STATEMENTS

Court cases in US against Saudi CP, mass prison terms to Bahrainis

Saudi government is struggling to protect itself from critics in a pair of U.S. lawsuits filed since August against its crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) and braces for possible political changes from the current US elections. The separate cases accuse him of ordering the death and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 and of plotting to order a similar assassination of a former official and U.S. intelligence ally, Saad Aljabri. The cases claim flagrant human rights violations, torture and murder by America’s oldest ally in the Middle East, and were brought by David Pressman for Aljabri and by Keith M. Harper for Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, and a human rights group he founded. Both attorneys are former Obama administration envoys to U.N. bodies who are launching a new human rights and global strategy practice with the Jenner & Block law firm. Attorneys defending Saudi Arabia from lawsuits by 9/11 families will represent MBS in these cases.

Detained Emirati academic and human rights defender Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith is being denied the appropriate medication for his health conditions. A former lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of Paris-Sorbonne University, Dr bin Ghaith has been through three separate hunger strikes to protest his unjust sentence and the torture and ill-treatment he is subjected to in Abu Dhabi’s al-Razeen prison. His current physical and psychological conditions are consequently very poor. He has lost a significant amount of weight, much of his eyesight and has been too weak to stand up and walk unaided. He also suffers from high blood pressure. However, he continues to be denied access to appropriate medical care and vital medication for his various ailments especially his blood pressure. He is highly vulnerable amid the global Covid-19 outbreak.

Eighteen NGOs have signed a letter to the Interpol’s Secretary General Jürgen Stock raising concerns over the nomination of UAE Ministry of Interior official for the highest office. Earlier this month, Dubai’s police chief Nasser Ahmed al-Raisi was nominated as the next president of the global crime control organisation Interpol, gifting the UAE with another opportunity to whitewash its reputation and cover up its human rights violations.

With the whim of a pen khalifi “court” yesterday convicted 51 native Bahrainis, more than half of them abroad, on charges of belonging to a “militant group”. It was the latest mass trial conducted in this troubled country amid continuous crackdown on all dissent. Regime’s mouthpieces described those convicted as belonging to an unnamed group that allegedly received orders from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a charge often used to justify persecuting people. Of those convicted, the regime described 27 as “fugitives abroad.” Those innocent victims received sentences ranging from five years to life in prison, the. The collective punishment was carried out in one court session which proves the mockery of justice and disdain of human rights. The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said it spoke to a family member of one defendant who alleged “the trial was marred by due process violations and the use of evidence obtained under torture.” “This mass trial demonstrates the systemic corruption of Bahrain’s judiciary, which routinely violates defendants’ most basic rights to a fair trial such as permitting evidence obtained through torture and denial of access to legal representation,” said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, the director of advocacy at the institute.

Last month, political prisoner Ali AlHajee was promised he would receive dental treatment after he had conducted his third hunger strike at the notorious Jau Prison to demand an operation needed after losing 13 of his teeth.  Three days ago, he was told his surgery was cancelled. For 9 days Ali has been at the Dry Dock Detention Centre in order to isolate before his dental surgery. During this time, Ali’s scabies worsened as he was not given medication.  Conditions at this jail are very poor. Inmates are not given clean clothing or sanitation materials.

A khalifi court has extended the detention of Sheikh Ibrahim Al Ansari for two more weeks for opposing khalifi betrayal of Palestine. Regimes prosecutors have detained orator and lamenter Jaffar Al Ghawi for seven days as part of the khalifi persecution of native Bahrainis.

Since COVID19 outbreak, Jau Prison in Bahrain has been denying 23-year-old political prisoner Yousef Hussein Yousef access to diabetic footwear, medication for joint pain and scabies, which has infected many inmates due to poor sanitation and unhygienic conditions. Following COVID-19, Yousef’s treatment in prison has significantly worsened. The family warns that without proper medical care, his life could be endangered. A severe rise or drop in blood sugar levels could lead to deep vein thrombosis.

Today khalifi courts sentenced two native Bahrainis to 15 years imprisonment for taking part in peaceful protests against regime’s betrayal of the Palestinian cause. Salman Radhi and Qassim Ali Ibrahim were summoned on Monday and, in accordance with the “summary justice” regime they were sent to the torture chambers.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

4 November 2020 (info@vob.orgwww.vob.org)

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