Bahrain Freedom Movement Statements

End Bahrain’s sponsorship at Windsor horse show, Saudi scrutinized on HR

Protests were held to coincide with the Royal Windsor Horse Show which began this week with several events sponsored by Bahrain’s dictatorship. Richard Burgon MP said that he had launched a parliamentary motion calling on the organisers to end its relationship with Bahrain because of its ongoing human rights abuses. Several political and human rights activists organized a picket outside the main racecourse and informed the public of the khalifi links that undermines the morals and ethics of the race and smears the reputation of UK.

On Sunday 14th May two Bahraini death row inmates were assaulted by prison guards and hauled off to an unknown location. London-based rights activist Sayed Ahmed Al-Wadaei said that Mohamed Ramadhan and Hussain Marzouq sustained injuries and burns in the attack. The families of the victims have protested the attack on their sons by the torturers. They said: “We are very concerned that they continue to be ill-treated and tortured while being cut off from the outside world.” They called on the khalifi ministry of interior and human rights GANGO institutions in the country to investigate the crime committed by the regime’s thugs, bring those responsible to justice and enable the victims to contact their families. These calls will definitely fall on death ears.

In a serious blow to the khalifi regime, six UN Special Rapporteurs have written to Bahrain’s dictator condemning their terrorism law. They expressed dismay that it is used to target human rights activists. They also protested the regime’s policy of revoking the citizenship of hundreds of native Bahrainis, outlining some of the impact of this policy on the children of the victims of this policy.

Fourteen human rights organisations have called on the Bahrain regime to release Abdulhadi Al Khawaja who has spent 12 years behind bars for his human rights and political stands. They include CIVICUS, Danish PEN, IFEX, Front Linde Defenders, The Martin Ennals Foundation, BIRD, Front Line Defenders, DIGNITY and Freedom House. The signatories call on the Government of Bahrain to: Immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, as well as all other prisoners of conscience, ensure that he is taken to the necessary medical appointments for diagnostics and treatment and ensure that Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja obtains the requested documents related to the UN communication and that he is allowed a written response.

Since 4th May, the political prisoners at Bloc 6 of the notorious Jau Prison, have been subjected to various acts of revenge including confinement within the cells for the whole day, denial of visits and contacts with family members and other forms of abuse. The khalifi dictatorship uses the natural rights of the prisoners as weapons to subdue them.

The regime has continued to target the vast majority of the native Bahrainis and their sacred places A historic shrine of a prominent religious figure has been targeted for attacks and closure. The mosque of Sa’sa’a ibn Sawhan, one of the close companions of Imam Ali which is located at a small island off the main cost of Bahrain has been desecrated for almost a decade. Now the khalifi regime has closed it and banned worshippers from entering it. This is yet another attack on the religious rights of the majority population.

Protests continue to be held in various parts of the country. After Friday prayers in Duraz town hundreds took to the streets in a show of support of the Palestinians and to condemn Israeli attacks on civilians in the Gaza Strip. Other protests called for the release of the political prisoners and fundamental political changes.

A new campaign to save the lives of two native Bahrainis condemned by death by the Saudi authorities is underway. The two, Jaffar Sultan and Sadiq Thamer, were detained several years ago as they were crossing the causeway linking the two countries and falsely accused of plotting terrorist acts. They were severely tortured, abused and denied access to lawyers and family members. The two face an imminent execution.

In Saudi Arabia Shadli al-Huwaiti has been on hunger strike for over 10 days protesting torture and ill-treatment in jail, including solitary confinement. Along with other Huwaitat tribe members, he faces the death penalty for peacefully opposing eviction to make way for Saudi Arabia’s Neom. This is not the first time that Shadli, the brother of Abdul Rahim al-Huwaiti who was shot dead by Saudi security forces in April 2020, has undertaken a hunger strike in a bid to secure his basic rights.

An independent transparent investigation is needed into why a Lebanese man died shortly after being detained by United Arab Emirates authorities, with indications that he may have been tortured. Euro-Med Monitor reviewed reports regarding the death of Ghazi Fadel Ezzeddine, a man in his fifties, less than two months after being detained, alongside two of his brothers, by UAE authorities. The three brothers were taken into custody on 22 March and transferred to a security facility in Abu Dhabi without being told of the grounds of their detention.

More than 50 people sentenced for “plotting to overthrow the United Arab Emirates government” are being held months and years after their jail terms have ended, family members and rights activists said this week. The dissidents are part of the so-called “UAE94” – a group of 94 lawyers, human rights defenders and academics tried in 2013 and whose jail terms began expiring in 2019. A list compiled by Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center (EDAC) seen by Reuters showed 51 people being held beyond their terms. The UAE had previously said such allegations were false and unsubstantiated.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

17th May 2023

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