STATEMENTS

Callamard pursues Saudis on Khashoggi as Bahrainis cry for medical care

Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions dismissed the trial of 11 defendants in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia which will be held behind closed doors saying “it is unlikely to deliver real justice.”  In an article published by the Washington Post yesterday she said top Saudi officials have not been investigated or charged in Khashoggi’s brutal, premeditated killing. She added:  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible for Khashoggi’s extrajudicial execution, enforced disappearance and torture. Ms Callamard said that  Khashoggi’s murder is not a Saudi domestic matter and that Saudi Arabia committed an unlawful extraterritorial act aimed at violating freedom of expression, threatened the sanctity of consular relations and interfered with the interests of the international community as a whole. She accused the US and the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council of allowing themselves to be made complicit in what is, by all appearances, a miscarriage of justice and accused them of failing “to address the responsibility of Saudi senior leadership and divert attention away from the responsibility of the kingdom itself.”

Saudi Arabia has executed 122 people – including children – during the first six months this year, making it one of the bloodiest in the kingdom in five years, according to a new report. Among the slain were six who were arrested as minors, three women and 51 who were facing drug charges that would be considered minor offences elsewhere in the world. The latest figure of executions from the oppressive Arab Kingdom is more than double from the same period last year – when 55 people were put to death.

The moral crisis in Bahraini prison has intensified in recent months as the regime ignored domestic and international calls to stop using medical care as a weapon against native Bahraini prisoners of conscience. Recent cases have confirmed the khalifi policy of denying proper medical care to those who need it. It took the mother of the Ilyas Al Mulla weeks of pleas and cries to force prison authorities to take her cancer-ridden son to hospital yesterday. Only when she declared hunger strike on Monday that the khalifi defenders in London ordered them to transfer Mr Al Mulla. Many others await in agony a similar decision to allow them meager medical care. Sheikh Mohammad Habib Al Miqdad is suffering from acute abdominal problems but has received no medication. He has been in severe pain for sometime but his pleas to see a doctor were not heeded.

In the early hours of this morning the Khalifi thugs attacked the town of Karranah and arrested several native Bahrainis. Among them was Ali Ibrahim Al Mo’men. On Thursday 4th July the khalifi thugs attacked Buri Town and arrested many innocent native Bahrainis. At least 11 were snatched from their homes. They include: Hussam Hassan, Muhsin Ahmad, Nidal Mirza, Ali Hussain Habib, Hussain Ahmad Al Hujairi, Mahdi Abdul Wahed, Ahmad Ali Al Aali, Mohammad Hassan Al Farsan, Mohammad Jassim Darwish, Mohammad Naji and Ahmad Murtada. Last month at least 43 native Bahrainis were detained as the regime prepared to receive Israeli delegates to its ill-fated “economic workshop” to facilitate the launching of Mr Trumps’ “Deal of the Century”.

On 3rd July Amnesty International condemned the khalifi regime for harassment of former Bahraini member of parliament Osama Muhana al-Tamimi. It said: “The actions against al-Tamimi come in a climate of escalated state intimidation aiming to quash free expression. In addition to official agencies’ actions against al-Tamimi – including multiple summonses and an attempt to confiscate his personal phone without a warrant – there have been a number of incidents targeting al-Tamimi’s businesses and personal safety in recent years which the government has failed to adequately investigate. The broader context involves a series of recent statements by the highest officials, including the King, that criticism of government…. will not be tolerated.”

In London ministers have asked the courts to set aside a landmark ruling that British arms sales to Saudi Arabia are unlawful, a legal manoeuvre that prompted Jeremy Corbyn to accuse the Conservatives of prioritising military exports over civilian lives. The government has applied for a stay of last month’s judgment pending an appeal, according to Campaign Against Arms Trade, which is fighting the case, at a time when conflict between the Saudis and Yemeni people has intensified. That appears to contradict assurances given to MPs by Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, that Saudi arms sales would be halted after the ruling pending a review. At the time, 57 export licences were under consideration. Corbyn said: “This makes a mockery of their own commitment to halt all new sales while a review takes place into civilian casualties. Nothing could be clearer: the government’s priority is to sell arms, not to protect the rights and lives of Yemeni people.”

Bahrain Freedom Movement

10th July 2019 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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