STATEMENTS

Saudis carry out more abuses as Khalifis confirm death sentences

In the last few days, several citizens from the Eastern Province of Qatif were detained by the Saudi regime’s forces. Among them are: Zuhair Al Samkhan, Mustafa Abu Shahin, Mohammad Al Musabbeh, Mohammad Al Tahnoon and Radhi Yasin Al Shayeb. The arrests followed the murder by these forces of eight citizens two weeks ago. Saudi Arabia has been holding two Arab journalists for several months, global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Monday 21st May, amid ongoing international scrutiny of the kingdom’s human rights record. Yemeni Marwan al-Muraisy has been missing since June 2018, and Jordanian Abdel Rahman Farhaneh, who had worked for Qatari-owned Al Jazeera television network, disappeared in February, RSF said in a statement. Disturbing news from Riyadh say that the regime intends to execute three prominent scholars after Ramadan. Attributing the news to two government sources The Middle East Eye said that the three: Salman al-Odah, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari may lose their lives if no pressure is used to deter the regime. They have not been convicted of specific crimes or sentenced.

In protest against proxy powers behind the conflict in Yemen, Italian union workers refused to load electricity generators onto a Saudi Arabian ship carrying weapons on Monday 21st May. The ‘Bahri-Yanbu’ was blocked from collecting arms in the French port of Le Havre by protests from humanitarian groups earlier this month. The arms which remain on board were loaded in Antwerp, Belgium. Unions in Genoa, northern Italy have attempted to prevent the boat from docking. Despite their efforts however, the ship docked early Monday morning, and was met by a small group of protesters on the quay. “We will not be complicit in what is happening in Yemen” declared union leaders.

Bahrain’s dictator has publicly called for more oppressive policies on freedom of speech in the country widely known as the “kingdom of silence”. He urged his torturers to deal “firmly and decisively” with those who question regime’s policies through social media. He considers any such negative comments as divisive and inflammatory. Since Fadel Abbas and Nabeel Rajab were imprisoned for three and five years respectively for twitter comments against the war on Yemen, native Bahrainis have largely refrained from tweeting on political matters. The Khalifi regime encourages expressions of praise and hypocritical comments in its favour but punishers severely anyone who dares to criticise its repression.

On Monday 20th May Khalifi courts confirmed the death sentence against Hussain Marhoon, a native Bahraini unjustly condemned for his anti-regime peaceful activities. He is the sixth native to have his death sentence confirmed by regime’s kangaroo courts since the beginning of Ramadan. On 14th May the death sentence on Hussain Abdulla, from Demstan town was confirmed. Twenty others with him were given twenty years and revocation of citizenship. Last week two others had their death sentence also confirmed: Zuhair Ibrahim and Mohammad Mahdi. At the beginning of Ramadan  another two natives had their death sentence confirmed: Ali Al Arab and Ahmad Al Malali.

On 21st May UN human rights experts appealed to Bahrain’s dictator to halt the imminent executions of Ali Mohamed Ali Mohamed Hakeem al-Arab and Ahmed Isa Ahmed Isa al-Malali, amid serious concerns that they were coerced into making confessions through torture and did not receive a fair trial. “We urge the Government of Bahrain to immediately halt the executions of the two men, to annul the death sentences against them and to ensure that they are retried in accordance with international law and standards,” the experts said. The experts reiterated that capital punishment may only be carried out for the most serious crimes and after a legal process which has included all possible safeguards to ensure a fair trial. “The two individuals should have never been convicted on the basis of what appears to be seriously flawed trials. Executions in these conditions would amount to arbitrary executions,” they stressed.

In the past few days regime’s forces detained at least twelve people, following peaceful protests at several towns and villages. Protests are banned by the regime and thousands of native Bahrainis are jailed for their participation in peaceful demonstrations.The family of Ali Mirza who has spent more than seven years has been denied family visits or phone calls to his family for the past ten days. He is serving a jail term sentence of thirteen and a half years.

The Khalifi torture apparatus has summoned and detained lawyer Abdullah Hashim for his comments on Twitter. This case is similar to that of Ali Al Asheeri, former MP, last November who was interrogated for expressing political views during the khalifi fake elections. Regime’s prosecutors said they were charging Mr Hashim for “misusing social media and publishing fake news that can harm public order.” Detaining him for one week they claimed to have found a long history of comments on his Twitter account that question the khalifi clan and its ability to maintain security and protect the public.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

23rd May 2019 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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