Calls to stop arming Saudis have intensified in recent days as their aggression on Yemen approaches its first anniversary. Yesterday Amnesty International (AI) called on Washington and London to halt arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia which is leading military coalition in an aggressive war on Yemen. In a statement released one year into the Saudi-led aggression AI said: �Saudi Arabia�s international partners have added fuel to the fire, flooding the region with arms despite the mounting evidence that such weapons facilitated appalling crimes and the clear risk that new supplies could be used for serious violations� said James Lynch, AI�s regional deputy director. The group said it had �documented since the beginning of the conflict at least 32 air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition �that appear to have violated international humanitarian law�. The strikes killed almost 361 civilians including at least 127 children. On 25th February the European Parliament called for an EU-wide arms embargo against Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile concern is rising for the safety of at least three youths from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia after reports circulated of their imminent execution including Ali Al Nimr. UK�s Foreign Minister said last year after his Saudi visit the he would not be executed. The situation in Eastern Province is tense especially after the arrest this week of most prominent senior cleric, Sheikh Hussain Al Radhi after calling fro reforms.
On 18th March The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, called on the Government of Bahrain to immediately release prominent Bahraini women�s rights and social media activist Zainab Al-Khawaja, and urged them to drop all charges for having exercised her right to free expression. �Ms. Zainab is detained purely for her critical views against government authorities,� he said. �Such criticism is not only fully legitimate according to Bahrain�s obligations under human rights law. �The ongoing harassment and criminalization of activists in Bahrain should stop,� the human rights expert stressed. �I urge the authorities to cease such persecution and immediately drop all the charges against Zainab Al-Khawaja.� Furthermore, Index on Censorship called for the immediate release of Zainab Al-Khawaja, who was arrested on Monday 14 March 2016 with her one-year-old son Abdulhadi. �Zainab Al-Khawaja is facing retaliation for exercising her right to freedom of expression,� said Index�s senior advocacy officer Melody Patry. �Bahraini authorities have been harassing her and her family for years and this arrest � based on absurd charges � further shows Bahrain�s determination to silence its critics.�
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has demanded the Bahrain regime to stop deporting citizens after stripping them of their citizenship, saying the illegal expulsions are causing numerous sufferings. "These unlawful deportations are ripping families apart and causing untold suffering," HRW's deputy Middle East director, Joe Stork, said on Sunday 20th March. "Bahrain should stop the deportations immediately and restore citizenship to those who have been left stateless, especially when this was done without justification or because they criticized their government," he added.
In another development, 153 medical professionals, including the Irish Nursing and Midwives Organisation and the Irish Institute for Trauma and Orthopaedic surgery have called for Dr 'Ali al-'Ekri's immediate release. Dr 'Ali al-'Ekri trained side by side with Irish doctors and now medical professionals from across Ireland and beyond stand in solidarity with him on the fifth anniversary of his arrest. Dr 'Ali al-'Ekri was arrested on 17 March while operating on a child in Salmaniya Medical Complex in Manama. He had treated injured peaceful protesters and vocally denounced the excessive force used by the armed forces against peaceful protesters during the February - March 2011 protests.
In the week 14-20th March the Bahrain Human Rights Centre (BHRC) documented at least 22 arrests including one child and one woman. About one third of these were carried out in illegal house raids. It also documented 44 protests in 20 villages. At least five of them were attacked by regime�s mercenaries using chemical and tear gases as well as shotguns on peaceful protesters. On 20th March Hajji Hassan Jaffar was detained while visiting his detained sons at the notorious Jaw Prison.