At least nine native Bahrainis are continuing their hunger strike to protest the conditions of their detention, lack of medical care and the policy of revenge against them. They are: Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace (120 days), Jassim Al Haddar (23 days), Sadeq Jaffar Ali (21 days), Ahmad Isa (17 days), Ali Ibrahim Al Zaki (11 days), Mohammad Naji (11 days), Mujtaba Abdul Hussain (11 days) and Sayed Reda Sayed Baqir Sayed Mahdi (4 days). Sayed Fadel Abbas is another hunger striker who is protesting lack of medical treatment. He has served five years of the forty years imposed by the khalifi family. He suffers several ailments he had developed especially during his lengthy forced disappearance.
Concerns for the life of Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace are mounting as he completes four months on hunger strike. Twenty MPs have signed an Early Day Motion )ُEDM) tabled by UK MPs last week to call for his release. In addition to lack of medical care and interrupted family visits, Dr Al Singace is demanding the return of his literary book that he had spent four years to write but confiscated by the khalifi authorities. The EDM “calls upon the Government to urgently secure the return of Dr AlSingace’s research, impose Magnitsky Act Sanctions on those responsible for his unlawful imprisonment; and to call for his immediate and unconditional release; and further calls upon the Government to urge for the release of all political prisoners in Bahrain, including Hassan Mushaima, Sheikh Ali Salman, Abdulhadi Alkhawaja and Ali Alhajee.” Yesterday, khalifi security agents arrested three under-aged brothers from Sitra Al Kharijiya. Mohammad, Muqtada and Muntadar; sons of Jaffar Al Kuwaiti were snatched from family home and transferred to torture chambers. Nothing is known about their condition.
The death of a senior torturer has prompted calls for an immediate halt to the policy of impunity in Bahrain. This policy has, over the past fifty years, led to the institutionalisation of torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners. Hundreds have died since Bahrain became “independent” in 1971 as a result of extreme forms of torture which was described ten years ago by regime’s funded Bahraini (BICI) as “systematic”. Torturers have not only escaped punishment for their crimes against humanity but were also promoted and granted medals of honour for their crimes. Among the notorious torturers is Bader Al Ghaith who died yesterday aged 69. Former detainee and blogger, Ali Abdul Emam has confirmed that he had been tortured by Bader Al Ghaith when he was detained ten years ago.
On Monday 1st November, another young Shia Muslim citizen was beheaded by the Saudi executioners. Makki Kadem Al Ubaid, from Qatif in the Eastern Province of Arabia was executed after the Saudi king signed the order. The victim was falsely accused of firing shots at police, a charge that has not been proven. On 1st January he was sentenced to death after a flawed trial based on confessions extracted under torture. Reports from Riyadh have confirmed that Saud al-Hashimi is again being subjected to torture and medical neglect. This comes after Musa al-Qarni, a close associate of al-Hashimi and fellow member of the ‘Jeddah reformers’ group, was brutally killed last month in prison.
This week Reprieve, the UK-based human rights body that lobbies for an end to executions, started a campaign to save the life of a detained Saudi intellectual. It said: Dr Hassan Farhan al Maliki is a popular scholar in Saudi Arabia – but his scholarship didn’t always echo the Saudi Arabian Government’s position. He is now facing the threat of a death sentence for simply talking, thinking and writing. He was arrested on September 11, 2017. He wasn’t shown a warrant and he was locked up for a year without charge or trial. Hassan’s detention and the charges against him violate his most basic human rights.” It added: “Prince Mohammed Bin Salman promised the death penalty will be used only for the most serious crimes. Yet, Hassan could face the death penalty for his opinions.”
During a mock parliament streamed online last week, the Lebanese journalist who was appointed a minister in September, George Kordahi fielded questions from an audience of young people from the region. In one answer, he called the war in Yemen “absurd” and said the Ansarullah movement (led by Houthis) have attacked no one and have the right to defend themselves. He had gained popularity in the Arab world for hosting “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” on a Saudi-owned TV network. Saudi officials blasted his remarks as “offensive” and biased toward the Houthis. Most commentators have said they believe Kordahi’s comments were a pretext for the Saudis to vent their frustration at Iran’s influence in Lebanon. Kordahi has become a hero for saying what many believe but will not say openly about the disastrous aggression that has caused the worst humanitarian crisis of modern times.
On 27th October Saudi police arrested an American citizen in Mecca for wearing a shirt reading, “Pray for the end of China’s genocide & occupation in East Turkistan,” said his son, head of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. Salih Hudayar confirmed the arrest of his father, Setiwaldi Abdukadir, in the Islamic holy city last Wednesday. Police released Abdukadir after the U.S. government intervened, but as many as 22 other ethnic Uyghurs are believed to continue in Saudi custody for similar expressions of disgust with the Chinese Communist Party. News from inside Saudi jails have confirmed that the prison administration had tortured Dr. Saud Mukhtar Al-Hashimi. He was severely beaten, ill-treated and denied necessary medicines.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
3rd November 2021