…from beneath the crooked bough, witness 230 years of brutal tyranny by the al Khalifas come to an end
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Posts from — June 2011

US sets stage for King Hamamd’s government appointed “Investigation Committee”

U.S. ends most CIA abuse cases, to probe two deaths
By James Vicini

WASHINGTON | Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:00pm EDT

(Reuters) – A prosecutor will conduct a full criminal investigation into the CIA’s handling of two prisoners who died in U.S. custody, but about 100 other cases of alleged mistreatment by the CIA were closed, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.

Holder said he accepted the recommendations from Justice Department prosecutor John Durham, who has been conducting an inquiry into harsh CIA interrogation practices of terrorism suspects during George W. Bush’s presidency.

Holder said Durham examined possible CIA prisoner abuses in the interrogation of 101 prisoners in U.S. custody after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and determined that only the two deaths required further criminal investigation.

Holder in his statement did not give details about the two individuals who died in U.S. custody.

But a U.S. official said one case involved the 2003 death of a prisoner, Manadel al-Jamadi, at the Abu Grab prison in Iraq while the other case involved the 2002 death of an Afghan, Gul Rahman, at a secret CIA prison, known as the Salt Pit, north of Kabul in Afghanistan. He froze to death.

The Bush administration came under widespread criticism from human rights groups, lawmakers and some U.S. allies for mistreatment and abuse of prisoners after September 11, including harsh interrogations and waterboarding of terrorism suspects. …more

June 30, 2011   No Comments

No comittee appointed by a government that is victimizing the governed can exact credibility or justice – this is to confuse justice with justification – where are the prosecutorial powers? to whom is the committee accountable? a “ruse” by another name…

cb editorial note: …in this ruse I again liken King Hamad to the wife abuser. King Hamad, the al Khalifa regime, have hand picked a committee that might possibly have the courage to tell the al Khalifas they are ill and abusive. Nonetheless the committee will also grant the al Khalifa’s a free pass through their participation in an orchestral charade of blaming the victims. By al Khalifa’s design the committee will reinforce their own phobias and preconceptions of the demons by which they prejudice al Khalifa’s victims. Since this will occur under the guise of “fair and impartial” which grants the committee a “critical voice”, it will appease the international community as it has already received their “blessing”. The committee has no prosecutorial powers and it’s only real accountable seems to be to the al Khalifia’s. The committee has no accountability to an independent judiciary, to the people of Bahrain or to the international community that is to be entertained by the charade. Theirs will be a duplicitous investigation into accusatory sides rendering prejudicial judgement of no means.

Al Khalifa will exploit a “fifty/fifty” blame game with the committee assuming the role of “idiot counselor” that promotes a bogus reconciliation of the select elements that have been purchased by the so called “national dialogue”. This is the systematic equivalent of the “Stepford Wives”, a fiction on social engineering where the wives’ undesirable “elements” have been removed, making it possible for “everyone” to return to a “desired normal”, which in the committee’s case includes a complicit international community that could have effectively checked the brutality of the al Khalifa’s. This is a process of convenience for the leadership in the West that are under pressure to stop the abusive husband. The process will be complete when their polling at home indicates the placation was sufficient so reelection bids and popularity positions can again proceed unchecked by the demand for Human Rights protection and justice for the people of Bahrain.

The notable difference in today’s Bahrain is it’s people have grown through education and sophistication through deployment of technology. The decades old cycle of al Khalifa’s brutal repression, sanctioned by the West, can no longer be hidden and is now put in full view for all the world to see by a well connected and well informed underclass of opposition. Yes indeed, The WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING and the truth of the evils of al Khalifa can no longer hide and be pushed into the closet. This is a frightful and inconvenient truth for the West. The dreams and desires of Bahrain’s people now exceed the bounds of the al Khalifa table of lies and rhetoric of reform. And it seems the West stuck in it usual structural ineptability will entertain al Khalifa’s folly as the Bahraini people rise up to seize the future denied them with resounding echoes of their long repressed cries for justice and freedom.

Finally, as al Khalifa’s systematic disease is allowed to continue unabated by the West, the hour is fast approaching where all must ponder the consequence of a revolution on scale of impact with 1979 Iran. Surely this possibility looms on a near horizon – it will be the catastrophic abandonment of hope preached by the Western powers, specifically President Obama, as the West continues to ally it’s self with the al Khalifa’s .

