One law for Bahraini royals, another law for non-royal women

This video is called Government of Bahrain torturing detained in prison until death.

In Bahrain, there is one law for the royal family, and quite another law for commoners.

From eTurboNews:

Bahraini prince arrested for being drunk and disorderly on BA flight

July 29, 2012

So much for Ramadan… A drunk Arab prince was threatened with 50,000-volt Tasers by gun cops after trying to storm the flight deck of a British Airways jet.

The billionaire, 28 — who was sozzled by 10am — had jumped up from his £2,700 First Class seat to complain to the captain about “poor” service before the Boeing 777 took off from Heathrow to Bahrain.

Crew members called armed cops, who pointed stun guns at the prince after he refused to calm down.

The royal — said to be a close relative of Bahrain’s King Hamed bin Isa Al Khalifa — was hauled off Flight BA125 and taken to the West London airport’s police station. The prince had his DNA, mugshot and fingerprints taken before being released on bail.

A passenger said: “We were terrified when the armed police came on and started pointing Tasers at him.”

A BA spokesman confirmed a customer “was off-loaded from the London to Bahrain service” and appeared to be “intoxicated”. Scotland Yard said a man was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.

From Digital Journal:

The consumption of alcohol is allowed in Bahrain, but only for non-Muslims. In 2010 the Shura Council approved a ban on all Muslims drinking alcohol in the tiny Gulf state. Under Bahraini law the penalty for a Muslim drinking alcohol is a three-year jail sentence. However, Gulf royals often flout the Islamic rules they impose on their subjects, indulging in alcohol and other prohibited activities.

Now, about non-royals.

From International Business Times:

Bahrain: Woman Charged With Smoking in the Day During Ramadan

By Ludovica Iaccino

July 9, 2014 14:39 BST

A woman has been charged with insulting Ramadan as she smoked a cigarette during daylight hours while she was being questioned at Bahrain International Airport.

According to Gulf Daily News, the 32-year-old Egyptian woman, whose name was not disclosed, was stopped by the airport’s officers who wanted to search her luggage.

As she refused, the officers escorted her to the lieutenant’s office for questioning.

The woman allegedly insulted the lieutenant, knocked off his hat and then smoked a cigarette.

“I had a cigarette as I was not fasting because I was travelling,” the woman said in her statement to prosecutors.

“I needed to travel back to my home country for Ramadan and I was late to board my flight.

“I accidentally knocked off the policeman’s hat because I was waving my hands around trying to explain to him that I was late for my flight and that’s why I did not want a thorough examination of my luggage.”

As well as smoking a cigarette during daylight hours, the woman was also charged with insulting a police officer.

She was released on 500 Bahrain dinar (£775; $1326) bail by the Lower Criminal Court.

The trial was adjourned until 14 July.

Nabeel Rajab: ‘Bahrain Has Turned into Dictatorship Kingdom‘.

Britain: Home Office Poised to Deport Bahraini Teen Isa Haider Alaali Despite Torture and Imprisonment Risk.

Bahrain Strengthens Punishment for Insulting King Hamad: here.

A visiting American government official was ordered to leave Bahrain immediately after he met with a few prominent Shi’ite opposition leaders earlier this week: here.

Bahrain should immediately drop charges against two prominent opposition members for meeting with a US diplomat on July 6, 2014. Bahrain should repeal the law that bars leaders of political societies from meeting with foreign diplomats without government permission: here.

Amnesty International issued the following Urgent Action yesterday on behalf of Dr. Sa’eed Mothaher Habib Al-Samahiji, who is to serve a one-year sentence for “publicly insulting the King of Bahrain”. Dr. Sa’eed Al-Samahiji is a prisoner of conscience and jailed solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression: here.

Bahrain: Deteriorating Human Rights Situation: here.

Bahrain’s recent expulsion of a U.S. State Department official after visiting with a Shiite opposition leader was the result of pressure from Saudi Arabia, indicating relations between the U.S. and Riyadh are further deteriorating: here.

English PEN has joined a coalition of 29 NGOs to call on the newly appointed Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to reassess the Foreign Office position on Bahrain as a matter of urgency. Read the full text of the letter here.

Women’s rights activist murdered, then witness murdered in brave new Libya

Salwa Bugaighis, AFP photo

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Witness of murder of activist in Libya is dead

Saturday 28 May 2014, 15:04 (Update: 28-06-14, 15:29)

The only witness to the murder of the Libyan human rights activist Salwa Bughaighis was also murdered probably. His body, covered with torture marks, was left by unknown people at a hospital in the eastern city of Benghazi, local media say.

