December 29, 2013 No Comments
It’s time for the United States to examine how its own foreign policy promotes genocide, and take the actions necessary to curb it.
America, Genocide, and the “National Interest”
By Jeff Bachman, 9 December, 2013.
Today marks the 65th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, the groundbreaking United Nations document that declared genocide to be an international crime.
The anniversary provides an ideal opportunity to look at the United States’ record in preventing genocide around the world. That record is dismal.
The most frequent explanations for America’s failure to prevent genocide concern a lack of national interest or political will. Both have indeed been influential. But a more honest account would acknowledge the United States’ own complicity in backing genocidal regimes.
It’s time for the United States to examine how its own foreign policy promotes genocide, and take the actions necessary to curb it. These include making clear assessments of when genocide is occurring or about to occur — regardless of whether it is perpetrated by its friends or foes — and granting jurisdiction to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the body designated by the resolution to hear “disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application, or fulfillment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide.”
A Convention against Genocide
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution — formally called the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide — in 1948, and the law entered into force in 1951.
The convention defines genocide as actions taken with the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.” In contrast to the designation of “crimes against humanity,” which were at that time understood to happen only during war, the convention broke new ground in noting that genocide can also occur in peacetime — thus opening a broader set of acts of violence to international condemnation. The convention identified genocide as a crime under international law, outlined the specific criminal acts that constituted it, and called for cooperation among ratifying nations to stop it.
Eventually, cases for the Genocide Convention came to be tried before the ICJ in The Hague, Netherlands.
The United States became a signatory to this convention in 1948, but resisted passing the legislation to implement it until 1988. Moreover, the United States is one of only five parties to the Genocide Convention that refuse to recognize the jurisdiction of the ICJ. Although it had signed on 40 years earlier, the United States withdrew its agreement to compulsory jurisdiction by the ICJ in 1986, when Nicaragua brought a case against the United States for sponsoring an insurrection against the Nicaraguan government. The United States’ lack of participation in the full authority of the ICJ directly diminishes the court’s ability to hold states accountable for violations of international laws and norms, and diminishes the world’s ability to prevent genocide.
National Interest and Political Will
Two main reasons have been given for the United States’ failure to prevent genocide: national interest and political will.
Although awash in lofty rhetoric about human rights and democracy, the United States often pursues what it sees as its own best interest. Frequently this amounts to a calculation based on its relations with individual members of the international community: When enemy states commit massacres, the United States responds with condemnation, sanctions, and possibly military intervention. In contrast, when the perpetrator of serious human rights violations is a U.S. client state, the United States remains silent — or, at most, issues an occasional rhetorical condemnation.
The “political will” narrative suggests that the country’s heart is in the right place but that policymakers are prevented by domestic political considerations from taking the necessary action to stop genocide. In their 2008 report on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, “Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers,” Madeleine Albright and William Cohen made this argument forcefully, repeatedly calling for improved leadership and political will. …more
December 10, 2013 No Comments
Regarding the Geneva Civilian Convention: …As explained below, there are several allegations and recognitions with respect to the denial of food, the denial of medicine and medical supplies, and the denial of freedom from arbitrary and inhumane detention and controls… Moreover, if specific intent to commit these types of denials is shown, the denials can even constitute international crimes of genocide….
Amnesty urges treatment of jailed Bahraini activist
10 Novmebr, 2013 – PressTV
A human rights group has called for “specialized medical treatment” for one of Bahrain’s leading jailed activists as the Al Khalifa regime continues its crackdown on protesters.
Amnesty International said in a statement that Abdelwahab Hussain has been denied much-needed medical treatment for his chronic diseases.
The 59-year-oil prisoner “needs urgent access to specialized medical treatment. His health condition has deteriorated and his family’s last scheduled visit to the prison was cancelled without explanation,” the London-based rights group said.
In June 2011, a military court sentenced Hussain and 12 other opposition figures to life imprisonment on the charge of plotting to topple Al Khalifa regime and change the constitution.
