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London court exposes khalifi crimes, Khashoggi’s murder haunts Saudis

The demise of Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah was mourned by his people and many who saw him a different ruler from other sheikhs in the Gulf. While maintaining tight grip on the country with human rights abuses, he upheld the country’s constitution that allows for a limited form of democracy, did not become a poodle for the Saudis and sought working relations with his neighbours. Sheikh Sabah maintained Kuwait’s respectable position in the world and avoided childish domestic and regional behaviour like those of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain. Among his shortcomings is his failure to solve the problem of the stateless.

On Friday 25th September Bahraini photojournalist Moosa Mohammed was convicted of trespass on a diplomatic premises by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrate’s Court. He was handed a three-year conditional discharge and a fine for scaling the roof of the Bahrain’s London Embassy last July. He unfurled a banner calling on Boris Johnson to intervene and prevent the execution of two torture victims in Bahrain. The two were killed by khalifi executioners few hours later. The dramatic protest, in which video evidence viewed by the court shows embassy staff assaulting Moosa, ended when Metropolitan Police made the unprecedented decision to force entry to the Embassy. Metropolitan police officer Sergeant Chris Browne gave evidence that he and other officers had been extremely concerned for Moosa’s safety and this had informed their decision to break into the Embassy. When delivering her verdict, the Chief Magistrate found Moosa’s belief that he was acting to prevent death or injury to be reasonable, but rejected Moosa’s defence of necessity, stating that his actions were neither reasonable nor proportionate. The verdict is seen as a serious indictment of a regime intent of human rights abuses, torture and execution.

As the outrage at the khalifi betrayal of Palestine intensifies among the natives, the regime has started its revenge policies on those who refuse to tow its political line. A known poet was arrested this week for composing a poem against the khalifi decision to abandon support of Palestinians and normalize relations with Israel. In his powerful poem, Abdul Hussain Ahmed condemned the move and considered it a betrayal of the Palestinian cause and the Bahraini people. Sheikh Munir Al Ma’tooq was summoned after he had criticized the khalifi betrayal and insisted that the Bahrainis would always support the Palestinians.

In this context more than 150 protests were organized in the past two weeks in several parts of the country. Many were summoned and warned of more serious revenge if they continued their peaceful protests. It is expected that the haste of normalizing the links will lead to more protests by the people who hate the khalifi hereditary dictatorship and will use any opportunity to undermine it until it falls. The regime has incensed the people by allowing air links with Israel and encourage business links. But what worries the native Bahrainis most is the increasing Israeli help in security matters. Surveillance technology and targeting native Bahraini opponents are at the top of the areas of cooperation between the khalifis and Israelis. Fridays have become days of fury on which people will demonstrate against the regime’s outrageous anti-Palestine policies. Calls have been made for such protests this Friday.

Officials at the notorious Jaw Prison in Bahrain have denied medical care to prisoner of conscience, Alaa Mansoor Nusaif. For more than two weeks the young native has been suffering acute back pain and is unable to move. They refused to refer him to Orthopedic care.

London mayor, Sadiq Khan is under pressure not to send a representative to attend a Saudi-hosted summit this week, after he had chosen not to follow other global leaders and speak out about human rights concerns in the kingdom. The Urban 20 (U20) mayor’s summit is being hosted between 30 September and 2 October by Saudi Arabia as part of Riyadh’s chairmanship of this year’s G20. Mr Khan’s decision is in stark contrast to the mayors of New York, Los Angeles and Paris, all of whom have pulled out of the conference and spoken out against the host country.  De Blasio withdrew from the U20 meeting last Thursday, citing ethical concerns, and urged other mayors to follow suit. “The global Covid-19 pandemic has shown just how crucial it is for cities across the world to work together while standing up for what’s right. We cannot lead the world without speaking out against injustices,” New York’s mayor said in a statement. Los Angeles  mayor Garcetti soon followed, stating that he would not attend and would use such forums to “promote democratic values”.

Mohammad Al Nimr was a minor when he was detained by the Saudi police in June 2017. He was accused of participating in protests and undermining the social fabric. He was subjected to horrific torture including sexual harassment. He was repeatedly held in solitary confinement. Regime’s prosecutors are demanding his death by beheading and crucifixion. A new UN report says the Saudi regime recruited child soldiers (as young as 12 years), offered salaries in Saudi currency, taken to Saudi Arabia for training, and deployed to fight in Yemen.  Some died in combat.

As the second anniversary of the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi approaches, international calls are made to sanction the Saudi regime for ordering the killing and sheltering the killers. Mr Khashoggi was killed and dismembered when he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on 2nd October 2018.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

30th September 2020 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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