STATEMENTS

Yemen war helped AlQa’eda; Senior Bahraini religious figure banished

International concerns are rising due to the expansion of ISIS and Al Qa’ida in Yemen due to the actions of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Under the heading: “Still fighting Al-Qaeda” on 6th July, the Washington Post said: AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) exploited the vacuum created by the civil war to seize territory, weapons and money. Al-Qaeda militants retook control over Jaar and Abyan’s provincial capital, Zinjibar, and swept into Mukalla, Yemen’s fifth-largest city and a major port. Meanwhile, over the past four years, the rival Islamic State has spawned its own modest affiliate in Yemen with at most a few hundred members, mostly al-Qaeda defectors.” Whether by design or default this development has happened as a direct result of the aggression by the two countries on Yemen more than three years ago. This destructive war is ill-conceived, illegally waged and badly executed. The region has become more dangerous and unstable. The potential for the mushrooming of terrorism has greatly increased as terrorist groups expanded their presence under the protection of the aggressors.

The Saudi authorities have put together a collection of tweets, articles and past statements by the political detainees along with excerpts from answers they had given during interrogation (which may include statements made under duress). The aim is to use them in the production of a documentary aimed at making people fearful of activists, and justify their campaigns of repression. They have clustered the detainees into three groups. According to leaked information, one of the alleged groups has links with human rights NGOs and neighbouring states, and aims to overthrow the Saudi regime. The other group allegedly has links with the Muslim Brotherhood and aims to seize power in the country. The third group is said to have a plan for the secession and independence of Hijaz Province.

There has been a public outcry against the criminal actions by Bahrain’s dictator who has banished the most senior religious leader in the country. Ayatullah Sheikh Isa Ahmad Qassim was deported to UK on Monday 9th July. To make this possible the elderly Sheikh was “convinced” that he had an ailment that could only be treated at the University College Hospital in London. He was escorted to the airplane, accompanied by two of his children and given one year Bahraini passport. Two years ago his Bahraini nationality had been revoked and his house encircled by police for the whole period. His hometown, Duraz, has been under siege since then. Last year five of his followers were brutally killed by regime’s forces when they stormed his house. His deportation is the latest of the Alkahlifa crimes against Bahrain’s natives. The British role in propping up the regime has been questioned by several MPs and Peers.

Meanwhile regime’s attacks on native Bahrainis have escalated. From Sanabis three youths were detained yesterday including Ali Al Sami’e. From the town of Northern Sehla two youths, Ali Yassin and Mahdi Ahmad were kidnapped from their father’s house by masked members of regime’s death squads. Four were detained from Daih Town in home raids: Mohammad Shakir, Sultan Isa, Ali AlQamar and Amjad Abdulla. Nidal Abdul Khaliq was detained yesterday in a vicious house raid on his home at Dar Kulaib town. In the early hours of Sunday 8th July Salman Jassim was snatched by ISIS-style masked members of Alkhalifa Death Squads in a raid on his home at the town of Shahrakkan. Another native Bahraini, Mohammad Jaffar was also detained. A third youth, Hussain Ali Jassim was detained on 5th July at the police station after he had been summoned to appear there. Nothing has been heard of the three since their detention. On 5th July Woman activist Zakiya Al Barbouri was remanded in custody until 4th August. Regime’s kangaroo court refused to release her on bail despite appeals for her health and the absurdity of the charges against her. She has languished in regime’s torture dungeons since her abduction on 17th May.

Bahraini youth, Sayed Kadhem Abbas has lost his sight after years of lack of care in the prison. His family has not received any news about him since he had been transferred to hospital to remove a tumour. Also the fate of Fadel Abbas has not been known since his abduction from the town of Dair.

The financial crisis facing Alkhalifa tribal dictatorship is intensifying. It has led to the cancellation of  an aircraft order for 10 Bombardier C-Series jets — an order they placed in 2011. The ruling tribe refuses to release financial results for Gulf Air, but its CEO said suffered losses each year, for the past several years.

Last week the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) called for the immediate release of Nabeel Rajab. FIDH President, Dimitris Christopoulos said: “Without proper treatment, Nabeel’s health problems cause him great suffering. The choice of the Bahraini authorities is to maintain this suffering. Refusing him a proper medical care must be interpreted as a form of ill-treatment which deliberately endangers his life. We call on the chancelleries in Manama to put pressure on the authorities to ease this inhuman regime and allow Nabeel in receiving the care he requires. We ask them to demand his unconditional release, also requested by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Parliament.”

Bahrain Freedom Movement

11th July 2018 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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