The witness was the bodyguard of Bughaighis. He saw how she was killed, Wednesday night at her home in Benghazi with a shot through the head. Her husband has since been missing. The guard was shot in the leg. After the murder, he was taken away by police for questioning.

The situation in Benghazi is very tense. Radical Islamist militias are fighting a power struggle with a [retired] general of the Libyan army.

CIA planned torture flight for Edward Snowden

This 2013 video is called [Irish] MP Clare Daly: World kowtowing to US over Snowden asylum.

By Robert Stevens:

CIA planned rendition of Edward Snowden

18 June 2014

According to an article published by the Register, an aircraft belonging to the United States Central Intelligence Agency was sent to Europe last June as the US government was preparing to seize whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

On June 23, 2013, Snowden arrived in Moscow on a flight from Hong Kong. From there, he had planned to fly on to Cuba and then to Latin America. He was unable to do so, as the Obama administration cancelled his passport. Earlier that month, Snowden had made public, via the Guardian and other newspapers, revelations that the US, British and other governments were carrying out programmes of mass surveillance of the world’s population.

The Register article, “CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to snatch Snowden,” states that on June 24, 2013, the day after Snowden arrived in Moscow, “an unmarked Gulfstream V business jet—tail number N977GA—took off from a quiet commercial airport 30 miles from Washington DC.”

The article notes that N977GA flew from the small Manassas Regional Airport. It continues, “Early next morning, N977GA was detected heading east over Scotland at the unusually high altitude of 45,000 feet. It had not filed a flight plan, and was flying above the level at which air traffic control reporting is mandatory.”

The article explains, “But, even if pilots have turned off automated location data feeds, ordinary enthusiasts equipped with nothing more than suitable radio receivers connected to the Internet can measure differences in the time at which an aircraft’s radar transponder signal reaches locations on the ground…. ‘The plane showed up on our system at 5:20 on 25 June,’ according to our source, a member of an Internet aircraft-tracking network run by enthusiasts in the UK. ‘We knew the reputation of this aircraft and what it had done in the past.’ ”

The Register gives some details of the history of the plane known as N977GA, which played a vital role in the illegal extraordinary rendition system run by the US government. It notes that N977GA “was originally ordered by the US Air Force for use as a general’s flying gin-palace. But then, shortly after 9/11, it lost its military livery and acquired civilian registration as N596GA. Under that designation it was employed in CIA ‘renditions’—or kidnappings. In 2011, the ‘black’ jet’s role was switched again, having been transferred from the CIA’s contractor to use by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

“With its new tail number N977GA the plane became part of the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation Systems (JPATS), operated by US Marshals. On perhaps its best-known mission, the jet flew a team of marshals into the UK on 5 October 2012 to collect radical cleric Abu Hamza after the USA won an extradition order against him.”

The information provided to the Register includes a graphic showing that that N977GA “did not make it all the way to Moscow, but set down and waited at Copenhagen Airport.”

The fact that the plane is understood to have landed in Copenhagen backs up the claim that N977GA was there in order to carry out a rendition.

It has been public knowledge since 2007 that the Danish government gave permission for a CIA rendition flight to cross Danish airspace on October 25, 2003. Last year, the Open Society Foundation released a report, “Globalising Torture—CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition,” documenting that Denmark was one of 53 nations whose government assisted the US in its “rendition” operations. The 216-page report documents what happened to the 136 known victims of these terrible human rights abuses.

The important information made public by the Register has been stonewalled by the mass media, with the sole exception of the Russian TV news broadcaster RT.

In the UK, where the source of the Register’s information comes from, none of the media, including the Guardian, have even reported this development, let alone subjected it to further investigation. The British media have refused to challenge the censorship over reporting Snowden’s revelations, put into place last year by the British government under its “D-Notice” system.

There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the information provided in the Register article, and no attempt has been made to rebut it by the US or Danish governments. The Register states, “US Department of Justice did not respond to our requests for information regarding N977GA and its purpose in heading to Europe on 24 June last year.”

Immediately following the first of Snowden’s revelations, breaking on June 5 of last year, the Obama administration rapidly moved to detain him at all costs, launching a massive international manhunt. This included the forcing down on July 2, 2013, of the jet carrying Bolivian president Evo Morales on suspicion that it was carrying Snowden to asylum in Bolivia.

