Bahrain repression continues

Bahrain: Where is Ali Abdulemam? See here.

This video is called Formula 1 should be postponed because violations of human rights in Bahrain.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is aware of the prospect of this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix becoming a PR catastrophe: here.

US-Bahrain arms deal: here.

Torture has been a systemic problem in Bahrain since at least 1975. Since that time, however, not one state security employee or government official has ever been convicted of torture. On the other hand, it took the Lower National Safety Court just two months to convict nine civilians of “torturing” a policeman: here.

5 thoughts on “Bahrain repression continues

  1. Bahrain security forces clash with youths: witnesses

    (AFP) – 4 hours ago

    DUBAI — Bahraini security forces clashed with youths on Sunday after the funeral of a protester who allegedly died after inhaling tear gas fired by riot police, witnesses said.

    The clashes erupted in the Shiite village of Al-Muqsha, north of the capital Manama, following the funeral of Jaafer Jassem Ridha, 41.

    The main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq said Ridha died after inhaling tear gas fired at a recent demonstration that was violently dispersed by riot police.

    Al-Wefaq also said on Sunday that another Bahraini, 27-year-old Sabri Mahfud, had died after inhaling tear gas, without elaborating on the circumstances or date of the incident.

    The interior ministry said on Twitter that a group of people “provoked acts of violence and barricaded the streets” after Ridha’s burial, adding that necessary “lawful measures” were taken to contain the situation, without saying what these were.

    The ministry also announced on Sunday the opening of a probe into claims that a policeman had thrown a petrol bomb, as a video posted online appeared to show.

    The inquiry could lead to disciplinary measures against the suspect, a senior ministry official said in a statement received by AFP.

    Bahrain’s riot police often fire tear gas against demonstrators in the tiny Gulf kingdom, where the Shiite-led opposition is calling for constitutional changes that would reduce the power of the ruling minority Sunni dynasty.

    Tensions have remained high since a deadly crackdown last year after a month of Manama street protests.

    According to an independent probe, 35 people were killed in last year’s unrest, including five security personnel and five detainees tortured to death while in custody.

    Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.


  2. Tanker blaze put out

    Posted on » Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    MANAMA: A fire that has been raging aboard a chemical tanker was put out yesterday evening and the vessel moved to a safe place away from the coasts of Qatar and Bahrain, Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife director-general Dr Adel Al Zayani quoted Qatari authorities as saying. The blaze, following an explosion on Liberian-registered Stolt Valor off the coast of Saudi Arabia, killed one Filipino crew member and forced the rescue of 24 others.

    Earlier the country was put on red alert as the stricken ship drifted towards Bahrain. The vessel has developed no leak, Dr Al Zayani said, adding that the authorities will now assess the condition of the vessel and its cargo. It is planned to move the remaining cargo and fuel out of the vessel, he said. “The danger is not as much from the chemicals on board but the 18 tonnes of lube and 434 tonnes of diesel oil that it is carrying in its tanks,” he said.


  3. U.N. Rights Body Says Bahrain Tear Gas May Have Killed 30

    The U.N .rights office on Tuesday criticized Bahraini forces for their “disproportionate use of force” as they sought to quell protests, saying their use of tear gas may have led to over 30 deaths.

    “We have been receiving worrying reports of the disproportionate use of force by Bahraini security forces, including the excessive use of teargas, the use of birdshot pellets and rubber bullets,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    “The use of tear gas in particular has reportedly resulted in a number of deaths of protestors and bystanders, and that number has reportedly risen in recent months,” he said.

    Colville said the office was unable to confirm figures but added that non-government organization sources had reported “more than 30 over the course of the past year” as having died due to tear gas-linked complications.

    “What’s disturbing is the sharp increase in the last two to three months,” he said, noting that NGOs were reporting up to two cases every month last year, but that in January six fatalities were recorded and in February seven.

    “Over the last few days, another three,” said Colville, pointing out however that there was some dispute about their causes of death.

    “We call on the government of Bahrain to investigate the alleged use of such excessive force,” said the spokesman.

    Tensions have remained high in Bahrain since a deadly crackdown last year after a month of Manama street protests.

    According to an independent probe, 35 people were killed in unrest between mid-February and mid-March 2011.
    SourceAgence France Presse


  4. UN rights office concern at Bahrain protest deaths

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    03-20) 03:19 PDT GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) —

    The U.N.’s human rights office has expressed concern about the number of protesters in Bahrain who have died after security forces used tear gas against demonstrators.

