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Saudis admit bombing civilian targets, Bahrainis insist on political change

On 2nd October the Saudi-led coalition admitted it had carried out an air strike on a blood bank in the Yemeni capital Sanaa earlier this year by “mistake”.The attack on the National Centre for Blood Transfusion and Research on 27 April was accidental, according to findings of the coalition’s investigative body, the Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT). Spokesperson Mansour Al-Mansour, a notorious Bahraini military lawyer, made the announcement yesterday saying investigators had examined the scene of the air strike and had taken statements from medical and administrative staff who work at the building. A “defect in the bomb” was the cause for “the mistake”, he said, adding that members of the coalition will provide assistance in repairing the damage caused. Other civilian targets include markets, hospitals, schools, event halls and homes.

On 8th October Human Rights Watch published on its page an article by Bénédicte Jeannerod, the Director of its office in France titled “France Should Hold Firm Against Saudi Abuses”. He said: “During the last session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, 25 countries, including 15 from the European Union, supported an Australian-led joint statement highlighting serious human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, and calling on Saudi authorities to ensure truth and justice for the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. But despite stated principles and commitment to multilateralism, France is not among them.” The author urged France to sign the statement:  “France has until October 11 to endorse this joint declaration. It should stand by its own words in condemning the Saudi authorities’ blatant human rights violations.”

The khalifi dictators of Bahrain have ordered the detention of a senior cleric for one week because he presented a different interpretation of historic facts than what the regime wants to propagate. Sheikh Mohammad Al Rayyash considered the second Umayyad ruler, Yazid as a killer because in 680 AD his lieutenants, under his orders, murdered Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad and 72 of his relatives and supporters, including children. Yazid’s men beheaded the martyrs and paraded the severed heads for 40 days together with women of the prophet’s household. Sheikh Al Rayyash had been detained for two weeks last month for criticising Imam Hussain’s killers. In the “kingdom of silence” only the regime’s version of history is allowed.

Meanwhile, political prisoners Ali AlHajee and Naji Fateel have started their second month of hunger strike to protest the denial by the khalifis of medical care, religious freedom and family visits. Mr Hajee has not seen his family since February 2017. He needs dental implants and urgent jaw surgery but he has been denied them. Mr Fateel suffers injuries to his spinal cord, arms and legs which resulted from torture.

Another political prisoner, Hassan Yousuf Al Yasser has appealed to international human rights bodies to intervene so that he gets necessary medical treatment which he has been denied. He suffers from severe joint pain, his left hand and head in addition to serious problems with his vision. He is serving 22-year prison sentence for opposing the khalifi dictatorship.

Yesterday, Human Rights Watch issued a statement condemning the use of medical care as a weapon by the khalifi clan. “It is outrageous that Bahraini authorities are denying detainees medical care that they urgently need, in some cases putting their lives in danger,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Many of these people should not have been imprisoned in the first place, and arbitrary denial of medical care may amount to extrajudicial punishment.”

Protests have continued in several towns and villages from Duraz to Abu Saiba, Shakhoura to Sitra. The protesters chanted; people want regime change, Down with Hamad. Almost nine years of revolutionary fervour has not relented. With 5000 political prisoners the khalifi hereditary dictatorship is unfit to rule. It is antiquated, repressive and criminal.

Karrar is a nine year old child who has been admitted to hospital suffering physical and psychological trauma. His mother, Fatimal Ali Abdulla, is one of three sisters from Duraz languishing at khalifi torture chambers for opposing their dictatorship. Their husbands are also incarcerated by khalifi torturers. Their children have been left without parents. One of the women, Aamal, had a miscarriage inside the torture cell. Karrar’s grandmother has appealed for their release but to no avail. The khalifis have proven to be eternal enemies of Bahraini natives. The three sisters had appealed their sentences of three years imprisonment, but on 3rd October the dictator, through his “court”, rejected it.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

9th October 2019 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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