Archive | Bahrain

Bahrain: Zio-Wahhabi regime approves military trials for civilians

NOVANEWS

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Zio-Wahhabi regime  has approved trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.

The Consultative Council, the upper house of the Bahraini parliament, voted for the measure Sunday, less than two weeks after it was approved by the Council of Representatives, the lower house.

The move saw Manama manipulating part of its constitution, which defines the identities of those who can stand trial at such courts.

Neighboring Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime, whose influence radically sways Bahrain, has likewise redefined its anti-terror laws to expand the powers of its security forces in the face of political dissent.

Bahrain has been witnessing peaceful anti-regime protests since 2011. High-handed suppression of the rallies has led to widespread imprisonments and scores of deaths.

Hundreds of the detainees have already faced summary proceedings at military courts.

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Britain ignores Bahrain’s human rights record to pursue business interests with dictatorship

NOVANEWS
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By Marwa Osman | RT 

Britain’s multi-million pound trade and aid strategy for programs in Bahrain needs exposed as the tiny gulf kingdom continues its chain of tyranny and torture against the Shia majority.

The British government’s unreserved condemnation of torture and inhumane treatment and punishment seems to vanish when it comes to making more money. As kidnaps, imprisonments and political executions are on the rise in Bahrain, activists and Bahraini opposition figures are troubled by the fact that the UK government is spending taxpayers’ money on these trade and aid programs, especially given the clear risk of complicity in abuse.

Habib Mohamed Habib is the latest Bahraini civilian to be kidnapped from his home the morning of Friday March 3rd 2017 as security forces deployed armored vehicles in and around Diraz, in a continuation of the Al Khalifa Monarchy’s oppression against the Shiite Friday prayers as part of their uninterrupted crackdown on civilians since 2011 in the Bahraini capital Manama.

As Habib’s family struggle to know the whereabouts of their son, traveling in and around Diraz is nothing less than a nightmare with traffic jams at every entry point of the town, which is witnessing an increase in tightened security at its checkpoints.

Meanwhile, since last June the citizens of Diraz have been experiencing an internet blockade every day between 7pm and 1am as a result of a service restriction order from the Bahraini authorities. The citizens of Diraz are increasingly being cut off from the outside world. They cannot even contact emergency services, and if somebody is caught aiding a fellow citizen he/she will disappear like Habib and hundreds of others like him.

Last week alone, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights BHRC documented a total of 17 arbitrary arrests, among whom were six children. In the same week, 129 marches took place in 40 villages in Bahrain to denounce the chain of repressions and kidnappings targeting peaceful protestors and Friday prayers’ attendees. BHRC reported that 26 marches during the same week were attacked by the Bahraini riot police and a total of 19 persons were judged in 6 politically motivated cases.

It is an open secret in Bahrain that after 6 years of constant crackdowns on millions of protestors who clamored for social justice and political self-determination, the ruling Al Khalifa regime has managed to get away with brutalizing, imprisoning, torturing and killing their own civilians under nonsensical pretexts. Although the monarchy has often expressed its desire to negotiate a political solution, promises of change have translated on the ground to a systematic crackdown.

The Al Khalifa regime has utterly failed to bear its responsibility in creating a space of dialogue in order to foster harmony, cohesion and tolerance. Instead of pushing for respect of cultural diversities amongst its citizens as a fundamental basis of democracy and peace-building, the authorities have politicized freedom of religion and successfully used it as a pretext for the incitement of hatred, violence and racial discrimination against groups of individuals and religious minorities.

International community’s deafening silence

Despite the fact that the Bahraini authorities have been only tightening restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and association and continuing to curtail the right to peaceful assembly while detaining and charging several human rights defenders, banning others from traveling abroad, dissolving the main opposition group and stripping more than 80 people of their Bahraini citizenship, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has largely remained silent on the situation in Bahrain.

According to a joint NGO letter to Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council, Bahrain’s courts continued to play a key role last year in issuing repressive orders and granting the authorities broad discretionary powers to revoke Bahrainis’ citizenship, in some cases leaving them stateless.

The ultimate repressive order was issued on January 9, 2017 by Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld death sentences against three protestors convicted of killing police including three police officers in a bomb attack.

Sami Mushaima (42), Ali Al-Singace (21) and Abbas Al-Samea (27), who were executed on the morning of January 15, 2017 by firing squad, were reported by Bahrain Center for Human Rights BHRC to have been tortured during interrogation to force them to confess to the bomb attack. According to the BHRC, the lawyers of the executed men were not given access to all the hearings against the defendants, nor allowed to cross-examine prosecution witnesses during court hearings.

The shocking part about the atrocities inflicting the Bahrainis is no longer the blatant violations of the Al Khalifa monarchy as much as it is the international community turning a blind eye to the Bahraini people’s legitimate struggle for democratic rights.