Amnesty also urged Bahraini authorities to “release all 13 opposition activists immediately and unconditionally, since they are prisoners of conscience, convicted solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.”
Meanwhile, another rights group, Front Line Defenders, has requested that King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa pardon the head of Bahrain’s Center for Human rights, Nebeel Rajab.
Known for being a vocal critic of the regime, Rajab began serving a three-year sentence May last year.
He was convicted of inciting anti-government demonstrations and sharing online posts against the country’s long-time prime minister.
The Manama regime is under fire for its heavy-handed crackdown on protests.
Scores have been killed, many of them under torture while in custody, and thousands more detained since a popular uprising began in Bahrain in early 2011. …source
November 11, 2013 No Comments
Bahrain press hails new ‘anti-terror’ powers
29 July, 2013 = Agence France Presse – The Daily Star
DUBAI: Bahrain’s pro-government press on Monday hailed tough new powers given to the authorities to address what they say is an upsurge in “terrorist” violence linked to Shiite-led pro-democracy protests.
The loyalist-dominated parliament, which is boycotted by the Shiite opposition, gave authorities powers to revoke the citizenship of anyone “recognised as guilty of committing or inciting an act of terrorism.”
At an extraordinary session on Sunday requested by King Hamad in the midst of a parliamentary recess, MPs also recommended “a ban on gatherings and rallies” in the capital.
It called for emergency law to be declared in the Sunni-ruled Shiite-majority Gulf kingdom if the need arose in the run-up for a major opposition demonstration called for mid-August.
MPs urged authorities to prosecute political groups that “incite and support acts of violence and terrorism,” as well as those that use media social networks to “spread false information.”
The Al-Ayam newspaper described the recommendations as “historic,” and a reflection of a “national consensus to fight terrorism” in the kingdom.
The authorities say there have been a growing number of shootings and bombings targeting police stations and patrols in Shiite villages outside the capital in recent months, which they blame on “terrorists.”
But they have often used the term in the past to refer to Shiite demonstrators who have kept up pro-democracy protests despite a 2011 crackdown backed by Saudi-led Gulf troops, sparking repeated clashes with security forces.
A car bomb exploded outside a Sunni mosque, close to the royal court in Rifaa, south of Manama, on July 17 without causing any casualties, officials said. There have since been three arrests.
In mid-February, a police officer was killed by a petrol bomb during clashes with protesters, after a teenager was shot dead during a demonstration marking the second anniversary of the launch of the protests.
At least 80 people have been killed in Bahrain since the protests erupted, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.
Strategically located across the Gulf from Shiite Iran, Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and is an offshore financial and services centre for its oil-rich Gulf Arab neighbours.
July 29, 2013 No Comments
Bahraini Regime Forces Attack Protesters’ Houses in Several Villages
17 July, 2013 – FARS
TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi-backed Bahraini regime forces attacked dozen of houses in a village near the capital Manama, as crackdown on anti-regime protesters continues.
Bahrain’s main opposition party, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, said that regime forces have rummaged through the protesters’ homes in the village of Diraz on the Northwestern coast of the Persian Gulf country. The group added that the forces have also stormed into the houses in Sitra and Hamad, the Sanad residential area and al-Dair village, press tv reported.
On Monday, a 55-year-old Bahraini identified as Saeed Abdullah Marzouq died after regime forces shot tear gas into residential neighborhoods in the village of Diraz.
The latest fatality comes ahead of a planned anti-regime protest on August 14, the date that marks the withdrawal of British forces from the Persian Gulf Island back in 1971.
Last year, Amnesty International warned about the Bahraini regime’s misuse of tear gas against protesters and called for an investigation into the tear gas-related deaths.
Bahrainis have been staging anti-regime demonstrations since mid-February 2011, demanding political reforms and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.
Scores have been killed, many of them under torture while in custody, and thousands more detained since the popular uprising in Bahrain began.
