Saudi-backed regime commits more abuses, faces world-wide condemnation
The Israeli aggression on Gaza has led to new Arab awareness of the counter revolution forces headed by Saudi regime. Bahraini protesters have continued their pro-Palestinian protests amid increasing attacks by Saudi-backed Alkhalifa forces. Concern is growing for the safety of Hassan Abdulla Habib Ali. There have been no news since he had been transferred to the CID torture centre. The family of Talib Ali is also worried about his safety as nothing is known about him since he was taken for further interrogation twelve days ago. He had already been tried and sentenced to a total of 52 years for anti-regime activities. On 3rd August a young Bahraini man was arrested during a visit to his imprisoned brother. Ali Saeed was taken away from the family visit at the Dry Dock prison for no obvious reasons. On 2nd August, Abdulla Ayyoub, from Juffair, was also arrested. The regime’s prosecutors have ordered 45 days detention of Mohammad Jassim Habib, from Saar Town, for taking part in anti-regime demonstrations.
The economic situation has worsened rapidly in recent months as the political situation remained polarized. First came the assertion by the UNDP that unemployment in Bahrain was more than 20 percent. This compares to the regime’s estimates of under 5 percent. The Alkhalifa have always attempted to present a rosy picture of the economy even at times of crisis. On the other hand Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has lowered its long-term rating on Bahrain-based BMI Bank B.S.C. to ‘BB’ from ‘BB+’. S&P removed the long-term rating from CreditWatch with negative implications, which were placed on June 3, 2013. “The merger of BMI bank with Al Salam Bank-Bahrain B.S.C. was concluded on March 31, 2014, in a “business combination” transaction where Al Salam Bank issued new shares to existing shareholders of BMI Bank to acquire 100 per cent of the bank.
Several human rights bodies have called for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr Saeed Al Samahiji who is accused of criticizing the country’s dictator. The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), The Bahraini Instituted for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and The Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) signed a statement on 1st August calling for the release of Bahrainis accused of the same “offence” saying that it is contrary to international laws that guarantee freedom of expression. Dr Al Samahiji is one of the Bahraini medics jailed for treating the wounded in 2011. After his release last year he was re-arrested on 1st July for the “new crime”.
On another level, regime’s forces have continued daily and nightly raids on people’s homes. On 3rd August, four houses at Al Musalla Town were raided with ferocity and cruelty. At the town of Bani Jamra, those forces attacked the house of Sheikh Habib Al Jamri who had fled the country in 2011. The home of Abdul Ghani Khanjar, another activist who had fled last year, was also attacked
Under the title “Electronic Witch-Hunts in Bahrain, Israel and the ISIS” an article was been on 2nd August by The Global Voices Online. It presented the following paragraph highlighting the situation in Bahrain: “A photograph from www.B4BH.com calling people who have any information about the child in the picture to share it in a campaign to reveal “traitors” in Bahrain. The website, part of the electronic witch-hunt which followed the Bahrain protests in 2011, is called “Pictures of traitors of Bahrain”. The article said: Israelis who have spoken out against the war on Gaza are being targeted. Israeli Global Voices author Elizabeth Tsurkov tweeted: It is also no surprise that Jihadist group ISIS, which has occupied swaths of Iraq around Mosul last month, started an online campaign to identify “apostates.” On a Twitter account claiming to speak for the ISIS, a picture was tweeted of people to be killed because they are apostates: Another account that uses the same logo of ISIS and tweets in its support has published a list of 2,000 “apostates,” calling for them to be killed:
Yesterday The Los Angeles Times published an article by Paul Richter titled: “Critics decry lack of U.S. response to Bahrain expulsion”. It said: Bahrain’s expulsion last month of the top U.S. diplomat for democracy and human rights was a provocative move that seemed sure to bring a strong reaction from Washington. But four weeks later, the Obama administration has made no visible response beyond a phone call from Secretary of State John F. Kerry to Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheik Khalid bin Ahmed Khalifa expressing U.S. concern. Critics are warning that the low-key U.S. reaction will be read abroad as a sign of weakness and encourage other governments to push back when Washington presses for reforms on governance and human rights.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
6th August 2014