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Saudi king humiliated at The French Riviera; Bahrainis demand democratic transformation


Alwihda Info | Par Alwihda Info - 7 Août 2015


The embarrassing episode of the Saudi king’s trip to Spain came to a humiliating end as Salman bin Abdul Aziz cut short his “holiday” at the French Riviera beach and left to Morocco. While his troops were bombing civilians in Yemen at horrifying scale, the monarch was spending his time at the Riviera with an entourage of more than 1000 people. The beach was closed to the public who staged demonstrations and signed petition against the unwelcome guest. The people at the resort tasted for themselves how Gulf dictators behave and how they plunder people’s wealth while ordinary human beings are reduced to nothingness. While Saudi aggression Yemen has exposed one of the most outrageous moral failures of the international community the daily misery of citizens in places like the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain reflect dark episodes of living under absolute hereditary dictatorship.

In the week between 27th July and 2nd August at least 47 Bahrainis were detained by Alkhalifa clan because of their participation in anti-regime protests No arrest warrants were presented to the victims. Among the arrested were two children, one from Samaheej and the other form Al-Markh village. Eight were subsequently released. From Sitra/AlKharijiyah, Sadiq Jaffar Hassan was snatched in a dawn raid on his family home.

The regime has undertaken more serious steps to clamp down on the meagre space of free speech which has been greatly squeezed by draconian laws and cruel security forces. After cabinet meeting on Monday the regime’s information minister told reporters that his government would enforce the most controversial Press Law of 2002 on the local media. This law ensures that the media fully conforms to the policies and views of the ruling clan. He said the “law” would also be used against foreign media which criticise Alkhalifa dictators for their heinous crimes against native Bahrainis. In its latest report on ranking the US-based Freedom House ranked Bahraini at 188 out of 199countries. This is one of the shocking facts that undermine the statements by the British senior officials, such as the Foreign Secretary, who continuously lavishe  praise on the most dictatorial regime in the Middle East. The ministry of information has just warned the AlWasat newspaper for publishing a column by Hani AlFardan which criticised regime’s policies. No such criticism is tolerated by the tribal rule which has become more repressive and vicious since 2011.

In a rebuff to the Kuwaiti government, 23 international NGOs signed a statement calling for stopping its persecution of Dr Abdul Hameed Dashti, who is an elected Member of Kuwait’s Parliament. They called for cancellation of all charges relating to his freedom of speech and ignoring the suggestion that his remarks had offended the Saudi and Alkhalifa monarchies. He has repeatedly expressed support to the pro-democracy movements seeking serious changes in the political structure of the Arab regimes.

The situation in Bahrain is deteriorating rapidly as the Alkhalifa regime resists any demand for change. There have been persistent protests and demonstrations in various parts of the country in support of the prisoners especially Dr Abdul Jalil AlSingace who has been on hunger strike for the past four months. Protests were also conducted in Sitra to protest the collective punishment meted on them for their anti-regime activities.  The protests are also part of the preparations for the Independence Day on 14th August, when the British withdrew from Bahrain and other Gulf sheikhdoms in 1971. The regime has refused to recognise it as the National Day despite people’s demands over the past four decades. Bahrainis had opposed the colonial rule and fought for their independence. Two years ago Bahrains dictator blamed UK for withdrawing from the country: Who had asked you to leave? He said.

In a milestone ruling a UK court has granted a young Bahraini political asylum despite earlier refusal by the Home Office. Isa Al Aali, 19, had fled the country in 2014 as he was pursued by regimes torturers. He had been imprisoned and abused before. When he came to UK, he was detained at the airport. After spending three months in detention his application for asylum was refused. But his case was supported by three UN Special Rapporteurs. The judge was convinced that his life would be endangered if he was returned to Bahrain and ruled that Mr Al Aali was eligible for asylum. Mr AlAali commented on his successful asylum application saying: He added: "This decision is a slap in the face of the Bahraini government. I will be an ambassador to my country and people, and continue the struggle for human rights and democracy."