UK government complicit in oppression

The US and the UK are two major western states supposedly committed to supporting human rights, democratic values, free speech and political self-determination, while, at the same time, are flagrantly partnering with dictatorships like that of the Bahraini Monarchy to advance their foreign agenda.

For instance, the government of the United Kingdom signed what the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) called a “landmark defense agreement” with the Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain in 2014. Clearly ongoing human rights abuses committed by those partners on their own citizens are not considered a shared strategic and regional threat especially when Bahrain is home to a major Royal Navy base. The multi-million-pound Royal Navy facility in Bahrain, which was founded in November 2016 housing up to 600 UK military personnel, became the staging-post for Britain in the Middle East and is designed to assert influence over the Gulf. Bahrain has paid most of the £30million-plus cost, with the UK contributing around £7.5million.

During the opening of the new Naval Support Facility (NSF) in Manama, Britain’s first permanent military base in the region since 1971, the Telegraph published an OpEd by Fawaz bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Ambassador to London, who claimed that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa outlined the Gulf Cooperation Council’s interest in a free trade agreement between the UK and the GCC, which would significantly increase the UK’s access to the GCC’s £1.3 trillion market; a market estimated to grow by a further £400 billion by 2020.

Relative to its size, Bahrain already hosts a large number of British companies. The Bahraini Ambassador to London put the figures at “500 British brands, 90 British company branches, and 350 Bahraini-British business partnerships”. These businesses operate in some of Bahrain’s key sectors, including banking, accounting, law and industry. Meanwhile bilateral trade between Bahrain and the UK generated a staggering £432 million in 2015 alone, which would simply explain why the UK would choose to remain silent on all the human rights violations in the tiny gulf kingdom.

These bilateral relations are signed and sealed with Bahraini blood, says Ali Alaswad, former Bahraini Member of Parliament who was elected in October 2010, but resigned in February 2011 in response to the Governments’ crackdown on peaceful democracy protesters.

After his home was targeted by security forces, AlAswad left Bahrain and now resides in London where he continues his political work to achieve a democratic Bahrain. As I spoke with MP AlAswad, he emphasized that the UK’s current disappointing stance towards ignoring the human rights violations in Bahrain provides “a green light to the Bahraini government to abuse the basic human rights of the civilians which permits it to become more violent against the Shia majority and the Bahraini opposition.”

AlAswad told me “it doesn’t matter who you are in Bahrain, if you dare to demand for your basic rights then you will be in grave danger, which is why if the UK government as a strategic ally to the Bahraini government doesn’t use its ties as a strong card to support the oppressed Bahraini people to at least secure their basic human rights as enlisted in the declaration of human rights, then the UK is whitewashing the Bahraini authorities’ shocking human rights record by deliberately blocking official criticism of the Kingdom especially at international forums like the UN”.

The UK government is now seen by human rights activists and Bahraini opposition figures as a complicit in the tiny gulf kingdom’s tyranny against the outcry of the legitimate and basic demands of the Bahraini civilians until an official statement is issued from the UK government to condemn the acts of oppression of the Bahraini monarchy against its people.

“How do you expect the majority of the population to react when they see their leaders and clerics being detained, unlawfully imprisoned and even sometimes deported from their own country?” asks MP AlAswad.

Sheikh Ali Salman, a Shiite cleric and head of the Al-Wefaq opposition party, is now sentenced to serve nine years in jail for allegedly inciting hatred and calling for regime change by force.

The Bahraini authorities then went overboard when they stripped the highest religious authority in the country Sheikh Isa Qassim, a 79-year-old cleric, of his citizenship in June 2016 over accusations that he used his position to serve foreign interests and promote sectarianism and violence. This happened a week after the government of Bahrain suspended the Shia opposition group al-Wefaq.

The implications of this arrest is sending shockwaves on the streets of Manama, Diraz, Sanabes, Karbabad, Karzakan and Barbar with protestors refusing to back down. This resistance is prompting even more oppression and kidnapping from the Bahraini authorities.

Earlier this week, Al-Wefaq Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Hussein al-Daihi, said through his twitter account, that targeting Ayatollah Qassim is triggered by his brave and firm stances, to demand legitimate rights for the oppressed Bahraini people. The deputy SG also stressed that Ayatollah Qassim is a red line, and the repercussions of crossing that line would go beyond the country’s borders.

