Bahrain expels American HR official and intensifies repression

Bahrain expels American HR official and intensifies repression

The decision by Bahrain’s dictator to expel US Assistant-Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski from the country has turned the table on his head. It was viewed with disdain from the human rights world and has angered one of the regime’s key supporters.  Mr Malinowski’s crime, in the dictator’s eye was his meeting with Al Wefaq Society and listening to the long list of most horrific human rights abuses. Two years ago, Mr Malinowski, who was working with Human Rights Watch, was detained at a police station in Bahrain when he went to see a protest in one of the towns. He spent several hours before he was released. The US State Department issued a brief statement saying: “These actions are not consistent with the strong partnership between the United States and Bahrain”.

Hussain Abdulla, Executive Director of ADHRB commented on this development: “As one of the United States key allies, we are gravely concerned over the Bahrain government’s treatment of Assistant Secretary Malinowski,” He further added: “The accusations levelled against Assistant Secretary Malinowski, which appear to be a result of meeting with various opposition figures and human rights activists, undermine any claims by the Bahraini government that they are serious about reconciliation in the country or creating the space necessary for reform to occur.” Brian Dooley of Human Rights First said; “Today’s action shows clearly that the regime has so much to hide on human rights that it is nervous about its closest military ally meeting directly with opposition and civil society groups,” He added: “The U.S. government is right to explore relations with members of Bahrain’s opposition and civil society because reform will not happen without the participation of these leaders.”

The incident came at the backdrop of deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain. Last night riot police and Death Squads shot more than twenty people at Abu Saiba’ town and riddled their bodies with shotgun pellets. At the town of Al Ekr at least nine houses were raided last night and their occupants terrified. The town has been under virtual siege for three days since a mercenary policeman from Pakistan died in unexplained circumstances. On 7th July, a series of raids on Sanabis Town, several people were arrested including Hussain Al Jenie who had been detained before and Sendid Mustafa from Hamad Town. On 6th July, Abdul Rasool Mohammad Al Biladi, 44, was arrested at the Bahrain-Saudi causeway. Nothing has been heard from him since.

On 5th July, the body of Martyr Abdul Aziz Al Abbar was finally put to rest. He had succumbed to his wounds on 18th April, several months after he had been shot with gunshots by mercenary police. The regime issued false death certificate which was rejected by the family who insisted that it stated the real cause of death. It took Alkhalifa 80 days to tell the truth and accept that they had murdered this young Bahraini native. The killers, as usual, remain at large.

The political prisoners at Dry Dock jail went on strike on 6th July to protest the continued violent attacks on them by the regime’s members of Death Squads.  Those being held at dungeon NO 3 are now subjected to daily beatings, starved and denied the evening and morning meals. They are observing fasting and this criminal treatment is causing them great suffering. Several have collapsed in the past two days. The authorities at Jaw prison prevented a mother from visiting her three detainees. The mother of Sadiq, Hassan and Redha Al Ghasra was told this week that the order to stop her visit had come from “Higher authorities”.

An Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled at UK’s Parliament. Nine MPs have signed it on the first day of its launch. It lists numerous regime’s failures; lack of reform of judiciary, non-implementation of BICI recommendations, continuing culture of impunity of torturers, persecution of HR defenders and harsh sentences for insulting the king. It calls on Alkhalifa regime to prosecute torturers, release of all political prisoners including Bahrain 13, that UK’s FCO condemns HR abuses in Bahrain and lists it as a country of concern “in order to promote accountability and transparency within Bahrain’s justice system.”

Today, Reporters Without Borders has called on the Bahraini authorities to release the famous Bahraini blogger, Takrooz immediately. He had been arrested on 18th June and charged with “inciting the hatred of the regime and promoting sectarianism”. Only Alkhalifa believe their fabrications.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
8 July 2014