STATEMENTS

Bahraini children persecuted; UK needs foreign policy overhaul

Khalifi regime’s efforts to dig deep into the early days of the Revolution in order to plan its revenge from citizens, reveal the endless nights its officials endure as they await the final hour of their departure from the political scene. Their dirty digging has led to persecution of Bahraini children. Today their kangaroo court adjourned until 4thMarch the “trial” of four under-aged native Bahrainis; Hussain Abdul Rasool, 16, Faris Hussain, 17, Mohammad Jaffar, 16 and Sayed Hassan Amin, 16. Khalifi torturers forced them to sign “confessions” of involvement in using Molotov cocktail against foreign mercenaries in February 2014. After seven years the regime is pursuing these children who were under ten years of age at the time. This is how criminal the khalifi dictators have been. After weeks of arrests, 4 children remain in detention in their torture dungeons. Among them is Sayed Hasan Ameen, who suffers from serious medical conditions. Today, a judge refused to grant him temporary release, placing his life at risk. He will remain detained until at least 4 March.

The family of Jalal Abbas Al Usfoor is extremely worried about him after news had come out of the notorious Jau prison (Bloc12) that he had been assaulted physically and psychologically two days ago. Yesterday regime’s jailers decided to deny inmates their daily one-hour  exercise outdoors. They will now be kept for three days in their cells without breathing fresh air or seeing the sun.

Reprieve has adopted a petition to force the khalifi dictator to spare the lives of two native Bahrainis unfairly tried and sentenced to death by his henchmen. This month also marks 7 years since Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa were first arrested, tortured and sentenced to death there. Both men were forced to sign ‘confessions’ to make their torture stop. Mohammed, a father of 3 ‘confessed’ to attending a pro-democracy protest. Both men could be executed any day now. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a year since Mohammed and Husain have been able to see their families. They have been facing the possibility of being executed alone. Mohammed’s mental health is deteriorating as a result. Both men exhausted their last “legal” appeal in July 2020.  Ten years on from the Bahrain Arab Spring uprising, at least 51 have been sentenced to death. Now there are 27individuals are on death row 26  and at risk of imminent execution

On 22nd February UK foreign office minister, Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon acknowledged that the UK government had knowledge that a police station visited by Pritti Patel, was used for torturing native Bahrainis. Lord Scriven had asked the government: What assessment they made of reports that torture and cruel inhuman or degrading treatment has occurred in the Muharraq Security Complex in Bahrain. Lord Ahmed’s reply was: We are aware of allegations about the Muharraq Security Complex. We monitor a number of sources of information on matters that relate to human rights in Bahrain and make assessment. The visit has been widely criticized especially by Bahraini victims who had been mercilessly tortured there.

Oxfam has accused the British government of prolonging the war in Yemen by allowing the export of air-to-air refuelling equipment that it fears could be used to help the Saudi air force conduct indiscriminate bombing in the country. The technology was licensed to Riyadh last summer when arms restrictions were lifted, alongside £1.4bn of other sales, and can be used to help war planes fly longer missions at a time when the conflict is intensifying. Sam Nadel, head of policy and advocacy at Oxfam, said: “As the US has called for an end to the conflict in Yemen, the UK is heading in the opposite direction, ramping up its support for the brutal Saudi-led war by increasing arms sales and refuelling equipment that facilitate airstrikes.”

It has emerged that the Saudis executed Haidar Al Lef, 16 months after they had assured the UN that he had received a final sentence of 8 years in jail. He was the sole bread winner of his family.

Britain’s royal family has met members of autocratic Middle Eastern monarchies nearly once a fortnight since the crackdown on ‘Arab Spring’ protests began 10 years ago this month. Their visits have often coincided with human rights abuses in the Gulf, where pro-democracy activists are punished for criticising the Windsor ties to regimes. Prince Charles, heir to the throne, held 95 meetings with Arab monarchies since 2011 – the largest engagement by a UK royal. Bahraini royals had most meetings with House of Windsor – 44 over the last decade, followed by House of Saud on 40.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

25th February 2021 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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