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BFM Arabic Statement 10th March 2017  

NOVANEWS
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الحرية والنصر للشيخ عيسى والهزيمة والعار للاحتلال

عندما دعا “علماء البحرين” لفعاليات متميزة في الايام الخمسة التي تسبق 14 مارس، يوم محاكمة سماحة الشيخ عيسى احمد قاسم، وصفوا تلك الايام بانها “استثنائية”. ومن اسباب ذلك ما يعتمل في نفوس البحرانيين من غضب عارم نتيجة الاضطهاد الذي يمارسه الطاغية وعصابته الخليفية المجرمة على الشعب والوطن، وعلى الشيخ عيسى، رمز الوطن والدين والعلم. ايام اسثنائية لانها كشفت عمق المشروع الخليفي لتصفية هوية الوطن الاصلية التي يرون فيها تحديا دائما لوجودهم، فهي هوية التراب التاريخية، وهي الثقافة الموروثة عبر الاجيال منذ اليوم الذي اعتنق فيه البحرانيون دين الله الذي انزله على نبيه الكريم. انها الهوية التي ميزت شعب البحرين وثورته طوال ستة اعوام واثبتت مقولة الشيخ عيسى نفسه: ستعجزون ولن نعجز. لم يترك الخليفيون جريمة الا ارتكبوها في هذه الفترة التي هي الاكثر اضطهادا وظلما ووحشية واجراما في تاريخ الاحتلال الخليفي لهذا البلد الطاهر. الوطن يئن تحت وطأة هذه العصابة المجرمة التي ما فتئت تسجن وتعذب وتغتال وتعدم وتنفي، وما برحت تنكل بالنساء وتستضعف من لا يجد ناصرا الا الله. هذه الزمرة التي ابتلي شعبنا بها انقضت على سيادة الوطن ومزقتها، فجاءت بالاحتلال السعودي والاماراتي، واستقدمت المرتزقة الباكستانيين والاردنيين، وسمحت للاجانب بفتح القواعد العسكرية، وقامت بتمويل بناء القاعدة البريطانية من اموال الشعب المنهوبة. واخيرا جاءت بالقوات التركية لتؤكد هزيمتها الماحقة على مدى ستة اعوام. لو كان الطاغية وعصابته آمنين على نظام حكمهم الجائر، كما يزعمون، لما استقدموا المزيد من المرتزقة الاتراك، ولما ذهب رموزه الى الكويت وقطر لاستجداء المزيد من الاموال لدفع تكاليف المرتزقة الاجانب.

الايام المقبلة ستكون صعبة على الوطن والشعب، لان الطاغية سيعلن قراره بحق سماحة القائد الشيخ عيسى احمد قاسم، في لحظة زمنية كالحة استولى القراصنة فيها على الاحرار، ومارسوا البلطجة بأسوأ اشكالها. ومهما ادعت الابواق الخليفية، فقد بقي سماحة الشيخ طوال سبعة شهور متواصلة، صابرا محتسبا، واثقا بربه وشعبه ونفسه، ومتوكلا على الله لكسر شوكة الطغاة. قضى ايامه ولياليه وهو في الاقامة الجبرية، معلما وقارئا ومصليا، تحيطه قلوب المؤمنين الصامدين الصابرين المرابطين على ثغر من ثغور الدين. اولئك الفتية الذين أمنوا بربهم فزادهم هدى وآتاهم تقواهم، كانوا حاضرين في الميدان بدون خوف او قلق، بل كان ايمانهم حصنا لهم من كل ذلك. ذادوا عن شيخهم وقت الظهيرة حين كانت الشمس تصهر اجسادهم فلا يزدادون الا حمدا لله وشكرا، وايمانا واحتسابا. وعندما حل عليهم الشتاء بزمهريره لم تتزلزل اقدامهم ولم تخفق قلوبهم الا بالعبادة والدعاء. لقد كانوا حقا نعم الصحب، اذ صدقوا ما عاهدوا الله عليه. وكان صمود الشيخ عيسى عاملا جوهريا لصمودهم، استمدوا منه صدق الموقف وثبات الايمان. ويوما بعد آخر تزداد ثقتهم بحتمية انتصار الحق الذي يمثله المؤمنون يتقدمهم سماحة الشيخ عيسى، واندحار الباطل الذي تجسد في الطاغية وعصابته التي غاصت الى راسها في الجريمة والانحراف والفساد. لقد راهن الخليفيون على تراجع اهل الدراز وتململهم في ظل الحصار المقيت الذي لا يرحم صغيرا او كبيرا. ولكن الدرازيين اصطفوا في الطوابير بقلوب ثابتة ورضى عميق بامر الله وقضائه، فالمعاناة على طريق ذات الشوكة حلوة المذاق، والمرابطة على ثغر من ثغور الله عبادة لا يعادلها شيء. لقد صدقوا مع قائدهم وهتفت قلوبهم كل يوم وليلة بالدعاء من اجل الفرج ودحر الظلم والعدوان والاحتلال، فما ازدادوا الا ايمانا وتثبيتا.