Relevant News Story Below

International panel to probe uprising in Bahrain
By Reed Stevenson

MANAMA | Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:37pm EDT

(Reuters) – The international committee investigating violent protests in Bahrain this year will be given access to official files and be able to meet witnesses in secret, the panel’s chair said on Thursday.

The five-member panel of human rights and legal experts, unveiled ahead of a national dialogue set to start on Saturday, is part of Bahrain’s efforts to restore its image after its Sunni rulers cracked down on demonstrations led mostly by the Shi’ite majority in February and March.

“We will ask for files, we will go to the prisons,” said panel chairman Cherif Bassiouni, an Egyptian-American law professor and U.N. war crimes expert who was involved in the formation of the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) and recently headed a U.N. inquiry into events in Libya.

“This is no different from any criminal investigation,” he told reporters in Manama, blocks away from where protesters had taken to the streets. ...more

June 30, 2011   No Comments

King Hamad has met standards for decades and once again we are here with the show and NO JUSTICE for a murdering tyrant – UN rights chief dellusional

UN rights chief trusts Bahrain probe to meet standards
(AFP) – 10 hours ago

GENEVA — The UN’s human rights chief welcomed Thursday Bahrain’s move to launch an independent probe of recent unrest and said she was confident it would meet international standards.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also revealed she had held back an assessment mission to the country at the King of Bahrain’s request, “because I always encourage credible national investigations.”

Bahrain on Thursday appointed a five-man panel to investigate the bloody unrest that erupted during anti-regime protests in February and March.

Pillay noted that two members of the panel — Mahmud Sharif Bassiouni and Philip Kirsch — were also part of the inquiry commission ordered by the Human Rights Council on violations in Libya.

“I would trust those individuals, their knowledge of justice and international law to carry out an investigation, in terms of acceptable international standards,” she said.

“They are highly respected individuals and I would prefer then to see the outcomes of the investigations” before sending in her own assessment team, she added.

Kirsch is a Canadian lawyer and former president of the International Criminal Court.

Bassiouni, who is leading the Bahrain probe, chaired the UN Security Council’s commission to investigate war crimes in the former Yugoslavia in 1992 to 1994. …more

June 30, 2011   No Comments

…sliding into the abyss, King Hamad’s security forces usher in the National Dialogue

June 30, 2011   No Comments

King Hamad digging pit of Human Rights abuse from which he cannot return – his international creditibility now down the tubes – without intervention to stop Hamad from the West, revolution seems inevitable and growing more imminent

Bahrain riot police fire tear gas at protesters
BARBARA SURK, Associated Press
Updated 12:32 p.m., Thursday, June 30, 2011

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Riot police in Bahrain fired tear gas and stun grenades Thursday to disperse thousands of opposition supporters gathered near the square that was the epicenter of the nation’s Shiite-led demonstrations earlier this year, an activist said.

The violence is a setback to efforts by the tiny island’s Sunni rulers trying to open reconciliation talks with the Shiite opposition in the Gulf kingdom.

Activist Nabeel Rajab said the protesters at Manama’s Pearl Square chanted: “Down, down Hamad” — a reference to the Bahraini monarch. They also demanded that all demonstrators, opposition leaders and activists, detained during the deadly crackdown on the Shiite-led campaign for political freedom and greater rights, be released.

No injuries were immediately reported during Thursday’s demonstration.

The violence came a day after Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa announced the creation of an independent commission that will investigate allegations that protesters’ rights were violated during the anti-government demonstrations that erupted in February.

The announcement was an apparent effort by the Sunni monarch to draw opposition groups into the government-sponsored talks, set to begin on Saturday.

Washington has encouraged dialogue in the island nation, home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, and had urged the monarchy to meet some of the opposition’s demands. …more

June 30, 2011   No Comments

al Khalifa smoke and mirrors for international community and make believe efforts toward reform – business as usual for King Hamad

Ongoing Abuses in Bahrain Delegitimize Upcoming National Dialogue
Washington June 28, 2011

With Bahrain’s national dialogue fast approaching, Freedom House expresses its deep concern about the ongoing arrests, intimidation, and in some cases torture of political activists speaking out in favor of democracy. These incidents constitute a pattern of repression that belies any promises of reform and honest political discourse by the government or the ruling family.
“By continuing to proceed with hasty prosecutions in military courts of leading opposition political figures and pro-democracy activists, the Bahraini government is in effect removing its political competition,” said Charles Dunne, Freedom House’s senior program manager for the Middle East and North Africa. “These actions strongly suggest that the National Dialogue will not be an opportunity to advance political freedom in Bahrain, but rather a ploy to prevent criticism of its human rights record.”

