STATEMENTS

UK is not transparent on Saudis, IMF confirms Alkhalifa fiscal failure

In her response to the human rights report published by the FCO on Monday, UK’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry criticised its lack of transparency when it comes to Saudi Arabia. She said that the report had “not a single mention in its Yemen section of the Saudi-led coalition, its air strikes and blockade. It talks about civilian casualties but doesn’t identify the main party responsible!”. That is shameful to come from the UK government. If in the 21st century, the UK still shies away from speaking out clearly and unreservedly against the flagrant human rights violations routinely committed by the Saudi and Alkhalifa regimes, then what has remained of the values of democracy, justice and the rule of law?

In a serious escalation of the process of political polarization in Yemen, the deposed Yemeni president, Hadi Mansour has been ordered by the Saudis to dismiss the Governor of AlMahra Province, which is adjacent to the Sultanate of Oman. Sheikh Ali Salem Al Huraizi was sacked because he had joined the protesters who had taken to the streets of the province against the occupation of their country by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.  The international outcry against the torture of political detainees by Emirati forces  that culminated in a damning report by Amnesty International last week, has been met with defiance by the UAE occupiers. “The report is politically motivated to undermine its efforts as part of the Arab Coalition to support the Yemeni government,” the UAE government said in an official statement.

A Bahraini native who had been without work for years has been detained after he held a one-man protest to draw attention to his case. Mohammad Khatam, in his forties, is married with four children but has no job. He was arrested several times in the nineties, tortured and abused. He was implicated in a trumpeted up case that led to the execution of another native citizen, Isa Qambar in 1996. He was also arrested in the present round of repression following the eruption of the 14th FebruaryRevolution. Since he left prison in 2001 he has been on the blacklist of the Alkhalifa regime. His employment has thus become impossible. Four days ago he recorded a video message describing his life without employment and promising to hold a one-man protest to demand work. He was arrested and taken to the regime’s torture dungeons.

In the past few days regime’s security forces waged relentless attacks on prisoners at the notorious Jaw Prison. The attackers were searching for books, pens, copies of the holy Quran or any other educational material, following a ban on these items. Several inmates were transferred to solitary confinement including: Mohammad Mirza (from AlMusalla town), Fadhel (the prominent volleyball player) from Karzakkan, Sadeq Al Asfoor from Duraz, Abdul Rahman (at Block 4), Yousuf Barakat from Al Daih, Ammar Hassan from Aali, Khalid Saeed (of Block 10), Ahmad Abdul Wahed Al Markhi, Ahmad Jalal Al Markhi, Mohammad Hassan AlJazeeri and Ahmad Hussain from Aali, all held at Block 13. They were beaten up, abused physically and verbally and shackled. Two weeks ago about 100 inmates were taken out of their cells and forced to stand up under the sun for more than 3 hours. Several of them fainted.

The deteriorating health conditions at Bahraini prisons are causing alarm among the families of the political detainees. The dictator has adopted a policy of weaponising medical care to kill the native prisoners. Yesterday the prominent academic and thinker Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace was denied a visit to hospital for his deteriorating health. He suffers from polio and uses crunches for all his movements. Since his incarceration 90 months ago he has suffered several ailments but has been denied necessary medical care. Mr Hassan Mushaima, one of the most prominent political leaders has not received treatment for his cancer for 14 months in addition to total isolation from his family whom he has not met for that period. Elias Al Mulla is approaching a state of no return as he fights cnacer and has been denied proper treatment. One of the most outrageous crimes has been committed by Alkhalifa dictator against Ayatullah Sheikh Isa Qassim. The elderly cleric who is the most senior religious scholar in the country and who was one of the few survivors who had drafted the country’s 1973 constitution has also been persecuted. For more than two years of house arrest he had not received proper medical care. At the start of the ordeal in May 2016 he was fit enough to attend prayers and address religious congregation. The blockade imposed on his home included denying him proper medical care for his various ailments. He is now receiving treatment in London.

The shameful failure of the regime’s economic policies has been further confirmed by the International Monetary Fund. On 15th July the IMF said that Bahrain needed a comprehensive package of reforms to reduce its fiscal deficits over the medium term as the island kingdom seeks to secure crucial support from rich neighbors to avoid a currency devaluation. “Despite planned fiscal consolidation measures, fiscal and external deficits are projected to continue over the medium term, due to the large and growing interest bill,” IMF’s Executive Board said in a report on Sunday. “Public debt is expected to increase further over the medium term and reserves are projected to remain low.”

Bahrain Freedom Movement

18th July 2018 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

 

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