STATEMENTS

Saudis cornered by Khashoggi’s case, Bahrainis sentenced to death

Three significant issues linked to the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi have continued to haunt the Saudis: Who had given the orders to kill him? Where is the body? And that the criminal gang that had perpetrated the murder be tried in Turkey, where the crime had been committed. The Saudis have failed to cooperate with Turkey on all of them. So the saga continues with more embarrassing revelations about the details of the crime. The Turks know that Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) had given the order to kill the Saudi dissident; that his body had not only been dismembered but possibly dissolved in acid and that the criminals will reveal more details about the planning and execution of the crime and will eventually implicate MBS. The Americans are working hard to shield the House of Saud by putting pressure on Turkey and divert the attention away from the Khashoggi saga by opening other fronts like the sanctions on Iran.

Meanwhile the Anglo-American alliance is working hard to prepare the ground for a face-saving exit from their quagmire in Yemen. This week the British Foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt flew to Riyadh to discuss the two issues. But the alliance has not declared its dis-engagement from the illegal war itself. Their logistical and intelligence support to the Saudi-Emirati- Alkhalifa criminal war remains at the same level. Their aim is to help the aggressors to capture the port of Hodeida, the only remaining lifeline to millions of Yemenis, so that their position at the negotiating table is strengthened. Meanwhile the pressure is mounting to stop the aggression as famine has already started and could affect up to 20 million people. Aid agencies estimate that one child dies every ten minutes as a result of famine. In the past two weeks since the Saudis escalated their attacks on Hodeida more than 1000 of their troops have been killed. It could turn out to be the Leningrad of Arabia. The Saudi defeat has already been acknowledged by the world media.

The reverberations of the war are beginning to show results. On 9th November Norway announced that it was suspending new licenses for arms exports to Saudi Arabia following recent developments in the Gulf kingdom and the situation in Yemen. “We have decided that in the present situation we will not give new licenses for the export of defense material or multipurpose goods for military use to Saudi Arabia,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement. Germany last month that it would halt German arms exports to Saudi Arabia until the killing of Khashoggi was explained.

The reversals at the Yemen front has pushed the Saudis and Alkhalifa to commit more crimes on their citizens. The Saudis are preparing to execute at least four prisoners on false accusations. On 12 November 2018 Alkhalifa Fourth High Criminal Court sentenced four individuals to death on trumpeted charges of terrorism. Three were tried in absentia. The charges relate to an incident where a police car was damaged in Duraz on 18 June 2017. The regime claimed that one foreign mercenary had died in the incident. The citizenship of all four individuals has been revoked as well. This brings the total number of Bahraini revocation of citizenship cases to 764 since 2012, with an unprecedented 258 cases occurring in 2018 alone. The four individuals were also fined 1,000 BD each. The four are:  Hussain Abdullah Marhoon Rashid who is in custody. The other three are: Sayed Mohammed Qassim Mohammed Hassan Fadhel, Hussain Ali Ahmed Dawood and Ahmed Mohammed Ali Mahdi Ibrahim Zain Al Deen. The last three were sentenced in absentia and had already been given life sentences in an earlier trial.

Jailed human rights activist, Hani Fateel has issued a statement from his cell calling for a halt to torture and bring torturers to justice. He also talked about the torture he had endured at the hands of Alkhalifa security officers. Another inmates, Ali Hajji, also issued a statement detailing his ill-treatment. Both were subsequently transferred to solitary confinement in revenge. As Bahrain’s dictator is given the name “the Rapist” for allowing his henchmen to rape and sexually abuse native Bahraini women at a large scale, he has intensified his revenge from activist hoping to silence dissenting voices. He is angered by the realisation that his much-publicised elections for his pseudo-parliament have been declared null and void by international bodies and parliaments. Many American Congressmen, British MPs, French parliamentarians and MEPs have issued statements condemning these elections. The dictator has shot himself in the foot by banning the political societies and activists from taking part. He also reversed his earlier decision to acquit the leader of AlWefaq, Sheikh Ali Salman from the charge of spying for Qatar and ordered a new sentence of life imprisonment. He also imposed various forms of punishment on those who boycott his elections

In the past few days native Bahrainis staged many demonstrations against the new regime’s policy of normalising relations with Israel while Palestinian land and people remain under occupation. They were also protesting the order by the dictator to imprison Sheikh Ali Salman, leader of AlWefaq Society, to life on false charges which had been quashed in an earlier “trial”.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

14th November 2018 (info@vob.org,www.vob.org)

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