The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet has called on Saudi Arabia to respect public freedoms and release women activists. The Saudis were infuriated by this call. They became even more furious when the name of one of their women detainees was nominated for an international peace prize. Lujain Al Hathloul has been suggested alongside the climate activist, Greta Thunberg for the most prestigious Noble Prize. This is a serious blow to the Saudi leaders especially the notorious Mohammad bin Salman (MBS). Another slap on the face of the Saudis came from Norway. Norway’s $1.1 trillion sovereign wealth fund reduced holdings of Saudi Arabian equities by about 60% last year as it reviews an internal benchmark that guides its global stock purchases. The Dismal human rights record is among the factors. The fund’s total investment in shares traded in Riyadh fell to $420 million by the end of 2019, from about $1 billion the year before, according to data from Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages the fund.
A Saudi court has condemned several innocent citizens to death and long-term jail sentences after long sessions of severe torture. Yassin Al Ibrahim has been sentenced for beheading and crucifixion. Seven others were given long jail sentences: Amir AlBukhaitan, 13 years and travel ban, Mutada Al Shaiba, 13 years and travel ban, Ali Al Abdul Mohsin, 12 years and travel ban, Saleh Al Makina, nine years and travel ban, Aatif Al Miksin, seven years and travel ban, Mustafa Al Haji, three years and travel ban and Hussain Al Denden one year in jail. A kangaroo Saudi court has upheld the death sentence passed on an innocent citizen from Qatif. Mustafa Hashem Al Darwish had been condemned to death for participating in anti-regime protests several years ago. He had been subjected to horrific torture and abuse to extract “confessions”.
On Monday 2nd March Saudi security forces detained Mahdi Saleh Al Zanadi, from Awwamiyah. Armoured vehicles were used to raid the District of Shukr Allah and cause extensive damage to the house of Mr Al Zanadi.
Anger is spreading in Bahrain as the coronavirus takes hold and claims more victims. While the regime remained almost absent from the people’s predicament, three senior clerics have called for the cancellation of several religious and social activities for two weeks in order to contain the spread of the virus. The people are also angery for 1500 native Bahrainis who have been stranded at the holy city of Mashad in Northern Iran. They are there to perform religious rituals and prayers at the mosque of Imam Ali ibn Musa Al Rida, the 8th Imam of Shia Muslims. The cancellation of flights to Iran left them in a limbo. Despite their pleas for help their calls have been ignored by the khalifi regime. Unlike these dictators the rulers of Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and UAE have rushed to bring back their citizens from Iran offering them first class treatment in hotels. The khalifi dictators have, once again, exposed their enmity of the natives in those difficult times.
There are growing concerns for the thousands of political prisoners who are at greater risk of catching the virus. Few days ago the inmates at Block 1 of the notorious Jaw prison informed the prison’s officials of a suspected case of coronavirus, but nothing has been done about it. No precautions have been undertaken and the person in question has not been isolated. There are suspicions that the khalifi dictators may encourage the spread of the disease among the native Bahraini political prisoners as part of its policy of revenge against those it considers “existential enemies”.
Hearts and souls are awaiting the release of a brave woman detainee after completing three years inside the khalifi torture chambers. Mrs Hajer Mansoor was arrested in revenge for the activism of her son-in-law Sayed Ahmad Al Wadaei who is a political refugee in UK. She was tortured, abused and repeatedly held in solitary confinement. Despite international calls for her release she was captivated with her son, Nazar for the whole period. There are concerns that the khalifi dictators may hold her further by creating new charges against her.
Last week, Bahraini judiciary officials sentenced three native Bahrainis to jail terms. Mahmoud Sadiq al-Sharqi, Abdullah Maytham al-Haddad and Sayed Muhammad Sayed Anwar were given five years each, while the remaining four: Abdullah Abdullah al-Hanzabari, Hussein Kamel Mirza, Badr Maytham al-Haddad and Sayed Majeed Sayed Faisal, received 3-year prison terms each.
Sheikh Ali bin Ahmad Al Jidhafsi, 75, was summoned for interrogation for the third time this year. He has been repeatedly persecuted for his prayers at the mosque especially when he prays for the release of the political detainees. Sheikh Abdul Mohsin Mulla Atiya has been given one-year jail sentence for expressing opinion on history: “History books are full of persons who had no human or moral values like Mu’awiyah and his clan”.
Bahrain Freedom Movement