الايام القليلة المقبلة سوف يتحدد فيها مستقبل البلد وهويته، وستصل المواجهة بين الحق والباطل ذروتها، وسيقف الاسلام كله بوجه الظلم والنفاق كله. ستكون المعركة حامية الوطيس بين المستضعفين والمظلومين على جانب، والمستكبرين والطغاة والمنافقين وكل قوى الكفر والانحراف والفساد والظلم على الجانب الآخر. فطوبى لمن سيطر على نفسه وتمكن من هواه، ورفض ان يعيش الا حرا، وآمن بالله وحده، وكفر الطواغيت الخليفيين والسعوديين. طوبى لمن هتف بوجه المحتلين القدماء والمعاصرين مطالبا بالحرية لشعبه والاستقلال لبلده. اولئك هم شباب الوطن الذين صمدوا ستة اعوام متواصلة هاتفين بالحرية والاستقلال والكرامة، ورافضين الوصاية القبلية والحمية الجاهلية التي تقمصها اعداء محمد بن عبد الله، ودفعتهم لارتكاب ابشع الجرائم بغرائز شيطانية بعيدة عن قيم دين محمد عليه افضل الصلاة والسلام. تلك القيم التي جاء الاسلام بها واعتبرها مصداقا للاسلام المحمدي الاصيل. واهم تلك القيم الشهادتان اللتان يدخل الانسان بهما الدين ويعتبر بهما مسلما. فهما تعبير عن رفض رموز الشرك القبلي ورفضها ايمانا راسخا بالقلب واعلانا بليغا باللسان وتصديقا عمليا بالجوارح. شعب البحرين آمن بتلك الرسالة وصدقها فاصبحت سمة مميزة لارض اوال الطاهرة. ذلك الايمان هو الذي دفع اجيالا متعاقبة للصمود والنضال للحفاظ على تلك الحرية وضمان نقاء الارض وطهارتها من دنس الشرك القبلي الذي حارب دين محمد ماضيا وحاضرا. هذا الشعب هو الذي وقف شبابه ضد هبل الخليفي واللات السعودي والعزى الاجنبي، وأصر على اعلان كلمة التوحيد على ارضه وفي صلاته واحتجاجاته. لقد قالها المثبطون سابقا لضرب معنويات اصحاب الرسالة: انها قريش ما ذلت مذ عزت، وما��� “. فكان المؤمنون لهم بالمرصاد، فاذا بالقبائل التي حاربت محمدا ورسالته مهزومة ذليلة. شعبنا يسير على خطى اولئك الاوائل الذين لم يستمعوا لاقوال المثبطين والمرجفين والمهزومين، ويصر على الصمود لوجه الاستبداد الخليفي والاحتلال السعودي وشعاره الخالد: هيهات من الذلة.

في ذكرى الاحتلال السعودي الغاشم لبلدنا الذي تخلى الطغاة الخليفيون عن سيادته للاجنبي، يتجلى الايمان بالله ورسوله والحرية والكرامة في مواقف شباب الوطن الذين ما فتئوا صامدين في ميادين الحرية والشرف، يسطرون اروع الملاحم ويصفعون الطغاة والمجرمين والجلادين والمحتلين كل يوم على وجوههم بصلابتهم وهتافاتهم واصرارهم على التضحية والفداء. انها الملحمة التاريخية التي يخوضها ابناء الوطن الاصليون (شيعة وسنة) ضد الاحتلال والعدوان والظلم، ولا يخشون ما يصيبهم: قل لن يصيبنا الا ما كتب الله لنا. ايمان هذا الشعب سلاحه الاول في معركة الوجود التي يخوضها بدون خشبة او كلل. فالعلماء الصابرون المتحسبون ما فتئوا يسطرون المواقف ويرفضون الزيف الخليفي والضلال السعودي والظلم الاجنبي، ويعلنون تضامنهم مع سماحة الشيخ عيسى قاسم والاستعداد للذود عنه كرمز للاسلام المحمدي الاصيل وهوية الوطن المحتل وكرامة الشعب المستضعف. ستكون الايام والاسابيع المقبلة حافلة بالمفاجأت وأهمها دحر العدو الخليفي وهزيمة الاحتلال السعودي وكسر شوكة داعمي الاستبداد القبلي وناهبي ثروات الشعوب بعناوين الامن الاقليمي والدولي. ايام صعبة لكنها واعدة، وظروف مثقلة بالمشقة لكنها حبلى بالآمال الكبيرة والنصر المبين، وليال سوداء قاحلة تنعق فيها البوم وتسرح فيها الثعالب والفئران، لكنها تنبيء بان فجرا مشرقا سيطل على الشعب والوطن معلنا نهاية العهد الخليفي والسعودي الاسود، وبزوغ شمس الحرية على ربوع اوال.

