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Bahrain: Saudi-backed regime intensifies repression ahead of 14th Feb
As preparations for the third anniversary of the 14th February Revolution approaches, the regime has intensified its mass arrests and other means of repression. On Monday 3rd February, several people were arrested. Mohammad Al Sheikh and Mohammad Al Oraibi were detained at the airport upon their return from a religious trip. Jaffar Al Shughul, Sadiq Hassan, Hassan Ayyoub and Hussain Ahmad Kadhem were arrested in the early hours and their homes at Aali Town were raided and ransacked. The regime has refused to release an under-age child, Ammar Yasser Abdulla despite pleas by human rights activists to do so. The family of Mohammad Bader Al Sheikh is extremely worried about his welfare after his house had been raided again and his belongings either confiscated or destroyed. On Monday 3rd January, Hussain Ali Abbas and his brother, Hassan, were arrested in a raid on their home at Bouri Town.
In a serious violation of basic norms of human rights and justice, Death Squads kidnapped a grandfather and forced his grandson to hand over himself to the torturers. Sayyed Mahamood Sayyed Saeed from Bouri Town could not tolerate his grandfather’s abduction and ill-treatment by those heartless people, so he handed himself to the torturers. From Malikiya two people were arrested on 4th February; Abdulla Al Sheikh and Ali Al Habbash. From Karzakkan Abbas Mansi Yousuf was detained yesterday and taken to torture dungeons.
Meanwhile the regime has refused to release the internationally-renowned human rights activist, Nabeel Rajab who had lodged an appeal against his latest conviction. He has to remain for several more weeks before another appeal is heard. The decision whether to release Nabeel Rajab or other human rights and political activists rests with the dictator who directs his “judiciary” what to do.
The fate of a Bahraini artist, Sadiq Al Sha’bani is still unknown since his disappearance in Oman on 27th January. He may have been handed to Alkhalifa torturers. His family is extremely concerned for his well-being and is anxious to know where he is. The Omani Government must inform his family of Mr Sha’bani’s whereabouts.
On another level, sixty towns and villages signed a statement distancing themselves from any attempt to normalise relations with Alkhalifa clan through the empty slogan of “dialogue”. There is widespread anger among Bahrainis that this process aims at dampening people’s zeal and determination to cleanse the country of the tribal rule which is guilty of most heinous crimes against humanity, including torture, extra-judicial killings and genocidal policies.
Amnesty International issued two Urgent Actions this week to deal with the deepening human rights crisis in Bahrain. On 31st January an Urgent Action Update was issued on behalf of Bahraini activist Zainab Al-Khawaja who was sentenced to a further four months in prison by a Criminal Court in relation to two new cases brought against her for “destroying government property”. It emphasised that Zainab Al-Khawaja is a prisoner of conscience held solely for peacefully exercising her rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and urging the authorities to release her immediately and unconditionally. It urged the regime to quash her prison sentences, drop all the charges and overturn all her convictions; and to respect and protect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly and ensure that all human rights organizations and human rights defenders are able to carry out their work without hindrance, intimidation or harassment.
Another Urgent Action was issued on 4th February about 22 years old Ahmed Mohammad Saleh Al Arab who had been held incommunicado since his arrest on 9th January. Amnesty expressed fear that this Bahraini citizen is at risk of torture. It said: Ahmed Mohammad Saleh al-Arab continues to be denied family visits after 27 days of detention. There are fears the authorities are hiding that he has been tortured while held incommunicado. He has been denied medical care. It urged the Bahraini authorities to provide Ahmed Mohammad Saleh al-Arab with immediate access to his lawyer, family and any medical care he may need; called for an investigation of allegations that Ahmed Mohammad Saleh al-Arab was tortured and otherwise ill-treated and bring those responsible to justice. It also called on the Alkhalifa regime to either charge Ahmed Mohammad Saleh al-Arab with a recognizably criminal offence or release him.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
5th February 2014