MPs urge PM on Bahrain’s HR, Saudi use of “sportswashing” condemned
At least 30 British MPs have signed a letter addressed to UK’s prime minister, Ritchie Sunak urging him to put pressure on the Government of Bahrain to release the political prisoners. They also urge him to ask the khalifis not to execute 24 native Bahrainis condemned to death for opposing the hereditary dictatorship. In addition the MPs are calling on the UK to hold the Bahraini government to account in relation to foreign cyber attacks carried out on UK soil and hailed the judgement by the High Court to deny the khalifis the right to diplomatic immunity.
The regime in Bahrain has continued the arrests of natives as the widespread rejection of the hereditary dictatorship becomes deeply entrenched. Among the latest detainees are Hussain Ali Sari and his son Ali from Saar Town. This brings the number of native Bahrainis detained this month by the khalifi clan to 18. The regime’s security apparatus has summoned several of the fathers of the martyrs to interrogate them about their objections to the murder by the khalifi killers of their children. Among them are Abdul Hadi Mushaima, Hajji Abdul Nabi Al Hawwaj, Ali Muhanna, Jawad Al Shaikh, Hajji Ali Hammam, Hajji Ali Nasser, Abdul Majeed Abdulla (Hajji Sumood) and the father of martyr Abbas Al Sami’e. Instead of bringing the killers of their children to justice, the khalifi dictators are doubling their crimes by persecuting the bereaved fathers after murdering their sons.
As part of a programme of activities to mark the 12th anniversary of Bahrain’s Revolution, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) is launching a campaign under the motto “Prosecute Him”. The US-based body is calling for the trial of Bahrain’s minister of interior, Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, as the main person responsible for the horrific violations of human rights towards political prisoners. ADHRB has highlighted the cases of six prisoners of conscience, including opposition leaders. They are the most prominent examples among hundreds of Bahraini victims who were subjected to the worst types of torture, unfair trials and other forms of violations. The UN Special Procedures offices have classified these violations as crimes against humanity. The six political prisoners are: human rights defender Dr. Abduljalil AlSingace, prominent opposition leader Mr. Hasan Mushaima, human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, former Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq Society Shaikh Ali Salman, human rights activist Naji Fateel, and political prisoner Ali Hasan Al-Aradi.
Political prisoners have continued their appeals to the outside world to take action in order to relive them from the pains caused by the continued persecution of those languishing behind bars. Salman Ali Salman (of Bloc1, Jau Prison) confirmed that he had repeatedly been threatened by a named officer and called for protection. He has been on hunger strike since 15th January. Another victim, Ali Hassan Hammad spoke of the catastrophic conditions in the torture cells and the suffering of the prisoners of conscience. Sayed Ahmed Sayed Mahdi gave a grave picture of the prison conditions that the political prisoners have to endure.
The Saudi authorities have continued their vicious campaign of prosecutions against members of the Huwaitat tribe who objected to their forcible eviction in 2020 for the construction of the Neom megacity. A report by Alqst (a Saudi human rights NHO) titled “The Dark Side of Neom: Expropriation, expulsion and prosecution of the region’s inhabitants.” Said the Saudi authorities are still pursuing a vicious campaign of prosecutions against members of the Huwaitat tribe who objected to their forcible eviction in 2020 for construction of a futuristic megacity, Neom. The findings are based on first-hand testimonies from victims and witnesses as well as open-source data. It paints a disturbing picture of the serious human rights violations being committed in connection with Neom, the $500 billion megacity being built on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast as the centrepiece of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030” economic programme.
Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund is attempting to “sportswash” the country’s egregious human rights record via LIV Golf, whose 2023 tournament kicks off later this week. The PIF owns 93 percent controlling shares in LIVGolf. Human Rights Watch has tweeted against this practice saying: FIFA’s decision to award Saudi Arabia’s state tourism authority sponsorship of the 2023 Women’s World Cup shows shocking disregard for the suffering and repression of Saudi’s courageous women’s rights defenders. FIFA’s decision to award Saudi Arabia’s state tourism authority sponsorship of the 2023 Women’s World Cup has shocked human rights bodies. It shows shocking disregard for suffering and repression of Saudi’s courageous women’s rights defenders. It points to the need for FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, finally to carry out its promised human rights due diligence on the impact of its decisions and to enforce its own human rights and non-discrimination policies across all FIFA operations—including future World Cup hosts and sponsorships. Human Rights Watch said: FIFA’s decision to award Saudi Arabia’s state tourism authority sponsorship of the 2023 Women’s World Cup shows shocking disregard for suffering and repression of Saudi’s courageous women’s rights defenders.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
22nd February 2023