Protesters say they will continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically-elected government and an end to rights violations is met. …more
July 19, 2013 No Comments
Bahraini teen activist faces up to 80 years in prison
19 June, 2013 – Al Akhbar
A Bahraini court sentenced an 18-year-old opposition member, Akbar Ali al-Kishi, to 10 years in prison Wednesday over charges of blowing up gas cylinders, family and activists said, adding that the young activist faces several more decades of imprisonment.
Five others were accused of the same crime and were all handed down a ten-year sentence, Kishi’s father told Al-Akhbar, while one of them was tried in absentia.
“They didn’t allow [his mother and I] to be at the court hearing when they gave him the sentence,” he added.
The young activist has already been sentenced to two charges adding up to 16 years prior to Wednesday’s hearing, his father said, and will now have to serve a total of 26 years in prison.
He is currently imprisoned and is facing several other charges in court.
“If he is convicted of all the charges accused of him, he will be facing up to 80 years in prison,” Kishi said over a phone interview.
Bahraini authorities repeatedly tortured, beat and insulted Kishi on different occasions and one of the officers threatened to rape him, the Bahraini Center for Human Rights (BCHR) previously reported.
“A month and a half ago, they arrested him, tortured him and then forced him to sign a confession to the cylinder crime,” Kishi’s father said.
“We can only visit him in prison for half an hour, sometimes 10 minutes, and only after a strip search. We cannot bring him anything with us,” he added.
Kishi had been arrested in 2010, 2012, and 2013 and was avoiding arrest during 2011, Mortada al-Moqdad, an activist close to the case, told Al-Akhbar.
“This is only an act of revenge against people in the opposition group who did not back down,” Moqdad said.
Kishi was wounded in April 2009 by birdshot pellets and was taken into the hospital in “serious condition,” after Bahraini forces attacked a protest in the village of Sanabis, the BCHR said.
Cases of beatings and torture in Bahraini jails in order to pressure inmates to sign confessions are regularly documented by human rights groups. In 2011, Bahrain security forces led a heavy-handed crackdown against an uprising critical of the ruling Khalifa dynasty.
However, the Gulf kingdom has seen intermittent protests since then.
In April, Bahrain cancelled the visit of the UN envoy on torture, Juan Mendez, for the second time, arousing suspicion.
“It is effectively a cancellation as no alternative dates were proposed nor is there a future road map to discuss,” Mendez said. “This postponement could be perceived as if there is something to hide.” …more
June 21, 2013 No Comments
Bahrain: Two Girls Arrested for ‘Terror Plot’ on Formula 1 Race
By Gianluca Mezzofiore – 23 April, 2013 – IB Times
Bahraini authorities have arrested two girls for allegedly planning to attack the Sakhir race circuit during the controversial Formula 1 grand prix which took place last weekend.
AFP has named the two girls as Nafisa al-Asfur and Rihanna al-Musawi (ages unknown), and claims they will be detained for 60 days on charges of trying to “bomb the Sakhir circuit” in the run-up to the race.
State news agency BNA quoted police as saying they arrested “two girls who were trying to carry out a terrorist act at Bahrain’s international circuit in the south, as the kingdom was hosting the Formula One race”.
The Bahraini authorities refused to give further details about the suspects, but said one of them had concealed a pillow under her clothes.
They were held at the entrance to the circuit on Saturday, the second day of practice sessions. Earlier, the interior ministry said a weapons cache including 1,000 homemade firebombs was found in a warehouse.
The race went ahead without disruption despite the backdrop of daily clashes between pro-democracy protesters and police in villages outside Sakhir. A British TV crew was forced to leave the tiny Gulf kingdom after they reported on the violent clashes taking place between protesters and the government.
Tensions heightened ahead of the race after authorities launched a crackdown on opposition activists, with local sources reporting increased house raids and arbitrary detention of protesters.
Police fired tear gas and clashed with students during a raid on Jabreya Secondary School for Boys in the capital Manama last week. Students had staged a protest demanding the release of 17-year-old Hassan Humidan, arrested in the days prior the grand prix.
Pro-democracy activist and acting president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) Maryam Al-Khawaja said that the “crackdown is worsening” after media and TV cameras left Bahrain at the end of the race.
