Saudi Arabia accused of supporting terror, Bahrain blasted for HR abuses, UK criticised for supplying arms
As the world prepares to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture tomorrow (26th June) both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are accused of most severe torture regimes in the region. The “systematic” torture of Bahrainis has continued unabated since the Saudi occupation of Bahrain in mid-March 2011, thanks to the support by UK’s FCO and its shielding of the tribal junta. The Saudis are notorious for total disregard of human rights. Today, an article in The Times, by Roger Boyes titled: “Time to tell the Saudis some home truths” calls on UK to rethink its policy of appeasement to Saudi Arabia. According to the article, Saudi Arabia has supported terrorists in Syria and Iraq. This policy has become a threat to UK’s national security with more than 400 British citizens have joined the wars in Syria and will become battle-hardened. The writer criticises the Government for keeping tight lips on Saudi involvement in financing and encouraging terror.
To mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Bahrainis have organized several activities inside and outside the country. Tomorrow AlWefaq will hold a rally outside UN House in Manama in support of torture victims. Lord Avebury, the Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group will hold a Press Conference at the House of Lords with testimonies from torture victims. Other activities include a protest outside Downing Street on Saturday and a photo exhibition at Marble Arch.
The plight of Bahrainis under Alkhalifa regime is gradually becoming bleaker. Yesterday the photographer, Hussain Hubail, was given five years jail for protesting against dictatorship and spreading news of it atrocities. The regime, meanwhile, has intensified its attacks on Bahrainis. Hussain Mohammad Eid, from Nuwaidrat, who is stricken with sickle-cell disease was arrested yesterday and his equipment confiscated by members of Death Squads who raided his house.
Yesterday The Guardian published an article titled: “Saudis and Egypt among biggest markets for UK arms despite human rights breaches”. The article said: Britain’s biggest arms market last year was Saudi Arabia, with the government approving £1.6bn worth of exports, including “components for military equipment for initiating explosives”, “equipment for the production of machine guns”, “CS hand grenades”, “components for water cannons”, and “tear gas/ irritant ammunition”. British officials also approved the export to Egypt of £51m worth of arms, including assault rifles, pistols and components for military vehicles and aircraft. The arms sales figures are taken from government reports and collated by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), which estimates that the UK last year approved arms deals worth £2bn to oppressive regimes.
On 19th June Xinhua News Agency issued a report titled: “Bahrain bans local students from receiving foreign scholarship”. The article said that Bahrain banned its private educational institutions, unless with a “written consent” from the authorities, from accepting foreign scholarships or participating in training workshops or conferences held by foreign parties. The new rule says that private universities should obtain “a written consent issued by the Ministry of Education’s competent authorities” before accepting foreign scholarships and training workshops’ staff.
On Tuesday 24th June, Alkhalifa kangaroo court sentenced four Bahrainis to three years jail for opposing the regime claiming that they had Molotov bottles in their possession. Five people were sentenced to three years for protesting against regime. The sentence of 15 years passed earlier on a Bahraini from Al Ekr Town was upheld by Alkhalifa court.
Ten people were arrested on Monday from various parts of the country. From Hamad Town, Sayed Alawi Sayed Nasser was abducted by members of Death Squads and taken to undisclosed location. From Karzakkan Town, Ali Isa Abdul Hassan was snatched from his home in the early hours of yesterday. He is the son of the martyr whose smashed skull remains a symbol of Alkhalifa reign of terror. Three people were arrested from JidHafs Town, among them is Ali Al Sheikh, brother of martyr Abbas Al Sheikh.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
25th June 2014