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Bahrain: Pre-emptive arrests, torture to welcome F 1 race


The Alkhalifa regime has carried out a pre-emptive crackdown on citizens to prevent any disruption to the Formula 1 race scheduled to begin on 19th April. Tens of young Bahrainis have been summarily rounded up, tortured and dumped in torture dungeons. On Wednesday 10th April more than forty homes were raided by heavily-armed mercenary riot police and members of the Death Squads, and arrested at least 12 people from one town alone. They are: Hasan Jaffar Quwaied, Murtadha Ebrahim Tawq, Hasan Ebrahim Quwaied, Ahmed Abdulwahab Alkhayat, Mustafa Draboh, Ahmed Salman Alrafa’ei, jaffar Hasan Sultan, Hassan Ahmed Esmail, Hassan and Khalil Alhanan

Human Rights Watch confirmed the crackdown. Sarah Lea Sarah Leah Whitson, the HRW's Middle East director said on Wednesday 10th April: "Bahraini authorities are carrying out home raids and arbitrarily detaining opposition protesters in advance of the Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend," the statement said. These raids and detentions suggest that officials are more concerned with getting activists out of circulation for the Formula 1 race than with addressing the legitimate grievances that have led so many Bahrainis to take to the streets," it read. Night-time raids of targeted people by masked officers who show neither arrest nor search warrants appear intended to intimidate them, their families and their supporters," it added.

Also The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses grave concern in regards to the escalated security measures, increased house raids and arbitrary arrests of citizens living in villages located near the Bahrain International Circuit, which is due to host the Formula 1 Grand Prix race on 19th April 2013.

A young Bahraini youth, Hussain Kadhem, is fighting for his life after he had been hit in his head with a shotgun canister fired at close range. He was taking part in a peaceful protest on Saturday 6th April in Sitra. His father was called by the hospital military men and asked to sign his agreement to carry out an operation. He is still in a critical condition.

On 8th April Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office Minister took some questions on his Twitter account about the situation in Bahrain. Apart from repeating old mantras about the need for genuine dialogue and praising the hereditary dictatorship for marginal administrative steps, Mr Burt lacked the vision for a real solution. He definitely did not promote forming a democratic regime and did not call for an end to the culture of immunity. However, he made one significant concession to Bahraini people when answering a question that said: Don’t you think that you Ambassador

are insulting the Bahrainis by saying that Iran is behind this massive movement? His reply was:  No clear evidence of Iranian involvement in 2011 unrest. But concerned Iran & others now supporting some radical opposition.” The implication of this answer is that UK Ambassador to Bahrain is wrong about Iran’s involvement, and more importantly, that the Saudi invasion and occupation of Bahrain had no justification and that both Alkhalifa and Alsaud were lying when they said Bahrain was under external threat.

Meanwhile Saudi Arabia is preparing for real change in Yemen and has started to shield itself by building a fence, over 1,000 miles long, in order to seal off its troubled frontier with Yemen. The BBC has been told by Saudi border guards that security on the Yemeni side of the border has all but disappeared since the revolutions of the Arab Spring. The implication is that the Saudi regime fears more from the fallout of a democratic change in Yemen.

The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), with the help of a medical consultant, gathered information and cases about the situation of medical services in Bahrain and the limited access to medical care. The report covered several aspects of the medical situation. The BCHR found evidence of continuous violations committed by the Government of Bahrain that included the breach of the Geneva Convention and the breach of medical neutrality.  The evidence also concludes that the medical services have been militarized and are used as a tool to target civilians. Changes in the health policies have been politicized to serve a political agenda.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
12th April 2013

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