“Word of advice to Bahrain regime: you can uncover millions of ‘terrorist cells’ but it won’t make the demand for rights and dignity vanish,” she tweeted.
The activist group Human Rights First has slammed the Bahraini government’s decision to cancel UN Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez’s visit to the country.
“Mendez was originally supposed to travel to the country in February 2012 but that visit was cancelled by the Bahrain government just a few weeks before he arrived,” said a statement.
“Despite repeated promises that he would be allowed in next month the same thing has happened again. The US government should publicly call for his immediate access to Bahrain.
“These delays only fuel the suspicion that the regime has a lot to hide.”
The Bahraini government agreed for Mendez to visit in April 2013. However, the Bahrain News Agency has recently announced his visit is to be delayed indefinitely. …more
April 23, 2013 No Comments
UN Member States Read Joint Statement on Bahrain to ineffectual UN High Commissioner on Human Rights
HUMAN RIGHTS IN BAHRAIN: JOINT STATEMENT BY 44 UN MEMBER STATES
11 March, 2013 – FIDH
28-Feb-2013: A joint statement on the human rights situation in Bahrain was read at the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva during the interactive dialogue with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Presented by Switzerland on behalf of 44 UN member states, including the United Kingdom and United States of America, the statement highlights particular concern “about the continued harassment and imprisonment of persons exercising their right to freedom of opinion and expression, including human rights defenders” and calls for Bahrain to “expedite the implementation of recommendations received from the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and the recommendations Bahrain agreed to accept through the Universal Periodic Review”.
Following intense and continued advocacy by FIDH pertaining to these measures, FIDH welcomes this important move by a significant number of UN member States and continues to advocate for the immediate release of its deputy secretary general Nabeel Rajab. FIDH reiterates its condemnation of ongoing human rights violations and calls for accountability of perpetrators of violations and justice for victims. Read the full statement by the OHCHR HERE. …source
March 13, 2013 No Comments
February 28, 2013 No Comments
A Sandhurst tribute to the fallen of a First World War battle has been abandoned so a donation from the King of Bahrain can be honoured.
Row over renaming of Sandhurst hall after Bahrain donation
UK Telegraph – By Tom Whitehead, Security Editor – 17 February, 2013
Mons Hall, named after the 1914 battle that saw thousands killed, will be renamed the King Hamad Hall after he gave £3 million towards its refurbishment.
Defence chiefs were accused of betraying the memory of soldiers who gave their lives for their country.
MPs also questioned the ethics of honouring regimes that have dubious human rights records.
It emerged an accommodation block at the Army officer training academy has also been named after the first president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following a £15 million donation from the country.
Andy Slaughter, Labour’s chairman of the Democracy In Bahrain all-party parliamentary group, said: “To change the name of something which commemorates a very tragic episode in British military history and an example of courage and heroism of British soldiers simply because they’re getting a sum of money from a rather dubious source is appalling.
“It reflects the appalling double standards the British Government and institutions have in relation to the Bahraini regime, which is guilty of all sorts of human rights abuses and fundamentally undemocratic.”
The Battle of Mons was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War.
Facing overwhelming odds from a far larger German force, more than 1,600 British soldiers were killed along with more than 5,000 Germans.
It gave its name to a sports hall at Sandhurst but the title will now be dropped when it is reopened next month following a refit.
King Hamad, who is Patron of the Sandhurst Foundation – a forum for former officer cadets – has been invited to the reopening but is still to make a decision. …more
February 22, 2013 No Comments
February 11, 2013 No Comments
US Stokes the flames of Tyrannical Rule and Misery in Bahrain with unbridled Weapons Sales to rogue regime
Bahrainis hold demonstrations against Al Khalifa
16 January, 2013 – PressTV
Bahraini demonstrators have once again taken to the streets in several towns and villages to protest against the Al Khalifa regime.
The protesters chanted slogans against the regime and called for the immediate release of political prisoners.
A new release of US Defense Department’s documents revealed that Washington has been providing the Al Khalifa regime with weapons and combat vehicle parts.
