STATEMENTS

Two citizens killed by Saudi forces, Bahrainis punished by kingdom of silence

Happy New Year to everyone; to those in need, the sick and all breathing souls on this planet. Special greetings are due to those languishing behind bars especially in Bahrain. One particular Bahraini woman has been denied the opportunity to celebrate her recent release in the |New Year. Najah Yousuf refused to be broken by her two years detention and started to talk about her torture by khalifi agents. The regime arrested her 16 year old son, Kumail Juma in revenge. Shameful. He is now being tortured and persecuted.

On 25th December Saudi forces murdered two natives from the Eastern Province. Ahmed Al Suwaid from AlBahari district and Abdulla AlNimr from AlAwwamiya were gunned down by those forces despite being unarmed and posed no threat to anyone. They were targeted for their peaceful anti-regime activism in 2011, organising protests calling for reforms and urging others to join the protests.

In contrast, the Saudi regime has continued to shelter the killers of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. In the latest twist of this episode, the regime’s prosecutors said last week that they had “decided to kill five people” in connection with the crime that had been carried out at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. They failed to name the five. The announcement was aimed at silencing those calling for the prosecution of the senior officials who had planned and overseen the crime including the special assistants of the crown prince himself. Two of them were implicated directly in the horrific crime, including Sa’ad Al Qahtani and Saud Al Otaibi. Their prosecution would have exposed the role of Mohammed bin Salman in the planning and implementation of the murder plan.

There has been a loud outcry against the whitewashing by the Saudi regime of killers and murderers. Agnes Callamard, the Spec;al UN investigator said: the sentence today is anything BUT Justice, providing several reasons for her opinion. The Turkish foreign ministry condemned the whitewash saying that the verdicts “do not satisfy the desire of our country and the international community to shed lights on all aspects of this crime or the upholding the rule of law”.

In UK, the foreign secretary Dominic Raab said Mr Khashoggi’s family deserved justice for what had happened. “The killing of Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible crime. Mr Khashoggi’s family deserve to see justice done for his brutal murder,” he said in a statement. “Saudi Arabia must ensure all of those responsible are held to account and that such an atrocity can never happen again.”

On 28th December Human Rights activist, Sayed Ahmed Al Wadaei wrote an article in The Independent titled: Bahrain is holding my family hostage – and the UK is abetting them. He said: Britain’s new government, with its open animosity towards human rights and the rule of law, seems even less likely to pressure its Gulf allies to change. Despite 52 MPs, lawyers and human rights groups calling on the government to advocate for my family’s release, they have failed even to express concern. I look to parliament and the free press to hold Boris Johnson’s majority government to account, and raise their voices so that my family walks free. He also said: This is the third Christmas members of my family have spent in Bahrain’s prison cells. The UK must stop abet”.

On 30th December Sheikh Ali Salman completed five years in khalifi torture chambers. He is now serving a life sentence for refusing to give up the people’s demands for real freedom and democracy.  He is the leader of Bahrain’s main opposition group, al-Wefaq (which was later outlawed). Sheikh Ali is now serving a life sentence on trumped up espionage charges, having already completed a four-year term last year.

The khalifi court of cassation has upheld a six-month jail sentence imposed on a liberal opposition figure by the dictator for refusing to tow his despotic line. Ibrahim Sharif had called for Sudan’s military dictator, Omar Al Bashir to go when the protests started almost two years ago. The protests had subsequently forced Al Bashir to go and is now on trial. But the khalifi dictators pursued their revenge policies and insisted on persecuting Mr Sharif for siding with the people and refusing to support the khalifi dictatorship.

A seminar scheduled to be held on 23rd December was banned by the khalifi dictators. The Democratic Nationalist Group had organized the seminar to discuss the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council following last month’s failed summit in Riyadh. The ban confirms the new policy of extreme restrictions on the freedom of speech that has landed many people in jail for expressing their opinion. Bahrain has become the “kingdom of silence”.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

1st January 2020 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

 

 

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