STATEMENTS

UK government urged to seek release of Gulf detainees

CEOWORLD ridiculed for over-ranking Saudi

Ten members of the House of Lords have sent a letter to Bahrain’s dictator urging him to drop the death sentences against Zuhair Ibrahim and Hussain Abdulla. They expressed serious concern about the convictions which were based on “confessions extracted under torture”. They pointed to reports published by the UN, Amnesty International, BIRD and others which confirm the use of torture and the unfair trials. They also referred to the findings of three UN experts in 2018 when they confirmed that the torture victims did not receive fair trials. The courts did not investigate torture claims.

Reprieve, which campaigns for abolition of death sentence has marked the International Day to Support Victims of Torture on 26th June and issued a statement on Bahrain. It said: Please spare a thought for Husain Moosa and Mohammed Ramadhan. Husain and Mohammed are two victims among thousands in Bahrain’s broken justice system. Reprieve works in Bahrain to challenge the rampant use of torture in cases where it is used to put people like Husain and Mohammed on death row. Will you chip in and help us end the use of torture in Bahrain and beyond? It further added: “We are challenging Husain and Mohammed’s death sentences. Their so-called ‘confessions’ are the only evidence used against them – and the Bahraini authorities obtained them using torture. If we win their case in Bahrain’s highest court, we will save their lives and have the chance to set a game-changing precedent in the small country, signaling that torture can never lead to justice.” This case isn’t easy. Proving to Bahraini courts that their own justice system failed Husain and Mohammed requires a lot of creativity and time from our investigators, lawyers and campaigners.

Cross-party MPs at UK’s Parliament have written to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, urging him to call for the release of arbitrarily imprisoned human rights activists in three Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain in light of the threat posed by COVID-19.  The letter coincided with the UN international day in Support of Victims of Torture. It was signed by ten MPs, including Brendan O’Hara, Sir Peter Bottomely, Father of the House, Caroline Lucas, Andy Slaughter among others. The letter calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners, including award-winning activists Loujain Al-HathloulAhmed Mansoor, and Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace.  Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights & Democracy, commented: “At a time when COVID-19 poses a serious threat to the lives of jailed activists across the region, this landmark intervention by parliamentarians must compel the government to end the double standard and call for these brave individuals to be released.”

A young native Bahraini incarcerated since 2012 by khalifi dictators for opposing their dictatorship is gradually losing his eyesight. In a message smuggled from his torture cell, Ali Al Bannai is suffering excruciating pain in his eye for which he has been unable to receive medication. He said that he had appealed to the regime’s GANGOs as well as the prison doctor, to provide him with the medicine prescribed by an eye specialist but his request was refused. In his subdued message Ali said all he wanted was medicine to stop pain and limit deterioration of his eyesight.

In a landmark escalation of oppression, khalifi dictators have imposed eight months jail sentence on a native lawyer who had represented many victims of their torture before. Abdulla Al Shamlawi has been punished for two tweets, one was on a religious matter not related to the ongoing political strife in the country. The other tweet referred to “Kumar case” linked to the provision of newly-built housing units to recently naturalized foreigners. This is at a time when young native couples have to wait for up to 15 years for government housing.

A native Bahraini young man who was severely injured by regime’s forces five years ago has achieved high grades in his secondary school examinations. Mohammad Mahdi Al Sawwad, from Sitra, lost one eye after being hit with a rubber bullet. His body was showered with shotgun pellets. Yet he has managed to defeat the odds and prove that native Bahrainis will always prevail in the most difficult circumstances despite the racist khalifi policies.

khalil_AlHalwachi, an internationally respected academic will spend his 63rd birthday on 4th Julyin a Bahraini prison, simply because of his political and human rights activism He had been sentenced to 10 years on fabricated charges. His health is poor making him vulnerable to COVID19

A New York-based online business magazine(CEOWORLD magazine.) has ranked Saudi Arabia as the Middle East’s best country for women, coming at 89th position globally. The article has drawn a range of reactions, many of which express surprise at the ranking. Many prominent female activists remain behind bars in Saudi Arabia, including Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Mayaa al-Zahrani, Hatoon al-Fassi, Samar Badawi, Nassema al-Sadah, and Amal al-Harbi. The report has left social media users guessing whether the ranking was a joke, with many people responding to the article with sarcastic comments.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

1st July 2020 (info@vob.net www.vob.net)

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