Bahrain Freedom Movement Statements

 Bahraini unsung hero dies, Saudi football club takeover condemned

Bahrainis are mourning the martyrdom of an activist who died on Monday as a result of denial of medical care. Four years ago, Ali Qambar, 48, was a much loved and respected political prisoner had developed cancer in prison, and was denied urgently-needed medical care. He was temporarily released to seek self-treatment abroad. Bahraini communities inside and outside Bahrain raised part of the funds he needed for a new treatment in Singapore. When these funds dried up, he returned to Bahrain. Although Hamad’s hospital has the treatment, Mr Qamber was left to die without treatment. He wasn’t outspoken, just deeply committed to the betterment of his community, a quiet field soldier who gave priority to helping others even at his dead bed. Despite regime’s repression and hate, his funeral became a rallying point for revolutionary against the khalifi occupiers of Bahrain. In 1996, Isa Qamber, Ali’s brother was executed by the khalifis after an unfair trial that was criticized by human rights bodies. Ali was in jail at the time and was not allowed to attend the funeral of his brother. 

A bill released yesterday by the US Senate Appropriations Committee directly addresses ongoing human rights violations by the Government of Bahrain. “Chairman Christopher Coons and the Senate Appropriations Committee have shed a bright light on the brutality and inhumanity of the Government of Bahrain against its own people,” said Husain Abdulla, executive director of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain. The report accompanying the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman’s note on the FY 2022 State Foreign Operations Bill highlights the appalling human rights situation in Bahrain: “The Committee remains concerned about reports of the widespread use of arbitrary detention, torture, due process violations, and unfair trials in Bahrain, and notes that the suppression of peaceful dissent and freedom of expression may negatively impact the stability of Bahrain. No later than 60 days after enactment of the law, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Appropriations Committees, which may be in classified form if necessary, detailing the efforts made on behalf of political prisoners in Bahrain and the response of the Government of Bahrain. 

Regime’s security apparatus has summoned more people this week. Haidar Ali Nasser Al Abbood, Sayed Hussain Sayed Muhsin and Mahmood Jaffar Dhaif were summoned to appear at Sitra torture centre. No reasons were given for these summons. The under-aged native Bahraini boy who was detained two weeks ago is suffering from a rare skin disease. Sayed Reda Sayed Baqir has developed severe rash in his face for which he has not been treated. The symptoms have reached the eye and there are fears that he may loose his sight. 

The suffering of the prisoners has continued unabated. Ahmad Isa has been forced to go on hunger strike. Two years ago he suffered serious foot injury. A specialist who saw him two months ago asked for him to be transferred to Salmaniya hospital for surgery. He was given appointments three times but the prison management repeatedly refused to take him. A native Bahraini political prisoner, Jaffar Abbas Al Fardan has been denied access to his parents who were seriously ill before their death last week. He has not met them for two years because of Covid-19 restrictions and has not been allowed out of his cell to attend their funerals. He has served six years of 20 years jail sentence imposed by the khalifis on him for his anti-regime activities. 

On 21st October protesters gathered outside the Premier League’s headquarters in London to campaign against Saudi involvement in football. The protest took place just weeks after the Premier League confirmed that Newcastle United had been sold, with a Saudi-backed consortium replacing Mike Ashley as the club’s owners. 

Many people were opposed to the prospect of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) becoming the Magpies’ new owners – with a number of human rights issues linked to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The English top flight approved the deal after being given assurances that the PIF was separate to the Saudi state – despite the fact it is chaired by Bin Salman. 

Daughter of ex-Saudi official says her family is being targeted. Hissah Al-Muzaini has called for the release of her husband, brother and sister. She says they are innocent and were targeted because of a “personal vendetta” against her father, the former Saudi intelligence official Saad Aljabri. The Saudi government says the three are guilty of a range of corruption and money laundering offenses. 

As the Emirati human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor remains behind bars, well-wishers including English PEN hav sent him birthday wishes and escalated their campaign to force the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to release him. In addition to his human rights work, he is a poet and award-winning activist. 

Bahrain Freedom Movement 

27th October 2021

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