STATEMENTS

Bahrain’s wealth plundered by CP as Saudis pardon Khashoggi’s killers

On Eid Day, Monday 25rh May, many Bahraini men and women flocked to the graves of the martyrs at several of Bahrain’s cemeteries. They recited verses of the Holy Quran, expressing grief and anger. This is one of the ways to express solidarity with the martyrs families and show attachment to their ideals. Others visited the families or called them to express solidarity and affirm loyalty to the goals of their slain children. The regime has hidden the graves of many martyrs especially those who had been unjustly executed on orders of the khalifi dictator. Many exiled activities expressed solidarity in video clips insisting that the struggle would continue until the killers of native Bahrainis were brought to justice.

The conditions inside jails have deteriorated further with more coronavirus cases among the inmates and guards. Meanwhile Ahmad Mohammad who had been sentenced to a total of 76 years for opposing the hereditary dictatorship has developed tumors and his family is now gravely concerned for his life. They have been asking for proper diagnosis and treatment but the khalifis continue to ignore their pleas. There is deep fear of the repeat of the tragic case of Sayed Kadhem Sayed Abbas, a young and pleasant native who was left to die of cancer as the khalifis refused to provide him with proper diagnosis and treatment.

It has been revealed that the khalifi crown prince had bought a Spanish football team as Bahrainis are left to face spiraling food prices since government’s subsidies were stopped three years ago. The Infinity company, which has controlled the Córdoba Club de Fútbol for a few months, is apparently owned by Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the crown prince. “The company’s financing comes directly from the Bahrain government in a clear case of corruption in which public money is used for the benefit of the royal family,” Hussain Abdulla, of ADHRB said. The crown prince is also the deputy prime minister and deputy commander of the Bahrain armed forces. If Salmán provided the money to buy the Córdoba Cliub, the person who takes the public credit is prince Naser Bin Hamad al khalifa (33), stepbrother of the heir and the person who has turned the sport into his business card. He is  Commander of the Royal Guard and at the head of an elite unit that had participated in the bloody war in Yemen, Naser is the president of the Bahrain Olympic Committee and the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports as well as owner of the Bahrain McLaren cycling club . “He is the person who wants to enhance his public relations and his image laundering. There are very strong torture accusations against Naser and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom had quashed his diplomatic immunity” adds Abdulla.

It has now been one month since Saudi Arabia announced a royal decree to end death sentences for children. Yet Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher remain at risk of imminent execution with no signs of change of their sentence. Reprieve, which stands against the capital punishment has issued a petition to stop these executions. It said: Ali, Dawood and Abdullah could be executed for so-called ‘crimes’ committed when they were children, despite a royal decree announced on April 26, 2020 claiming Saudi Arabia will no longer execute children. On paper, the royal decree is a step in the right direction. But Saudi Arabia has announced positive steps before and then failed to deliver. The royal decree is only empty words so long as Ali, Dawood and Abdullah remain on death row in Saudi Arabia. It urged people to add their names to the petition which urges Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to end Ali, Dawood and Abdullah’s death sentences and show the world that the royal decree is more than a mere public relations exercise.

On Thursday 21st May, Salah Khashoggi, the son of the slain Saudi journalist and Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, announced in a tweet that he had “pardoned” the killers of his father. Salah invoked Ramadan, the month of Mercy, in announcing it. That tweet created a political storm and confirmed the long-held suspicion that the Saudi regime would never prosecute the perpetuators of one of the most heinous and outrageous crimes of modern history of diplomacy. However, on Friday 22nd May Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz tweeted: “Nobody has the right to pardon the killers. We will not pardon the killers nor those who ordered the killing,”. Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions  described the family’s “pardon” as “a final act of the parody of justice”. She said: the parody of justice started almost a few days after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi when a team of 17 or 18 individuals were sent off to Turkey to clean up the crime scene. The second act was the trial, which I described as well as a travesty of justice. The third one was the delivery of the verdict in December last year, where those who ordered the crime were let free and only the hit men were condemned. The last and final act was when the son announced that he was pardoning the killers. But everything has been a travesty of justice.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

27th May 2020 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

 

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