In a clear admission of defeat Saudi Arabia is intensifying talks with the Yemenis led by Ansarullah Movement (the Houthis) on a ceasefire in Yemen which were launched in Jordan in late September. Riyadh is taking sole responsibility for military efforts by the Arab alliance fighting in Yemen after the exit of its main partner, the United Arab Emirates. The discussions began after the Houthis offered to halt cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities if the Saudi-led coalition ended air strikes on Yemen, they said. The Saudis want a ceasefire but to continue the blockade of the Yemeni borders. The Yemenis reject this and call for unconditional ceasefire and the lifting of the blockade. The Yemenis are in a stronger political, military and moral position as the world turned against the Saudis and accused them of virtual genocide.
Two people have died in detention in Saudi jails. Last week Hussain Al Ribh, 35, a body builder, who was held at al-Mabahith prison in Damam died. He had been subjected to horrific torture since his detention in August 2017. He had partial paralysis. The other was Fahd Al Qadi, 60, a cleric, held at al-Malaz prison Riyadh.
Woman Human Rights activist, Israa Al Ghamgham expressed from her prison cell in Saudi Arabia her fear for the life of her husband, Moosa. They were arrested together in 2018, charged with same offences, but given different sentences. Prosecutors are calling for the beheading and crucifixion of Moosa and lengthy imprisonment of his wife, Israa. Nawf Abdul Aziz, a Saudi woman activist has languished behind bars since June 2018 for her critical writings criticising the arrest of human rights defenders and other women activists.
Bahraini activist and photographer, Moosa Mohammed has this week formally lodged a criminal complaint with the Metropolitan Police Service about his attempted murder by staff at the Bahraini Embassy. The assault took place on 26 July 2019 after Mr Mohammed had climbed onto the rooftop of the Embassy to protest against the executions of two men in Bahrain. Mr Moosa attended Charing Cross Police station to make his allegation to the police in person. In a written statement given to the police, Moosa Mohammed said that staff attempted to push him off the Embassy rooftop, with one saying to him “we have two people being executed in Bahrain and you will be the third”. In his statement he said that he was scared for his life and he had no doubt in his mind that they were trying to kill him.
Three native Bahrainis were detained last week from Daih Town; Saleh Mushaima, Yousuf Yaqoob and Abdul Aziz Al Mutawwa’. This brings to 36 the number of native Bahrainis arbitrarily detained this month. On her daughter’s birthday Bahraini woman activist, Hajer Mansoor wrote to her: “Chains will not stop my happiness for you, you are my heart”. Her daughter said: Mum, you are my best feast and hopes. I am waiting for you to celebrate together”. Hajer will end her three years sentence in four months time. Sarah, daughter of Sheikh Ali Salman has celebrated her 5th birthday on Monday. She was only 40 days when her father was detained for supporting the people’s demands for democratic transformation.
Human rights defenders who attended the 40th Congress of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in Taipei, Taiwan last month, have declared their full solidarity with missing, kidnapped and detained rights defenders, online activists and journalists in Arab countries, calling for their immediate and unconditional release. On Bahrain they said: We are concerned for the health and well-being of colleagues and friends from FIDH member organisations, including Nabeel Rajab and Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, founders of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), who are imprisoned on lengthy sentences in Bahrain with inadequate medical care, along with Naji Fateel and Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace.
We call for freedom for all human rights defenders serving prison sentences in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including GCHR Advisory Board Member Ahmed Mansoor, as well as human rights lawyers Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken and Dr. Mohammed Al-Mansori, and academic Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith. All of them have been poorly treated in prison and Mansoor is held in isolation, where he is very ill.
Among the many women human rights defenders arrested in Saudi Arabia who remain in prison are Loujain Al-Hathloul, Samar Badawi, Nassima Al-Sadah, Nouf Abdulaziz, Mayya Al-Zahrani, Israa Al-Ghomgam, and Naima Al-Matrod. Many other human rights defenders remain in prison in Saudi Arabia serving lengthy sentences including Raif Badawi, Walid Abu Al-Khair, Issa Al-Nukheifi, Essam Koshak, Mohammed Al-Oteibi, Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamid, and Dr. Mohammad Al-Qahtani.
Bahrain Freedom Movement