Saudi war on Yemen condemned, Bahrainis protesting against it tortured
The Saudi aggression on Yemen has been received by Bahraini people with anger, indignation and protests. For the past week the people have been demonstrating against the Saudi war against the poorest Arab country in order to eliminate public rebellion against the endemic tyranny and dictatorship in the region. The Saudis have taken it on their shoulder to obliterate people’s will and use their financial, political and religious tools against the masses who in these days four years ago, poured into the streets demanding an end to the dictatorship in their countries. The Saudis led the counter revolution and removed every sign of popular willingness to revolt against the established political order. The war on Yemen is the latest. The first was the Saudi invasion and occupation of Bahrain in mid-March 2011.
The Alkhalifa dictatorship has gone further. It banned anyone from expressing a view on the Saudi aggression different from the official one. While they encouraged pro-war protests they came hard against the opponents of the military attacks on Yemen. Several people have now been arrested for opposing this unjust war, including Fadhel Abbas, the Secretary General of the Nationalist Unionist Society, and two of his aides. They face imprisonment for up to ten years merely for opposing the Saudi aggression.
Two weeks after the unprovoked attacks on the helpless detainees at the notorious Jaw prison, there are scores of native prisoners who have “disappeared” from their cells and whose fate is still unknown. Pressure from the Red Cross on Alkhalifa tyrants forced them to allow some visits. Only then did the horrors of what had taken place in mid March come to light. But the dictator has imposed a ban on Bahrain 13 (leaders of the Revolution). Their family visits phone calls have been stopped. The bodies of the prisoners bear witness to one of the most vicious attacks on prisoners anywhere in the world. They were beaten, gassed, tortured, placed in solitary confinement, denied food or medicine and physically abused. Human Rights Watch has called for an independent investigation into the atrocities committed by the Jordanian mercenaries on Bahraini prisoners. Reports claim that those mercenaries are still torturing the prisoners. Every morning they rush into the cells and spill ice-cold water on them in their sleep.
Meanwhile the attacks on native Bahrainis have continued with arrests and abuse reported daily. On 28th March Sayed Mohammad Sayed Khalil was kidnapped at one of the check points and taken to torture houses. No news about him has been received. From Sitra Wadyan three people were taken in raids on their homes in the early hours of 31st March: Ahmad Hassan Ali Kadhem, Qader Abdullah AlMafyouh Abu AlAish and Ali Marzooq Abdulla Karim. Sayed Saeed Isa Hussain, father of martyr Sayed Hashim who was killed on 31st December 2011 in Sitra was arrested when he went to the police to renew his driving licence. Several fathers of martyrs were arrested in revenge for their steadfastness and their insistence on bringing killers of their children to justice. On 26th March three women were arrested for protesting against the attack on their sons at Jaw prison: Zainab Ghuloom, Maryam Atiyya and Najla BuGrais. A Bahraini student in Jordan was arrested, tortured and handed to Alkhalifa torturers. Jaffar Jassim was deported by the Jordanian authorities after the role of the Jordanian mercenaries in attacking Jaw prison was confirmed.
An article about the dire situation in Bahrain was written by Emanuel Stoakes and published by Foreign Policy, titled: “Whatever happened to Bahrain’s torture reforms”. It is a report on the continued abuses inflicted on Bahrainis. The article highlights the case of Human Rights activist, Hussain Jawad, who has been in jail for more than a month and who was severely tortured.
In its 2015 report Freedom House has downgraded Bahrain’s rank on people’s rights. Bahrain’s political rights rating declined from 6 to 7 due to grave flaws in the 2014 legislative elections and the government’s unwillingness to address long-standing grievances among the majority Shiite community about the drawing of electoral districts and the possibility of fair representation.
On 30th March Human Rights First published an article by Erica Qualliotine titled “Statelessness is a human rights violation”. The author said: U.S. allies, including Bahrain and Kuwait, are stripping political dissidents of their citizenship. “At this time, when the U.S. has taken an unprecedented interest in preventing and eradicating statelessness, it should be pressing Gulf governments to promote and protect the right to nationality, and to refrain in all cases from withdrawing citizenship because of peaceful dissident activities,” urged Sarnata Reynolds from Refugees International.