Bahrain rejects khalifi treachery, Saudis under pressure to release detainees

Bahraini people and opposition groups have rejected a decision by the khalifi rulers to normalise relations with Israel and vowed to resist the regime that has lost its legitimacy. Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, has issued a statement rejecting this treachery and said: “There is a great divergence between the rulers and the ruled in thought, mind, aims and interests. Governments are experiencing a psychological defeat and want to impose it on the people, and the people have to resist this defeat,” Qassim said.

On 13th September a joint statement by 17 of Bahraini political and civil society associations, including the Bahrain Bar Association, stood against the deal: “What results from normalisation will not enjoy popular backing, in line with what generations of Bahrainis have been brought up on in terms of adherence to the Palestinian cause,” the statement said. The head of the khalifi highest court ordered judiciary employees not to criticise government policy or express opinions harming national unity. As the regime becomes more embattled for committing what the people consider a crime, critics are expected to receive the full brunt of the khalifi revenge policy. Yesterday’s signing in Washington of a “peace deal” has heralded a new era of more repression and dictatorship. The khalifi regime has already started arresting those taking part in pro-Palestine protests, as a wave of resistance to normalisation with Israel sweeps the country. Such a treaty will not pass without major repression in the coming period.

On 13th September khalifi court “tried” 39 native Bahraini political detainees including 14 minors. The regime has failed to give details of the trial, the victims or their sentences. Among the defendants at this farce trial is Kumail Juma’ who was given five years for opposing the khalifi tribal regime. This raised the total sentences he had accumulated to 29 years. His mother, Najah Yousuf was released this year after spending three years behind bars for calling on the Formula1 management to stop racing on Bahraini blood. Amnesty has confirmed that at least some of the defendants, already held in jail, were not even allowed to virtually attend to hear the verdict. A regime’s court has ordered extending the detention of Shia Muslim clerics Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ansari and Mulla Qassem Zain Al-Din for another week. This is part of the ongoing religious persecution of the native majority by the khalifi tribal regime.

The persecution of Bahraini prisoners has continued unabated. Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace, a disabled academic serving life sentence for calling for democratic transformation in the country, has been denied a pair of rubber ferrules for his crutches. He is crippled with Polio from birth and has been repeatedly subjected to harassment including taking away his crutches and forcing him to crawl to toilet. Ali Al Banna, a young political inmate serving 13 years jail sentence has confirmed that several detainees including himself have been transferred to Bloc 16 of Jaw prison which is designated for prisoners with infectious and serious diseases. Prison guards enter this bloc only when they wear protective gears. This is yet another method of slow liquidation of anti-khalifi native Bahrainis. Another inmate, Hussain Al Sa’di  has constantly complained of lack of medical care despite his deteriorating health. Five years ago his gallbladder was removed. He suffers enlarged spleen in addition to his sickle-cell blood condition. Native Bahraini inmate Ali AbdulHusain al-Wazeer has been viciously beaten by guards in Jaw prison — to the extent of breaking bones. The exact site of the torture and the responsible official have been specified by witnesses. Al Wazir was subjected to horrific torture after he had been transferred to Bloc 15 of Jaw prison two weeks ago. Nothing is known about his condition but his family is extremely worried about him. Prior to this he had engaged in a heated argument with a Yemeni torturer.

Yesterday dozens of Western countries voiced concern at Saudi Arabia’s continued detention of women activists and called for those behind the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to be brought to justice. Germany, speaking on behalf of the European Union at the United Nations Human Rights Council, brought up Saudi Arabia’s “prolonged detentions of women rights defenders”. “We stress the need for full accountability and transparent prosecution of those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi,” said Germany’s ambassador, Michael Freiherr von Ungern-Sternberg. Several of the arrested women say they have suffered torture and sexual assault in detention. They include Loujain al-Hathloul, Nouf Abdelaziz, Samar Badawi, Nassima Al-Sadah, Mohammed Al-Bajadi, and Miyaa Al-Zahrani, the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) said in a statement. Denmark’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Morten Jespersen, read out a joint statement on behalf of 29 countries – including Australia, Britain and Canada – urging the kingdom to “release all political detainees” and voicing concern at the detention of “at least five women activists”.

The trial of prominent Saudi cleric Salman al-Odah is set to resume on October 18, according to his son. Al-Odah has been detained for three years and is facing a possible death sentence on charges that rights groups say violate his right to freedom of expression. On 10th September Saudi security forces stormed a house in Awwamiya Town in Eastern Province using armed vehicles, A young citizen, Muhammad Abu For was detained and taken to unknown destination.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

16th September 2020 (,

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