SHAFAQNA – In a bizarre development, Bahraini natives whose nationality had been revoked have been informed that their bank accounts had been frozen on orders of Bahrain’s Central Bank. This is another measure against the natives for opposing Alkhalifa regime and harsh warning for the rest of Bahrainis to avoid taking anti-regime stands. The Alkhalifa clan has been adopting a policy of ethnic cleansing through various methods including political naturalization of foreigners and forfeiting nationality of native Bahrainis.
As the reactions to the unlawful detention of Sheikh Ali Salman, the Secretary General of AlWefaq continue, the public have realized the seriousness of the war being waged by the Alkhalifa ruling clan against native Bahrainis. The country has erupted in mass protests day and night. Many protesters have been injured or detained. The dictator has now ordered the detention of Sheikh Ali Salman for two more weeks.
The attacks on native Bahrainis have escalated in response to the increase in popular activism. In the past week alone, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) documented 89 arbitrary arrests including one woman and several children. Mohammad Mahdi Al Ekri, from Daih was arrested on Monday 5thJanuary. He is a member of Al Wefaq’s Shura Council. Another Al Wefaq member, Fakhri Abdulla, 42, from Sanabis, was also detained. On 4th January, four members of the family of Yousuf Al Mahafdha, the senior official of BCHR were snatched from their car. They include his uncle, Hussain Jaffar and three of his children; Hamad, Ali and Amjad.
Concern is mounting for the child, Ahmad Huwaida from Manama, who was arrested few days ago. Nothing has been heard of him since. On 3rd January Ali Mohammad Jawad, 15, from Nuwaidrat was snatched by plain-clothed members of Death Squads for taking part in peaceful demonstration. From Al Ekr, Salman Isa was arrested and tortured severely during the arrest. From Ma’amir, Fadhel Jaffar Mohammad Madan Al Taif was arrested in a raid on his house. Three brothers from the same town were also arrested when their home was raided; Abbas Ali Habib and his two brothers; Hussain and Ahmad were snatched by members of Death Squads.
The situation inside prisons is rapidly deteriorating as punishment for native Bahrainis. There have been several hunger strikes by inmates. Qassim Hamada has now finished one week on hunger strike for lack of medical care to his serious illness. Nafisa Al Asfoor, who was detained in relation to protest at Formula 1 circuit nearly two years ago, has also spent one week so far on hunger strike in protest at ill-treatment and denial of medicine.
On 31st December Alkhalifa court sentenced a human rights activist to jail term for “participating in unauthorized protest”. Mohammad Al Maskati, a prominent human rights defender was given six months jail sentence in a case brought against him by the regime’s agencies in October 2012. The Gulf Centre for Human Rights has called for his immediate and unconditional release.
On 5th January Al Wasat newspaper published an article about the political judiciary and the cases it dealt with in 2014. It said that 220 judgments were passed in cases linked to security by all courts. The most significant of these judgments produced death penalties, nationality revocation, and other lengthy jail sentences. On 19th February an Alkhalifa court issued death sentence against one native Bahraini. On 31st August the Appeal court upheld the death sentence of Maher Al Khabbaz. On 29th December it sentenced two native Bahrainis to death allegedly for their role in killing one of the mercenaries. On 6th August Alkhalifa court decided to revoke the nationality of nine native Bahrainis for allegedly forming a terrorist network. On 29th September the court sentenced nine to life imprisonment and the revocation of their nationality. On 20th November three native Bahrainis from Al Ekir had their nationality revoked.
Alkhalifa courts also passed life sentences against 18 native Bahrainis. On 16thJune, one court upheld an earlier judgment to dissolve the Islamic Scholars Council and upheld the sentences against Maryam Al Khawaja, Zainab Al Khawaja, Nafisa Al Asfoor and Raihana Al Mousawi.
Bahrain Freedom Movement