Mobilising a plane previously involved in acts of rendition in order to seize Snowden would be of a piece with this act of state terrorism and air piracy. It renders null and void the official position of the US government that Snowden should return to the US and where he would face a “fair trial”.

The Register’s article was published just one day prior to a Washington Post piece providing a few more glimpses into the extraordinary operation that was put into place to “Get Snowden”. The Post explains, “For weeks, senior officials from the FBI, the CIA, the State Department and other agencies assembled nearly every day in a desperate search for a way to apprehend the former intelligence contractor who had exposed the inner workings of American espionage then fled to Hong Kong before ending up in Moscow.”

It cites an official speaking anonymously who said the meetings were “Convened by White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco.”

She told government and intelligence officials, “The best play for us is him landing in a third country.” The official told the newspaper, “We were hoping he was going to be stupid enough to get on some kind of airplane, and then have an ally say: ‘You’re in our airspace. Land.’ ”

The article notes that the “burst of activity” during an eight-week period, “including the White House meetings, a broad diplomatic scramble and the decision to force a foreign leader’s plane to land—was far more extensive than U.S. officials acknowledged at the time.”

The White House meetings were attended by the CIA’s head of counterintelligence, FBI deputy director Sean Joyce and Michael McFaul, then the US ambassador to Russia. According to Joyce, the discussions “were not just about Edward Snowden the fugitive,” but also dealt with the impact of Snowden’s revelations. The Post states, “[T]here was a constant search for ideas to recover him”. It said Joyce did not give any detail but that “There were several things that were sort of ongoing. None of them actually panned out.”

The piece refers to Obama’s comment during this period that “I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.” As the World Socialist Web Site noted at the time, Obama sought to downplay the issues in Snowden’s revelations, as he was acutely aware of the worldwide support for his courageous stand and the alarm the NSA disclosures caused in foreign capitals.

It is now evident that nothing was off the table in the manhunt for Snowden, including his possible illegal seizure using methods that have resulted in the torture and imprisonment, without any trial, of many other innocent people.

Bahrain torture, day after day

This video is called CNN – Bahrain security forces torture doctors, medics and patients.

From ANSA news agency in Italy:

Bahrain: ‘detainees tortured daily’, study says

Country has the highest percentage of inmates across Mideast

11 June, 13:43

ROME, JUNE 11 – The ordeal of prisoners in Bahrain, the country with the highest percentage of detainees across the entire Middle East, often starts with a police raid in a home or a checkpoint operation which turns into a real abduction, a report published on Wednesday said. The person taken away simply disappears – sometimes for 24 hours or for months, according to the study published by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR). Those arrested reportedly find themselves ”locked inside a nightmare”.

In the three years since the beginning of the protest movement in favour of democracy which started in February 2011, the report said, Bahrain‘s prison population has increased exponentially. BCHR reportedly documented thousands of arbitrary detentions, most of which followed forced disappearances, and a long list of human rights violations, including torture.

The list of physical and psychological abuses is long and includes brutal beatings, electrical shock, isolation, sleep deprivation, cold air and exposure to sunlight, sexual harassment, fake drownings, humiliation and no medical treatments. ”Authorities seek the censorship of news by all possible means”, the report also noted, explaining, for example, that lawyers denouncing signs of torture on the bodies of their clients are arrested.

However, testimony provided by hundreds of former inmates and the families of dead prisoners trace a dramatic and inhumane profile of what is going on inside Bahrain’s prisons.

There are four detention centres: the worse, according to those interviewed, is the Central investigative direction (CID).

The Isa Town Women Prison has for the most part a population of female detainees who are foreign workers and don’t speak Arabic nor English and in many cases ignore the reason why they are being detained.

In general, women represent 18.5% of the total prison population.

But the saddest chapter, according to the report jointly drafted by BCHR and the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, is the fate of detained minors. Bahrain’s authorities are reportedly keeping minors in unhealthy conditions together with adults, the study said.

Since January, 70 cases of detained children aged 11 or older have been documented. Some of them have been jailed on terrorism charges, the report said.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights publish today a report detailing prison conditions in Bahrain. This report brings the voices of current and former detainees directly to the UN Human Rights Council through first person accounts, and images that have been smuggled out of these prisons. The report will be officially presented today at 5:00 pm CET during the HRC26 side event in Geneva: Bahrain: Empty Promises, Crowded Prisons. A link to the side session can be found below: here.

