Calls on Saudis to release AlNimr as Alkhalifa scrutinised in Geneva
In Geneva, 18 human rights bodies have signed a petition calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Nimr Al Nimr, the Saudi cleric who had been sentenced to death by a Wahhabi court for his peaceful expression of opinion. The petition calls on the Saudi authorities to abide by its international commitment to respect freedom of expression, which is the only “crime” committed by Al Nimr. It also called for the release of the two Saudi human rights activists; Abdulla Al Hamid and Walid Abul Khair, who are serving long jail sentences for peaceful activities.
Also in Geneva, several countries and NGOs have criticised Bahrain for its bleak human rights record. Four countries; Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Denmark have criticised Bahrain under item 4 of the Human Rights Council’s agenda. This implies possible referral to the UN Security Council, which is a serious development.
Despite the international pressures on the Alkhalifa regime to stop its attacks on human rights, arrests and detentions have continued. Last night a young Bahraini, Habib Al Satrawi, was arrested by members of Alkhalifa Death Squads in a raid on his sister’s home at Salmabad town. In the early hours of Monday, 15th September, four Bahrainis were arrested in in similar raids in the town of Jannussan. They are: Mohammad MIrza, Ali Saeed, Mohammad Ali Muslim and Kumail Mohammad. Seven others were arrested from the towns of Duraz, Barbar and Sitra. These raids and arrests came in the wake of a wave of demonstrations in most areas to mark the third anniversary of the martyrdom of Sayed Jawad Shams and in solidarity with Abdul Hadi AlKhawaja and his daughter, Maryam. Under the slogan “resistance from behind bars” young Bahrainis, men and women, chanted “Down with Hamad”. Most of those protests were subsequently attacked by regime’s forces using chemical and tear gases and shotguns.
In solidarity with Abdul Hadi AlKhawaja, who has been on hunger strike in Alkhalifa torture chambers for the past 24 days Bahraini exiles in London will stage a one-day hunger strike tomorrow (Thursday) outside the regime’s London embassy. They will also highlight the plight of the political prisoners who are on hunger strike in the largest two prisons; Jaw Central and Drydock. Both are notorious for ill-treatment of prisoners. Photo journalist Hussain Hubail and blogger Jassim Al Ni’aimi have been on hunger strike for seven days in protest at their continued detention. Four Bahrainis, Mohammad and Ahmad Al Alwani and the two brothers Mohammad and Qassim Nasr from AlMusalla town were sentenced to one year jail for anti-regime protests. The family of Yassin Jaffar Juma is extremely worried about his welfare as nothing is known about him since he was arrested four days ago.
Amnesty International (AI) issued an Urgent Action following the upholding of Alkhalifa court of an earlier prison sentences on two Bahraini women; Raihana Al Mousawi and Nafeesa Al Asfoor. Both were arrested when they attempted to attend F1 race in April 2013. AI called for a “prompt, independent and impartial investigation into Nafeesa al-‘Asfoor and Rayhana al-Mousawi’s allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice; quash Nafeesa al-‘Asfoor and Rayhana al-Mousawi’s convictions and sentences as it appears that evidence used in their trial was based on statements marred by allegations of torture; and order a retrial of both women in proceedings that meet international standards of fair trial.
On 9th September The Guardian published an article by Ian Black titled: “Bahrain urged to free rights activist” referring to Maryam Al Khawaja. The article said: Bahrain stands out as the first example of an Arab country where popular protests were crushed – with the assistance of neighbouring Saudi Arabia and the acquiescence of the US and Britain, whose military, strategic and business interests wed them to a status quo in which the Sunni Al Khalifa dynasty rules over a disenfranchised Shia majority. It quoted Nabeel Rajab as being skeptical of the UK’s role in Bahrain. It says: “Rajab, no fan of monarchies, says Jordan and Morocco have done better than his own country in responding to popular demands for change. But Britain, the US and other western governments need to play their role too, he suggests. It also quoted Joe Stork, of Human Rights Watch, as saying: “Countries that say they support human rights and democratic reforms in Bahrain have a responsibility to speak up now.”
Bahrain Freedom Movement
17th September 2014