Yesterday the world received another massive shock from Saudi Arabia. Six months after decapitating Jamal Khashoggi, the notorious House of Saud has committed another mass murder. With the whim of the pen 37 innocent Saudi nationals were beheaded, some of them crucified. Thirty two of the victims are Shia Muslims from the Eastern Province who had taken part in peaceful protests several years ago. Two days ago the death sentences of 14 of them were upheld by Saudi court. They are: Hussein al-Rabi’, Abdullah al-Tureif, Hussein al-Mosallem, Mohamed al-Naser, Mustafa al-Darwish, Fadel Labbad, Sa’id al-Sakafi, Salman al-Qureish, Mujtaba al-Suweyket, Munir al-Adam, Abdullah al-Asreeh, Ahmad al-Darwish, Abdulaziz al-Sahwi and Ahmad al-Rab’i. They were transferred from Dammam in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province to the capital, Riyadh on 15 July 2017 without prior notice. Court documents show that the 14 men told the court they were subjected to prolonged pre-trial detention and had been tortured and otherwise ill-treated during their interrogation to extract their “confessions”. However the judge failed to order investigations into their allegations. The court based its decision on these forced “confessions”.
Human Rights Watch described the punishment as “grotesque,” and said: “Today’s mass execution of mostly Shia citizens is a day we have feared for several years. The punishments are especially grotesque when they result from a flawed justice system that ignores torture allegations,” said Adam Coogle, Middle East researcher at HRW. Amnesty International called the execution “a chilling demonstration of the Saudi Arabian authorities callous disregard for human life.” It added: “It is also yet another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within the country’s Shia minority,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director.
The Saudi regime has undertaken a renewed wave of arrests. The human-rights organization ALQST reported that between April 4 and 9, the government detained at least 10 rights activists and writers, in the latest crackdown on civil society.
There has been worldwide condemnation of revocation of citizenship of native Bahrainis by the Khalifi occupiers. The recent decision to revoke the citizenship of 138 natives shocked the world especially that some of them are juveniles; none of them had committed any real crime except participating in peaceful anti-regime protests. The UN High Commissioner of Human Rights expressed extreme outrage as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch unreservedly condemned the regime and asked its backers to stop its excessive criminal activity. Thus when Khalifi dictator, Hamad, decided to re-instate the nationality of 551 native Bahrainis he received no praise anywhere. Instead Amnesty International said: It shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and called on the dictator to “restore nationality to other ≈450; provide redress to those reinstated; repeal denaturalization laws.” The criminal activity of the regime has earned it unprecedented condemnation despite the British attempts to shield it. The dictator is now under intense pressure to swallow his pride and concede defeat in his attempts to crush the native Bahraini population.
There are fears for the lives of three natives from the town of Abu Saiba. They had been abducted ten days ago and taken to the notorious CID torture centre. Nothing has been heard of them since. Two other citizens from the Sunni Muslim community were also detained. Ibrahim Al Sheikh, a journalist and Mohammad Khalid, former member of regime’s “parliament” were seized and remanded in custody for one week. Both were accused of “spreading false news”.
The people’s anger at the regime has deepened further as it continued to implement repressive policies. Despite the ruthless suppression, Bahrainis have continued their protests in various places over the past week. Last Thursday 18th April there was a protest in Manama against normalising relations with “Israel” while Palestinian land remains under occupation. There were other protests at the towns of Abu Saiba, Shakhoura and Bilad Al Qadeem. They were attacked by regime’s forces and waves of arrest followed.
Meanwhile the news from Bahrain’s prisons are alarming. In addition to the lack of medical care, the absence of hygiene has led to a serious outbreak of skin diseases. Cancer has been rampant as the prison environment deteriorated further and regime’s attention to its obligation under international law slipped away. The senior detainees like Hassan Mushaima and Abdul Wahab Hussain have been denied their urgently-needed medicines and doctor consultation. Mr Mushaima now suffers bouts of high temperature and sweat. His cancer condition has remained undetermined due to lack of care. Khalifi dictator appears to be adopting a policy of “slow and painful death” towards the detained leaders of the people.
Bahrain Freedom Movement