Obama attacks Saudis, Alkhalifa criticised by HR Commissioner

Obama attacks Saudis, Alkhalifa criticised by HR Commissioner 

The Saudis were lambasted by their strongest ally, the United States. In one of the most outburst of frustration, President Obama referred to the Saudis and other allies as “free riders” who push the United States to act but contribute little themselves. He was speaking to Mr. Jeffrey Goldberg published on 9th March in The Atlantic magazine, Obama has long been cooler toward the Saudis and other Arab allies than his predecessor, but his willingness to forcefully criticize them stunned Washington’s foreign policy makers. Mr. Obama has long viewed Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries as repressive regimes obsessed with sectarian issues whose principal export, oil, warms the climate and whose strict interpretation of Islam contributes to violent extremism.  “The Saudis and other Gulf Arabs have funnelled money, and large numbers of imams and teachers, into the country. In the 1990s, the Saudis heavily funded Wahhabist madrassas, seminaries that teach the fundamentalist version of Islam favoured by the Saudi ruling family.” 

The Saudi regime is, once again, poised to murder more victims, using beheading, crucifixion and other forms of killing. Three young boys from the Eastern Province are among a group of citizens destined to die at hands of the Saudi sword men. They include Ali AlNimr, the nephew of Martyr Sheikh Nimr AlNimr who was executed in January. UK’s Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, had given assurance after his trip to Saudi Arabia in December that Ali AlNimr would not be executed. His intervention came at the height of an international outcry. Now Mr Hammond’s credibility and integrity would be severely compromised if his statement had been intended to give Saudis breathing space. Meanwhile the French President is facing a storm after granting French medal to Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Nayef. The rightist party has attacked the president for his hypocritical action. Prominent actress Sophie Marceau has refused to accept the highest French accolade “Legion d’Honneur” after it was given to the Saudi crown prince. 

As the native Bahrainis prepared to mark the fifth anniversary of the Saudi aggression (14th March 2011) against their country Alkhalifa regime intensified its crackdown, with more raids on houses, arrests, torture and deportations. Demonstrations erupted in most areas over the past two days to mark the anniversary and demand an immediate end to Saudi occupation. There is widespread belief that the Saudis would eventually be defeated in their military campaigns against Bahrainis and Yemenis. They have already been forced to accede to the Houthis demand that any negotiations on Yemen would only be conducted with the Saudis, not their Yemeni cronies headed by former president Hadi. 

Yesterday British-supported Alkhalifa tribal authorities arrested Zainab AlKhawaja and her 15 months old baby, Abdul Hadi. There has been an outburst of international anger and disgust at this criminal move by this terrorist regime. Her mother, Khadija AlMosawi said in a tweet: ”They cannot silence your voice”. Amnesty International issued News Flash calling on the Bahraini authorities to immediately release human rights activist Zainab Al-Khawaja, and her baby. “Zainab Al-Khawaja and her family have been relentlessly targeted by Bahraini authorities for speaking out against human rights violations,” said James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. “Her convictions are for nothing more than tearing up photos and seeking to visit her father in prison. If this arrest means the start of her prison sentence, she will be a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression.” 

On 15th March Ahmad Hassan AlMadhoon, 17, from Karzakkan was arrested from the street. On Monday six people were detained from Muharraq, one from Karbabad and one from Aali. FormerCouncillor, Sadiq Rabi’ was detained, interrogated and abused before being released after 24 hours. On Monday a native Bahraini was arrested, tortured and charged with possessing a picture of Sayed Hassan Nasr Allah, the Hezbullah leader. Ali Abdul Hassan was taken away from his shop in Manama and subjected to horrific treatment before he was charged. Last week the Saudis initiated a move to label Hezbullah as a terrorist organisation. The foreign ministers of Arab countries subservient to the Saudis approved the move. 

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ra’ad ibn AlHussain has criticised Alkhalifa tribal rule for its continuing abuse of Bahrainis. He said that political opponents are silenced and targeted, and citizens are punished by revoking their nationality. Journalists, human rights defenders and political opponents are gagged by arrests and revocation of citizenship. He added that “profound reforms” are needed to stem the crisis. Alkhalifa foreign ministry has attacked the Higher Commissioner. 

The Special Rapporteur on Torture whose term is approaching its end said that his queries to the Bahraini authorities have never been addressed and that he had been banned from entering the country. Juan Mendez is reaching the end of his tenure. All UN’s Special Rapporteurs are banned from visiting Bahrain. 

Bahrain Freedom Movement

16th March 2016 

(info@vob.org , www.vob.org)