STATEMENTS

Saudis use Janjaweeds to kill Yemenis, Alkhalifa uphold Rajab’s sentence

As the fate of the Sudanese president remains in the balance, it has been revealed that he had “exported” his troops to kill the Yemenis along the Saudis to avoid a military coup. He wanted to safeguard his rule after 30 years as a military dictator. Now the people of Sudan want him to go. According to the New York Times (28thDecember) almost all the Sudanese fighters appear to come from the battle-scarred and impoverished region of Darfur, where some 300,000 people were killed and 1.2 million displaced during a dozen years of conflict over diminishing arable land and other scarce resources. Most belong to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, a tribal militia previously known as the Janjaweed. They were blamed for the systematic rape of women and girls, indiscriminate killing and other war crimes during Darfur’s conflict. It looks more likely now that Bashir’s fate is similar to that of the Saudi-led war on Yemen. Both are doomed.

Meanwhile the pressure on the Saudis to charge Mohammad bin Salman for his role in the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi is intensifying. The Turks are adamant on exposing the full story of the crime that has shaken the world as the Saudis struggle to keep it hidden from the public glare. In the past two days they showed how the Saudi killers transferred Khashoggi’s body parts from the Consulate to the residence of the Consul General, in suitcases. They insist that the Saudis name MBS had given the order to kill Khashoggi.

The Asian Football Confederation has broken its month-long silence on Australian-based Bahraini refugee Hakeem al-Araibi’s detention in Thailand  but has refused to answer questions on what, if any, involvement its president – who is a member of the Bahraini royal family – has had in his detention. The “dismissive” responsefrom the AFC to questions from multiple groups advocating for Al-Araibi has prompted a former Australian football captain to warn world football bodies that they will be made to account for their actions should anything happen to Al-Araibi. The former Socceroos captain Craig Foster said al-Khalifa was “the elephant in the room”. “His own government is requesting the extradition of the player, he’s part of the royal family and clearly has great sway there and yet to date … appears to have done absolutely nothing to advocate for Hakeem’s rights,” Foster said. “Football shouldn’t be standing for this.” Amid outcry from human rights groups the red notice was withdrawn within days, but questions remain about how Bahrain learned he was traveling to Thailand, how they were then able to obtain a red notice against clear Interpol protocols preventing their use against refugees and why no flags were raised in Australia when its federal police force informed Thailand of his travel plans.

The human rights world has reacted in anger at the decision by Bahrain’s dictator to uphold an earlier sentence passed on Mr Nabeel Rajab, the prominent human rights defender. On Monday 31st December the “court of appeal” confirmed an earlier sentence of five years on Rajab for criticising the Saudi-led regression on Yemen. There is a unanimous verdict that this week’s decision is serious transgression, arbitrary and draconian. A similar verdict by a court in the United Arab Emirates has also been received with repugnance. The human rights activist, Ahmad Mansoor had his ten years sentence upheld. “Instead of punishing Ahmed Mansoor for daring to express his opinions, the authorities must ensure his conviction and sentence are quashed and release him immediately and unconditionally,” Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director, said in a statement. “Nabeel Rajab’s conviction for his refusal to stay silent on the government’s rights abuses is further proof of the Bahrain authorities’ flagrant disregard for human rights,” Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “Nabeel Rajab should not have been arrested in the first place, and upholding his sentence is a grave miscarriage of justice.”

On Friday 29th December regime’s forces carried out a vicious attack on the town of Nuwaidrat, the birth place of Mr Abdul Wahab Hussain, one of the jailed leaders of the Revolution. Several people were detained including: Mohammad Marhoon, Hussain Al Ismail, Ahmad Ali AlSheikh, Ammar Mohammad, Ahmad Jaffar Eid, Mohammad Ali Qambar and Hussain Ali Al Sheikh.

Veteran political activist, Ibrahim Sharif, has been summoned by the regime’s torturers for interrogation. This follows negative comments about the Sudanese president, Omar Al Bashir who is facing a popular uprising to unseat him. In 1989 Al Bashir staged a military coup against the elected government of Al Sadiq Al Mahdi and has remained president ever since. The Tunisian professional runner, Habiba Al Ghuraibi has refused an offer by Alkhalifa regime to grant her Bahraini citizenship. It was a painful snub to a clique that stripped hundreds of natives off their nationality. Last week ten people had their nationality revoked, bringing the total for the year to 298 people. Since they started in November 2012, Alkhalifa have robbed 804 Bahrainis of their nationality, rendering them stateless,

Bahrain Feedom Movement

2nd January 2019 (info@vob.orgwww.vob.org)

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