Bahraini investigations into two recent deaths, including a May 22, 2014 incident in which security forces shot and fatally wounded a 14-year-old boy, should be swift, thorough, and impartial. Authorities should prosecute in good faith anyone found responsible for unlawful use of force in that incident as well as the incident on February 23 that left a 28 year old with injuries that led to his death on April 18. His body remains in the mortuary because his family is refusing to sign a death certificate that makes no mention of the gunshot wounds to the head that doctors told them killed him: here.

Fifteen years in Bahraini jail for blogging

This video from Bahrain says about itself:

No F1 in Bahrain

7 April 2012


85 deaths by security forces since February 2011, in which:

37 suffocation from tear gas
20 shot dead
17 tortured to death (in or out of police station)
10 by birdshot
4 ran over
2 stabbed

At least 7 reported deaths by torture in the prison since 14 Feb 2011, 3 of them after the BICI report.

Total number of people arrested since February 2011: est. 4000

Total number of current detainees est. 600

Total number of sentenced detainees 397 with sentence ranging from 6 to life. One of them on death row.

266 been arrested in 2012, which are all still detained.

2 human rights defenders still imprisoned:

Abdulhadi Alkhwaja (More than 60 days on hunger strike)
Naji Fateel

On average around 15 villages are daily tear gassed as collective punishment

Bahraini security forces continue to engage in the systematic torture of demonstrators in detention centers (formal and informal)

Latest death under torture was Mohamed Ibrahim Yaqoub, who died hours after his arrest on January 27 2012, He was beaten by 15-20 police officers, as reported by eyewitnesses, in the stomach and chest.

Children have been frequently been the target of security force reprisals

Estimated kidnaps are 250 cases

As of March 2012 1776 still remain dismissed

6 students still detained and sentenced by military court to 15 years.

From the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders:

Bahrain: Sentencing in appeal of Mr. Naji Fateel

New information

BHR 001 / 0614 / OBS 049

Sentencing / Arbitrary detention /

Judicial harassment / Impunity of acts of torture


June 5, 2014

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Bahrain.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights about the sentencing in appeal of Mr. Naji Fateel, co-founder of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) and blogger, who monitored human rights violations committed during Bahrain’s uprising.

According to the information received, on May 29, 2014, the Court of Appeal headed by Judge Isa Al-Kaabi upheld a 15-year imprisonment sentence against Mr. Naji Fateel on charges of “establishing […] a group for the purpose of […] disabling the Constitution” under Article 6 of Law No. 58 of 2006 on Terrorism[1]. The charges relate to the alleged terrorist group known as the “February 14 Youth Coalition”, which organised demonstrations and protests during Bahrain’s uprising.

No evidence against Mr. Fateel was provided during the trial. The sentence was solely based on coerced confessions made under torture and without thoroughly and impartially investigating the allegations of torture which the defender was subjected to during his detention (see background information). During a hearing, Mr. Naji Fateel removed his shirt and showed the torture marks on his back; however, it was totally ignored by the court.

Mr. Naji Fateel will appeal the decision to the Court of Cassation. His lawyer also filed a complaint before the Supreme Judicial Council arguing that the trial proceedings fell short of the minimum standards of fair trial. Mr. Naji Fateel is currently detained [in] the Central Prison “Jaw” where reports continue to emerge of overcrowded cells and dire conditions.

The Observatory recalls that other BYSHR members are also subjected to ongoing judicial harassment, including Mr. Mohammed Al-Maskati, BYSHR President[2].

The Observatory condems the sentencing and arbitrary detention of Mr. Naji Fateel, which merely aim at curtailing his human rights activities, and calls upon the Bahraini authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally. The Observatory also notes that several human rights defenders remain in arbitrary detention or are subject to judicial harassment in the country.

Background information[3]:

On May 2, 2013, Mr. Naji Fateel was arrested at dawn without warrant by security men in civilian clothes at his home in the village of Bani-Jamra and held incommunicado for three days, during which time it is reported that he was severely tortured. He was allegedly subjected to severe torture at the Criminal Investigation Directorate. Reports allege that he was subjected to electrical shocks to his genitals, left foot and back in addition to simulated drowning, severe beatings, threats to publish his wife’s photographs (taken from a camera confiscated by the security forces when his house was raided), insults, hanging by his hands from the ceiling, sexual harassment and threats of rape, standing for hours, and sleep deprivation. He was taken to the Ministry of Interior hospital twice for treatment due to the torture. Mr. Naji Fateel was detained in Dry Dock Detention Centre.

