March 19, 2012 No Comments
According to the information we’ve received, part of the prison (number 4) was teargassed as punishment to the detainees on strike, and a number were severely beaten. Another number of detainees were also put in solitary confinement as punishment for going on hunger strike.
The detainees are also not being allowed to make any phone calls, and are being denied any time outside as they were before.
The 14 political and human rights leaders reportedly were paid a visit by the same judge who had presided over their case, who threatened that they will not be allowed to call their families and put in solitary confinement if they do not stop their hunger strike immediately. The detainees responded that they would continue with their planned one week strike, but if they are punished they will announce it as an open ended strike.
In other updates, after detainees at the Dry Docks prison announced they would join the hunger strike, a number of detainees from different areas in Bahrain were reportedly taken and were reportedly told that they would be released if they plead for the king’s forgiveness, and said they are against the strike and the protests. A number of those who refused to abide were reportedly beaten so severely that they had to be moved to the hospital after. Some of the detainees called their families after upset, saying they had been forced to make video taped apologies.
Two prisoners in AlWesta prison fainted due to the hunger strike and were moved to the MOI hospital.
A number of activists who are not detainees have joined the hunger strike, amongst them Mohammed AlMasqati, president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights and Zainab Alkhawaja.
confirmed undisclosed source
January 31, 2012 No Comments
January 31, 2012 No Comments
By RYM MOMTAZ – 31 January, 2012 – ABC News
Five men arrested in November in connection with a plot to blow up the only bridge connecting the island of Bahrain with Saudi Arabia and to assassinate Bahraini politicians are allegedly tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and reportedly received military training in Syria, according to information leaked to the media by authorities.
The charges are the latest salvo in a regional struggle for power between Iran and the Arab Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, and come just after the U.S. revealed an alleged plot by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in Washington, D.C.
January 31, 2012 No Comments
January 25, 2012 No Comments
10/31/2011 – WP Editorial Republished by Silver City, New Mexico – Sun News
The following editorial appeared in the Washington Post:
The beleaguered reformist faction within Bahrain s ruling al-Khalifa family has good reason to thank the U.S. Congress. Until this month the Obama administration, which has enormous leverage over the Persian Gulf emirate, was blithely ignoring Bahrain s crackdown on domestic opposition and its failure to implement promised reforms.
Even as the regime staged unfair trials of peaceful opponents in special security courts, dismissed thousands from government jobs for participating in protests and violently repressed demonstrations in restless villages, the administration notified Congress in September that it intended to sell Bahrain $53 million in military equipment, including 40 armored Humvees.
Set aside for the moment the fact that Bahrain, an island nation that hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has no plausible use for armored vehicles other than against its own people. The sale sent the message to the regime s hard-liners that domestic repression would not damage relations with the United States. Little surprise that, not long afterward, 20 doctors and nurses who had treated injured protesters were sentenced to lengthy prison terms after a grossly unfair trial.
Fortunately, Bahrain s abuses — documented and denounced by every major Western human rights group — prompted a reaction in Congress. Legislation was introduced to block the arms sales, and a group of five Democratic senators, led by Robert P. Casey Jr., Pa., wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Oct. 12 to ask that the sale be put on hold. A separate letter was dispatched by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
The senators got a response. On Oct. 14, the State Department wrote to Casey to say that the administration would not proceed with the sale until after the independent international commission appointed to investigate the unrest in Bahrain — with the regime s cooperation — issues its report, scheduled for Nov. 23. Bahrain, meanwhile, was backpedaling: even before the senators letters were sent, the doctors sentences were nullified and their cases transferred to civilian court. The pro-reform foreign minister traveled to Washington to assure Congress that the commission s recommendations will be followed.
This is progress — but there is a distinct danger that the promises of the Khalifas and the State Department will prove hollow. The credibility of the commission has been under question ever since its Egyptian-born chief appeared, in an Aug. 8 interview, to preemptively clear the Bahraini government of a policy of using excessive force or torture. The regime has failed to deliver on pledges made by its reformists in previous trips to Washington.
