As the fourth anniversary of the Saudi-Emirati led aggression on Yemen approaches the evil alliance has escalated its war crimes in a desperate attempt to score a “victory” which has so far eluded them. On 11th March indiscriminate air strikes by the Saudis killed at least 22 civilians, including women and children in a village in northern Yemen, the United Nations said. Medical sources said on Monday that the attacks in Kushar district, in Hajja Province, killed 10 women and 12 children and wounded 30 people, including 14 under the age of 18. “Many of the injured children have been sent to hospitals in Abs district and in Sanaa for treatment and several require possible evacuation to survive,” the U.N. Coordinator in the country, Lise Grande, said in a statement.
The Saudi regime has been sharply criticized by US senators in recent days. “Saudi Arabia has engaged in acts that are simply not acceptable,” said Republican Senator Jim Risch, the committee chairman. Risch has held two classified briefings in the past two weeks for the panel to discuss Saudi Arabia. Senator Bob Menendez, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking Democrat, acknowledged the strategic importance of Saudi ties. “But we cannot let these interests blind us to our values or to our long term interests in stability,” Menendez said at a hearing in connection with the appointment of General John Abizaid, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Senators at Abizaid’s confirmation hearing including Trump’s fellow Republicans as well as Democrats condemned the kingdom’s conduct in the civil war in Yemen, heavy-handed diplomacy and rights abuses. Among those were the torturing of women’s activists and a U.S. citizen and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. As the hearing continued, Republican Senator Marco Rubio said bin Salman had gone “full gangster,” an assertion repeated by another Republican, Senator Ron Johnson.“He is reckless, he’s ruthless, he has a penchant for escalation, for taking high risks, confrontational in his foreign policy approach and I think increasingly willing to test the limits of what he can get away with the United States,” Rubio said.
Yesterday Amnesty International (AI) said that children as young as eight had been raped by militia fighters in the Yemeni city of Taiz. Suspected perpetrators include members of Saudi-led coalition-backed groups and other militias supported and armed by the United Arab Emirates. AI reported the families of the four boys as saying that their children had been assaulted over the past eight months, adding that they had reported the assaults to the Taiz Criminal Investigation Department, but they did not take action. “A pattern of impunity and reprisals has thus far discouraged families from reporting these incidents, especially since suspects are reported to be politically aligned with the local Islahi-controlled authorities,” it said.
The car racing body running Formula One has been accused of “looking the other way” by human rights groups in the case of activist Najah Yousif who was beaten, sexually abused and jailed for protesting against the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2017. Her prosecutors presented Facebook and Twitter posts of protests, including ones that urged people to participate in a “Stop Formula of Dictatorship” rally and “Freedom for the Formula 1 Detainees.” On 9th March a child was given six months jail sentence for joining anti-regime peaceful protest. Sayed Ali Taha has already spent three months in jail. On 8th March a member of Bahrain’s Bowling Team, Mohammad Khalil, was arrested at the airport. He was on his way to take part in an international tournament in Abu Dahbi.
On 6th March Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action update calling on the Bahraini authorities to ensure that Hajer Mansoor Hassan’s conviction and sentence are quashed, that she is immediately and unconditionally released, and that, pending her release, Hajer is granted access to adequate medical care as necessary and in a timely. On 25 February 2019, the Court of Cassation upheld Hajer Mansoor Hassan’s conviction and three-year prison sentence. Since August 2018, Hajer has suffered from a lump in her breast, which she feared might be cancerous. The authorities did not inform her of the results of medical tests, including a mammogram, and ignored her repeated request to be referred to a specialist.
A refugee footballer who had fled Bahrain and was held in a Thai prison for months during a tense extradition stand-off between Australia and the Khalifi dictators was yesterday granted Australian citizenship. “I’m an Aussie now,” Hakeem AlOraibi told reporters in Melbourne after a citizenship ceremony on the banks of the Yarra River that flows through the city. “I’m very happy to be safe.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who lobbied for his release from detention in Thailand, met Araibi after the citizenship ceremony and handed him the Australian flag lapel pin from his jacket. This development is a major diplomatic and moral defeat to the Khalifi regime.
Bahrain Freedom Movement