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Bahrain: Regional turmoil following killings and arrests by Saudi regime
The dramatic developments in the past few days in Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia have reverberated in all corners of Bahrain. The cold-blooded murder, by Saudi police, of two demonstrators on 8th July was a brutal crime by a regime intent on pursuing its evil goals at any cost. The martyrs were protesting against the arrest, earlier that night of a prominent religious scholar who had been outspoken in its criticism of the Al Saud policies and repression. Sheikh Nimr Al Nimr had predicted that he would either be killed or arrested. Shortly after leaving the mosque at Al Awwamiya Town in the Eastern Province of Arabia, he was stopped and shot in the thigh before his arrest. The amount of blood on the ground indicates that his wounds are severe. His condition or whereabouts are unknown. Like the Al Khalifa, Al Saud are also known for their policy of revenge from anyone who dares challenge their authority or question their crimes. Demonstrations have continued in the province i n subsequent days and the situation is expected to get worse. Sheikh Al Nimr is known for his strong support of the Bahraini people and revolution and has vowed to stand by the oppressed at any cost.
Meanwhile more casualties have been reported in recent days as the regime’s security forces continued their assault on Bahraini people. Shotguns, supplied by UK to the ruling family, have been used at a wider scale in recent weeks after the Alkhalifa had been given green light from Washington and London to escalate violence against native Bahrainis. Among the latest victims is 15 years old Ahmad Al Sarou, who sustained serious shotgun wounds to various parts of his body, possibly including his head. Despite his horrific wounds he was arrested by the Alkhalifa torturers and his condition or whereabouts are unknown.
Nabil Rajab’s son, Adam, has confirmed that his father had been transferred to the Jaw Prison, notorious for being one of the worst torture centres run by John Timoney and John Yates. Mr Rajab had been treated with cruelty as punishment for criticising Hamad Al Khalifa, the worst Arab dictator still in power and supported by US and UK governments. Nabil is now held in a small cell shared with another foreign prisoner incarcerated for pity crimes. On 11th July, Amnesty International called for Mr Rajab’s immediate release. Ann Harrison of Amnesty said: ‘Like many others in Bahrain, Nabeel Rajab is a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression’. The statement said: The Bahraini authorities should immediately release Nabeel Rajab, said Amnesty International today, after the prominent human rights activist was sentenced to three months in prison on Monday following his conviction for libel relating to comments made on Twitter. Reporters Without Borders and other human rights bodies have called for Nabil’s immediate release. They all consider him a “Prisoner of Conscience”.
On another level, the Alkhalifa clan issued an order to ban Islamic Action Society and warned of more draconian measures against other registered political societies. Senior members of the Society have rejected the decision describing it as “politicised” and “slanderous”. Its Secretary General, Sheikh Mohammad Ali Al Mahfoodh, and other senior members have languished behind bars for more than a year for refusing to give up their demands for reforms. Other societies are now threatened with closure if they did not tow the line of the dictator. Two weeks ago the Secretary General of Al Wefaq Society was targeted for killing during a demonstration. He was shot with a rubber bullet at close range but he was not seriously injured. The young person protecting him, Ali Mawali sustained serious injuries in his defence and is now under sedation in a serious condition.
In anticipation of banning today’s protests called for by the political societies Amnesty International had urged the Alkhalifa “to exercise peacefully their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly. It said “During the review of Bahrain at the 13th session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group before the Human Rights Council in Geneva last May, Bahrain received 25 recommendations to amend national legislation, including to amend Law 32 of 2006 on associations and gatherings and bring it in line with international standards. Several states put forward recommendations calling on the Bahraini government to allow the exercise of freedom of expression, association and assembly”
Bahrain Freedom Movement
13th July 2012