Bahrain’s National Dialogue is scheduled to begin on July 1 in Manama. However, hundreds of Shi’ite political leaders are currently languishing in prison and the largest opposition bloc, led by political party Wefaq, has not confirmed its participation.
On June 22, a military court convicted eight Shi’ite activists for plotting to overthrow the monarchy and sentenced them to life in prison. Thirteen other activists were also convicted of the same charges and received harsh sentences ranging from five to 15 years in prison. Many of those sentenced were prominent political and human rights figures, including Hassan Mushaima, leader of the opposition Haq Movement, human rights activist Abdul Jalil al-Singace, and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, co-founder and former president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Ibrahim Sharif, leader of the National Democratic Action Society (Wa’ad) was the only Sunni convicted. He received a sentence of five years. …more

June 30, 2011   No Comments

Jidhafs protest 30 June, 2011

Twitter round up at 5:30PM

-The protest planned for 5pm today in Jidhafs is titled “March for Self-Determination”

- Large number of participants coming near to the place

- Being attacked with tear gas and sound bombs now

June 30, 2011   No Comments

Shot in head with shotgun by al Khalifa security forces 14 March, Majeed Mohamed Ahmed has died today – al Khalifa must be held accountable for his crimes against the people of Bahrain

June 30, 2011   No Comments

Open letter to President Barack Obama from the Office of the Chairman of Bahrain Amal Society

Please listen to us Mr. President
June 29th, 2011
Dear Mr. Obama,

Amal Society would like to express gratitude to all the efforts the U.S. is trying to push the process of a serious dialogue in Bahrain. Amal has always been one of the first to call for dialogues with the Bahraini government for the last ten years, and we have been calling for constant reforms that help maintain national security and stability in Bahrain. We want to help and encourage a serious national dialogue for a better Bahrain for all Bahrainis, where the constitution and the law are above all. The American constitution is one of our most important resources that we rely on in our dialogue, and we opt to create a great Bill of Rights which guarantees dignity and freedom for all Bahrain, regardless to ethnicity, sex, religion, and race.

However, more than 50 members, including the Chairman, of Amal have been arrested after several night raids to their families’ houses. Amal would like to express deep concern over the health and safety of the members, especially the Chairman, Sheikh Mohammed Ali Almahfoodh. Almahfoodh has been put in a private cell for 46 days, and he has been severely tortured. Therefore, his safety and health are a huge responsibility for the U.S. since the U.S. is spreading peace and democracy in the Middle East.

Amal members and the Chairman are facing false charges because Bahrain’s constitution believes in the freedom of speech and opinion. However they are facing charges that might lead to life sentence or 15 years in prison. These charges are purely political flavored like most charges other politicians faced.

Amal is the second Shiite society in Bahrain, and it is one of the most important parties in the national dialogue taking place recently. How can we participate in such a dialogue if our Chairman and more than half of our Chairman’s office and executive committee are behind the bars? We wonder how this stand could be understood in relation to your speech, Mr. President, on May 19th. What Amal understands, is that throughout the last ten years, we have been peaceful in all our moves. Amal is registered officially under the law of societies in Bahrain, and hence it represents a party of the legitimate opposition mentioned in the famous speech. Amal society was an important player in the meetings concerning the dialogue led by the Crown Prince, and we had our own vision about it. We still support a serious meaningful dialogue that achieves stability and security in the country; and our opinions and stands did not change, but how can we participate without our chairman and decision makers of the society?

Dear Mr. President,

Amal Society writes this letter and we are full of confidence that your administration encourages the participation of all the legitimate opposition and societies, and our society is not an exception. We are full of hope that your administration cannot be passive or silent when a whole society is tortured and put on military trials for no just reason. We are looking forward to participate on one table to save the country and help pass it on to a safe environment, full of love, peace and prosperity.

Sincerely,
Office of Amal Society Chairman
Bahrain

June 30, 2011   No Comments

Sanabis Protest 29 June, 2011 – the protest will not rest until al Khalifa is disposed

June 29, 2011   No Comments

Ongoing arbitrary detention and judical harrassment of Abdulhadi Al Khawaja

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing arbitrary detention and judicial harassment against Mr. Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, former MENA Director at Front Line and former President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), as well as about the alleged acts of torture and ill-treatment perpetrated against him.

New information:

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Bahrain.