اللهم ارحم شهداءنا الابرار، واجعل لهم قدم صدق عندك، وفك قيد أسرانا يا رب العالمين

 

حركة احرار البحرين الاسلامية

10 مارس 2017

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Bahrain Regime under Pressure Turns to Executions

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During the middle of the night on January 15 2017, the Bahrain regime executed three political activists by firing squad for the apparent killing of three police officers back in 2014, one of the activists was just 21 years old. The news of their execution led to further massive street protests across the island and resentment from the population of Bahrain which coincides with various reports from human rights groups exposing that the Bahrain regimes security apparatus obtained forced confessions from the 3 activists under torture techniques such as sleep depravity, electrocution, beatings and sexual assault. [1]

Fears have once again been raised with concern that the King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, will approve the executions of Mohamed Ramadan and Husain Ali Moosa, who also face the death penalty for the February 2014 bombing that resulted in the death of security forces. Human Rights Watch analysis of their trial and appeal judgments found that their convictions were based almost exclusively on their confessions, which both men retracted. [2] The treatment of prisoners in Bahrain has led many to fear that peaceful activists may be forced to confess to crimes they did not commit under torture, there confession can, and has already, led to death sentences.

The January executions of Abbas al-Samea, 27, Ali al-Singace, 21, and Sami Mushaima 42, [3] are the only executions the Bahrain regime has carried out since 2010. With Bahrain’s regime coming under more pressure from its constant internal civil unrest, the regime may consider executions as a tactic to try and crush the popular peoples revolution.

The Khalifa Kingdom looks its ideological & economic superior, Saudi Arabia, for leadership. Equally the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has faced similar problems from its own dissident population, mostly located in the oil rich eastern provinces. Similarly, the Saudi King ordered a brutal crackdown, imprisonment and torture of protestors within its borders. A senior Saudi Shi’i religious leader and freedom activist, Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr, was imprisoned, tortured and finally executed by the Saudi regime on 2nd January 2016 allegedly “after being convicted of terrorism offences”. [4] The killing of Sheikh Nimr caused massive outrage across the Shi’i world and Nimr has since become a recognizable figure of martyrdom among a large religious community, scattered across the Middle East and Asia, which values martyrdom incredibly highly. Saudi Arabia knew the execution would draw a massive response, yet it continued; now it is likely that Saudi Arabia is encouraging the King Khalifa of Bahrain to follow a similar policy against notable Shi’i activists, regardless of condemnation.
The Background

Since 2011, the overwhelming majority of the people of Bahrain took to the streets to demand political reform. The regime, backed by Saudi Arabia, then launched a crackdown on the peaceful opposition that included conducting thousands of arrests and systematic torture. [5] Since the brutal crackdown the opposition has demanded regime change and fair political representation for the population under a new genuine democracy.

Oppression of the population is nothing new for Bahrain, however, these highly questionable recent executions signal a new turning point in the current standoff between the peaceful opposition of the majority and the authoritarian minority regime which has been looking for new ways to extinguish the escalating opposition pressure.

On 20 June 2016, a week after the government of Bahrain suspended the leading Shia opposition group al-Wefaq, [6] Ayatollah Isa Ahmed Qassim, a senior Shia Muslim scholar and spiritual leader was stripped of his Bahraini citizenship which caused massive public outcry from the overwhelming Shia Muslim majority population. [7] The removal of Al-Wefaq, the arrest and imprisonment of leading political figures and freedom activists such as Sheikh Ali Salman [8] & Nabeel Rajab [9], along with the removal of Ayatollah Qassim’s citizenship are all pre-planned attempts by an increasingly desperate King to hold onto absolute power of the Bahraini people which see him as no more than an evil oppressive tyrant.

Britain’s role

The UK is directly involved in what happens in Bahrain due to a unique relationship between the two Kingdoms which goes back to the days of the British Empire. Nowadays the UK, in a desperate attempt to remain relevant in the Persian Gulf region, is looking to mark its military presence as well as strengthen political relations with the Persian Gulf Arab Kingdoms such as Saudi Arabia & Bahrain. The US already uses Bahrain as a base of operations for the US Navy in the Persian Gulf; the UK is currently building a navy base of its own on the island [10] which is where a major moral problem lies. As a British journalist, it is deeply concerning for me to witness my own government doing so little to help the situation in Bahrain. We have massive leverage over this country and the evidence of human rights violations being committed by the regime is both overwhelming and grossly disturbing. Our government refuses to acknowledge the depth of criminality being committed and it is very rare for any British politician or mainstream media comments or coverage on the situation.

I remember very well the comments made by our dear old ex-prime minister, David Cameron, back in 2011 not long after the Arab spring first began to spread across the Muslim world.

“The Arab spring is a massive opportunity to spread peace, prosperity, democracy, and security.” (David Cameron speaking at the UN.) [11]

The people of Bahrain have been demanding for reforms, fair political representation and for real democracy but have been met with brutal oppression, torture and murder while the great democracies of the west ignore the peaceful struggle of the Bahraini people.

If our government, led by Theresa May and Boris Johnson, wants to keep up its pretend game of ‘Persian Gulf power-brokers’, it must be prepared to stand up for the principles that a true western democracy stands for and come to the aid of any reformist revolution calling for democracy and freedom. Where better to start than Bahrain, however, one thing I have learned from covering the Middle East, democracy is not a high priority for the true holders of power in this oil rich part of the world.

