of them have been tortured at one time or another. The first two have been languishing at the torture dungeons for fifteen months where most horrible forms of torture had been administered on them. Zainab has been charged with various “offences” for opposing the dictatorship and was sentenced yesterday to one month in jail. Nabeel Rajab has also been charged with trumpeted charges intended to keep him behind bars in an attempt to stop the demonstrations. The aim is to reduce the popular revolt and prepare for another round of meaningless and time-wasting one way “dialogue”. Yet Bahraini youth will ensure that the regime goes and that its deception fails to stall the revolution.

On Wednesday 22nd May, Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja, was brought to a court run by a member of the Al khalifa enemy. After the most senior opposition figure, Abdul Wahab Hussain delivered a damning testimony to his torture ordeal, Mr Al Khawaja presented hair-raising description of  the abuse he had been subjected to since his arrest in March last year. His torture include breaking his jaws in four places, urinating in his mouth, beating, electric shocks, deprivation of sleep, sexual assault and threat of rape. If the court case continues next week more damning testimonies will come out and the onus will be on the world community to take immediate action against Alkhalifa dictatorship that has administered torture on Bahrainis on a systematic and regular basis since Ian Henderson restructured the Special Branch in 1966 during the British protection era. Many Bahrainis have died under torture since then. The failure of the world to take a stand has allowed the regime to commit t hese heinous crimes with impunity.

Meanwhile, people’s revolution has continued. Every day and night have seen demonstrations and protests in almost every corner of the country despite the vicious attacks by the forces of Timoney and Yates. Since Alkhalifa interior minister threatened two weeks ago to escalate violence against the people the use of shotguns against protesters has increased dramatically. Everyday tens of Bahrainis are injured, but they cannot seek treatment at hospitals which are under military management and instructions to report any injured Bahraini to the torture dungeons run by Timoney and Yates.

Hopes have been raised that Nasser bin Hamad Alkhalifa, one of the most notorious torturers will be arrested upon his arrival in London for the Olympics.UK’s Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne told MPs that leaders linked to such crimes (torture) will not be allowed into Britain to attend the summer Olympic Games. “Where there is independent, reliable and credible evidence that an individual has committed human rights abuses, the individual will not normally be permitted to enter the UK,” Browne said. Attempts are being made to present this reliable evidence to UK courts in due course to indict this torturer.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
25th May 2012

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