According to the information received, on June 22, 2011, Mr. Al Khawaja was sentenced to life in prison for “organising and managing a terrorist organisation”, “attempt to overthrow the Government by force and in liaison with a terrorist organisation working for a foreign country” and the “collection of money for a terrorist group”, together with 20 other political and human rights activists by the National Security Court of Bahrain[1].

Following the reading of the verdict, Mr. Al Khawaja shouted that he “shall continue on the path of peaceful resistance” and was then beaten severely by court officers, mostly to his face that is still healing from other fractures. Later, Mr. Al Khawaja was allegedly brought to the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Hospital, as a result of these severe beatings. As of today, the family of Mr. Al Khawaja, who is detained in Gurain prison, has received no information regarding his current health condition.

After the reading of the verdict, Mr. Al Khawaja appealed against the decision. The appeal, initially scheduled at the beginning of July, will finally take place on June 29, 2011, seven days after the initial verdict.

The Observatory recalls that Mr. Abdulhadi Al Khawaja was brutally arrested on April 9, 2011, and witnesses present during his arrest declared that he was taken unconscious after having been violently beaten (See background information). …more

June 29, 2011   No Comments

al Khalifa continues holding Human Rights and oppostion activists hostage

Bahrain:21 activists, appeal hearing was adjourned to 11 September
June 29th, 2011 – BYSHR

Today ( 29th of June 2011), Appeal hearing for 21 defendants “opposition leaders and human rights activists”
Military Court judge decided to postpone the hearing to 11th September 2011 for the pleading.
On the 22th of June 2011, Military Court judge issued a sentence on 21 defendants:

1-Abdulwahab Hussain Ali ( life sentence imprisonment)
2-Ibrahim Sharif Abdulraheem Mossa ( 5 Years imprisonment)
3-Hassan Ali Mushaima.( life sentence imprisonment)
4-Abdulhadi Al Khawaja ( life sentence imprisonment)
5-Abduljalil Abdullah Al Singace.( life sentence imprisonment)
6-Mohammed Habib Al Safaf. ( Mohammed Habib Miqdad) ( life sentence imprisonment)
7-Saeed Mirza Ahmed. ( Saeed AlNouri) ( life sentence imprisonment)
8-Abduljalil Mansoor Makk. (Abdul Jalil Miqdad) ( life sentence imprisonment)
9-Al Hurra Yousif Mohammed.( 2 Years imprisonment)
10-Abdullah Isa Al Mahroos.( 5 years imprisonment)
11-Salah Hubail Al Khawaj.( 5 years imprisonment)
12-Mohammed Hassan Jawad.( 15 years imprisonment)
13-Mohammed Ali Ismael. ( 15 years imprisonment))
14-Abdul Hadi Abdullah Mahdi Hassan ( Abdulhadi AlMukhodher) ( 15 years imprisonment)

Defendants ( not being arrested yet) :

15-Akeel Ahmed Al Mafoodh.( 15 years imprisonment)
16-Ali Hassan Abdullah.( Ali Abdulemam) ( 15 years imprisonment)
17-Abdulghani Ali Khanjar.( 15 years imprisonment)
18-Saeed Abdulnabi Shehab.( life sentence imprisonment)
19-Abdulraoof Al Shayeb.( 15 years imprisonment)
20-Abbas Al Omran.( 15 years imprisonment)
21-Ali Hassan Mushaima.( 15 years imprisonment)

Attached information about the Defendants – Click Here

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) has issued list of charges and articles (click here) used by the military prosecutor to prosecute 21 opposition leaders and human rights defenders. …more

June 29, 2011   No Comments

al Khalifa creates and appoints comittee under his control to investigate his crimes – more placating with international smoke and mirrors

By Alex June 29, 2011 Category: Bahrain, Featured, Government
Bahraini King Announces Royal Investigation, Committee

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain issued a royal decree (text) today establishing a committee to investigate the”incidents that happened in the kingdom in February and March.” The members of the committee are:

* (Chair) Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni: a research professor of law emeritus at DePaul University College of Law and president emeritus of the law school’s International Human Rights Law Institute
* Judge Phillipe Kirsch: a judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and was the Chairman of the committee that established the ICC
* Sir Nigel Rodley: a Professor of Law and Chair of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Exeter, U.K. and member of the U.N. Human Rights Committee
* Dr Mahnoush Arsanjani: a current member, and former Executive Council member, of the American Society for International Law, she has served in the Office of Legal Affairs at the United Nations
* Dr Badria Al-Awadhi: an International and Shari’a legal expert, and current director of the Arab Regional Center for Environmental Law (ARCEL)
…more

June 29, 2011   No Comments

No freedom, no dialogue

Postponement of Appeals Undermines National Dialogue
For Immediate Release: June 29, 2011

Washington, D.C.— The Bahraini military court’s decision to postpone the appeals of 21 dissidents to overturn the sentences handed down to them last week undermines prospects for a successful national dialogue, said Human Rights First.