On May 22, 2013, Mr. Naji Fateel was sentenced by the Manama Criminal Court to six months of imprisonment on charges of “attending illegal gatherings” in relation to a gathering organised on January 24, 2012 in Bani-Jamra in which he did not participate. He was charged in another case with the establishment of a group for the purpose of disabling the Constitution under Article 6 of the controversial Terrorism Act.

On September 29, 2013, Mr. Naji Fateel was sentenced by the Fourth Criminal Court to 15 years in prison for “the establishment of a group for the purpose of disabling the constitution” under Article 6 of the Terrorism Act. Mr. Naji Fateel was then moved to the Central Prison “Jaw”.

On November 18, 2013, when the appeal trial against Mr. Naji Fateel started, the authorities of Bahrain denied entry to a lawyer who was mandated by a coalition of NGOs, including the Observatory, to observe the appeal trial.

In February 2014, one of the lawyers in the case said that 90% of their questions to the prosecution witnesses were rejected by the judge, and a policeman forcefully silenced a lawyer during his pleadings. Another lawyer was thrown out of the court room although he represented five of the defendants in the case.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Bahrain urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Naji Fateel, all BYSHR members as well as all human rights defenders in Bahrain;

ii. Release Mr. Naji Fateel immediately and unconditionally as his detention is arbitrary since it only aims at sanctioning his human rights activities;

iii. Order an immediate, thorough, transparent investigation into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment against Mr. Naji Fateel, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and apply them the sanctions provided by the law;

iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment – including at the judicial level – against Messrs. Naji Fateel, all BYSHR members as well as all human rights defenders in Bahrain;

v. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular its Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, Article 11, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to the lawful exercise of his or her occupation or profession”, Article 12(1) that provides “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”, as well as Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Bahrain.


· Cheikh Hamad bin Issa AL KHALIFA, King of Bahrain, Fax: +973 176 64 587

· Cheikh Khaled Bin Ahmad AL KHALIFA, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tel: +973 172 27 555; fax: +973 172 12 6032

· Cheikh Khalid bin Ali AL KHALIFA, Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, Tel: +973 175 31 333; fax: +973 175 31 284

· Permanent Mission of Bahrain to the United Nations in Geneva, 1 chemin Jacques-Attenville, 1218 Grand-Saconnex, CP 39, 1292 Chambésy, Switzerland. Fax: + 41 22 758 96 50. Email:


Paris-Geneva, June 5, 2014

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

· E-mail:

· Tel and fax FIDH: + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT: + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

[1] Article 6 provides that “life imprisonment shall be the penalty for everyone who forms, establishes, organizes or operates, contrary to the provisions of the law, a society, association, organization, group, gang or a branch of any of the above or undertakes the leadership or command thereof for the purpose of calling for obstructing the enforcement of the provisions of the Construction or the laws or preventing any of the government organizations or public authorities from carrying out their activities or infringes upon the citizen’s personal freedom or other freedoms or public rights secured by the Constitution, the law or undermines national unity if terrorism is one of the methods used in the realization or implementation of the purposes called for by the society, association, organization, group or gang or any of their branches”.

[2] See Observatory Urgent Appeal BHR 003 / 0613 / OBS 052.1, issued on October 31, 2013.

[3] See Joint Press Releases, June 21 and November 15, 2013.

Bahrain: 15 Year-Old Child Detained and Denied Education: here.

There are few authoritarian regimes that enjoy as much political support from the UK as the one in Bahrain. Bahraini opposition groups are threatening to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections unless democracy can be guaranteed, but the UK has only increased its public support for the brutal and oppressive dictatorship: here.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses serious concern in regards to the practice by the Public Prosecution in Bahrain in bringing new charges against detainees to avoid releasing them. In the most recent case, Mansoor AlJamri, 19 years old, had a new case brought against him yesterday, and according to information relayed to the BCHR by the family, the Public Prosecution ordered that he be detained for 60 days pending investigation under the internationally criticized Terrorism Law: here.

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British student tortured, jailed in United Arab Emirates

This video from the USA says about itself:

Report: UAE Ruler’s Half Brother in Torture Tape

24 apr. 2009

The United Arab Emirates says a member of its ruling family is the man seen in videotapes torturing another man. The acknowledgement comes at a time when Congress is reviewing a nuclear power deal with the UAE.

