On 19th June, Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, said that Evidence suggests Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials are liable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, She called for countries to widen sanctions to include the Crown Prince and his personal assets, until and unless he can prove he has no responsibility. “It is the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur that Mr. Khashoggi has been the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law,” Callamard said in her report based on a six-month investigation. Callamard went to Turkey earlier this year with a team of forensic and legal experts and said she received evidence from Turkish authorities. “There is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including the Crown Prince’s”, she said. “Indeed, this human rights inquiry has shown that there is sufficient credible evidence regarding the responsibility of the Crown Prince demanding further investigation,” she added, urging U.N. Secretary-General to establish an international probe.
Saudi prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a Saudi religious reformist thinker on a host of vague charges relating to his peaceful religious ideas, Human Rights Watch said on 23rd June. Saudi authorities arrested Hassan Farhan al-Maliki in September 2017 and have detained him since, finally bringing charges in October 2018. Prosecuting al-Maliki for peacefully expressing religious ideas appears to contradict Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s statement in October 2017 that he wanted to “revert” the country to “a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions.” The Public Prosecution reports directly to the Saudi royal court. Human Rights Watch reviewed al-Maliki’s charge sheet, which consists of 14 charges, nearly all with no resemblance to recognized crimes. The charges do not qualify as crimes for which capital punishment can be justified under international human rights law. International standards, including the Arab Charter on Human Rights, ratified by Saudi Arabia, require countries that retain the death penalty to use it only for the “most serious crimes,” and in exceptional circumstances. Saudi woman activist, Naseema Al Sadah, from the Eastern Province remains in solitary confinement without charge or trial. She has not seen her three children for months. Amnesty International said about Mrs Al Sadah: “Her crime is defending human rights and women freedom”.
Amid local and regional anger khalifi dictators yesterday opened the notorious “workshop” to design ways of ending the Palestinian hope of an independent free state on their land. It was the most outrageous step ever taken by the traitors who betrayed the cause of the Arabs, Muslims and freedom-loving people. What angered the Americans and their regional allies is not only the absence of the Palestinians but their angry protests and strikes throughout the occupied territories, as well as the angry protests by native Bahrainis. The presence of Israeli media that operated freely from any spot of the land has added salt to the injury. This comes only days after the demolishing of the building of the only independent newspaper in the country, Al Wasat two years after the regime ordered its closure. Many journalists and bloggers remain at the torture chambers while the Israelis were roaming the streets freely. Arrests were made in several areas. From Nuwaidrat town, at least eight people were detained on Monday 24th June: Ahmad Al Shaikh, Ahmad Jaffar Eid, Ahmad Al Qayyem, Ahmad Qambar, Ahmad Al Hedi, Ali Jum’a, Jaffar Sarhan and his brother Hamid.
Fadel Abbas, a native Bahraini political prisoner has spent the past three months pleading with the khalifi jailers to treat his extremely painful teeth ailment. He has not been able to eat or sleep because of the excruciating pain. On 23rd June, Mohammad Al Singace, another native political prisoner started a hunger strike in protest against his ten year prison sentence. He had been accused of crimes he had not committed.
Following the court judgement in London last week that the UK government had acted illegally by exporting weapons to the Saudis for use against Yemen, the opposition Labour Party has urged the government to immediately halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate and Bahrain for participating in the aggression on Yemen and persecuting their own people.
On 18th June sixteen cross-party MPs and Peers, including Caroline Lucas, Layla Moran, Diana Johnson and Sir Peter Bottomley delivered a letter to the British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt urging him to press the Bahraini government to end the abuse of female political prisoners. The signatories outlined a number of abuses reported by prisoners at Bahrain’s Isa Town Prison, including unjust restrictions on family visitation and accusations of medical negligence. The letter highlighted the case of Hajer Mansoor, mother-in-law of the Director of BIRD, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, who claims that prison authorities have restricted access for several months to mammogram results for a range of conditions including a lump in her breast and kidney stones.
Bahrain Freedom Movement