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Bahrain: Powerful campaign on 2nd anniversary of Saudi invasion
With the approach of the second anniversary of the Saudi occupation of Bahrain, feelings are running high among the people who want to see their country liberated from both the Saudi and Alkhalifa occupation. The 14th February Alliance has called for country-wide strikes on 14th March, the day the Saudi troops crossed the causeway between the two countries and re-set the military scene in the country. The mothers of the martyrs have become focal to the revolutionary movement and have been at the forefront of the calls for regime change. They have also urged people to participate actively in the coming activities against the Saudi occupation especially the 14th March strike.
The mother of Martyr Ahmad Farhan who was killed in Sitra the day after the Saudi invasion has expressed deep feelings in the name of her son’s blood, to fully support these peaceful actions. Several other mothers also expressed strong views calling for public participation in the anti-regime activities especially those aiming at ending the Saudi occupation.
The aim of the invasion of Bahrain was to crush the people’s Revolution which had started one month earlier. While the international community has remained largely silent, the people have campaigned against the military presence and warned other people in the GCC countries to express their rejection of military intervention by Saudi Arabia against their will. If the Saudi crime in Bahrain is unchallenged it will be repeated in other countries and the people will be kept at bay, unable even to organise peaceful protests against the hereditary dictatorship of the sheikhs.
The Bahraini Opposition in UK is organising several activities to mark the occasion and make other people aware of the situation. On Sunday 10th March there will be a Rally at Marble Arch which will be addressed by several people from anti-war movements and human rights activists. On Tuesday 12th March a seminar will be held at the House of Lords and will be addressed by several Bahraini speakers. The Gulf Cultural Club and the Open Discussion will hold a seminar on Wednesday 13th March at which notable speakers will participate including Professor Madawi Al Rashid, from King’s College, Professor Joshua Castallino, Dean of Law Faculty at Middlesex University and Jawad Fairooz, former MP from Bahrain. There will be a protest outside Saudi Embassy on Wednesday.
In another development, Amnesty International has condemned the arrest of Zainab Al Khawaja who had not committed any crime punishable by civilised laws. It considered her “prisoner of conscience” and called for Zainab’s immediate and unconditional release. It also urged its members to write to the authorities to demand her release.
The human rights defenders from the Gulf countries and Yemen, convened their second Gulf Platform for Human Rights Defenders in Istanbul (1-2 March 2013). It was organized by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights. In their final statement they called for the release of all political prisoners in the GCC countries, allowing human rights activists free and unrestricted travel between those countries, stoping all forms of legal prosecutions, threats, intimidations, blackmailing, defamation, denunciation of activists, and the opening of a regional office for the UN Commission for Human Rights. They have also urged the UN Security Council to submit the Yemeni file to the International Criminal Court for investigation of war crimes that may have been committed by Ali Saleh’s regime.
In the past few days the people’s resolve to continue their struggle until the Alkhalifa regime has been brought down has become stronger following the total failure of the meeting arranged by the Alkhalifa regime between the political societies. While some of those bodies had thought they were going to negotiate with the Alkahlifa, the dictator’s court issued a statement insisting that none of the ruling family would participate, thus nullifying the initiative. There are now enormous pressures on those societies to withdraw from this poorly-presented PR show.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
8th March 2013