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Bahrain: New year’s hope for Alkhalifa reign of terror to end
The new year has been celebrated by the Bahraini people with hope and anxiety. Their hopes are being raised every day by the big mistakes being committed by the regime that will prove fatal to its existence. The collective punishment, the attempt to eradicate the natives, distort the island’s history and the refusal to enact any form of reform are major errors of judgment on the part of the Alkhalifa clan. The new year is inspiring the revolutionaries to continue the struggle and persevere in eradicating the occupation by Alkhalifa and Al Saud.
The situation has now been made worse for those occupiers by targeting prominent figures who have been calming the situation. The arrest and interrogation of Sheikh Ali Salman, the Secretary General of Al Wefaq Society, on Saturday 28th December led to public anger and calls for demonstrations. Allies of the regime rushed to put pressure on the dictator to release Sheikh Salman immediately or risk serious escalation of anti-regime protests. After eight hours the cleric was released. He was accused of fomenting dissent and spreading anti-regime thoughts. One day earlier he had challenged one of the biggest fabrications by the Alkhalifa invaders made by the dictator himself. He had claimed that the bloody attack by his ancestors in 1783 had brought people to Islam; a claim that infuriated both the Shia and Sunni natives. These remarks have led to further polarization against Alkhalifa continued hegemony over the natives.
The crackdown against Bahrainis has continued unabated despite international calls for an end to human rights abuses. On Sunday 29th December a young man, Mohammad Jaffar, was snatched from the causeway on his way back from Iraq after a religious trip. There is also great concern for the life of Sayed Ali, from Tubli and 13 other Bahrainis detained from Bani Jamra, Kerrana and Hajar. Nothing has been heard of them since their arrest in the past few days. Also the father of detainee Hassan Zain Al Din was arrested when he visited his son at the Dry Dock torture centre on Monday 30th December. A young boy, Hussain Jaffar Ali Fateel, 17, has also been snatched by Death Squads and taken to unknown location. Hassan Abdulla Al Ghasra, 18, is also in the hands of Death Squads since they had taken him few days ago.
A case of extreme criminality has also come to light. On 24th December, a group of youth from Karzakkan who had been in detention were approached by a member of a committee ostensibly formed to hear claims of torture. The officer used every possible means of threat, coercion and false promises of leniency to convince the youth to drop their complaint of torture. They vehemently refused to withdraw a legal case they had initiated through their lawyers and insisted that torturers be brought to justice. Last week one of the most notorious torturers was, once again, acquitted by the ruling family’s court despite overwhelming evidence of her involvement in sadistic torture. Noura Al Khalifa had been accused by several female victims of torturing them. Dr Nada Dhaif and Ayat Al Qormuzi came face to face with her during torture sessions, and positively identified her and accused her of severe forms of torture. Yet the dictator had no stomach to stop torture or serious ly prosecute any of his henchmen.
The Dublin-based Frontline Defenders issued an open letter to Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja titled: You are not forgotten. It was written by its Executive Director, Mary Lawlor. It said; I know that you won't get this letter but I hope that you will at least hear of it. I just want you to know that you are not forgotten and that your friends and former colleagues in Front Line Defenders are thinking of you.Here in Ireland people are finishing up for the holidays and getting ready to spend time with their friends and families. I am deeply conscious of the fact that while you remain in prison , your daughter Zainab is also in prison and your other daughter Maryam has to continue her work for human rights in Bahrain from outside the country.
Human rights defenders pay a high price for their courage but governments should realise that they will be remembered for their crimes. Kingdoms may crumble and tyrants will fall, as in the end they inevitably do, but what survives is the strength and courage of ordinary people who cling to their principles and refuse to be beaten down by oppression.”
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights has issued a report expressing fear of torture and ill-treatment of four groups of Bahrainis arrested by the Alkhalifa ruling clan. After describing the Alkhalifa crimes against these groups it called for the following: The immediate reform of the judicial system to bring it to the international standards of a fair trial; An immediate end to the use of torture as a method to obtain confessions; To end impunity of torturers, release all prisoners in cases where the only evidence presented against them in court was confessions obtained under torture;
In criminal cases, allow independent and neutral observers to be involved in the proceedings to guarantee due process and to confirm that the crime took place.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
1st January 2014