EndNotes

[1] ADAM SCHRECK, ASSOCIATED PRESS (Jan 15, 2017, 2:39 ) Bahrain Executes 3 Over Police Bombing, Triggering Protests, Available at: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/bahrain-police-officer-injured-shooting-tensions-spike-44787990

[2] Human Rights Watch (JANUARY 23, 2017 12:00AM EST) Bahrain: 2 Face Execution Despite Torture Allegations, Available at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/01/23/bahrain-2-face-execution-despite-torture-allegations

[3] Marc Jones (January 19, 2017 3.01pm GMT) A triple execution in Bahrain has provoked national outrage – and international silence, Available at: http://theconversation.com/a-triple-execution-in-bahrain-has-provoked-national-outrage-and-international-silence-71367

[4] BBC News (2 January 2016) Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr: Saudi Arabia executes top Shia cleric, Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35213244

[5] Law, Bill (6 April 2011). “Police Brutality Turns Bahrain Into ‘Island of Fear'”Crossing Continents (via BBC News). Retrieved 15 April 2011.

[6] Al Jazeera (17 JULY 2016) Bahrain dissolves main Shia opposition Al-Wefaq party, Available at: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/07/bahrain-dissolves-main-opposition-party-160717132556468.html

[7] BBC News (20 June 2016) Bahrain revokes top Shia cleric Isa Qassim’s citizenship, Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36578000

[8] BBC News (16 June 2015) Bahrain opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman jailed, Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-33147198

[9] Amnesty International (23 January 2017, 17:31) Bahrain: Postponement of Nabeel Rajab’s trial for sixth time is blatant harassmen, Available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/01/bahrain-postponement-of-nabeel-rajab-trial-for-sixth-time-is-blatant-harassment/

[10] Jamie Merrill (Sunday 1 November 2015) Royal Navy base construction begins in Bahrain as Britain seeks a return to ‘East of Suez’, Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/royal-navy-base-construction-begins-in-bahrain-as-britain-seeks-a-return-to-east-of-suez-a6716856.html

[11] The Guardian News Blog (Thursday 22 September 2011) Leaders address the UN general assembly, Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/blog/2011/sep/22/ahmadinejad-addresses-un-general-assembly

Posted in Bahrain0 Comments

UK covered up intelligence training with Bahrain’s police, amid death sentence

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Reprieve

UK authorities trained Bahrain’s police how to gather intelligence on protestors, and then tried to cover up the scheme, international human rights group Reprieve has found. The project took place after protestors in the Gulf kingdom were rounded up and sentenced to death.

Britain’s Foreign Office paid for half a dozen Bahraini police officers to visit Belfast in August 2015, where the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) shared its expertise on gathering intelligence ahead of demonstrations.

Protestors in Bahrain, such as Mohammed Ramadan, have been targeted by police and tortured into falsely confessing to capital crimes. Mr Ramadan, a father of three young children, is now on death row and could be executed at any time.

The training, which also included sessions on water cannons, dog handling and public order tactics, was kept secret. The UK government has repeatedly denied providing public order training to Bahrain.

The Cabinet Office claimed that “The UK does not fund any programmes in Bahrain focused on public order”. However, documents obtained by Reprieve show that Bahrain’s police received an “Introduction to Combined Operational Training with a focus on Public Order.”

The training was prepared by Northern Irish police officers during a week-long “scoping visit” to Bahrain over April-May 2015, where they assessed Bahrain’s public order systems. The Stormont-owned company NI-CO played a key role in organising all the training.

It has also emerged that Bahrain’s Chief of Police and his deputies visited Belfast in June 2014. The itinerary included another session with the PSNI on “Community Intelligence”. The police chief attended a “demonstration of PSNI Public Order systems” and received a “Tour of North and West Belfast ‘Flashpoints’ with 2 or 3 PSNI Armoured Vehicles”.

Bahrain’s Chief of Police had to postpone a visit to Belfast earlier in 2014 because there was a “security emergency in Bahrain at the moment and it is felt that the Chief of Police and other senior officers cannot leave the country at this critical time.” This was a month after death-row prisoner Mohammed Ramadan was tortured. “The situation on the ground is becoming increasingly tense”, an email explained.

Bahrain’s Chief of Police has command level responsibility for violations carried out by lower ranking officers. Months after the police chief visited Belfast for training, teenager Ali al-Singace was arrested and tortured by Bahrain’s police with electric shocks, until he made a false confession to a capital crime. He was executed by firing squad in January 2017.

Commenting, Maya Foa, a director of Reprieve, said:

“It is outrageous that the government has covered up this project, which risks supporting the execution of protesters in Bahrain.

“Bahrain is notorious for arresting, torturing and sentencing to death people involved in protests – such as Mohammed Ramadan, a father of three who is held on death row and faces execution at any moment.

“By training Bahrain’s police how to gather intelligence on protesters, there is a serious risk that Britain is helping them arrest and execute people who are guilty of nothing more than calling for reform.  It is scandalous that the Government has sought to sweep this under the carpet.”

