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Bahraini assassinated by Saudi –backed regime, UN concerned about disappearances
On 16th May Bahrainis were shocked by the assassination of a young activist at the hands of the Alkhalifa Death Squads. Ali Faisal Al Akrawi, 19, who had been on the run was targeted by the regime’s killers in a similar way to that which had liquidated other activists in recent months. The young boy’s body bore the marks of hateful revenge by a cruel enemy of the people, morals and humanity. Thousands of people turned out at his funeral chanting anti-regime slogans including “Down with Hamad”. They were mercilessly attacked by regime’s forces using shotguns and chemical gases.
The Alkhalifa regime was dealt serious blows over the past week as the political stalemate started to turn against the Alkhalifa dynastical rule. The Public Relations campaign which was heavily funded became a liability. First came the cancellation by Prince Andrew of his much-publicised appearance at a propaganda conference in London on Friday 16th May. The attendance was poor and the strong presence by the opposition outside the hall took the case of the people to the heart of the British establishment. Then the Windsor Horse Show, sponsored by Bahrain’s dictator, became a propaganda platform for the victims of tyranny. The dictator wanted to buy off the political stand of the UK Government by sponsoring the show and handing awards to jockeys. Bahraini victims gathered outside the race course with their banners depicting images of torture and heavy-handed attacks by regime’s forces on peaceful demonstrators. The decision by a British court earlier to remove the anonymit y of dictator’s son implicated in a case accusing him of torture had demoralized regime’s British supporters, forcing them to save their skin and limit their involvement with the bloody regime of the Alkhalifa.
Meanwhile the hearts of the people are throbbing in anticipation of the imminent release of Nabeel Rajab, the most prominent human rights activist in Bahrain. He had been languishing behind bars since his arrest in July 2012 and is due for release on 24th May. The human rights world has been incensed by the detention and ill-treatment of human rights activists by Bahrain’s dictatorial regime. The release of Mr Rajab will bolster the political opposition to the regime which has imprisoned leaders and activists and banned freedom of expression, peaceful protests and free civil society activities.
The human rights situation has been highlighted this week in a report by Amnesty International after the return of its assessment team from Bahrain. The Alkhalifa had prevented human rights bodies from visiting the country for three years, but it has been advised by its Western backers of the need to rescind this decision to avoid being sanctioned by the Human Rights Council. While welcoming being allowed to visit the country, AI’s team has registered its disenchantment with the human rights situation. It had met officials and victims and concluded that violations are continuing. In a statement on 19th May AI said: “The organization remains concerned, however, about the lack of reform of the judiciary, slow and inadequate investigations into past abuses, and continuing restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly.”
No sooner had the AI’s delegation and that of the UN High Commission for Human Rights left the country than the regime started its atrocious attacks on Bahrainis. This morning Haitham Habib Al Omani, 23, has been snatched from a house at Bani Jamra town and taken to the torture dungeons. Yesterday nine Bahrainis were arrested from different towns and villages. Among them was Sayed Ahmad Al Alawi and his brother. More than twenty Bahrainis were arrested last week.
In Geneva, The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances reviewed during its 103rd session more than one hundred newly reported cases and examined around 800 updates from governments and sources on previously accepted ones. The Working Group examined 38 of these cases that have occurred in the last three months under its urgent action procedure. They concerned Bahrain, Cambodia, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Syria, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. “We are especially concerned about the high number of recent cases reported to us. We urge the concerned Governments to swiftly and thoroughly investigate these cases in order to determine the fate and whereabouts of the victims”, observed the experts.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
21 May 2014