The United States has also been giving Manama communications equipment, Blackhawk helicopters, and a missile system.
The Bahraini regime has arrested many activists, politicians and medical personnel over the past months.
Recently, Bahrain’s highest court upheld jail terms and life sentences to dozens of activists, a move vehemently denounced by human rights groups.
The Bahraini uprising began in February 2011. The regime promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the protests and called in forces from neighboring Persian Gulf states to help quell the demonstrations.
Bahraini protesters say they will continue holding demonstrations until their demands for the establishment of a democratically elected government and an end to violations of rights are met. …source
January 17, 2013 No Comments
January 3, 2013 No Comments
Bombs in Bahrain
7 November, 2012 – MPACUK
Bahrain’s tragic episode has unfurled further with explosions in various parts of the Bahraini capital of Manama. Two neighbourhoods witnessed explosions in what the state has described as a “terrorist attack.”
The silence about Bahrain is deafening; the media reports all focus on the sectarian rift between Sunni and Shiite groups and seldom on the actual humanitarian plight. We seem to have a massive reaction towards the crises facing the Syrians but we have hardly any such reaction regarding the crises of other Muslims around the world. We’re even silent about the Kashmiris and Palestinians who have been oppressed for decades; we have not been able to come out with a single practical solution for them. The question is; why?
The fact is that we are colonised still; as a nation we still suffer from the same mental disease of colonialism. Is it because the protesters are reportedly Shiites that we don’t care about Bahrain and kick the issue under the carpet? Why are we silent in our communities about Zionist Saudi murdering Shiites in Yemen or supporting the small uprising against Saudi tyranny? We know that mainstream media has suppressed the Bahraini protests and barely highlighted the uprisings in Arabia. However, what is our excuse as Muslims?
The greatest irony is that the King of Bahrain described the explosions as a terrorist attack and yet, what does he do? Not only are his mafia-style family the biggest terrorists in Bahrain, they are supported and upheld by our community and by international communities. After the Grand Prix, the reporting on Bahrain became silent once more. Reality is that the King will not actually do anything about the attack and continue on being a mobster, including banning of public gatherings.
It is time we stood up to tyranny and not hide behind sectarian lines to justify the support of tyrants. You might be a Sunni and the Bahraini supporters might be Shiite, but one thing is for sure; the tyrants ruling the Ummah have their Qiblah in Tel Aviv and Washington DC.
November 8, 2012 No Comments
Bahrain Regime Murder, 43 yo, Asiyeh al Madih in indiscriminate assaults and Chemical Gas attacks on citizens
Bahraini Forces Firing Peaceful Protesters with Poisonous Tear Gas, a Woman Martyred
5 November, 2012 – Shia Post
Poisonous tear gas used by Bahraini al-Khalifa forces against peaceful anti-government protesters has martyred 43 years old woman in Jid Hafas.
The victim, identified as Asiyeh al Madih, 43, martyred on Sunday after a tear gas canister hit her when walking in a street during an overnight attack by regime forces in Jid Hafas.
According to reports, she moved to hospital and after hours of remaining under treatment, Asiyeh al Madih could not bear and hence doctors confirmed her martyrdom.
Bahraini troops heavily rely on tear gas and stun grenades to disperse peaceful anti-government protesters. Several Bahraini civilians, mostly senior citizens and kids, have died from asphyxia after regime troops fired tear gas in residential areas and into homes in violation of international standards that Bahrain is a signatory to.
Bahrainis have been staging demonstrations since mid-February 2011, demanding political reform and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests.
96 people have been killed and many others injured in the Saudi-backed crackdown on peaceful protesters in Bahrain. …source
November 5, 2012 No Comments
Ban violent mercenary thugs that shoot-up young people daily in the al Khalifa Regime’s Shia Genocide
October 30, 2012 No Comments
BICI Report was never to be acted upon, it was ploy to misdirect attention from illegal trials and detentions
Call for Bahrain to Implement UN Human Rights Council Recommendations
29 October, 2012 – by Jadaliyya Reports
PEN International calls on the Bahraini government to implement recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), released on 19 September 2012, alongside the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry BIC’s recommendations.