“The government claims it’s starting a process of reconciliation while keeping human rights activists and credible opposition figures in prison,” said Brian Dooley of HRF. “There are real fears among activists in Bahrain that this process of dialogue is a sham to fool the international community. Today’s postponement fuels those fears.”

One of the defendants, prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, was reportedly hospitalized due to the beatings he received in custody after his sentence was read out on June 22. As the dialogue opens in July, mass trials of doctors, nurses and others accused by the authorities of trying to overthrow the government are set to continue. Defendants have not had proper access to lawyers, defense statements have not been accepted by the judges, and widespread and credible reports of torture of detainees continue to emerge.

President Obama warned Bahrain in his May 19 Middle East speech that “you can’t have a real dialogue when parts of the peaceful opposition are in jail,” but that is what’s happening. …more

June 29, 2011   No Comments

The poem is never silenced

Khalifa
by Ayat al-Ghormezi

Hear me:
You, the elder,
the “good man”, who “safeguards justice”
(so you have always declared),

if I were to make excuses for you,
I, for you,
for the things you have done,
I would only look the fool,
for you would continue in your ways,
and murder us as “traitors”.

Hear me:
Hear us all, for we all demand likewise -
both sects, all Bahrainis:

You must go.
Take His Majesty with you,
and leave your deeds behind.

You, oppressor,
from where do you derive your power,
the power to keep your people down? -
all your people,
even women
even children
even men.
Yet you call for “dialogue”,
even in the midst of your brutality?

No! … No! …
One word: No!
One demand:
Give us back our Bahrain.
Return this country to its people;
to us, its people.

Our Bahrain is ours.

Translated from the Arabic by Ghias Aljundi with Mitchell Albert …source

June 28, 2011   No Comments

al Khalifa in dellusional rhetoric fails to understand “business as usual” is not acceptable

Bahrain’s opposition to boycott dialogue, elections
By shiapost – June 28, 2011Posted in: Bahrain

MANAMA: Bahrain’s largest Shiite opposition group says it will boycott the national dialogue next month and the September parliament elections in protest against the authorities for “not doing enough.”

Al Wefaq National Islamic Society said it was in no mood to give in to the authorities’ call for a national dialogue starting July 1st that would attract 300 participants from political societies, human rights groups and civil society organizations.

“There has to be real dialogue that results in political reforms. We believe the dialogue was a step forward for the country but setting conditions before the process is not acceptable,” said Al Wefaq leader Shaikh Ali Salman.

He told Xinhua that it was important for the government to first address all issues such as sacking of workers, arrest of medics, lawmakers and other citizens before entering any dialogue.

“This dialogue will be successful if there is a principal person from Royal Family like the Crown Prince present in the process. He understands the demand and the opposition sees him as a leader, who could solve this crisis.”

National Dialogue spokesperson, Isa Abdulrahman said in a statement on Monday that refusal of any group to participate in the National Dialogue will “not mean failure of the initiative.” “We hope that all those invited would participate to come out with resolutions that represent the needs and aspirations of all people in Bahrain,” he said.

Regarding the non-confirmation of Al Wefaq’s attendance, Abdulrahman said he hoped all parties would participate in healthy and smooth talks.

However, he assured that refusal of some societies to participate does not mean dialogue failure.

“The success of talks could be determined with fruitful talks, good approach and implementation of its recommendations,” he said.

But it is not only the National Dialogue the Shiite opposition is boycotting, Shaikh Ali said their party has no interest to contest in the by-elections on September 24. It would be held in 18 Shiite dominant constituencies. “I don’t see us participating in these elections as the demand and issues faced by people is more important and is still ignored, ” he said. …more

June 28, 2011   No Comments

Bahrain authorities continue to abuse human rights advocates, doctors, reformers

Bahrain authorities continue to abuse human rights advocates, doctors, reformers
28/06/2011

In the absence of international accountability and the complicity of the Arab League, the Bahraini authorities continue to abuse human rights advocates, doctors, and reformers

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) expresses its deep concern and total condemnation of the severe penalties targeting prominent political and advocacy figures in Bahrain whose only crime has been to aspire to genuine reforms to construct a democratic system that respects human rights, guarantees equality, and ends systematic discrimination against the Shiite community.

