STATEMENTS

Fear for Saudi, Bahraini detainees after Morsi’s suspicious death

Political activists and political prisoners have expressed fear for the lives of thousands of political prisoners in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. This follows the mysterious death of Dr Mohammad Morsi, former elected president of Egypt. International pressure has forced the Saudis to abandon an earlier decision to execute a young boy from the Eastern Province. Murtaja Qureiris, the 18-year-old had been facing the death, but he will still be jailed for 12 years for protesting against the regime. He was arrested at the age of 13 by Saudi authorities and he could be released by 2022. An anonymous  Saudi official confirmed that timeline.

On Wednesday 12th June Austria’s foreign ministry said that his government would implement a vote by MPs calling for the closure of a controversial Saudi-funded center for religious dialogue in the capital Vienna. MPs had voted on that day to demand the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) be closed down following repeated criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.  The vote was prompted by the case of Murtaja Qureiris.  The centre has been a periodic source of controversy since opening in 2012, with critics saying it offered the government in Riyadh a way to gloss over accusations of severe human rights violations.

Bahraini citizen Usama Al Tamimi would have had at least a degree of diplomatic immunity, having been an elected member of the dictator’s pseudo-parliament. But instead he became a wanted man for criticising the regime’s policies. Last week he sought refuge at the American Embassy in Manama to apply for political asylum. Instead of being granted asylum the guards of the embassy forced him out of the compound with his family. The incident brought back the memory of another Bahraini activist, Nazar Al Qari’ who, in 1998, entered the British Embassy in Manama and asked for political asylum. He was swiftly handed over to the regime’s torturers. The two, however, were more fortunate than Jamal Khashoggi who, last October, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul only to be cut into pieces by the henchmen of his country’s crown prince,

The cruelty of the counter revolution forces led by Saudi Arabia knows no bounds. These include United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Israel. None of these countries binds itself to human rights principles and international conventions, On Monday 17th June, the only elected president in Egypt’s recent history died at the court as a result of his deteriorating health at the jails of the military junta. He had just presented his argument against a charge of “espionage” related to meetings he had as a president with Palestinian group, Hamas. Human Rights Watch attributed his sudden death to the degrading treatment he had been offered at the torture dungeons, the lack of medical care and the squalid conditions of the prison. His death is reminiscent of the evil nature of those tyrannical regimes supported by the US and UK.

On 12th June native Bahraini woman activist, Hadeer Abadi was brought to the khalifi prosecutor who extended her custody one more month. This is the sixth time she had her custody extended without charge or trial. She has now spent over five months behind bars. This is a new form of the old “state security law”.

The Arab world has reacted in anger against the khalifi dictators for allowing anti-Palestine conference to be held in Bahrain. Natives have been protesting against this treacherous act and calling for the workshop to be cancelled. The Palestinians have reacted angrily against the meeting scheduled for 25th and 26th June titled “prosperity for peace”. The main Palestinian movement, Fateh has called for a general strike on 25th June in all Palestinian territories in protest against the meeting. Hamas has also called for general protests against what amounts to the throttling of the Palestinian cause and protecting the occupiers of Palestine.

Last week Nabeel Rajab completed three years of incarceration at Khalifi torture chambers for tweeting against the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen. Many human rights bodies issued statements calling for his immediate and unconditional release. They include: The Observatory for human rights defenders, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), Frontline Defenders, BIRD and ADHRB.

Members of the Irish Parliament have called on their government to spearhead a statement to call on the Bahraini government to release political and human rights leaders. 91 MPs have issued the call which is likely to put pressure on the government, hoping it will be a wake-up call for the European Union to take the lead in calling for democratic transformation in Bahrain

On 17th June the khalifi judiciary upheld life sentences and revocation of nationality against several native Bahrainis. Mohammad Abdulla AlMahroos, Anwar Abdul Aziz Mushaima and Fadel Mohammad Jaffar had been sentenced to life and nationality revocation. Ten years and revocation of nationality were upheld against Adel Ahmad Ali Saleh and five years against Hassan Mohammad Fadel. Human Rights woman activist, Ebtisam AlSayegh said that the court ignored the testimonies of the victims on the torture they had endured and based its verdict on false confessions extracted under torture.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

19th June 2019 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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