From daily the Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday 3rd june 2014

A TWENTY-YEAR-OLD British student has been jailed for nine years in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after a “confession” under torture, legal charity Reprieve revealed yesterday.

Ahmad Zeidan, from Berkshire, was arrested by Sharjah police in December 2013 and held incommunicado for several days, during which time he was hooded, beaten, and threatened with rape, according to Reprieve.

Mr Zeidan was also forced to sign documents in Arabic — a language he cannot read — which were subsequently used against him during his trial on jumped-up drugs charges.

A dossier submitted last week to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture by Reprieve on behalf of 19 prisoners details a pattern of torture in UAE prisons that includes hooding, beatings, threats of rape, and long periods of solitary confinement.

Reprieve investigator Kate Higham said: “This sentence, based on Ahmad’s ‘confession’ under torture, is the result of a shockingly flawed trial process. Sadly, Ahmad’s case is just one of many that point to the systematic use of police torture in the UAE and its acceptance by the authorities.”The UAE must urgently reconsider Ahmad’s case, while the British government must do all it can to push for his release.”

Update 19 June 20114: here.

Bahrain dictatorship jails children

This video says about itself:

HRW: ‘Bahrain children beaten & tortured‘ for taking part in protests

Human Rights Watch claims there is evidence that Bahraini security forces routinely detain and abuse children suspected of participating in anti-government protests.

From the Oslo Times in Norway:

Bahrain arrests and detains children on charges of “illegal gathering”

Posted: 3:44 PM, May 28, 2014 by Human Rights Desk, The Oslo Times International Network

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses strong concern over the ongoing targeting of minors in Bahrain.

On 20 May 2014, Jehad Nabeel Al-Sameea, 11, was arrested from his neighbourhood in Sanabis by security forces when they stormed the area to attack a peaceful protest.

Al-Sameea was interrogated and released later that day, but was requested to return two days later. On the morning of 22 May 2014, he appeared, accompanied by his father, at the police station where he was taken to the juvenile prosecution which ordered his detention and then transferred him to the juvenile court judge. On the same day, juvenile court judge Ebrahim Al-Jafn issued an order of detention for seven days against Al-Sameea on charges of “physical assault of a policeman, damage to two police cars, illegal gathering, rioting, and possession of Molotov cocktails.” Al-Sameea’s lawyer stated that he believed these charges unreasonable given the small size and limited physical power of the child.

According to his lawyer, Al-Sameea was so distressed and overwrought that he was unable to speak through his tears when he was presented to the court.

Al-Sameea previously spent over a month in juvenile detention center, from December 2013 to January 2014, which caused him to miss a significant amount of his school classes and his term exams. With this repeated detention, his progress at school will be severely and negatively impacted. He is currently being held at the juvenile detention center at Isa Town.

On 20 May 2014, the juvenile court judge ordered a week long detention for two brothers, Mohamed Hussain, 11, and Ali Hussain, 13, on charges of “illegal gathering” after arresting them from their neighbourhood in Nuwidrat. Minors below the age of 15 are not criminally responsible in the eyes of Bahraini law; however, the authorities often arrest them from protests and detain them for several weeks. BCHR has documented more than 70 cases of arrests of children since January 2014. While some of the children have been released, many more remain in detention.

The detention and ill-treatment of a child without an immediate and just cause, in the absence of a conviction of a crime, against his mental and physical well-being, and interest as a student violates several articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states in Article 3: “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” Article 37 continues, stating: “State Parties shall ensure that: No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”

BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, the European Union and all close allies and international institutions to put pressure on Bahraini authorities to:

  • Immediately release Jihad Al-Sameea, Mohamed Hussain, Ali Hussain and all detained children in the prisons of Bahrain, and provide appropriate psychological rehabilitation following their release;
  • End the culture of impunity which allows for daily violations against children;
  • Hold accountable all perpetrators of human rights violations against children in Bahrain;
  • As a signatory, respect, uphold and implement the conditions of international treaties and conventions, including the International Convention for the Rights of the Child.

Human Rights Watch criticised “failures” in Bahrain‘s justice system Thursday, saying it severely punishes pro-reform protesters while offering impunity to abusive security personnel: here.

Bahrain’s criminal justice system fails to deliver basic accountability and impartial justice, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today: here.