The National Safety Court, a special military court formed pursuant to the declaration of a state of emergency in the Kingdom, sentenced some of the most prominent human rights defenders in the Gulf region to life imprisonment. Among them is Abdul Hadi al-Khawaja, the former president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights who, until a few months ago, was the Middle East and North Africa regional coordinator for Front Line Defenders. Seven other prominent political dissidents and democratic reform advocates also received life sentences, including Hassan Mushaima, the secretary-general of the Movement for Civil Liberties and Democracy (HAQ), and Abduljalil Alsingace, a leading member of the same organization and a blogger. Thirteen other defendants received prison sentences ranging from 2 to 15 years. The defendants were convicted of a host of spurious charges, including conspiring to overthrow the regime, establishing or managing a terrorist group, and colluding with terrorist groups outside the country.

CIHRS expresses its full solidarity with the victims of these simulated trials, which the Bahraini authorities have long employed to confront those it deems its enemies for merely exercising their right to peaceful expression, for publicly criticizing government practices and policies, or for defending human rights. CIHRS also notes that the investigative authorities in the case took no action regarding the brutal physical assault on Abdul Hadi al-Khawaja during his arrest in April, nor over his torture in detention nor the attempted sexual assault on him. As a result of the torture, al-Khawaja sustained a shattered jaw and several other serious injuries for which he underwent surgery at a military hospital several weeks ago. The hospital refused to provide a medical report or any information about the nature of the surgery. CIHRS learned that al-Khawaja was taken yesterday to a military hospital due to his deteriorating health condition. In addition, the “judges” of the military court refused to hear al-Khawaja’s complaint about the torture he endured or to issue a court order to investigate the complaint. …more

June 28, 2011   No Comments

“Shia bloc” – stop torture, free prisoners

Shia bloc questions talks
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2011 21:31

However, the main Shia opposition group, Al Wefaq, has questioned the Kings’s offer of dialogue while political activists are being tortured and prosecuted on allegedly false charges.

The group has questioned how reconciliation efforts can proceed when many activists, particularly Bahraini medics have been sentenced by military trial courts.

“It’s not a good atmosphere,” said Ali Salman, the leader of Wefaq, who suggested Bahrain’s rulers are seeking dialogue to improve the country’s image as safe again for tourism and foreign investors.

The absence of Wefaq would be a blow to the credibility of the talks, which start on Saturday.

Washington has publicly backed the talks as the only option to calm tensions in one of its main Gulf military allies.

At the same time, the US is under growing pressure to take a harder line against Bahrain’s ruling dynasty, which claims that Shia power Iran has a role in the protests.

The US had urged Bahraini King to meet some opposition demands. It also expressed concern about the severity of the sentences and the use of military-linked security courts against protesters. …more

June 28, 2011   No Comments

Saudi forces to leave a contingent of perverts behind to chase school girls

Saudis to pull some troops out of Bahrain
Officials confirm “redeployment” plan, but say there are no moves for a full withdrawal of Gulf forces.
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2011 21:31

Bahraini king requested its Sunni neighbours to send troops in March to help quell Shia unrest [Reuters]

A Saudi Arabian official has said some of its troops sent to back Bahraini security forces as part of Gulf Co-operation Council troops, are to be “redeployed”.

A Saudi military official told Associated Press news agency on Tuesday that the kingdom plans to pull some units out of the 1,500-strong GCC force sent to help quell the Shia-led uprising for greater rights.

The official refused to give any further details on the movements of the GCC force, which is mainly made up of Saudi and Emirati troops while Kuwait only committed its naval forces.

Also Nabil al-Hammar, an adviser to Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, told AP that there were no plans for a full withdrawal of the Gulf reinforcements.

He said some of the Saudi-led force that came to the aid of Bahrain’s rulers in March will reposition units within the tiny kingdom, but no major withdrawal plans were under way.

The Saudi’s pull out plan comes amid Bahraini government efforts to open a dialogue with the Shia opposition they crushed a few months ago. …more

June 28, 2011   No Comments

…in unchoreographed near exit, Saudi and Bahraini officals bumble like keystone cops looking for an exit door then return

No plans to pull out all Saudi troops from Bahrain – source
RIYADH, June 29 (RIA Novosti)

Saudi Arabia has no plans to withdraw its entire security contingent from Bahrain “because the threats still remain,” a Bahrain government source told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

A 1,500-strong force from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, dubbed the Peninsula Shield, was sent to Bahrain in mid-March to help quell Shiite opposition protests that swept the country since February.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia was preparing to pull out its contingent from Bahrain starting next week because the situation in the country had stabilized.