    A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says the Geneva-based office has received “worrying reports of the disproportionate use of force by Bahraini security forces.”

    Rupert Colville told reporters Tuesday that human rights groups claim 30 people have died because of tear gas since anti-government protests began in Feb 2011.

    Colville says the figures have been rising in recent months. He says the government disputes the figures.

    The U.N. human rights office is sending an expert team to Bahrain at the end of the month for talks with the government.


  5. U.N.: Bahrain must probe reported protester deaths

    Author: By the CNN Wire Staff

    Published On: Mar 20 2012 03:56:45 AM EDT Updated On: Mar 20 2012 10:22:47 AM EDT

    (CNN) –

    The United Nations called on Bahrain on Tuesday to investigate reports of protesters and bystanders killed by security forces.

    The announcement came as Bahrain’s king announced progress in making reforms, and an opposition member said new protests are scheduled for Friday.

    “We have been receiving worrying reports of the disproportionate use of force by Bahraini security forces, including the excessive use of tear gas, the use of bird shot pellets and rubber bullets,” said Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

    “The use of tear gas in particular has reportedly resulted in a number of deaths of protestors and bystanders — and that number has reportedly risen in recent months,” he said. “Reliable sources indicate that the civilians who died from tear gas suffered complications from gas inhalation, and that security forces have been firing metal tear gas canisters from grenade launchers into crowds.”

    The statement also expressed concern about “the health of human rights defenders who are on hunger strike in protest against their imprisonment for participating in last year’s mass demonstrations.”

    It came shortly after King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa said he welcomes changes made in the country since a critical report was released in November about his nation’s crackdown on protesters.

    “The government carefully studied the recommendations and received leading international legal, policing, media and other experts, to advise decision-makers on the most appropriate way for Bahrain to implement the structural and legislative reforms necessary,” Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority said. “The king welcomed the ‘significant and broad progress’ that has been made.”

    Bahrain’s Independent Commission of Inquiry issued the report that was highly critical of the authorities’ reaction to the protests, which began in February 2011, spurred by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

    The demonstrations failed to gain the traction of other Arab Spring uprisings following a crackdown by the authorities in the island state, backed by troops from nearby Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

    The independent commission, set up by the king, concluded that the police had used excessive force and torture in their response to the protests in Sunni-ruled, Shiite-majority country.

    Abuse of detainees in the crackdown included beatings with metal pipes and batons, and threats of rape and electrocution, according to Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, the commission chairman.

    The mistreatment included physical and psychological torture, intended to extract information or to punish those held by security forces, he said.

    The report recommended reforms to the country’s law and better training of its security forces, as well as other measures.

    On Tuesday, the national commission responsible for following up on those recommendations handed its final report to the king.

    “The government has sought to put in place long lasting, internationally recognized systems to ensure that the implementation complies not just with the letter of the recommendations, but also with the spirit,” a report on state-run Bahrain News Agency said. “The implementation of the recommendations contributes to Bahrain’s goal of being an inclusive, fair and transparent state, committed to the practical realization of the universal application of human rights for all of its citizens and residents.”

    The report said the government has reformed police and security operations to ensure human rights are upheld. It also lists judicial reforms and new efforts to teach Bahrainis “the values of tolerance, acceptance and dialogue in a way that will contribute to the lasting stability of Bahrain.”

    Despite the statements, serious problems remain, said Jasim Husain, a member of the opposition Wefaq Party and former lawmaker.

    “There is some improvement here and there, it’s true. Official media has been less hostile. But still it’s not over. There’s no equal opportunity in the media, one side is represented. They ignore Shia cultural activities in the country and recognize Sunni culture only,” he said.

    On Friday, the opposition plans rallies at 10 locations, Husain said. The theme is that “people’s dignity must be respected,” and that Bahrain must be democratic, he said.

    Some people who lost their jobs for participating in protests remain without work, and high-profile detainees have not been released, Husain said.

    Many people are looking to the leaders and the opposition to press for change through peaceful means “and we should not miss this opportunity,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury of delaying farther.”

    Demonstrators and Bahraini authorities have continued to clash in recent months, with the opposition accusing the government of using heavy handed tactics.

    Copyright 2012 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved.


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