Calls to remove Saudi troops from Bahrain to Gaza as crackdown escalates

Calls to remove Saudi troops from Bahrain to Gaza as crackdown escalates

As the Saudi silence on, and tacit support of the Israeli aggression Gaza continues, calls have been made by Bahraini activists for the Saudis to remove their troops from Bahrain and send them to Gaza. They said that the perceived “threat” in Bahrain was imaginary, while the Israeli war against Gaza is an agonising reality, destructive and sustained. Bahrainis have appealed to the world to help them liberate their country from the Saudi occupation that started mid-March 2011. Saudi troops violated the international borders and invaded the country to crush the popular Revolution seeking to replace Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship with democratically elected political system. As the Israelis intensify their attacks on the Palestinian population, popular pressure from the Arab masses is mounting on the Arab regimes to act in defence of Gaza. The Saudis are viewed as part of the counter-revolution alliance responsible for aborting the Arab Spring revolutions. Their links and coordination with Israel in security and military strategies have been widely reported in recent months.

On their part, the Bahrainis have continued their demonstrations in support of the Palestinians, and the sermons on Eid Day (Tuesday 29th July) expressed solidarity with and prayers for Gaza and its people. However, the regime has incited extremist groups to take the attention away from the plight of the Palestinians and to insist on their sectarian agenda, raising the flag of ISIS in mosques.

The regime has continued its crackdown on Bahrainis. Yesterday, Ahmed Abdulla Al Saeed from Bilad Al Qadeem was arrested at the Bahrain-Saudi causeway. He had been sentenced to lengthy jail terms for opposing the dictator. Another Bahraini, Ali Hassan Nasr, from Musalla town, was also arrested at the causeway. From the town of Sadad, Ali Hassan Dawood was detained yesterday. From Al Eker town, Habib Ahmad Al Mughanni was arrested in a raid on his house. The regime’s campaign against journalists has continued. Few days ago Photojournalist, Ammar Abdul Rasool, 30, from Al Eker town, was arrested. He has achieved more than 80 awards as a photojournalist. This brings to six the number of photojournalist jailed for exercising their profession.

Reports from the Dry Dock prison have revealed disturbing picture of the ill-treatment of prisoners of conscience. Inmates at Ward 3 were beaten up, abused and denied basic facilities. Their religious books were destroyed during inspection and were threatened with further abuse.

The regime’s courts have continued issuing detention orders. The photographer, Sayed Ahmad Al Mosawi and his brother, Mohammad, were given further 45 days detention to complete almost six months without real trial. A 16-year old Ali Abdul Hadi, from Arad Town, had his detention extended by 30 more days in addition to the 45 days he has already spent at the torture dungeons. In the past week 19 Bahrainis were detained including a woman and a child.

Following the release of the Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) annual report Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has called on the UK government to stop promoting arms sales to oppressive regimes and end its policy of ‘arms control by embarrassment.’ As the report itself acknowledges “the Government’s arms export policy is essentially one of reacting to events and not taking sufficient account of the nature of the regimes concerned at the point when the decision is made to approve the export licence or not.” [para 167] UK weapons have been used for internal repression in places such as Libya, where UK weapons were used on Libyan citizens, Bahrain, where BAE Systems military vehicles were used against pro-democracy protesters and Egypt, where UK-produced gas canisters were used to suppress dissent. According to the figures presented by CAAT, UK’s arms exports to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the past three years have increased by 303 and 64 percent respectively.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
30th July 2014