Bleak prospects as Saudi, Alkhalifa snub Obama, continue abuses, aggression

Bleak prospects as Saudi, Alkhalifa snub Obama, continue abuses, aggression

The long-awaited Camp David summit scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) appears to have faltered with no tangible results expected. Only the Kuwaiti and Qatari Emirs have travelled to USA to attend the meeting called for by President Obama. The Saudis and Alkhalifa were angered by Mr Obama’s suggestion that the threats to their thrones are not from outside but from their people who are angry at lack of democracy or respect of human rights. Both regimes are facing serious internal challenges and both have blamed them on the outside. Both are now engaged in the most destructive war ever launched in the region. Yemen has been reduced to rubble as human casualties continue to escalate. The silence of the world to the plight of Yemenis is deafening.

Amnesty International USA has written to President Obama urging him to “raise specific human rights concerns with Gulf leaders”. The letter names dozens of specific prisoners of conscience currently detained or imprisoned by each of the GCC governments, and urges President Obama to raise them during the summit. “The reality is that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait all engage in significant and widespread human rights violations. Not only that, but their systems of law permit and even facilitate human rights abuses by non-state actors against women, migrant workers, and other population groups,” writes Amnesty International USA executive director Steven W. Hawkins.

Bahrain’s dictator has been hoping to attend Camp David meeting to gain international recognition and legitimacy. But his insistence on detaining human rights and political activists simply for advocating  people’s rights has embarrassed the US president. From his cell, Nabeel Rajab had sent a letter to Mr Obama urging him to take up the human rights issue with the dictator. Several international and domestic human rights bodies also wrote to Mr Obama about the Bahrainis human rights crisis. The presence of the Alkhalifa dictator at the White House would have caused immense embarrassment to the White House especially in the wake of the criminal attack on the inmates of Jaw Prison which has more than 1500 prisoners of conscience.

On Monday 11th May, Nabeel Rajab was remanded in custody for two more weeks despite international calls to release him immediately and unconditionally. On 11th May Index on Censorship issued a statement titled: End imprisonment of democracy campaigner Nabeel Rajab. “Bahrain has committed publicly to respecting human rights, but continues to flout its international commitments by denying its citizens the right to peaceful protest, peaceful assembly, and to free expression,” said Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg. “We urge the new UK government to use its position as an ally of Bahrain to ensure the country upholds those commitments and ends the harassment of Nabeel Rajab and his fellow democracy activists.”

Meanwhile arrests and detentions of native Bahrainis have continued. In the week 4- 10th May at least 51 citizens were arrested; 19 were subsequently released. This morning several people were arrested from Saar Town: Habib Ali Habib, Mohammad Ali Habib, Sayed Adnan Sayed Kadhem and Redha Majeed Ghuloom. From Duraz Hassan Al Anfooz was arrested after being chased by civilian car driven by masked members of Death Squads. He sustained several broken bones and was arrested. Five youth were arrested on Sunday 11th May from Dar Kulaib Town. From Aali Town Sadiq Al Alwani was arrested after three years in hiding. On 6th May Mohammad Jaffar Saud was arrested in Bani Jamra. From Salmabad Jaffar Al Banna was detained by masked members of Death Squads.  Hassan Mahfoodh, from Kawara Town was arrested in a house raid. From Sitra AlKharijiya several people were arrested including Hussain Mohammad Ali Sdaif, Usama Al Sheikh, Qassim Mohammad, Amir Yousuf and Hassan Al Demstani. Ahmad Hassan, from the same town was arrested in Jannusan Town.

Pen International has issued an appeal for the release of Dr Abdul jalil Al Singace whose health is steadily deteriorating. It is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace and all those detained in Bahrain in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a state party. PEN urges activists to send appeals to Alkhalifa dictators: Expressing serious concerns for the health of academic, activist and blogger Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, who is in need of urgent medical treatment; Demanding a full investigation into reports that Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace and others are being ill-treated in prison and Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace and all those detained in Bahrain in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a state party.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
13th May 2015
(vob.org, info@vob.org)

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