While Bahrain accepted 145 of the 176 recommendations made as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Bahrain, the situation of human rights is still deteriorating.
PEN International is extremely concerned about the ongoing threats of reprisals targeting Bahraini human rights defenders, including writers and journalists, who cooperate with the United Nations (UN) or those who attended the Geneva meeting. Several of these activists have been summoned for interrogation or arrested in the past few days, due to their legitimate peaceful activism for human rights.
On 16 October 2012, activist and president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights Mohamed Al-Masktai has been summoned for interrogation at Al-Naem police station. He was then arrested and kept in custody to be brought the following day before the public prosecution office for participating in a protest held on 12 October in Manama. He was released after interrogation. While taking part in the Geneva meetings, Al-Masktai reportedly received death threats through anonymous phone calls.
Also, on 23 September 2012, those who travelled to Geneva to participate in the 21st session of the Human Rights Council were accused of “defaming Bahrain” and labelled as “traitors to the country” by pro-governmental newspaper Al-Watan.
In violation of one of the recommendations which states that the Bahraini government must immediately release prisoners who have been convicted solely for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and free expression during pro-democracy demonstrations in February and March 2011, the Bahraini Appeal Court upheld on 4 September 2012 the sentences against the 14 political leaders and human rights activists including writers and bloggers Abdul Hadi Al- Khawaja and Dr Abdul-Jalil Al-Singace. PEN is seriously concerned for the welfare of Abdul-Jaili Al-Singace, who is in poor health as a result of hunger strike.
The Bahrain Appeals Court has twice postponed the appeal hearing of Nabeel Rajab, the director of Bahrain Centre for Human rights (BCHR), who was sentenced to three years in prison on 16 August 2012 for illegal assembly and another case related to a Twitter post. PEN International protests the continued arbitrary detention of Nabeel Rajab.
Zainab Al-Khawaja, a human rights defender and blogger, was released on 3 October 2012 after serving her two-month sentence which was handed down on 1 October 2012 for her peaceful opposition activities. Zainab reported that she was exposed to physical violence by police whilst in detention. …more
October 29, 2012 No Comments
The Morally Corrupt foundations of the Kingdom of Bahrain are being laid bare for the world to see – the fall of al Khalifa is inevitible
October 25, 2012 No Comments
October 22, 2012 No Comments
Al-Khalifa Interior Minister should be arrested, tried for bloody melee that has killed scores since 2011
Bahraini Human Rights Group Urges Trial of Al-Khalifa Interior Minister
21 October, 2012 – Shia Post
Bahrain’s human rights association called on the International Court of Justice to try Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa for his direct involvement in the massacre of peaceful protestors in the tiny Persian Gulf country.
The human rights group’s demand came as anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the al-Khalifa dynasty.
Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar – were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 13, 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.
In a latest development a bomb attack on Thursday killed one policeman and injured another after clashes between protesters and the security services in a village near the capital which provided the government with a pretext to further arrest the Bahraini people. Bahraini security forces surrounded the village and increased their suppressive measures in the region.
Bahrain’s al-Vafa al-Islami stream condemned the move, and underlined, “The Bahraini regime’s story about the killing of a policemen in al-Akar village is an excuse to assume the extensive deracination of people as permitted.”
After the escalation of uprisings in Bahrain, tens of protesters have been killed by al-Khalifa’s security forces, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured. …source
October 22, 2012 No Comments
Bahrain’s Blood Stained Foreign Minister attempts to misdirect attention from regime brutality to Syira Crisis
At General Assembly debate, Bahrain urges UN unity to tackle Syrian crisis
27 September, 2012 – UN News Center
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister issued an urgent appeal in the General Assembly today for the United Nations to find a common position to end the crisis in Syria, where over 18,000 people have been killed since an anti-government uprising erupted 18 months ago.
