Jailing Sh Ali Salman marks final detachment between Alkhalifa and Bahrainis

Jailing Sh Ali Salman marks final detachment between Alkhalifa and Bahrainis

Yesterday Bahrain’s dictator ordered a four-year jail sentence on Sheikh Ali Salman, the Secretary General of AlWefaq Society. He has been in jail since 28th December 2014 when he was arrested from his home and taken to regime’s torture chambers. The dictator, Hamad Alkhalifa, was angered by the decision of AlWefaq to boycott the election of his show parliament and has been planning the revenge from the AlWefaq and its senior leaders. In the Arab Bedouin culture no one is allowed to challenge the orders of the tribal chief. Bahrain’s people have challenged the dictator to the extent that his picture is stepped on at daily protests as participants chant: Down with Hamad. Several UN Special Rapporteurs had written to the dictator to release Sheikh Ali Salman. They are: Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; and Special Rapporteur on minority issues. Amnesty International said: “Today’s verdict is shocking. It is yet another clear example of Bahrain’s flagrant disregard for its international obligations. Sheikh Ali Salman has been sentenced solely for peacefully expressing his opinion.”

As the holy month of Ramadhan approached, the regime’s crackdown on native Bahrainis has esacalated. On 15th June five children were detained from Tubli Town: Salman Meftah Haidar Al Hurr, Mohammad Al Mubarak, Mohammad Al Sairafi, Jaffar Sadeq and Fadhel Abbas. On 14th June at dawn masked members of the regime’s Death Squads snatched three native Bahrainis from Aali Town; Ahmad Mohammad Hassan, Ali Ahmad Al Mokhtar and Sayed Hashim Al Ghuraifi. On 12th June Hussain Jassim AlMo’men was arrested from Dair Town. Also on 12th Junt The Saudi regime’s forces arrested Mohammad Ali Al Faraj from the town of Awwamiya.

In his opening address to the 29th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ra’ad Al Hussain stressed the bleak situation in Bahrain and called for the release of the political prisoners. He said: “In Bahrain, dozens of detainees have reportedly suffered torture and ill treatment, including in Jou prison, and I urge an immediate investigation into these allegations. All those detained in connection with their peaceful activities should be released. The way forward to ensure peace, stability and prosperity for all Bahrainis is through genuine dialogue between the Government and the opposition, without preconditions.” The Alkhalifa regime immediately dismissed those remarks and said that “dialogue is an internal matter”. Addressing the 29th session of the Human Rights Council, Husain Abdulla, of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain said: “Bahrain’s politicised courts are disenfranchising an entire generation of Bahrainis with unfair imprisonment,”

In one the most outrageous miscarriages of justice Alkhalifa regime has jailed 57 native citizens, and stripped all but one of them of their nationality, for their anti-regime political activities. Bahrain human rights groups condemned the unfair trial and sentences. The defendants were given sentences ranging from three years to life in prison. There are minors among those jailed. The total jail sentence amounted to 786 years. The revocation of nationality is a new method of revenge by Bahrain’s dictator at a time when it continues to naturalise foreigners. This is seen by experts as a form of genocide. On 12th June regime’s court sentenced Taher Mohammad to 10 years jail for taking part in anti-regime protests.

Bahrainis have been outraged by the suggestion that the United States would resume arms shipment to the Alkhalifa brutal regime. Washington is quietly working to lift a four-year ban on delivering weapons that was imposed because of the crackdown. Britain, which ruled Bahrain until independence in 1971, has been criticised for providing the regime with political, military and security support. . This week it opened a new naval base there in the presence of Tobias Ellwood, the UK foreign office minister. “The message to Bahrainis is that the UK cares only about its arms business, and its talk of human rights is just empty,” said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, of the opposition Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy. Tobias Elwood was in Bahrain on the eve of the decision to jail Sheikh Ali Salman. He issued the mildest of rebukes. “I am concerned by the verdict and the sentence handed down to Sheikh Ali Salman and I raised this case with the Bahraini authorities during my visit last weekend,” he said in a statement. He did not call for Salman’s release.

Bahrain Freedom Movement
17th June 2015
(info@vob.org, www.vob.org)