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Saudis and Alkhalifa slapped by other GCC states at Manama Dialogue
The Manama Dialogue which has been used by the ruling Alkhalifa clan as flagship to prove international stature turned into a nightmare when it was held on Friday 6th December. First came the “Omani bomb” when the Sultanate’s Foreign Minister, Yousuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdulla, announced his country’s flat rejection of the Saudi-proposed “Gulf Union”. The audience was stunned by such flagrant announcement at a forum that had been hoped to bolster the fledgling political status of Saudi Arabia that has been seeking to dominate the region. The Omani senior official elaborated further saying that if the proposed union was formed Oman would withdraw from the Gulf Cooperation Council. Two days later Kuwait announced its rejection of the Union. Qatar is unlikely to agree to a Union that would allow the Saudis free hand in their internal and external affairs. The Saudi invasion and occupation of Bahrain has awakened other Gulf monarchies to their vulnerability to Saudi aggression and their greed to grab more lands from their neighbours. This week there have been skirmishes on the Saudi-Yemeni borders after the Saudis attempted to occupy oil-reach Yemeni lands.
Another negative outcome of the “Manama Dialogue” has been the media interest in the Bahraini Revolution. Foreign journalists who went to Bahrain ignored the hopeless forum and, instead, attended the anti-regime activities. On 8th December The Sunday Times published a report titled: Tear gas replaces talk in Bahrain’s ‘liberal oasis’, with a clarifying paragraph saying: “As the royal family of Bahrain receives William Hague and other western ministers, it is accused of cracking down on all opposition”
In another serious attack on free expression, the Alkhalifa court sentenced a senior physician to long-term sentence for expressing his opinion about Bahrain’s dictator. Dr Saeed Al Samaheeji, was sentenced to one year in jail for criticizing the ruler who is becoming more despotic and aggressive against Bahrainis. Many others are serving jail sentences for expressing their opinion about the regime. Earlier this year the Alkhalifa clan issued a law banning people from tweeting against the hereditary dictatorship. Since then many young men and women have been given jail terms for this “offence”. Under such regime hopes of a peaceful solution to the political crisis have been dashed. For most native Bahrainis the only way out is regime change.
An attack last night on the town of Bani Jamra by masked members of the regime’s Death Squads resulted in many house raids and scores of arrests. Families were frightened in the early hours of the morning as those criminal gangs smashed homes of Bahrainis. A young man, Abdul Amir Abdul Nabi Al Mahfoodh, from the town was arrested on 8th December. Another man was tortured and abused as he was being arrested from Bani Jamra. Jaffar Hussain Mohammad was severely beaten by members of the Death Squads as he was being arrested. A Bahraini youth from the town of Nuwaidrat, Redha Ali Ahmad MalAllah was snatched from his home on 7th December and transferred to the Dry Dock torture centre.
The International Human Rights Day yesterday was commemorated by the regime with more arrests, torture and abuse. As several prominent Bahrainis continued their hunger strike for the tenth day, the dictator has ordered their detention for arbitrary periods of 30 and 45 days. Among them are Makki Abu Taki, Jawad Al Sheikh, (Both are fathers of martyrs), Hussain Jawad, and Najeeb Abu Taki. Another Bahraini whose torture had been highlighted few weeks ago has been given extra jail sentence. Talib Ali who is falsely accused of sabotage has been repeatedly sentenced to a total of 50 years in jail.
Meanwhile Bahrain Watch which is following the most controversial deal by a South Korean company has issued urgent appeals to UN OHCHR to Stop Tear Gas Shipment. The monitoring body lodged complaints with several United Nations Special Rapporteurs, as part of the ongoing #StopTheShipment campaign to stop a shipment of South Korean tear gas to Bahrain. The complaints request that the Special Rapporteurs take urgent action to halt further shipments of tear gas to Bahrain, and investigate the legality of previous shipments of South Korean tear gas. The complaints argue that Bahrain’s government has used previous shipments of tear gas to violate the freedoms of association, expression and movement, and for systematic repression that amounts to degrading and inhuman treatment and collective punishment. Separate complaints were sent to: The Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, The Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, The Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killing and The Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
11th December 2013