Rather than tying itself to this uncertain process, the United States should set its own conditions for continued good relations with Bahrain. These should include accountability for the torture and killing of protesters; the release of all political detainees; and the initiation of meaningful political reform that enfranchises the country s Shiite majority. The current status quo in Bahrain is unsustainable; reinforcing it with U.S. military sales would be foolish as well as unconscionable. …source
November 2, 2011 No Comments
August 1, 2011 No Comments
Striking similarities in cause of death investigation in US Gitmo and those killed in detention in Bahrain
May 19, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; email@example.com
NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today renewed its call for an independent investigation into all deaths at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility after the death of another detainee, reported last night by the U.S. military as an “apparent suicide.” The prisoner, a 37-year-old Afghan identified as Inayatullah Nassim, had been held without charge or trial since September 2007. Seven other prisoners have died at the camp, including five reported as suicides, but the causes of death have never been independently verified.
The following can be attributed to Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU Human Rights Program:
“This latest death highlights the immediate need for a full and independent inquiry into deaths at Guantánamo. It also underscores the tragic consequences of indefinite detention and unfair trials of detainees. This man was imprisoned at Guantánamo for nearly four years, with no end in sight. If there is credible evidence against detainees then they should be charged and prosecuted in a fair trial or safely settled or released – that is the way for justice to be served according to American law and values.” …source
May 25, 2011 No Comments
May 12, 2011 No Comments
Emergency rule in Bahrain is to be lifted on 1 June, state news agency BNA says. Earlier Sunday opposition leaders appeared before a military court, charged with forming a terrorist organisation which aimed to overthrow the monarchy.
King Hamad Al-Khalifa on Sunday ordered that the state of emergency will be lifted at the end of the month. The trial of the 21 – seven of whom are abroad and to be tried in absentia – was adjounred until Thursday.
Only lawyers and two members of the family of each defendant were allowed to attend the trial, according to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. Lawyers are banned from talking to the media, the organisation said.
The group includes both Sunni and Shia Muslims – the majority of the counrty’s population is Shia, while the ruling Khalifa family is Sunni. They are charged with “forming and directing a terrorist group aimed at overthrowing and changing the constitution of the state and the monarchy system,” the official news agency, BNA, said.
They are also accused of “having contact with a terrorist group abroad that operates in the interest of a foreign country by conducting hostile acts against the kingdom of Bahrain” and “raising funds for the terrorist group despite knowing” the nature of the organisation. …more
May 8, 2011 No Comments
Karim Fakhrawi, the co-founder of the country’s only independent newspaper Al-Wasat, died in custody on 12 April, one week after he was arrested.
The non-governmental group Reporters without Borders (RSF) quotes the authorities as saying that Mr. Fakhrawi died of kidney failure, but this has been contested by his family, who claims he had been in good health at the time of his arrest.
Online writer Zakariya Rashid Hassan died in detention on 9 April, according to RSF. He had been arrested a week earlier allegedly on charges of inciting hatred, disseminating false news, promoting sectarianism and calling for the regime’s overthrow.
His family has reportedly rejected the official claim that he died as a result of complications from sickle cell anaemia.
“The circumstances surrounding their deaths are indeed troubling and I urge the authorities of Bahrain to carry out a thorough investigation into these incidents,” said Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). …more
April 21, 2011 No Comments
13 April 2011
The regime of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Bahrain, which the Obama administration backs to the hilt, is continuing its violent repression of political opposition. The Khalifa regime imposed a state of emergency, after its security forces, backed by troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, violently cleared protesters from Pearl Square in Manama, the kingdom’s capital, on March 16.
More than 400 people have been arrested, including human rights activists, doctors, bloggers and oppositionists. Twenty-seven political opponents and protesters are officially reported dead and dozens are missing. A leading newspaper has been shut down and its editors and reporters threatened with imprisonment.
Two Shiite activists have been murdered in prison, according to human rights organizations and the families of the victims. The Bahraini interior ministry claimed that Ali Issa Saqer, 31, died when guards tried to restrain him for “causing chaos.” According to news reports, however, Saqer’s corpse showed telltale signs of torture and abuse. …more
April 14, 2011 No Comments