Belgium stops arming Saudis, calls to investigate UK’s role in torture

The Belgian State Council has decided to suspend four licenses to export arms to Saudi Arabia. This follows an earlier undertaking by the German ruling alliance also to freeze arms supplies that could be used in the war against the people of Yemen. The Belgian body scrutinises all matters of governmental action, from communal to federal levels. The complaint was brought at the end of last year by the French-speaking Human Rights League and the pacifist organisation CNAPD. The Council found that the Walloon government had not carried out enough research into whether the arms in question would be used in a manner in keeping with Belgian law on arms exports. Among which: whether they would be intended for use against their own or other people outside of self-defence. Saudi Arabia is currently involved in a civil war in Yemen and is accused of countless war crimes.

There is mounting pressure on Teresa May’s government to reveal the extent of involvement of UK’s security officials in the Alkhalifa policy of torturing detainees. Women groups have raised concern at the reports that have confirmed the rape of several Bahraini women by their jailers who were trained by the British security experts, lawyers and Prison Inspection specialists. International human rights bodies have expressed dismay at UK’s collusion with those torturers. The Bahraini dimension has arisen following the new calls to British ministers and spy chiefs in power after 9/11 to explain their “inexcusable” actions after two damning parliamentary reports set out the scale of UK involvement in the torture and kidnap of terrorist suspectsTheresa May is also under fire for blocking key intelligence figures from giving evidence to the parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC), which produced the two reports. The committee found the UK intelligence agencies to be complicit in hundreds of incidents of torture and rendition, mainly in partnership with the US in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. At a seminar on Monday at the House of Commons Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Scriven and Labour MP, Karen Lee promised to take up the UK’s involvement in Bahrain seriously to avoid smearing UK’s reputation with involvement in torture.

It has now become clear that the Saudi-led aggression against Yemen has suffered major defeats at the Western fronts and failed to capture the port of Hodeida or its airport. It is a humiliating defeat that stunned politicians in Washington and London. There is gradual withdrawal of troops from the front lines of the war. Since Mahathir Mohammad was elected Prime Minister of Malaysia last month he has announced that he had ordered the withdrawal of Malaysian troops from this illegal war. Yesterday the former prime minister, Najib Razak was arrested and investigated for financial corruption. Two years ago it had been reported that the Saudis had deposited just under $700 million into his account.

Last Saturday ten young native Bahraini youths from Al Ekr town were rounded up from a swimming pool as they tried to cool off in the simmering heat that exceeded 42 degrees.  They are: Mohammad Hassan AlAnaisi, Jassim Mohammad Hassan, Mohammad Jaffar AlWazir, Hassan Jaffar Hassan, Hassan Ali Abdullah, Mohammad Jaffar Ali, Mustafa Abdul Jalil Hassan, Abdulla Jaffar Al Wazir, Ahmad Abdul Noor Ibrahim and Sadiq Jaffar Al Wazir. Yesterday regime’s torturers released Ali Qambar after six years of incarceration. He has been suffering from Cancer for a long time but received little medical care until the disease spread all over his body. They were ordered by their Western backers to release him knowing that his death in custody would expose their role in supporting this violent regime. He is the brother of Martyr Isa Qambar who had been executed by Alkhalifa killers in 1996 on trumpeted up charges. Another sick inmate is also suffering similar ailment. Ilyas Al Mulla is said to have cancer and his condition is causing alarm and anger among those monitoring the situation.

The economic situation in Bahrain has taken sharp turn to the worst. Following the warning by Bloomberg and other rating agencies, the regime sought to alter the situation by hiring investmentbank Lazard Ltd  to help it  evaluate fiscal reforms and ease pressure on the state’s budget. The options include raising capital from international markets. Bahrain’s Eurobonds dropped after the report. Doubts over whether the Gulf countries would come to the rescue battered Bahraini assets last month, raising the kingdom’s credit risk by the most on record. The people have seen gradual degradation in their standards of living. There is now scarcity of medicine in a county whose native population is less than a million. Even the low dose of Aspirin needed by those with heart problems is not available. Yet the massive arms deals continue unabated. The reason? To obey Trumps demands and secure his support for a fledgling hated regime.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

4th July 2018 (

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