SHAFAQNA – The Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, failed the Bahraini test last night as victims of torture hammered him with questions about UK’s support to Saudi and Bahraini dictators. As he was approaching an election meeting with constituents at Fullbrook School, New Haw, he was approached by five young Bahrainis who had all been subjected to torture in Alkhalifa jails. They questioned him about his public unwavering support to an antiquated regime that had been proven officially to have adopted “systematic torture”. As he did not expect this open interrogation he appeared embarrassed and taken aback. The group followed him to the hall where more questions were put in the presence of the constituents who supported them by clapping.
In an interview with Ian Sinclair, the author of The March That Shook Blair: An Oral History of 15 February 2003, published by Peace News Press Dr Alaa Shehabi says: “Like many others, I have come to the slow realization of the sheer extent of British involvement in repression. I face things like British-manufactured spyware sent to my email by the Bahraini government. British ‘consultants in London and Manama [i.e. the capital of Bahrain] are paid millions to be the designated legal defence team of the regime, or to organize prestige events like Bahrain Air Show (based on the Farnborough Air Show) and international security conferences by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. In the UK, the Bahraini King still gets the red carpet rolled out and enjoys tea and horses at Windsor every year.”
Anger and frustration are growing among anti-war campaigners and peace lovers at the resumption of Saudi airstrikes on the people of Yemen and the obliteration of more innocent soles and human habitation. They have intensified their aggression as their failure is compounded by disintegration of their unholy alliance. The Saudis are now targeting the countries that refused to participate in a land invasion, especially Pakistan. With mounting disgust at the barbarity of the attacks the Saudis and Alkhalifa are poised for massive moral defeat alongside the failure to achieve the main aims of their criminal aggression. Bahrain’s dictator is aware of the disastrous consequences of the defeat in Yemen.
Despite the hollow claims by the morally and politically bankrupt regime to have uncovered yet another “terrorist cell” of 28 people yesterday, the Revolution has continued unabated and its demands remain pivotal. Protests have continued in most parts of the country first to demand an end to Alkhalifa reactionary regime and second to support of the people of Yemen as they remain on the receiving end for the criminal Saudi, Alkhalifa airstrikes. In the past two days pictures of recently detained native Bahraini youth and children were circulated only to shock their families and friends. Most of them appeared drained out, tired and disillusioned with visible marks of torture on their faces. It was one of the most horrific moments of the Bahraini Revolution with its youth paraded on TV screens with the unmistakable message that the dictator would stop at nothing in his war with Bahrainis.
On Sunday 26th April Alkhalifa court extended by two weeks the period of detention for prominent rights activist Nabeel Rajab, falsely accused of spreading false news, for the second time this month. He was arrested on April 2 for posting comments on Twitter denouncing torture in a prison where native Bahraini detainees including children are held. The prosecution “ordered that he remain detained for 15 days” pending the results of further investigation”. This is part of the policy of revenge adopted by the regime.
On 22nd April Sheikh Ali Salman was also remanded in custody for another month. Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action calling on its members to write to the authorities: Calling on the Bahraini authorities to release Sheikh ‘Ali Salman immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression; and Urging them to uphold the right to freedom of expression and repeal laws that criminalize the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
At least 30people were arrested in the week of 20-26th April including four children and three women. Alkhalifa kangaroo courts continue to send native Bahrainis to torture dungeons for opposing Alkhalifa dictatorship. Mahmood Al Mansi, Ahmad Mirza, Mansoor Khalaf and Saeed Hassan were each sentenced on 27th April to ten years jail. Akbar Ali is a 19 year old who has been sentenced to 64 years in prison. 1 of 1000s of political prisoners. On 24th April Sayed Salman Sayed Mohammad was arrested and taken to the notorious CID department. 13 years old Hassan Al Aradi was arrested for taking part in peaceful protes. Zahra Al Sheikh has started hunger strike to protest the ill-treatment of women prisoners. She is accompanied in prison by her one year old baby.
Bahrain Freedom Movement