STATEMENTS

Saudi Facebook propagandists blocked, more Bahrainis incarcerated

People connected to the government of Saudi Arabia have run a network of fake accounts and pages on Facebook Inc (FB.O) to promote state propaganda and attack regional rivals, the social media giant said on 1st August. Facebook said it had suspended more than 350 accounts and pages with about 1.4 million followers, the latest takedown in an ongoing effort to combat “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on its platform, and the first such activity it has linked to the Saudi government. “For this operation, our investigators were able to confirm that the individuals behind this are associated with the government of Saudi Arabia,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy. “Anytime we have a link between an information operation and a government, that’s significant and people should be aware.” “The government of Saudi Arabia has no knowledge of the mentioned accounts and does not know on what basis they were linked to it,” the Center for International Communication, the government’s media office, said.
On 2nd August Amnesty International issued a statement calling for the release of women political prisoners. It said: Saudi Arabia must follow up on crucial women’s rights reforms after today’s announcement that some major restrictions imposed on women as part of the country’s repressive male guardianship system are to be eased, said Amnesty International. Amnesty is calling on the Saudi Arabian authorities to ending its ongoing persecution of women’s rights defenders in the country, immediately and unconditionally releasing those who are currently detained for their peaceful activism and dropping charges against others.
A political detainee has died at one of Saudi prisons. Sheikh Saleh al-Dhamiri passed away due to medical neglect. He has a heart condition and was kept in solitary confinement. He was detained because of his outspokenness in defence of political prisoners.
In Bahrain, the khalifi regime has upstaged its attack on natives with a new wave of arrests and detentions. Former MP, Usama Al Tamimi was detained when his house was raided yesterday. Last month Al Tamimi sought refuge at the American Embassy in Manama but was evicted from the building and denied political asylum. He has been critical of regime’s policies towards the natives and considered its policies ill- conceived. The US embassy officials had assured him that no harm would happen to him!
In the early hours of yesterday regime’s security forces rounded up scores of native Bahrainis for protesting against the execution of three others on 27th July. The towns of Abu Saiba’, Shakhoura and Bilad Al Qadeem were detained in vicious raids on their homes. From Abu Saiba’ town the detentions included: Bashir Abdul Rasool, Hussain Al Zayer, Hussain and Abbas Al Zaaki. On 31st July a member of the political bureau of the Wahdawi society, Ali Jassim was detained by plain-clothed officers. He contacted his family from the interrogation centre to tell them about his detention. Nothing has been heard of him since.
The medical profession has ridiculed the khalifi attempt to deceive the world by holding a conference on “medical security” in Bahrain this year. This is despite one of the bleakest record achieved by khalifi dictators who persecuted the medical profession beyond belief. Scores of doctors, nurses and other medical staff were detained, imprisoned and tortured for treating the wounded in 2011 and 2012. Senior consultant doctors were sacked and never returned to their jobs. Brian Dooley commented on the khalifi deceptive step saying sarcastically: “Bahrain, whose police and soldiers arrested and tortured dozens of medics after they
treated injured protesters is to host a conference on medical security”.
Despite his deteriorating health, Khudair Radhi from Sitra has been denied medical treatment by prison authorities. He suffers from several ailments and lives in constant pain. Sheikh Isa Al Qaffas has been placed in solitary confinement and tortured for five days on orders from a known torturer. His ill-treatment followed his protest against the execution of three native Bahrainis by khalifi dictators. During this horrific ordeal, Sheikh Al Qaffas was shackled and humiliated. Another political detainne, Mohammad al-Singace has predicted his death saying that he would soon as he continued his hunger strike. He has been asking for a re-trial arguing that he is innocent of the charges brought against him by regime’s agents.
On 2nd August Amnesty International issued a statement on the execution of two native Bahrainis. It said: Bahrain is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which recognizes the right to life and the right to a fair trial, which includes the right not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt. The UN Human Rights Committee has stated that “the imposition of a sentence of death upon conclusion of a trial in which the provisions of the [International] Covenant [on Civil and Political Rights] have not been respected constitutes a violation of article 6 of the Covenant” [right to life].
Bahrain Freedom Movement
7th August 2019 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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