STATEMENTS

Fears of khalifi revenge for Ashura event; Saudi nationals persecuted

In the past ten days native Bahrainis have staged a remarkable public show as the marked the Ashura event. First they defied regime’s ban on marking the occasion. Second, they staged well-organised countrywide processions observing social-distancing while wearing masks and avoiding indoor gatherings. The regime which has subjected natives to serious religious persecution was brought to its knees by the freedom-loving natives.

Fears are rising for the safety of two Bahraini political prisoners after their transfer to solitary confinement in recent days. On 28th August both Ali Abdul Hussain Al Wazir, 32, and Sheikh Zuhair Ashoor, 39, were severely tortured after they had been taken away from their cells. This followed a dispute with one of the mercenaries imported from Yemen to help the khalifi atrocities against the natives. Five other political prisoners had been placed in solitary confinement including Sadeq Al Ghasra, Mohammad Ahmad Sarhan, 45 and Mohammad Fakhrawi, 37. They had defied the khalifi orders by observing religious rituals. They were shackled and subjected to abuse including attacks on their beliefs and religious affiliation. They have not been allowed to contact their families since July. They were accused of being behind the demands for religious rights by the native prisoners. More prisoners are facing retributions for marking the Ashura event in recent days.

The khalifi regime has now firmly established an apartheid state in Bahrain. The blurred lines between loyalists and opponents have now become more prominent as the dictator replaced the rule of law with policies based on revenge. Members of the dissolved political societies are banned from taking any official office including within the social activism. The regime has recently ordered the removal of 3 women activists from Awal Women Society because they had been affiliated with Wa’ad political society. Tens of former Al Wefaq Society members were also excluded from running for offices at clubs and charities.

As anger spread across the Arab and Muslim Worlds after the rulers of the United Arab Emirates betrayed the Palestinian cause, the president of the UAE has issued a decree cancelling a law on boycotting Israel and allowing trade and financial agreements between the two countries. The decree from UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan aims at “supporting bilateral cooperation in order to arrive at (the establishment) of bilateral relations”. The announcement comes as El Al Airlines plans to operate Israel’s first direct flight between Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi, carrying an Israeli delegation and top aides to U.S. President Donald Trump, who brokered an Aug. 13 accord to normalise Israel-UAE ties.

Saudi academic Dr Ibrahim Al Harithi has been sentenced to five years in jail after a secret trial. The former chief executive of the Andalus Schools has been in jail for three years since his detention in September 2017. The regime’s mouthpieces have repeatedly talked of his imminent release only for him to be sentenced in a secret trial. Another political prisoner is Sheikh Salman Al Awdah who had been detained for tweeting religious prayers. He has been subjected to harsh treatment, secret trial and solitary confinement. After his house had been thoroughly searched his family were banned from travel. Woman prisoner, Lojain Al Hathloul was visited by her parents this week. She has been on hunger strike for more than a week in protest at the denial of family contacts. As her health deteriorated the regime allowed her parents to visit her and were asked to convince her to stop her hunger strike. A group of intellectuals and writers detained last year that includes two Saudi-American dual nationals — Salah Al-Haidar and Bader Al-Ibrahim — recently received their list of charges. They’re expected to face trial in a court reserved for terrorism and other security-related cases.

Saudi Islamic Affairs ministry has ordered Riyadh mosques to limit themselves four loudspeakers, at max volume level 4, and told them not to broadcast religious lectures or lessons over external speakers. Similar orders have been implemented by the khalifi dictators who have waged a multi-dimensional war against native Bahrainis. Scores of people including heads of congregation halls, preachers, orators and lamenters have been summoned by the regime’s torturers and threatened with serious revenge for marking the Ashura event. The regime has ordered that these centuries old traditions be abandoned by the native majority.

Under international pressure the Saudi public prosecutor has ordered a review of death penalties issued against three individuals who were falsely accused of crimes as minors, including the nephew of a prominent Shi’ite cleric, Sheikh Nimr Al Nimr who was executed in 2016. Ali al-Nimr, the nephew of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, Dawoud al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher, were sentenced to death in 2016 for terrorism-related crimes committed before they had reached the age of 18. Saudi Arabia’s human rights record has come under intense international scrutiny after the murder of a prominent Saudi journalist in 2018. It is one of the world’s biggest executioners after Iran and China, Amnesty International said in its latest annual report. It said the kingdom had executed 184 people in 2019, including at least one person charged with a crime committed as a minor.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

2nd September 2020 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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