“Our organization must therefore shoulder its responsibilities for the protection of unarmed civilians and must not allow the procedures of the United Nations to impede its ability to prevent crimes against humanity,” Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed A1 Khalifa told the Assembly on the third day of its annual General Debate, at UN Headquarters in New York.
“It must put aside the narrow geopolitical interests and proceed to the attainment of the supreme goal which is the responsibility to protect civilians in armed conflicts,” he added.
He highlighted Bahrain’s firm faith in the indispensable role of the UN in addressing international and regional problems, adding that the region is now in great need of that role given the speedy and regrettable developments in Syria.
“The international community, represented in the UN and its bodies entrusted with the maintenance of peace and security, is called upon to unify its position so as to put an end to the humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people and to find a political solution to the crisis that brings to an end violence and bloodshed,” he declared.
[Read more →]
September 28, 2012 No Comments
Bahrain: It is a duty on concerned institutions pressing UNESCO to protect mosques
19 September, 2012 – Bahrain Freedom Movement
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – In a meeting with representatives of religious institutions of the United Nations, and in the presence of an elite group of jurists as well as Bahraini activists, Dr Maytham al-Salman talked about certain characteristics of Bahrain notably kindness of its people and their openness to accept other thoughts.
He regarded Manama as an exemplary model with regards to religious tolerance where followers of great religions live by side for more than a century in an atmosphere saturated by respect and appreciation.
Dr al-Salman ruled out presence of a Shia-Sunni conflict in Bahrain. Instead, he argued that what is happening on the ground relates to democratic aspirations being met by an authoritarian rule.
Dr. al-Salman stressed that the people of Bahrain would reject and not remain silent in case of assault on a single church. Yet, the authorities in Bahrain had surprised the world by demolishing some 38 mosques and vandalizing other places of worship, in one of the worst sectarian crimes in modern era. He reminded the attendees of the crime of demolishing the historical (Berbaghi) mosque, which dates back to 1549.
Dr. al-Salman reiterated that it was a duty of concerned institutions to press UNESCO to offer protection to mosques and ancient buildings subjected to threats in Bahrain in order to ensure that these structures would no longer face official demolition and sabotage. He highlighted the threat when the Minister of Justice considered the demolished mosques as only 10% among the total unpermitted buildings that should be face the same. He, also, reminded the gathering that 9 of such buildings meet UNESCO’s requirements to be registered as historical structures.
Dr. al-Salman concluded his remarks by placing on emphasis on dialogue, civil equality, coexistence and democracy whilst rejecting violence, discrimination, extremism and dictatorship. …source
September 19, 2012 No Comments
Shia killings condemned, protests planned across Europe
Shia Post – 24 August, 2012
LONDON: Europe’s biggest Shia Muslim organisation has announced to launch Europe-wide protest movement against the brazen target killings of Shias in Pakistani cities by extremists from the banned terrorist outfits.
At an emergency meeting held at Markaz-e-Ahle Bait in Tooting here, Majlis-e-Ulema Shia Europe announced that it would launch a series of protests in European countries and would approach the world human rights bodies including the United Nations to call for help to protect the lives of Shias in Pakistan who are under attack all over the country.
Their target killings have increased dramatically in recent weeks and militants now act with impunity as the state agencies seem helpless to counter the killers who wear either the police or military uniforms, said Maulana Jafar Ali Najam.
He announced that a meeting of Shia leaders from Europe will be convened before start of the movement in capitals of European cities to highlight the “plight of Shias in Pakistan who are cut like vegetables by sectarian hate-mongers”.
Maulana Azmat Abbas Zubairi alleged that sectarian killers have the support from within the security agencies of Pakistan and there were powerful people in the agencies who do not want the law to go near them.
“These are the myopic people who are still obsessed with the wrong type of foreign policy agenda. They have not changed with times and they still believe their view will dominate and that will happen with the help of terrorists.
Their thinking is fallacious,” he said, appealing to human rights and peace organisations to take notice of the killings of Shias.
He said that western countries were shedding tears over human rights violations in oil-rich countries but neglected Shia persecution in most Islamic countries by their fellows in faith and some international forces.
