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Saudi crimes haunt Obama as HR chief criticises Alkhalifa abuses


Alwihda Info | Par Bahrain Freedom Movement - 16 Septembre 2016


Two recent developments threaten to cause further strain on the Saudi-US relations. The first is a bill allowing families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. It passed the House and Senate by a voice vote, and would give families of 9/11 victims the ability to sue Saudi Arabia for involvement in the 9/11 terrorist events in 2001, The House passed the bill last Friday just before the 15th anniversary of the attacks. The Senate had approved the measure in May. Prior to its passage, the White House had indicated that the president would veto the legislation. The second is a joint resolution to block arms deal with the Saudis. Senators from both sides of the aisle introduced the joint resolution on 8th September, hoping to block a large U.S. arms deal with Saudi Arabia. S.J.Res 39 was introduced by Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Explaining their motivation, all four cited the atrocities committed by the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Murphy warned in a statement that the �war in Yemen, funded by the U.S., has become a disaster that is making our country less safe every day.� �Thousands of civilians are being killed, and terrorist groups inside the country, like al Qaeda and ISIS, are getting stronger,� he added. �Until the Saudis� conduct changes, the U.S. should put a pause on further arms sales.� The arms deal they are hoping to block includes $1.15 billion worth of tanks and other military equipment. It was announced by the Pentagon in August.

In his opening speech of the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council, Zeid bin Ra�ad, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights lambasted Alkhalifa regime for its dismal record of human rights. He said: �I am concerned by harassment and arrests of human rights defenders and political activists, and legislation which enables revocation of citizenship without due process.� He pointed out the bleak record of the Bahraini regime in its treatment of native citizens adding: �The past decade has demonstrated repeatedly and with punishing clarity exactly how disastrous the outcomes can be when a Government attempts to smash the voices of its people, instead of serving them.� He ended advising the regime to change its policies: �The authorities of Bahrain would be well advised to comply with the recommendations of the human rights mechanisms and UPR, and engage more productively with my Office, as well as with this Council�s Special Procedures.� Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said : �Bahrain should take the warnings of the High Commissioner seriously and end the repressive campaign against its people. Its allies, namely the UK and US, must also voice support for the High Commissioner�s comments at a time when Bahrain has used every opportunity to insult him and his office.�

The Alkhalifa kangaroo courts have confirmed a one year prison sentence on Dr Saeed Al Samahiji on charges including �insulting a brotherly state� and �calling for illegal demonstrations�.� Amnesty International has urged people to; call on the authorities to quash Dr Sa�eed al-Samahiji�s conviction and release him immediately and unconditionally as he is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression; to call� on them to ensure that he is protected from any torture or other ill-treatment and that he receives any medical attention he may require; and to urge them to repeal laws that criminalize the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression, in line with Bahrain�s obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In the week 5-11th September at least ten native Bahrainis were detained by the Alkhalifa occupiers including one child. There were at least 47 marches in 25 towns and villages, some of which were mercilessly attacked. Four native Bahrainis were sentenced in the period for a total of 52 years for expressing their opinion. Two native Bahrainis have been given life imprisonment for opposing the hereditary dictatorship. Hussain Ali Makki and Mohammad Ali Hubail from Sitra were sentenced after a brief appearance at the tribal court.

A criminal complaint by a Bahraini victim of torture has been made to the Garda� (police in Ireland who commenced an investigation headed by Detective Inspector Paul Costello.� A separate complaint was rejected by The Dublin District Court yesterday seeking a summons for prosecution of Bahraini Attorney General for his role in the torture of Mr Jaffar Al Hasabi. He had been subjected to beatings, electric shocks and other forms of abuse while in detention in Bahrain in 2010.� More cases against Alkhalifa torturers are expected in several countries as the regime has failed to convict a single torturer.