“Part of the Peninsula Shield contingent will return to Saudi Arabia, but that does not mean all the troops will be pulled out because there are still some threats remaining,” the source said on the condition of anonymity.

The current political unrest in Bahrain started in February with opposition protesters demanding far-reaching democratic reforms in the mainly Shiite country which has been ruled by a Sunni Muslim dynasty for more than 200 years. …more

June 28, 2011   No Comments

..with no children left to molest, blood lust satisfied and world Human Rights community looking on Saudi forces retreat

Saudi Forces Withdrawing From Bahrain
Lynsey Addario for The New York Times
Published: June 28, 2011

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Saudi Arabia will withdraw most of its 1,200 troops from neighboring Bahrain by next week after a three-month mission to quell an uprising against the monarchy there, a Saudi official said on Tuesday.

King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain asked for help from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in mid-March to end demonstrations against the governing Sunni elite. Most Bahrainis are Shiite.

The intervention underscored Saudi Arabia’s deep fears of protests on its doorstep and marked a crucial step in what many see as the kingdom’s attempt to stop the wave of pro-democracy demonstrations across the Arab world.

Saudi Arabia, which tolerates almost no dissent, has a restive Shiite minority of its own in the eastern part of the country. “Both parties have reached a decision that troops should withdraw now,” said a Saudi government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. “The troops entered Bahrain under the request of Bahrain authorities to help the people and the government of Bahrain, and the kingdom doesn’t need help anymore.” …more

June 28, 2011   No Comments

al Khalifa releases opposition hostages in smoke and mirrors move to placate Western diplomatic pressures for another round of make believe reform

Bahrain releases 20 more detained medics
DUBAI | Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:34pm EDT

(Reuters) – Bahrain has released 20 more medical staff detained in connection with a wave of protests that hit the Gulf island kingdom earlier this year, relatives and lawyers said on Tuesday, but they still face military trial.

They are among 48 doctors and nurses who were arrested in the wake of a March crackdown by Bahrain’s Sunni rulers on pro-democracy protests led mostly by the Shi’ite majority. Hundreds of people have been arrested and dozens put on military trial.

The move comes days before a planned national dialogue, set to start on Saturday, which the government has hailed as a chance for reconciliation. Opposition groups, many of whom have yet to say if they will attend the dialogue, had called on the government to ease up on detentions and military trials as a gesture of goodwill.

Military trials of the 48 will continue, even though all but 14 of them have now been released.

Lawyers expressed relief at the decision, but were skeptical of the timing.

“I think it’s all part of a political move, no more than that,” one lawyer said. “We had been requesting their release in court for the last several hearings. Nevertheless, it’s good news for them.”

Charges against the defendants, almost all of them Shi’ite, range from stealing medicine and stockpiling weapons to seizing control of the country’s main medical center. The cases have drawn condemnation from international human rights groups. …more

June 28, 2011   No Comments

Bahrain destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking- time to get new friends in Bahrain President Obama!

US Department of State
Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Trafficking in Persons Report 2011

Bahrain is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Men and women from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and Eritrea migrate voluntarily to Bahrain to work as domestic workers or as unskilled laborers in the construction and service industries. Some, however, face conditions of forced labor after arriving in Bahrain, through use of such practices as unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, contract substitution, nonpayment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. A study by the Bahrain government’s Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) found that 65 percent of migrant workers had not seen their employment contract, and that 89 percent were unaware of their terms of employment upon arrival in Bahrain. Many labor recruitment agencies in Bahrain and source countries require workers to pay high recruitment fees – a practice that makes workers highly vulnerable to forced labor once in Bahrain. The LMRA study found that 70 percent of foreign workers borrowed money or sold property in their home countries in order to secure a job in Bahrain. Some Bahraini employers illegally charge workers exorbitant fees to remain in Bahrain working for third-party employers (under the “free visa” arrangement). The LMRA estimates that approximately 10 percent of migrant workers were in Bahrain under illegal “free visa” arrangements – a practice that can contribute to debt bondage – while the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry puts the figure at 25 percent. Women from Thailand, the Philippines, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Russia, China, Vietnam, and Eastern European states are subjected to forced prostitution in Bahrain.

