Bahrainis have reacted angrily to the attack on their brethren on the other side of the causeway. Protests erupted last night in many places with banners and slogans blaming the Saudi regime for the sharp rise in the language of hate, sectarianism and fanaticism. Bahrainis are constantly infuriated by the presence of Saudi forces on their land and have repeatedly called for an end to the military occupation. They fear that the longer they stay the more likely that they will promote sectarianism, extremism and terrorism.
The past few days have witnessed massive protests and religious marches to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussain (AS). The people were outraged by the persistent attacks on their religious symbols and traditions in Bori, Sadad, Al Ma’amir, Nuwaidrat, Duraz and other towns. Regime forces attacked theoe symbols and removed them from most places. Zl Zahra hall in Nuwaidrat which distributes food to worshippers was erased to the grounds with tractors, in a similar way to the demolition of mosques in 2011. The regime’s foreign minister justified the sectarian attacks on the natives. This is a serious escalation by the ruling family whose deep enmity to the natives has risen to new highs. Riot police and Death Squads attacked peaceful processions in several areas such as Nuwaidrat. The attackers used chemical and tear gases against the natives who reacted by challenging the regime’s criminal gangs. They also destroyed the charitable places that offe red food to the people on religious occasions.
Bahrain’s most senior religious leaders have issued a statement condemning the regime’s sectarian attacks on religious places especially those linked to Ashoura. They statement said: We condemn in strong terms what has happened and warn of its consequences. The Muharram traditions have deep roots in our homeland; no one had been able to stop, attack or undermine them”. It was signed by Sayed Jawad Al Wada’ei, Sheikh Isa Ahmad Qassim, Sayed Abdulla Al Ghuraifi, Sheikh Mohammad Saleh Al Rubai’ei and Sheikh Abdul Hussain Al Sitri.
In an outrageous development the torturer of Martyr Karim Fakhrawi, killed by torture in 2011, has had his mock “sentence” reduced to three years. The torturer has not yet been arrested and is free to move around and conduct his life normally. Nabeel Rajab, on the other hand, was arrested, abused and threatened with years of incarceration for tweeting anti-regime sentiments.
In addition, the regime has escalated its attacks on people in recent weeks. According to the Bahrain Society for Human Rights, the number of arrests in October was 145 including three women and six children. There were 187 peaceful protests, 25 of which were attacked by regime’s forces. Ten native Bahrainis were injured by police using shotguns and two sustained serious injuries with live ammunition. Moreover, 213 houses were raided. Sixty six native Bahrainis were given prison sentences for anti-regime protests totalling 329 years. Ten people who had been stripped of their nationality have been made stateless and ordered to leave the country.
The international pressure has forced Alkahlifa tribal rule to release Nabeel Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, but banned him from travel and confirmed the charges against him. Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action; Calling on the Bahraini authorities to lift the travel ban against Nabeel Rajab and drop all charges against him as they relate to him 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 including Article 216 of the Penal Code.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
5th November 2014