Maulana Syed Kalbe Abbas from the World Federation, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc) of the United Nations, said Shias make up the second largest Muslim sect after the Sunnis and they have lived in harmony historically but some people wanted them to fight each other in the name of religion and sects.
“Those killing Shias are doing it in army uniform but there is no one to check them. The state has failed and the outlaws have taken it upon themselves to kill every Shia. This is a conspiracy against Pakistan,” he said.
Abbas said Pakistani media was being complacent and was not doing enough to expose the killers of Pakistanis despite knowing well who the killers were and who their mastermind is. …source
August 24, 2012 No Comments
Reform in Bahrain: US Public Relations Liberal Ass Kissing Frenzy, Buy GOP Congressional Favor, Kill and Imprison Children
Bahrain Shuts the Door on Reform
By Catherine Cheney – 21 August, 2012 – Trend Lines
Nabeel Rajab, a prominent opposition activist who founded the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was sentenced to three years in jail last week for his participation in protests.
The protests, led mostly by members of the Shiite Muslim majority who are calling for democracy, began last year and continued even as the government imposed martial law and responded with what many call excessive use of force.
Explaining that he was disappointed but not surprised to read the news, Toby C. Jones, an associate professor of history at Rutgers University, told Trend Lines the verdict represents the end of any pretense of reforms in this small island kingdom in the Persian Gulf.
“Nabeel Rajab embodies a threat to the regime because he is this powerful voice, this populous figure, who is not sectarian and who uses the language of human rights,” he said. Jones explained that over the past 18 months, Rajab has been particularly resilient despite being beaten and shot at. “It was only a matter of time, given his visibility and his defiance.”
Jane Kinninmont, senior research fellow for Middle East and North Africa at Chatham House, emphasized that this is not an isolated case, with hundreds of lower-profile figures in prison because of their involvement in protests.
“But for months it had appeared Rajab was relatively protected because of his high international profile with human rights organizations,” she said, adding that his imprisonment sends “a signal that the government is taking a harder line on protests.”
Looking at the opposition more broadly, Kinninmont described internal disagreement over the extent of change they seek, with the largest political group, Al Wefaq, “pragmatically calling for a constitutional monarch” and the “more revolutionary Feb. 14 youth movement” seeking a republic.
Asked what change there has been since the initial demonstrations in February and March of last year, Jones said few of the opposition’s demands have been met.
He mentioned the Bassiouni Commission, which was tasked with investigating the unrest, as a window of opportunity for reforms, but said little action was taken after the commission issued its report late last year.
“A number of important human rights reforms have been announced, but implementation remains a problem and the impact isn’t being felt on the street,” Kinninmont said. “There has been progress in some areas . . . but there has been very little done to address the accountability issue.”
One problem, she said, is that many senior officials “still seem to deny the report’s findings.”
Jones said “reform” is a word the Bahraini government, led by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, uses to accommodate and appease its Western supporters who “continue to claim Bahrain is on the path to reform.” …more
August 21, 2012 No Comments
Bahrainis hold anti-regime rallies in Sitra, Nuwaidrat
21 August, 2012 – PressTV
Bahraini anti-regime protesters have taken to the streets in the island of Sitra and the Nuwaidrat village in the country’s northwest, despite heavy-handed crackdown by Saudi-backed forces.
The recent protests were held days after 16-year-old teenager Husam al-Haddad was beaten to death by Bahraini Interior Ministry personnel in the city of Muharraq, northwest of Manama, on August 17.
Several anti-regime protests were held across the country to condemn the killing.
Bahraini protesters have been holding demonstrations against the ruling Al Khalifa family since February 2011 and they hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the deaths of demonstrators during the uprising.
Scores of people have been killed and many others injured in the Saudi-backed crackdown on the peaceful protests.
Bahrain hosts the US Navy Fifth Fleet and is among the Persian Gulf countries, such as Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, that receive military equipment from the United States.
On May 11, the US State Department said Washington will resume sales of military equipment to Bahrain.
August 21, 2012 No Comments