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UK think tank covertly funded by Bahrain royal family

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RT 

The International Institute of Strategic Studies, an influential UK diplomacy and security think tank run by prominent military, political, and business figures, has received over $38mn in secret donations from Bahrain.

Bahrain, a former British colony and oil-rich Arab country which accommodates the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, had secretly donated more than $38 million (£30 million) to the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), a reputed UK think tank which positions itself as a leading global military and security research consultancy, according to human rights group Bahrain Watch.

The donations, which the IISS received over the course of five years, were said to form around a quarter of the think tank’s budget, or over $7.6 million (£6 million) per year, Bahrain Watch said citing confidential documents it obtained in cooperation with the Guardian.

Money from the Bahrain government was received in large part under a secret memorandum of understanding (MoU) between IISS head John Chipman and Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, who had previously served as ambassador to the UK.

The IISS and Bahrain agreed to “take all necessary steps to keep confidential all classified information which is disclosed or obtained in relation to this MoU, and neither shall divulge such information to any third party.”

The leak comes amid UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s two-day trip to Bahrain to discuss post-Brexit trade with Gulf leaders. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is also expected to arrive in the Bahraini capital Manama on Friday to address a Middle East-related conference organized by the IISS.

The event itself, called the Manama Dialogue, was financed by Bahrain’s ruling family, which is paying for all the delegates to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the report said. Since 2011, the ruling family has donated $19 million (£14.9 million) to fund the conference, which is attended by influential figures from the Gulf and western nations, among others, the leaked papers show.

In a statement to the Guardian, the IISS said its agreement with the Bahraini rulers “expressly gives the IISS full freedom to develop the agenda and invite participants in line with priorities it judges to be important to encourage strong debate on regional issues and facilitate important diplomatic contacts.”

“The IISS for a number of years has received funding from a wide range of governments for conferences and major international summits,” it added.

“The Bahraini government is willing to spend so much on the IISS and the Manama Dialogues because they allow the government to portray itself as modern, liberal and business-friendly, in contradiction to the evidence of torture, abuse and political disenfranchisement,” Bahrain Watch said in turn.

In April, a report for the Foreign Affairs Select Committee blasted Bahrain’s poor human rights record, not least during the violent suppression of the Arab Spring protests, with direct support from another controversial UK ally – Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, Amnesty International accused London of “whitewashing” Bahrain’s record in the United Nations, having never condemned the country’s human rights abuses. The Bahraini royal family has enjoyed a close relationship with the British monarchy for several decades.

In mid-November, a new Royal Navy base in Bahrain was inaugurated by Prince Charles, with construction mostly funded by the Bahrainis. The US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) is also headquartered in the country, guiding the operations of the Fifth Fleet.

The IISS advisory board features high-ranking Western military brass, politicians, and business leaders, including George Robertson, former secretary-general of NATO, Field Marshal Charles Guthrie, former chief of the UK General Staff, Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin, Amos Yadin, former chief of Israeli military intelligence, as well as Carl Bildt, Sweden’s ex-foreign minister.

Founded in 1958, the IISS describes itself as a primary source of information on international strategic issues for “politicians and diplomats, foreign affairs analysts, international business, economists, the military, defense commentators, journalists and academics.”

Apart from the Manama Dialogue, the institute hosts the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual meeting of Asia-Pacific region defense ministers in Singapore.

It also publishes ‘The Military Balance,’ a comprehensive annual assessment of each country’s military capabilities. A 2015 Global Think Tank Index compiled by the University of Pennsylvania ranked IISS as the fourth-best non-US research institution.

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UK to open permanent military base in Bahrain

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Britain’s then Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond boards a UK military ship docked in Manama, Bahrain, in November 2015.
Press TV 

The United Kingdom will open a massive permanent military base in Bahrain and deploy warships in the Persian Gulf, a new report has revealed.

The military base, which is the first such facility being opened by Britain in 40 years in the Persian Gulf region, will be launched next month, Britain’s Express newspaper reported on Saturday.

Britain will station around 600 military forces at the Royal Navy Facility and will deploy its warships to patrol the surrounding waters and guard oil and gas shipments in the waters.

The base located in Bahrain’s Mina Salman Port, will also be used by Special forces, Navy destroyers and frigates to launch operations against the Daesh takfiri terrorist group in the region, according to the report.

“The project could save the Ministry of Defense millions because they won’t have to travel back to the UK,” the newspaper quoted unnamed diplomatic sources as saying.

The base, which will be used as a weapons store, will allow Britain to take part in any possible emergency operation if any country tries to block UK commercial ships from passing through the Strait of Hormuz, said a navy source.

“If we miss out on too much oil and gas then the lights will start to go out,” the source added.

When Britain kicked off the project in 2014, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon described it as “a permanent expansion of the Royal Navy’s footprint” in the Persian Gulf.

