STATEMENTS

MBS ordered Khashoggi’s killing, Alkhalifa elections null and void

A sigh of relief and a wave of political panic have spread in the Western diplomatic circles when the pivotal role of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi was confirmed by several authorities. The CIA had confirmed that the order to kill the Saudi journalist had come from Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS). For seven weeks the House of Saud attempted to hide the true nature of its leadership but the Turkish approach to the crisis that had developed following the brutal murder of Mr Khashoggi on 2nd October has wrecked its reputation. It had to change its official version of that fateful day several time. The Turks continued to ration the information in their possession to force the Saudis into a political quagmire losing the respect of  their most important allies in Washington and London. The future of the Saudi beast has now been sealed; he must go. But it is unlikely that his departure will satisfy those who have been aggrieved by his policies; the families of more than 60,000 Yemenis who were slain by the joint Saudi-Emirati-Alkhalifa daily bombing of civilian population, the many Bahrainis who had been savagely treated by Alkhalifa tyrant supported by the Saudis, and the thousands of citizens in the desert kingdom who had been grossly ill-treated, beheaded, crucified or simply left to rot in the Saudi torture dungeons. Mr Trump told the world: Saudi Arabia buys US arms and creates US jobs and helps to fight Iran so who cares about the CIA probe pinning the Saudi crown prince with Khashoggi’s murder. All I’ll say is a meaningless, exculpatory “maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.” Many in the region demand that the era of the House of Saud and Alkhalifa must be brought to an abrupt end.

Yesterday it was announced that a young national had been killed by MBS’s thugs. On 17th October Nadheer Ibrahim Al Ghazwi was hit twice with live ammunition at his town of Qatif, Eastern Province. Tomorrow the third trial session of six human rights activists could issue death sentences against Israa Al Ghamgham and five others: her husband, Sayed Moosa Al Hashim, Mujaba, Ali, Khalid and Ahmad. A female researcher and dentist, Abir Al Namnakani has been detained by the Saudis. The arrest follows her request to allow her daughter to travel without regime’s restrictive orders. Instead of taming the blood thirst of the Saudi and Alkhalifa murderous regimes, the US president has given them free hand to carry out Kashoggi-style beheadings and dismemberment.

Yesterday Amnesty International issued a statement on the treatment of prisoners in Saudi jails: It said: Several Saudi Arabian activists, including a number of women, who have been arbitrarily detained without charge since May 2018 in Saudi Arabia’s Dhahban Prison, have reportedly faced sexual harassment, torture and other forms of ill-treatment during interrogation, Amnesty International said today. According to three separate testimonies obtained by the organization, the activists were repeatedly tortured by electrocution and flogging, leaving some unable to walk or stand properly. In one reported instance, one of the activists was made to hang from the ceiling, and according to another testimony, one of the detained women was reportedly subjected to sexual harassment, by interrogators wearing face masks.

An international human rights group says Bahrain’s repressive political environment is not conducive to free elections. Human Rights Watch says Bahrain’s allies should encourage the government to take all necessary steps to reform laws undermining freedom of expression and assembly ahead of the upcoming parliamentary vote. The advocacy group said Manama allies should not give Bahrain a free pass and conduct business as usual while mass rights abuses persist. H-R-W also urged the Persian Gulf kingdom to immediately free political prisoners and review its decision to shut down independent news outlets and opposition groups. Since the nationwide anti-government protests started in 20-11, Bahraini authorities have detained scores of human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and opposition leaders.

Formula One chiefs have admitted for the first time that they are “concerned” that an activist who protested against the Bahrain Grand Prix on Facebook was jailed for three years by the country’s authorities. F1 has traditionally been reluctant to intervene on politics and human rights cases but has made a rare exception in the case of Najah Yusuf, who was beaten, sexually abused and imprisoned following a series of posts in April 2017 that were critical of the race and the regime. In the court judgment against her it was noted that she had written “No to Formula races on occupied Bahraini land” and claimed that F1 coming to her country was “nothing more than a way for the [ruling] al-Khalifa family to whitewash their criminal record and gross human rights violations”. She also called for a “Freedom for the Formula Detainees” march to put the spotlight on protestors jailed for criticising the Bahrain Grand Prix. A week later Najah was arrested. During her interrogation she claims she was beaten with shoes, groped and sexually assaulted. She also alleges that she was repeatedly asked: “How many times have boys ridden you?” before her questioner threatened to “ride” her several times.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

21st November 2018 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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