A new Pew survey conducted recently has found that only 20% of Americans have confidence in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to “do the right thing regarding world affairs,” By the numbers: Trust is also low in Lebanon (23%), Turkey (14%) and Tunisia (18%), though the latter two countries have even less faith in President Trump. Sunni Muslims in Lebanon are far more likely to trust MBS than Shiites (50% vs. 4%).
The Saudis are once again on a shopping spree for arms to be supplied to their fighters in Yemen. On 31st January Amnesty International said: Lawsuits, protests and other actions are planned in several European ports to oppose this week’s return of the Bahri Yanbu, a Saudi Arabian state-owned cargo ship that has previously ferried tens of millions of dollars’ worth of arms to fuel the war in Yemen.” Fresh off a trans-Atlantic voyage after stopping in the USA and Canada last month, the cargo ship is due to visit five European ports beginning on 2 February, before continuing its onward voyage to Saudi Arabia. These include Bremerhaven (Germany); Antwerp (Belgium); Tilbury Docks (UK); Cherbourg (France), and Genoa (Italy).” “On a similar voyage in May 2019, protests and lawsuits blocked some of the arms destined for Yemen from being loaded on the Bahri Yanbu. Even so, tens of millions of dollars’ worth of military aircraft parts and other arms slipped through. Multiple states failed miserably to live up to their international obligations to halt arms transfers for use in war crimes and serious human rights violations,” said Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s Arms Control and Human Rights Researcher.
Dawood Al Marhoon, from the Eastern Province of Arabia has reached the age of 25 now, having spent five years in Saudi jails. He is awaiting execution by beheading that could be carried out any day. His crime? Participating in a peaceful protest to demand political reforms in his country.
In Bahrain two young former detainees died this week. Hameed Al Khatam and Sayed Kadem Al Sahlawi were recently released when their cancer ailment became terminal. Their funerals became flashpoints for public anger.
Last week a native Bahraini researcher was detained for three days for publishing facts that do not conform with the regime’s fabrications. Jassim Hussain was summoned on 28th January, referred to the public prosecutor the following day and accused of “spreading wrong information and misusing social media”. He was remanded in custody for seven days but was released by orders from foreign powers who were embarrassed by the criminal acts of their khalifi allies. Shortly before his detention, he had delivered a lecture titled: The history of old mosques in Bahrain. The khalifi dictators were angered because these facts are contrary to their plans of distorting history.
A twitter campaign calling for the release of two persecuted native Bahraini women activists was launched yesterday. Hajer Mansoor, a grandmother and Zakiya Al Barbouri have been in detention for several years because of their opposition to the hereditary dictatorship. They have been repeatedly abused, tortured and illegally detained for their peaceful expression of political views. Al Wefaq society has confirmed that the two women had been subjected to torture, illegal detention, deprivation of proper medical care and unfair trials.
Yesterday, regime’s forces attacked the town of Dair to the North East of Manama, ransacking homes and spreading fear among its inhabitants. At least five native Bahrainis were snatched by ISIS-style masked men: Hassan Al Khoukhi and his brother Hussain, Ali Hassan Mansoor, Fadel Abbas and Ali Hussain. On Monday Khalid Saeed Abdul Nabi was snatched from his home at Salmabad housing district. A young native Bahraini has been forcibly disappeared for more than 10 days and fears are growing for his safety. Sayed Hussain Sayed Amin was snatched by ISIS-style masked men operating under the command of the royal court and taken to unknown destination. His family has not been informed of his whereabouts.
No sooner had woman activist Mrs Najah Yousuf been released from the khalifi torture chambers than the regime forces took revenge against her. Yesterday, her son, Kumail was given jail terms of 23 years for opposing the khalifi hereditary dictatorship. His mother was not allowed to attend his “trial”.
The khalifi dictators of Bahrain are taking new steps to ensure total domination of public life and subjugation of the people. An official from the Ministry of Labour has announced that the notorious security forces would vet the candidates for the executive committees of the civil society institutions. Anyone who holds views critical of the regime or its institutions will not be allowed to function within the non-governmental bodies. The aim is to increase the number of GONGOs in the country. This is yet another step to transform the country into a police state.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
5th February 2020 (firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vob. Org)