Q&A: Investigating Bahrain’s Mockery of Justice: here.

The Struggle for Information: Revelations on Mercenaries, Sectarian Agitation, and Demographic Engineering in Bahrain: here.

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British government persecutes Bahraini pro-democracy activists

This video says about itself:

Bahraini women and children are being raped and tortured

27 September 2011

While UK PM David Cameron is supplying the Bahraini regime with arms to stop the protests and thus adding to these women’s misery.

From the Middle East Monitor:

Bahraini activists speak out about ‘systematic persecution’ by British government

Alastair Sloan

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 09:28

Human rights groups have claimed Bahraini pro-democracy activists in London are being “systematically persecuted” by the British government, with specific accusations made against Whitehall departments, the Metropolitan Police and a high profile member of the House of Lords.

The accusations come as King Hamad of Bahrain, whose family have ruled the tiny Gulf state for over two hundred years, visits the UK. His presence has been protested by human rights groups and Bahrain activists.

The claims have also been backed up by senior officials from Human Rights Watch as well as several Middle East NGOs.

“We believe we are being systematically targeted,” says Dr Saeed Shehabi, a leading member of the Bahrain Freedom Movement living in London. Shehabi has been sentenced in absentia to several life imprisonment terms in Bahrain, and was convicted alongside thirteen other opposition leaders who are currently serving their sentences in Bahrain. “We believe there is a programme of systematic persecution that the British government is carrying out for the Bahrainis against our community.”

“I would give anything to return to a free democratic Bahrain,” said Ali Mushaima, another prominent activist whose father has been imprisoned in Bahrain, “but the British government have become an obstacle.”

Both men claim that Bahraini exiles have been harrassed by Metropolitan Police officers, ignored by Foreign Office officials, detained without explanation by UK Border Authority officials and defamed by a British member of the House of Lords, who recently visited Bahrain with a delegation of Labour MPs and is known to be close with the al-Khalifa family.

“It has been almost impossible to secure direct meetings with the any Ministers at the Foreign Office,” says Shehabi, whose Bahraini citizenship was revoked along with thirty one others in 2012, a move condemned by human rights organisation.

“The message we get is that meeting with us would be the red line in the British relationship with the Bahraini regime,” he adds.

The UK government has historically enjoyed a close relationship with Bahrain, which gained independence from the British in 1971. It is a key trade as well as military partner, with a heavy British military presence based in Manama, the capital of the tiny Gulf state.

Despite dozens of meeting requests, pro-democracy activists have only managed to secure one meeting with a Foreign Office Minister and that the Foreign Office was taking special measures to avoid publically meeting with Bahraini exiles.

The regime’s repression of the pro-democracy movement has been a controversial topic since the Pearl Roundabout uprising of February 2011 — with over a hundred deaths attributed to an ongoing government crackdown, amid frequent admonishments from human rights groups.

“We get the sense that the British government are very hostile towards us,” says another activist, Ali Mushaima, who staged a protest on top of the Bahraini embassy in 2012.

“My father is serving a life sentence for supporting the peaceful revolution,” Mushaim adds, “and is being denied treatment by prison guards for a cancer condition.”

“The British have offered no humanitarian assistant to the thousands of political prisoners in Bahrain. Instead, they accuse them of being terrorists” says Mushaimi.

The Liberal peer Lord Avebury has told Memo that the London Metropolitan Police are also accused of stopping and searching Bahraini exiles routinely, under spurious “terrorism-related offences.

“The Independent police Complaints Commission has taken over a complaint I made about the unlawful use of stop and search powers against Bahraini exiles,” said Lord Avebury. “On March 25th, the High Court granted permission for a substantive hearing on this and similar complaints by cases against the Metropolitan Police.” Lord Avebury also told Memo that the police had refused to hand over the results of their own investigation by the IPCC.

Two Bahraini exiles had their London home raided by the Metropolitan police last week at around 6am on Tuesday morning. The men were both released without charge. A Twitter account understood to be operated by the Bahraini regime announced the men had been arrested, two hours before the arrest took place.

“How did they know?” said one activist. “This is a concerted effort to smear pro-democracy activists as violent terrorists, a smear in which the British government is colluding.”

Opposition activists have also called on the government to stop threatening Bahraini asylum seekers with deportation.

Husain Parweez and Mohammed Sudaif, prominent activists who fled Bahrain in February, were detained on arrival in February by UKBA officials and threatened with “fast-track” deportation, despite showing documents which proved they would face long politically-motivated prison sentences if they returned.

