Bahrain Freedom Movement Statements

Saudi regime beheads two Bahrainis, the HR world erupts in anger

Bahrain and its people were shocked to the core upon hearing the terrible news of the execution on Monday 28th May of two natives by the Saudi regime. Sadiq Thamer and Jaffar Sultan were brutally beheaded eight years after they had been detained by the Saudis while crossing the causeway linking the two countries. Neither the two men nor their families were told that the execution was imminent. Their families knew of the Saudi crime through the media only after it had been committed. The Saudi statement said that the notorious Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) had convicted the two men of belonging to a militant group spreading chaos and smuggling explosives to be used inside Saudi Arabia. The statement did not identify the group or their leader, though Saudi Arabia had told the United Nations previously the men had been sentenced to life in prison in Bahrain in absentia. They also had their citizenship stripped.

This heinous Saudi crime has been condemned by most decent people. Bahraini most senior religious leader, Sheikh Isa Qassim called their families to condole them. Massive protests erupted first in their town, Al Malkiyah and later spread to other towns and villages. The Bahraini scholars issued a statement condemning the Saudi crime and affirmed the people’s commitment to achieve their political rights regardless of the cost.

The Saudi human rights body, also ALQST condemned the executions carried out by the Saudi authorities against two young Bahrainis, Jaafar Sultan and Sadiq Thamer. It said that they were sentenced at the judge’s discretion after a grossly unfair trial, which relied on coerced confessions extracted under severe torture.

From the start, Amnesty had criticized their October 2021 trial and conviction, adding they also had faced charges for “participation in anti-government protests in Bahrain”. Jaafar and Sadeq “had no access to legal representation throughout their pre-trial detention and interrogations,” the rights group said in a statement in May 2022. “According to court documents, they told the court that they were tortured and that their so-called confessions were extracted under duress.”

It is clear that the Saudi regime has embarked on a killing spree with no regard to the sanctity of the human soul. Last week four Saudi natives from the Eastern Province were beheaded. On Tuesday 23rd May, Al Hassan Isa Al Muhanna, Haidar Hassan Mwais, Mohammed Ibrahim Mwais and Ahmed Ali AlBader were executed for taking part ten years ago in peaceful protests demanding political rights. The number of Saudi executions this year is set to be the highest in 30 years.

The arrest last week of senior Bahraini cleric, Sheikh Mohammed Sangoor, the Friday prayer leader at Al Sadeq Mosque in Duraz caused anger and frustration among the native Bahrainis. They staged large demonstrations demanding his release. He was set free four days later. But when he was granted a popular reception at Sanabis Matam (congregation hall) hundreds gathered to greet the senior cleric. The khalifi dictator was furious that the man he had ordered to be jailed should receive such a great reception and greetings. The head of the Matam was subsequently summoned and interrogated. It is not clear if he would be charged by the increasingly vicious dictatorship.

Six years ago, Saudi human rights defender Mohammed al-Otaibi was arrested by the Qatari authorities, while trying to flee to Norway to avoid reprisals for his human rights work. After being forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia from Qatar, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison. In 2013 al-Otaibi co-founded the Union for Human Rights alongside Abdullah al-Attawi, who was sentenced to seven years in prison in the same case.

The health condition of Saudi citizen Sheikh Saleh Al-Shami, 88 years old, has deteriorated. He had spent 15 days in a hospital outside the prison. Last week he was returned to a hospital inside the prison, in an unstable condition. Fears are growing for his life, given his old age and lack of proper medical treatment.

Yesterday, The Los Angeles City Council voted to pass Council Resolution 23-0349, a bill designating a portion of Wilshire Boulevard from Centinela Avenue to McClellan Drive as “Jamal Khashoggi Way,” said Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) in its statement today. DAWN worked closely with city council representatives to secure the passage of the resolution to rename the street, located outside the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles, in honor of the late founder of DAWN and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. This follows on the organization’s successful efforts to rename as “Jamal Khashoggi Way,” the street in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

31st May 2023

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