US must act against Gulf dictators; Alkhalifa continue revenge from Salman, Rajab

US must act against Gulf dictators; Alkhalifa continue revenge from Salman, Rajab

Following the absence of Bahrain’s dictator from the Camp David summit last week, US Congress is putting Bahrain on notice that it needs to get serious about political reforms if it doesn’t want to see 5,000 US sailors and Marines take their business elsewhere. The House last week passed an annual defence bill that requires the Department of Defence to plan for a potential relocation of the US 5th Fleet if political tensions persist. Lawmakers made clear the provision was aimed squarely at putting pressure on the Alkhalifa monarchy to respond to what they consider to be legitimate grievances of the majority Shiite population. “The reason that we have to do some planning now for that contingency is exactly because of the Bahraini monarchy’s failure to address the concerns of the people,” the sponsor of the provision, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., told Al-Monitor. “If they choose not to address those concerns or do so in a heavy-handed way and somehow things end up getting worse there, then we may be forced to have to leave. And I don’t think any American policymaker wants to see that happen.”

Concern is growing for the health of Dr Abdul Jalil AlSingace after two almost two months on hunger strike in protest at the torture inflicted on hundreds of detainees of the notorious Jaw Prison. He was subjected to enormous psychological and physical pressure for defending the victims who were subjected to one of the worst episodes of systematic state terrorism. He has now been transferred to the military hospital after sustaining damage to his internal organs including his heart. He is severely disabled and has been using crutches since childhood. He was arrested among the Bahrain 13; the leadership of the Revolution.

The heavy-handed policy of Alkhalifa regime has continued. This morning Abbas Hassan has been arrested in dawn raid on his home in Barbar Town. Yesterday, four native students were detained at the airport upon their return from their studies in India. Adel Ahmad Al Taitoon, Fadhel Mahmood Rajab, Hussain Mohammad Ibrahim and Mahmood Jassim Ni’ma were taken to unknown destination and fear is growing that they may be subjected to torture. Hussain Rajab, the brother of Fadhel Rajab was also arrested.

On Sunday 17th May Mohammad Abdul Amir Thamer from Dar Kulaib was arrested from his work place and taken to one of the secret torture houses. From Daih Town Hussain Abdulla Fadhel was arrested on Sunday from his sister’s house at Maqsha’ Town. His parents home was also raided with ferocity and shamelessness. On 15th May, four young men from Dar Kulaib were detained: Abdulla Abbase, Mohammad Ali Al Arab, Salman Ibrahim and Abdulla Mohammad. From Nu’aim under-aged Qassim Amin was snatched  from his home. From Arad Town, Mahmood Jassim was arrested from his friends house. Abdulla Nasser Mohammad was detained in a raid on his home in Demstan Town. Ayyoub Adel from Muharraq was snatched from a house in Malikiya.  Is it now almost three weeks since Yasser Ahmad Al Amriki was arrested with no news or family visit. For the sixth time, Jalila Sayed Amin, had her detention extended by 15 more days for taking part in anti-regime activities.

The Alkhalifa decision to jail Nabeel Rajab, the world-renowned human rights activist for six months has angered the World’s human rights bodies. On 14th February Amnesty International said: “Today’s verdict shows once again that Bahrain is brazenly flouting its international obligations. Nabeel Rajab has been sentenced solely for peacefully expressing his opinion, the Bahraini authorities must release him immediately and unconditionally, and ensure his conviction is quashed,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. The US Under-Secretary of State for Human Rights, Democracy and Labour has rejected this sentence on his twitter account: Thomas Malinowski said: Disappointed by Nabeel Rajab’s denial of appeal. No one wanywhere should be jailed for peacefully expressing their opinion”.

Today, Alkhalifa kangaroo court trying the Secretary General of AlWefaq Society, once again, adjourned issuing its verdict until 16th June. Defence lawyers have not been allowed to present their defence to the court. The “judge” refused to allow Sheikh Ali Salman to speak in defence of himself.

The Gulf region expert for Human Rights First, Brian Dooley has said that a research by his organisation has reached the conclusion that  true stability in the Gulf region can only be reached through democratic reforms that allow for peaceful dissent. As civil society disappears, so too does the moderate opposition, which is quickly supplanted by extremism. As Obama discusses security concerns with his Gulf allies, he would do well to tell them that the biggest security threat to both the US and the Gulf is their own repression.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
20th May 2015

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