Saudis used UK arms to kill citizen; Alkhalifa genocide policies condemned.
Pressure is mounting on the British Government to stop supplying Saudis with arms after confirmation that they had used them to kill innocent people. Powerful shotgun ammunition made by British firm Primetake and explosive breaching equipment bearing the stamp “Made In Canada,” were used in a raid last month in which dissident Abdul-Rahim al-Faraj was killed. His family said he was unarmed and “murdered” by the security services, who made no attempt to arrest him. Details of the shooting come as newly appointed British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson welcomed his Saudi Arabian counterpart to London yesterday. The revelation could prove doubly embarrassing for the British government as it has been a long-time backer of Riyadh and Primetake also provides shells for the Queen’s royal salutes, such as the 41 Gun Salute at Hyde Park to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. The specialist British shotgun ammunition, produced in Lincolnshire, was found at the scene of the raid in the Qatif region of Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich but poverty-stricken Eastern Province. This adds to the Saudi illegal aggression on Yemen which is supported by UK.
The Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) has criticised arrangement between the College of Policing and regimes with dubious human rights records. In highly critical findings about how security personnel from states such as Saudi Arabia benefit from British assistance, HASC describe the government’s refusal to reveal details of “opaque” training agreements as “totally unacceptable”. The former foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, was also criticised for not providing details of the contracts when requested by the committee. Its chair, Keith Vaz, said: “For a foreign secretary to act in this manner and tell the British parliament that he will not disclose such important information is totally unacceptable. Mr Hammond had declared in the MPs register of interests that he had accepted a Rolex Watch from a Saudi prince.
The situation in Bahrain is escalating by the day as the Bahrainis and the ruling clan have reached a point of no return in their conflict. On Monday 18th July the four most senior religious scholars issued a brief statement confirming that the native majority of the population are facing existential threats from the tribal occupiers. Alkhalifa decision on 17th July to dissolve AlWefaq Society, the largest political opposition in the country has outraged even regime’s foreign supporters. On 18th July the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “deplored” the decision and called for “the resumption of an all-inclusive national dialogue aimed at peace and stability in the country and the region.” In his statement Mr. Ban stressed that the dissolution of Al-Wefaq, similarly to other actions taken in the country – such as stripping Sheikh Issa Qassem and others of citizenship, a travel ban on human rights defenders, and the increased sentence for the Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq, Sheikh Ali Salman – risk escalating an already tense situation in the country.” The United States is also critical of Alkhalifa decision saying that “These actions are inconsistent with U.S. interests and strain our partnership with Bahrain. They also contradict the government’s stated commitments to protecting human rights and achieving reconciliation with all of Bahrain’s communities.”. Washington went further: “We call on the Government of Bahrain to reverse these and other recent measures, return urgently to the path of reconciliation, and work collectively to address the aspirations of all Bahrainis.”
In a statement on 18th July the German Federal Foreign Office spokesperson said: These measures targeting the opposition threaten to further polarise Bahraini society. They also raise serious questions with regard to freedom of opinion and association as well as the rule of law”. On 19th July the EU said that it “expects this judgment to be reversed.” It added: The EU considers that Bahrain’s stability and security can only be achieved through reforms and inclusive reconciliation. The verdict on Al Wefaq, the arrest of activist Nabil Rajab and the revocation of the citizenship to Sheikh Isa Qassem go, on the contrary, in the direction to further divide Bahraini society.”
On 18th Juy under-aged Fadel Abbas from Dair Town was snatched from the road by masked members of Alkhalifa Death Squads. From Ma’amir two sisters were detained and remanded in custody for a month: Rabab Hani and her sister, zainab were arrested for their anti-regime protests.
The kingdom of silence and fear has taken another gagging step to silence Nazeeha Saeed, by charging her with working as a correspondent for foreign news media (France 24 and Radio Monte-Carlo Doualiya) without permission. She had attended the prosecutor’s office with her lawyer, Hameed Al Mullah, on 17 July in response to a summons without knowing what awaited her. Alexandra El Khazen, the head of the Middle East desk for Reporters Without Borders said: “We condemn the authorities’ attempts to prevent her working, firstly by imposing an unjustified and incomprehensible travel ban on her and then by accusing her of working illegally although her papers were always in order.”
Bahrain Freedom Movement
20th July 2016