Saudi CP’s London visit in turmoil, More Bahrainis on death row

As the proposed visit by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) to London approaches, the UK government is under intense pressure to withdraw from the Saudi-led alliance waging war on Yemen. Today, The Times Newspaper said: Nothing worries the British government and the Saudi royal court more about next week’s visit in London by the crown prince than the war in Yemen.” It attributed to a British official that after selling the Saudis top-end military kit worth tens of billions of pounds: “Britain could hardly complain that we hadn’t meant them to use it”. Meanwhile the campaign against the visit and the Saudi aggression on Yemen is gathering momentum. In addition to the traditional liberal movements like the Stop the war, the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and CND, other groups are preparing dossiers to challenge both the hosts and the guests on human rights and other issues. Amnesty International, Reprieve, Global Justice and Human Rights Watch are eager to see pressure exerted on the Saudi regime to limit its gross human rights violations. Billboards, bus tours, protests, petitions, Parliamentary Early Day Motion and articles in the mainstream press are among the means of exposing the Saudi regime’s criminal policies. On the other hand, the Saudis themselves have allocated huge budgets to spend on propaganda campaigns to market MBS as a reformer. They want to promote “progressive” Saudi Arabia to counter the images of limb amputations, beheadings, corruption, arbitrary arrests, torture and mass executions.

The international outcry at the Alkhalifa’s decision to jail Nabeel Rajab for five years for tweeting anti-war comments have continued. In his opening remarks at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, Zeid bin Ra’ad, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said: “When Nabeel Rajab is sentenced to five years for alleging torture; or when 17 year-old Ahed Tamimi is tried on 12 counts for slapping a soldier enforcing a foreign occupation… with all these examples bedevilling us, why are we doing so little to stop them, even though we should know how dangerous all of this is?” US State Department called for Mr Rajab’s release. It said: “The United States is disappointed by Bahrain’s decision to sentence human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, and we reiterate previous calls for his release. No one should be imprisoned for exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms.” The UK’s shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, said: (I am) very pleased to see US and UN calling for the release of Nabeel Rajab.. Our government should stop mincing its words and do the same.” To add salt to the injury of Bahrain’s regime the Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, called for the immediate and unconditional release of Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja: “We remain concerned by the worsening human rights situation in Bahrain and we repeat our call for the release of the Danish-Bahraini citizen Mr. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja.”

On Tuesday 26th February Alkhalifa judiciary upheld the death sentence on two young native Bahrainis: Sayed Ahmad Al Abbar and Hussain Ali Mahdi. They faced trumpeted charges based on confessions extracted under extreme forms of torture, that they had killed one of the mercenaries: Mohammad Navid. On 21st February a military court also upheld death sentences against four men for their anti-regime activities. Sayed Alawi Husain (personal escort of Ayatullah Sheikh Isa Qassim), Mohammed al-Motaghawi (member of al-Wefaq’s human rights department), Fadhel Abbas and Mubarak Adel (former BDF soldier). Hussain Marzooq is the latest to exhaust all appeals, but his death sentence has been upheld, bringing the total on death row to 4; Mohammed Ramadhan, Hussain Moosa, Maher Alkhabbaz and Hussain AlMarzooq They’re at imminent risk of execution. More than ten others are appealing their death sentences.

On Monday 26th February, three were sentenced to life. A total of nine native Bahrainis had their nationality revoked in this case. The regime also sentenced three minors to three years jail. Mohamed Ibrahim,16, Ahmad Nasif, 17 and Hussein Yunus,17.

On Monday 26th February masked members of Death Squads snatched two young men: Sayed Hashim Sayed Ahmad and Jassim Ahmad Habib from Sitra Town. They were taken to unknown location. Nothing has been heard from them since. From Karbabad, three were detained: Hassan Abbas AlAlwani, Mansoor Hassan Mansoor and Sayed Hussain Hadi Kadhem. Hassan Marhoon was arrested at Nuwaidrat town in a raid on his home.

Bahrainis have been angered by the Omani authorities who had handed over a Bahraini man to the Alkhalifa torturers. Hussein Mohammad Hassan Abdulnabi Abdulkarim (28 years) called his family from the Criminal Investigation Department in Bahrain. Few months ago, Kuwait handed over two citizens to the Bahraini authorities over political cases.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

28th February 2018 (

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