“It will enable Britain to send more and larger ships to reinforce stability in the [Persian] Gulf,” he said.

Critics, however, raised concerns over the legality of the base, saying the project had not been discussed in Bahrain’s parliament.

Human rights campaigners criticized the plan at the time, arguing that the Royal Navy named HMS Juffair, is reminiscent of the colonial era because it’s named after a previous naval base, Britain maintained in the country during colonial times.

Opposition activists also said Britain’s move strengthens the ruling al Khalifa family which, has long been carrying out crackdown on human rights activists in the kingdom.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the Bahraini crackdown on the anti-regime activists, who have been holding protests on an almost daily basis since February 14, 2011.

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Bahraine: Zionist puppet praise for Nazi Peres

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Zionist puppet Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa

Zio-Wahhabi Bahraini foreign minister’s surprising tribute to former Nazi president Shimon Peres who died Wednesday has triggered a wave of outcry in the region where he is known as a criminal.

“Rest in Peace President Shimon Peres, a Man of War and a Man of the still elusive Peace in the Middle East,”  Zio-WahhabiKhaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa posted on his Twitter account.

The tribute drew the ire of many online users as well as opposition figures, given that a large number of Arabs view Nazi Peres as the man responsible for the successive wars that have rocked the Middle East.

“The foreign minister is paying tribute and praying for the Zionist terrorist and the killer of children,” complained former opposition lawmaker Jalal Fairooz.

Another critic, Khalil Buhazaa, tweeted, “Diplomacy does not mean rudeness.”

Manama does not have diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv but some Arab states, chiefly Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime, have recently moved to warm relations with the Nazi Jewish regime.

Bahrain Zio-Wahhabi regime is under the heavy influence of Saudi Arabia which is spearheading the push for rapprochement with the Nazi regime of ‘Israel’.

Among Arab Zionist puppet leaders, only Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Ab-A$$ has offered condolences to Peres’s family, describing him as a partner in peace.

However, many across the world would remember Peres as a “war criminal” especially in light of the 1996 Qana massacre. In that Nazi attack on a southern Lebanese village, at least 106 people were killed. Nazi Peres was then prime minister.

Born in Poland in 1923, Nazi Peres emigrated to what was then British-mandated Palestine when he was 11. He joined the Zionist movement and met David Ben-Gurion, who would become his mentor and Nazi first prime minister.

Nazi Peres became director general of the nascent ministry of military affairs at just 29. He was also seen as a driving force in the development of the Nazi undeclared nuclear program.

Palestinians say Peres has their blood on his hands. Like other Zionist leaders, Peres also allowed illegal Nazi Jewish settlement construction to take place in Palestinian land during his years in leadership positions.

The impoverished Gaza Strip witnessed two full-scale wars under Nazi Peres’s tenure as president, which claimed the lives of more than 3,700 Palestinians in total.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has called on Palestinians to hold a “Day of Rage” on Friday which will coincide with the funeral of Peres.

The call is meant to mark the one-year anniversary of the beginning of what is described as the third Intifada throughout the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem al-Quds.

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Bahrain: Canadian firm sells Zio-Wahhabi regime software to censor Internet

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A Canadian company has sold Zio-Wahhabi regime of Bahrain technology used to block opposition websites and human rights content on the Internet, Canadian activists say.

Specialists from internet watchdog Citizen Lab said in a report that Canadian Netsweeper website-blocking applications had been identified on nine internet service providers (ISPs) in Bahrain.

The report further disclosed that testing on the ISP of the state-run Bahrain Telecommunication Company (Batelco) showed that at least one of the Netsweeper installations was in use in the small Persian Gulf kingdom.

Citizen Lab researchers highlighted that the installations appear to have become active between May and July of this year.

That is “a few months after the release of a public tender by Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in January 2016 indicating Netsweeper won a bid to provide a ‘national website filtering solution.’”

The contract is worth either 1.1 million or 3.1 million dollars, the researchers said.

Citizen Lab said, “The sale of technology used to censor political speech and other forms of legitimate expression, to a state with a highly problematic human rights record, raises serious questions.”

Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.

Zio-Wahhabi regime has been relentlessly cracking down on dissent. Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Troops and the United Arab Emirates have been deployed to the country to assist in the crackdown on peaceful protests.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the Bahraini crackdown on the anti-regime activists.

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Putin and the Zio-Wahhabi of Bahrain

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zio-Wahhabi Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, of Bahrain, discussed military-technical cooperation issues during the latter’s visit to Russia earlier this week, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

“Military-technical cooperation issues were actively discussed with the Russian side on several occasions, including contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin during King of Bahrain’s recent visit, Peskov said, when asked if Russia might sell its air defense systems S-400 to that country.

Putin and the King of Bahrain met in the Kremlin on September 6.

The two leaders discussed ways of struggle against terrorism, the situation in Syria and trading and economic cooperation.

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