British MPs concerned about UK support and funding for the government of Bahrain have secured a parliamentary debate on Thursday over political prisoners in that country. The debate comes after revelations that UK taxpayers are funding programmes that support Bahrain’s interior ministry and other bodies overseeing detainees. The backbench debate, raised by Scottish National Party MP Brendan O’Hara, will provide scrutiny a decade after Britain began funding Bahrain, and as political prisoners, many imprisoned for their roles in the kingdom’s pro-democracy movement, remain behind bars despite cross-party calls for their release. “For far too long, the United Kingdom has chosen to turn a blind eye to widespread human rights abuses in Bahrain, while at the same time sending millions of pounds of UK taxpayers money to the Gulf state to help it ‘reform’,” O’Hara said yesterday.
Yesterday the Saudis confirmed the death sentence against two native Bahrainis. Jaffar Sultan and Sadiq Thamer were convicted on false charges of possessing firearms. They were arrested in May 2015 on the Bahrain-Saudi causeway and subjected to horrendous treatment and extreme forms of torture. If their appeal fails they will be beheaded and crucified. In their Bahraini town of Dar Kulaib, people took to the streets carrying their photographs and urging the world to force the Saudis to repeal the decision to kill the two youths.
The health of Dr Abduljalil Alsingace is worsening by the day. He has been on hunger strike for 185 days demanding the return of his confiscated writings. He is also a torture survivor. He has developed breathing difficulties and is not able to do any exercise as he feels totally exhausted all the time. His doctors have now indicated that his kidneys are showing signs of dys-functioning which is a serious deterioration. International pressure is building up on the khalifi dictators to release him immediately and unconditionally.
Former political prisoner, Ali Muhanna has once again been summoned by the torture apparatus for interrogation about his repeated calls to free his son, Hussain. He received two summons in two days. He has relentlessly campaigned for the release of political prisoners, visited their families and participated in peaceful protests for their release. He faces severe retribution from a regime which uses of revenge as a means of silencing dissent.
As the fifth anniversary of the brutal execution of three innocent Bahrainis approaches, the regime has undertaken harsh measures to stop people marking the anniversary. The three victims of the khalifi state terrorism: Sami Mushaima, Ali Al Singace and Abbas Al Sami’e were killed by firing squad on 15th January 2017 following seriously flawed trial that had been condemned by international human rights bodies. Shortly after the killing the executioners purposely sent the blood-soaked garments of the victims to their mothers. Yesterday, Munir Mushaima, brother of one of the martyrs was summoned by the torture apparatus. He had been repeatedly detained and tortured for highlighting the brutal killing of his brother, Sami
Amnesty International has called on the four clubs involved in the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia this week to take a stand over women’s rights and equality issues. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao will compete in the revamped Super Cup in the Saudi capital Riyadh from Jan. 12-16 after the Spanish FA agreed a contract with the Saudis until 2029 that will earn the governing body 30 million euros ($34 million) a year. The human rights organisation has sent the clubs and the Spanish soccer federation purple armbands and asked the team captains to wear them during the tournament as a show of solidarity. “We are asking your organisation to honour its commitments and responsibilities to human rights,” Amnesty urged the clubs “to take advantage of the tournament to make human rights concerns visible in Saudi Arabia. We invite your captain to wear the armband either during matches, or at events around the tournament such as press conferences, training sessions and other public exhibition spaces, including social media.”
It has been confirmed that the Saudi authorities arrested writer and researcher Dr Abdullah al-Yahya on 24 December 2021, following tweets he had published criticising normalisation with Israel.
On 7th January Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) said that United Arab Emirates authorities retaliated against the detained human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor after July 2021, when regional media published a prison letter he wrote detailing his mistreatment in detention and flagrantly unfair trial, An informed source told the groups that following the letter’s publication, UAE authorities moved Mansoor to a smaller and more isolated cell, denied him access to critical medical care, and confiscated his reading glasses. Since detaining him in March 2017, UAE authorities have held Mansoor largely incommunicado, isolated him from other prisoners, and denied him a bed and mattress. The United Nations, as well as the UAE’s allies, the United States, United Kingdom, and others, should publicly and privately call for an immediate end to Mansoor’s isolation and for his unconditional release.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
12th January 2022