STATEMENTS

UAE snubbed by ICJ as Alkhalifa deny prisoners health care

On Monday 23rd July the International Court of Justice called on the UAE to allow families containing Qataris to be reunited, for Qatari students in the country to be allowed to complete their courses, and for Qataris to have access to the UAE’s judicial system restored. “Many Qataris residing in the United Arab Emirates appear to have been forced to leave their places of residence without the possibility of return,” said Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, referring to the measures imposed by the UAE on Qataris living in the country in June 2017. He said that those affected included mixed Qatari-Emirati families who had been separated by the blockade, and Qatari students who had not been able to complete their education in the UAE. The UAE ordered all Qataris to leave and imposed other restrictions as part of a blockade of Qatar imposed on 5 June last year in conjunction with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain.

In another serious regional development reports have surfaced recently of plans to build a canal between Saudi Arabia and Qatar which would turn Qatar into an island. The proposed ‘Salwa Canal’ would be funded by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and would be 60 km long, 200m wide, and 15-20m deep. The canal would cost about 750 million dollars and stretch from Salwa to Khor Al Adeed but would be within Saudi territory. The plan envisages the construction of a Saudi military outpost and a dumping area for nuclear waste from a proposed Saudi reactor. Saudi Arabia’s animosity towards Qatar is part of an aggressive set of foreign and domestic policies, spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MbS). known for his role in Yemen’s humanitarian disaster. Another of his controversial initiatives is the campaign against Qatar, which has effectively removed Qatar from the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Bahrain’s most senior religious and political leader is recovering in London after surgery. Yesterday Sheikh Isa Qassim had an operation at a London hospital two weeks after arriving in UK for treatment. He has been targeted for revenge by Alkhalifa dictator for standing with the people. Fears are growing that Qassim may have been banished and may not be allowed back, having been given a one-year passport.

Denying political prisoners proper medical care is a new form of torture being implemented by Alkhalifa torturers. Following advice from foreign experts to minimise the use of traditional torture methods, the regime’s torturers have now resorted to this tactic. There are hundreds of examples where inmates are denied medical care and medicine. In several cases, the inmates either died or developed more serious illnesses. Mr Hassan Mushaima, one of the most prominent leaders of the people’s Revolution has not has not been allowed to see a doctor or get medicines for his cancer ailment for more than a year. This 71 years old man has now been told that a condition to see a doctor is to be shackled in Guantanamo style of chains. He refuses to be humiliated in this way. It is not clear whether the British Prison Inspection Team which is helping Alkhalifa torturers has taken any steps to stop this potentially lethal form of torture. Two weeks ago another prominent figure, Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace was denied a visit to the doctor for the same reasons. Another prominent political prisoner is Mrs Hajar Mansoor, the mother-n-law of human rights activist Sayed Ahmad Al Wadaei. Yesterday she was transferred to the hospital, several days after she had complained of serious pain in her body. She has been denied medication for a long time despite her ailing health. The woman officer in charge of the native Bahraini women activists has committed serious crimes against humanity, harassing women prisoners of conscience. Her crimes are being document for future indictment.

The family of under-aged political prisoner, Sayed Ali Abbas, has raised serious concerns and worry about his health. The boy has been denied medical treatment for a year. Another young inmate is also suffering from the lack of proper medical treatment. Usama Al Saghir is facing slow death at the hands of those in charge of prisons. He was hit by regime’s forces during their criminal attack on Sheikh Isa Qassim’s house on 23rd May 2017. A direct shotgun to his head caused him serious injuries and pain. Despite this, he was “tried” and sentenced to 46 years in jail. In addition his nationality was revoked. The dictator has denied him proper medical care or adequate medication.

On 22nd July Mohammad Al Khatam who had protested one week earlier to demand a job has been given seven days extension to his detention. He was arrested when he held a one-man protest on 15th July to protest the ban imposed on his employment for many years. He has not been able to provide the needs of his family and has defaulted on some payments. When he appeared at Alkhalifa kangaroo court and explained his situation the judge ordered the extended detention. He had hoped that his protest would lead him to the workplace. Instead it landed him at one of Alkhalifa torture chambers.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

25th July 2018 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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