Bahrain Watch and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, based in London, had to launch an emergency legal challenge in order to prevent the men’s deportation.

Dan Carey of Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors, who represented both activists said:

“These two Bahraini activists came to the UK fleeing torture and flagrantly unfair criminal trials. In allocating them to the Detained Fast Track process, the Home Office was not only falsely imprisoning them, it was placing them at real risk of a prejudiced asylum claim and a return to torture and an unfair trial.

“On no sensible view were their cases straightforward ones suitable for this process. I am ashamed that this is how the UK welcomes brave Bahraini pro-democracy activists. This policy must change.”

A third Bahraini, Isa al-Aaali, iscurrently in an immigration removal centre ready for deportation, has been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in Bahrain and will face high risk of torture if returned, activists claim. He has one of a hundred detainees at Harmondsworth immigration detention centre currently on hunger strike protesting poor conditions and unfair treatment.

Pro-democracy activists have also slammed Lord Gulam Noon, the Labour peer implicated in the cash-for-honours scandal in 2006 and nicknamed “The Curry King” on account of his food business empire. He admits to being personal friends with the al-Khalifa family and is a frequent guest speaker at the Bahraini-British Business Forum.

In an article entitled “Traitors Not Refugees,” published in an English-language newspaper in Bahrain, Lord Noon claimed that Bahraini pro-democracy activists living in London “are not refugees or asylum seekers, but are connected with the external agencies that are against the Kingdom.”

Noon was leading a delegation of MPs from the UK Parliament to Bahrain, a country where he also told reporters that he planned to retire. He added “I consider myself half Bahraini.”

“In the UK, we are fully aware of the situation where our judicial system is allowing citizenship too easily,” he went on. “We are trying to review the possibilities of a change in the legal system, as we see that many are abusing this privilege,” said Lord Noon, adding that this would take time. Lord Noon holds no formal brief for immigration policy.

Lord Noon has also been criticised by activists for making a speech in the House of Lords in March, in which he said the Bahrain government had made good progress on promised reforms after the revolution began in February 2011.

The speech provoked a letter of complaint from the human rights group Bahrain Insitute for Rights and Democracy.

Sayed Alwadaei, a Bahraini working at the NGO and living in London, told Memo:

“I encourage Lord Noon to respect his title as Lord and admit his friends’ crimes, which were documented by Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) orderd by Bahrain’s government.”

“It is an insult to the exiled Bahrainis in the UK, who escaped from the torture in Bahrain,” Alwadaei added.

Lord Noon was approached for comment but did not respond.

The government of Bahrain frequently claims a promised package of human rights reforms (known as BICI) are being gradually implemented – but human rights activists contest this.

According to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, 95 people have been killed by security forces since the start of unrest.

The country still sees weekly clashes between security forces and protesters, and the question of torture, as documented in the government inquiry into the Pearl Roundabout protests, has yet to be adequately addressed according to Human Rights Watch. In fact, according to the human rights watchdog Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, none of the 176 reforms the monarch promised to make after the bloody uprising of 2011 have been fully implemented.

Members of the Foreign Office have also been accused of ignoring human rights concerns in Bahrain. The country was not include in a list of “countries of concern” by the FCO Human Rights Report 2013.

Nick McGeehan of HRW, told Memo “It has appeared for some time that this British government will go to some lengths to cosy up to their allies in Bahrain.”

“Bahrain has a hard-earned and well-deserved reputation for torture, which is the reason British courts have granted asylum to so many of its opponents and critics.

“The UK should not be doing the bidding of deeply repressive Gulf autocrats.”

“It seems that Cameron rather quickly forgot his promise,” said Sarah Leah Witson, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, referring to a speech he gave at the United Nations in September 2011, in the wake of the Arab Spring.

“Cameron promised “stand up against regimes that persecute their people” and pledged “we are on your side,” to those in the Arab world who “want greater democracy greater freedom, greater civil rights.”

“Now, the UK is back to business as usual, as if the uprising in Bahrain never happened at all.”

Lord Avebury, commenting ahead of next week’s meeting attended by Prince Andrew and King Hamad of Bahrain, also commented “Its entirely wrong that members of the royal family should be embroiled with a regime that is proved to torture dissidents, arbitrarily sentence human rights campaigners to life imprisonment, and imprisons bloggers who criticise the al-Khalfa rulers.”

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