The Government of Bahrain does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to investigate and prosecute forced prostitution cases and convicted nine trafficking offenders during the reporting period. In addition, the government assisted 17 victims of forced prostitution. Nonetheless, there were no reports of government efforts to punish forced labor crimes nor any indication that the Government of Bahrain took steps to institute a formal victim identification procedure or otherwise improve victim protection efforts during the reporting period. The government’s lack of efforts to acknowledge and address forced labor remains a key gap in its anti-trafficking response. …more

June 28, 2011   No Comments

Trial of 28 Bahraini medics today – there is no such thing as “mass justice”, court is a travesty and perverison of justice by the criminals holding the courts

Trial of 28 Bahraini medics underway
A mass trial is underway for 28 doctors and nurses charged as part of a broad crackdown on peaceful anti-government revolutionaries in Bahrain.

The medical personnel are accused of joining the protests and spreading false information, by speaking to foreign media, the Associated Press reported on Monday.

On June 22, a special security court in Bahrain sentenced eight prominent activists and opposition leaders to life in prison on charges of “plotting to overthrow the government” during demonstrations in the Persian Gulf island earlier this year.

Senior Bahraini cleric Sheikh Issa Qasim censured the Persian Gulf kingdom’s government over the life sentences.

“We are all feeling pain, suffering and a sense of depression from the sentencing,” the cleric said in a sermon on Friday.

Despite the lifting of an emergency law, the Manama regime continues to try civilians in its so-called special courts, as part of the government’s crackdown on peaceful popular protests.

In March, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates deployed military forces to Bahrain to help the government crush the nationwide protests.

Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds arrested in the Saudi-backed crackdown on the protests in Bahrain since mid-February.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have rebuked the Manama regime for its brutal crackdown on innocent civilians. http://www.islamidavet.com/english/2011/06/27/trial-of-28-bahraini-medics-underway/

June 27, 2011   No Comments

Bahrain timeline of dismay and outrage

TIMELINE – 27th June 2011 19.44 GMT:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com

INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION OF BAHRAIN PROTESTER TRIALS CONTINUES:

International condemnation of the harsh sentences imposed by the Bahraini government’s “special” military court on some of its citizens arrested after the recent protests, continues to spread around the world.

In Ireland, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, said he was “appalled” at the life sentences given to 7 leading protesters recently. One of them, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, had previously been the Middle East protection co-ordinator with the Irish Human Rights organisation Front Line.

Mary Lawlor, Front Line’s Director, said, “This trial was a total legal charade and followed his brutal arrest and torture for exercising his legitimate rights to freedom of expression and association by campaigning for democracy and human rights in Bahrain.”

Niall Holohan, Ireland’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia met with the Bahraini Ambassador to Riyadh last week and expressed Ireland and its people’s deep concern over the matter.

Mr. Gilmore added in a statement that Ireland would continue to raise human rights issues in Bahrain bilaterally and in conjunction with its EU partners at every appropriate opportunity.

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja whilst born in Bahrain, is in fact a naturalised Danish citizen and was given politiical asylum in Denmark in 1991. He is well known for establishing the Bahrain Human Rights Organisation (BHRO).

The Danish Foreign Minister, Lene Espersen, took up his case in May after reports that al-Khawaja had been “tortured and sexually asaulted” while awaiting trial, because the Bahraini authorities refused to investigate those charges.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja Fighting for Human Rights in Bahrain

Despite promises made to the Danish Government by Bahrain’s Foreign Affairs Minister, access to al-Khawaja in prison has still not been granted to Danish representatives.

The Danish Government has a right of access visits to any of its nationals under the terms of International Law, despite the fact that al-Khawaja retains dual citizenship of Bahrain.

Following his conviction last Wednesday, al-Khawaja told the court that the Bahraini people would continue to fight against the country’s authoritarian regime. He was then hit by court officers and dragged from the room, reports public broadcaster DR.

Maryam al-Kwawaja, his daughter said after the sentence was handed down, “It is a typical reaction for an authoritarian regime. They suppress everybody who criticises the establishment.”

Al-Khawaja’s other daughter Zainab, who was in the courtroom for the hearing, protested when the sentence was announced. She was also dragged out of the courtroom and arrested afterwards but released 2 hours later.

At the same hearing, 7 others were given life sentences and 13 more sentences of between 2 and 15 years.

Condemnation of the Bahraini Governments oppressive and heavy handed opproach to dissenters has also been expressed in support of the 47 doctors and nurses on trial in the same court for “attempting to overthrow the monarchy.” http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news/

June 27, 2011   No Comments