Bahrain Freedom Movement Statements

Senior scholar detained in Bahrain, three executed by Saudi Arabia

On Monday 22nd May the khalifi regime of Bahrain committed another heinous crime by arresting a senior religious figure for peacefully expressing his opinion. Sheikh Mohammed Sangoor, 48 was summoned by the khalifi torture apparatus for interrogation about his call last Friday for the release of the native political prisoners. After hours of intensive questioning and intimidation he was remanded in custody for one week. Muhammad Sanqour, a senior religious leader at the Imam Sadiq Grand Mosque in the village of Diraz, was summoned by the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) on Monday. Immediately native Bahrainis understood that the dictator and his clique have escalated the situation. The people erupted in anger and took to the streets demanding the release of this senior scholar. They also understood that the khalifis were acting on demands from the Israeli occupiers who were incensed by earlier remarks by the senior cleric in support of the Palestinians and condemning the vicious attacks by the Israeli forces. Thirty Bahraini scholars signed a statement calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Sangoor. The most senior religious scholar, Sheikh Isa Qassim who was banished by the regime six years ago, criticized the arrest and insisted that the people cannot be subjugated by such repressive measures.

On 17th May Sir Peter Bottomley, MP met with Maryam Al Khawaja, daughter of Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja. Later he tweeted: “While chairing the AGM of APPG on Democracy & Human Rights in the Gulf, I heard from Maryam Alkhawaja about the ordeal of her father, Abdulhadi, who has spent 12 years behind bars following democracy protests. A meeting between the UK, Denmark and Bahrain would be helpful.”

On 17th May khalifi court issued one year prison sentence on detainee Hussain Ali Ibrahim Al Saari, brother of martyr Mohammed Al Saari, for taking part in the peaceful protests of 2011.

The conditions of the political prisoners continue to deteriorate. Hussain Abdulla Abbas has been waiting for months to receive medical treatment but it has not come yet. He has developed an illness that prevents him from swallowing food. Most of his teeth were removed, and a denture was made for him, but he was not taken to the hospital for this to be fitted. Another Bahraini political prisoner is facing serious health risks due to the denial of medical treatment. Fadel Abbas Abdel Rasoul is on the verge of losing his eyesight but he has not been treated. Political prisoner Abdul Jabbar Isa Abdulla Hassan, from Nuwaidrat town, is suffering excruciating pain resulting from an earlier operation. He needs a special diet as a result, but that is not provided by the prison authorities. Haider Mulla was only 16 years old at the time of his arrest in 2015. He struggles to eat, regularly vomits blood, and is routinely being denied medical treatment for breathing difficulties and chronic stomach pain despite BIRD’s complaints to the regime’s Ombudsman and the National Institute for Human Rights.

Saudi Arabia has executed three men in the eastern region of the country, without having previously published any information on their cases. On Monday 22nd May the interior ministry released a statement confirming that Saudi nationals Hassan bin Issa al-Muhanna, Haidar bin Hassan Muwais and Mohammed bin Ibrahim Muwais had been put to death. The regime justified the cold-blooded killings by falsely accusing the victims of possessing arms and smuggling individuals outside the country. “The three cases were not monitored at any of the judicial stages, as the Saudi government did not publish any official news about the arrest or their being wanted,” the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR), an NGO with offices in London and Berlin, said in a statement.

According to Amnesty’s latest annual death penalty report, 196 individuals were executed in Saudi Arabia in 2022. This marks the largest number in decades and is even more than the 2022 figure previously monitored.

On 16th May Mary Lawlor UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders tweeted: I’ve received disturbing news that the trial on new charges of Saudi HRD Mohammad Al-Qahtani has been adjourned twice due to his absence and that his family and lawyer have no information about him. His 10-year jail term ended 6 months ago. He should be released.

Saudi Arabian civil society organizations, activists, and dissidents should be able to freely articulate their vision and agenda for a rights-respecting future for their country without fear of reprisals, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said on 17th May. The two organizations stand in solidarity with Saudi people demanding a future for their country that prioritizes respect for human rights. “At great personal risk, brave Saudi people have put forward a vision for reform that prioritizes respect for human rights,” said Joey Shea, Saudi Arabia Researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Saudi government should heed these calls.”

Bahrain Freedom Movement

24th May 2023

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