STATEMENTS

Bahrainis mark 9th Revolution anniversary as GCC suffers fiscal crisis

On Thursday 6th February the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Gulf Arab states could see their financial wealth depleted in the next 15 years amid lower hydrocarbon revenues if they don’t step up fiscal reforms. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – whose net financial wealth the IMF estimates at $2 trillion – accounts for over one fifth of global oil supply, but economies in the region have been hit hard by a drop in oil prices in 2014 and 2015. While lower crude prices have put pressure on governments to generate non-oil revenues and fix their finances, “the effect of lower hydrocarbon revenue is yet to be fully offset,” the IMF said in a report. “At the current fiscal stance, the region’s existing financial wealth could be depleted in the next 15 years,” it said.

The Saudi regime has been accused of plundering people’s wealth by engaging in losing financial deals. German market experts have accused the Saudis of selling the shares in Tesla electric car when they dropped to $735 per share compared to their earlier value of $887 per share, without giving real care to the losses. On 5th February Alexander Demling wrote in Handelsblatt newspaper that the Saudis had bought shares worth more than $3 billion few years ago and could have made a fortune if they sold them at the right time. But their lack of attention to the interests of their country led to them to plunder its wealth.

In a landmark decision the United Arab Emirates has conceded defeat in their collective aggression (with the Saudis and the khalifis) on Yemen five years ago. The sudden announcement of withdrawing their forces from Yemen amounted to capitulation to the Yemenis who have proven to be as solid as mountains in defending their country. The Emiratis have quarreled with the Saudis on their share of the Yemeni cake and their withdrawal without achieving any of their declared aims is certainly a humiliating defeat. Their fortunes have dwindled in recent years as the Yemenis regained the military initiative and inflicted heavy losses on the invaders. The UAE’s financial establishment could be obliterated by Yemeni drones if they did not withdraw.

As the native Bahrainis prepare to mark the 9thanniversary of their 14th February Revolution, the khalifi regime has intensified its repression and pre-emptive attacks on people. Scores of people have been detained for taking part in peaceful anti-regime protests. Several others including religious scholars and preachers have been summoned by the notorious security agencies. Yesterday regime’s notorious torturers detained Sheikh Mohammad Al Rayyash for one week for no reason except to ensure his absence during the Revolution’s anniversary. On Monday 10th February, Hajji Abdul Hadi Mushaima, father of the first martyr of the Revolution, was summoned to the special services offices for interrogation and nothing has been heard of him since. His son, Ali was the first to be killed by the kahlifis on the first day of the Revolution on 14th February 2011. The regime did not want the father to be present among the people as this would inflame the anger against their rule.Yesterday Mulla Jawad Mirza was summoned to appear today at a torture centre at Roundabout 17  of Hamad Town. Sheikh Fadel Al Zaaki from Maqaba Town was also summoned. Last week Sheikh Jassim Al Haddad was detained at the airport. Meanwhile, the peaceful protests demanding the end of the khalifi hereditary rule have continued. Several towns including Aali, Abu Saiba and Shakhoura have witnessed protests and demonstrations despite the violent repression

Fears are growing for the life of Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace, one of the Bahrain 13 group that led the Revolution against the khalifi dictatorship in 2011. He was transferred to hospital on Sunday 9thFebruary when his sugar level dropped significantly, and he had almost collapsed. He has been denied proper medical care.

As the dire conditions inside the khalifi jails deteriorates further, more inmates have engaged in hunger strikes demanding proper medical care and treatment, family visit and access to religious and general books. Yousuf Maitham Ibrahim has recorded a statement saying he had started hunger strike on 4th February to protest the ill treatment at the Dry Dock prison. Since the beginning of the year family visits have been curtailed especially those involving the second-degree relatives

The reputation of Huddersfiled University has been seriously dented following last week’s revelations that it helped to teach would-be torturers. It is being urged to suspend a lucrative degree programme it runs with Bahrain’s Royal Academy of Policing over real evidence that widespread torture of political prisoners has been taking place at the location. The Masters course in Security Science, which involves Huddersfield lecturers training Bahraini police officers at the Academy in areas such as crime scene investigation techniques, cyber crime and “investigative psychology”, was launched in 2018 and that year Prince Andrew, then Huddersfield University’s Chancellor, visited Bahrain to meet some of the officers participating in the course and senior Government ministers. At least ten native Bahraini victims have testified to being tortured there. Two of these have sought political asylum in UK.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

12th February 2020 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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