Bahrain royal oppression continues

This video says about itself:

Dr. Fatima Hajji, a Bahraini doctor and human rights defender reflects on her experience since February 14th. Interviewed by Front Line Defenders during a field visit to Bahrain in November 2011.

Bahrain is clearly “not serious” about implementing human rights reforms, Amnesty International said today [24 April 2013] after the Gulf kingdom cancelled a planned visit by the United Nations’ torture expert for a second time: here.

Bahrain Blocks UN Human Rights Investigator: here. And here. And here.

9 thoughts on “Bahrain royal oppression continues

  1. Rights groups urge Blatter to block AFC candidate

    By Talek Harris (AFP) – 14 hours ago

    SINGAPORE — Two human rights groups Friday urged FIFA president Sepp Blatter to block Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa from becoming Asia’s new football boss over alleged abuses in his home country.

    In a joint letter, the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights urged Blatter to “distance all violators of human rights from reaching prestigious sport positions”.

    The call comes less than a week before Sheikh Salman, considered the leading candidate, stands in the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) presidential poll, where the body will elect a successor to the tarnished Mohamed bin Hammam.

    Sheikh Salman has been under growing pressure over alleged links to the persecution of players in Bahrain in 2011, during the Gulf kingdom’s bloody put-down of widespread pro-democracy protests. He denies any involvement.

    “We are writing this letter to urge you to reconsider nominating Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa for the position of the AFC chairman (sic) and the position of membership of the executive office of FIFA in the next due election on 2 May, 2013,” the letter said.

    “We hope that you bear in mind the sublime principles of sport and fair play that respect basic human rights and to distance all violators of human rights from reaching prestigious sport positions in order to embellish their notorious image.”

    Blatter has no constitutional power to annul Sheikh Salman’s candidacy, but he wields considerable clout and is expected to be in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, for next week’s vote and AFC congress.

    Sheikh Salman, the head of Bahrain’s football association who is also bidding for a seat on FIFA’s executive committee, was not available for comment. He has repeatedly denied any link to the detention and alleged torture of players.

    In the letter the rights groups, quoting a report by the state news agency, said Sheikh Salman ordered Bahrain football association staff to cooperate with a purge of athletes and officials found to have taken part in the protests.

    They said several clubs were punished for being unable to field teams during the country’s security crisis, and repeated claims that arrested players and officials were tortured and abused in prison.

    The letter also listed 32 players and officials affected by the crackdown.

    “We ask you to put an end to the practice of using the sport of football to polish a poor background in human rights, and who use the sport as a tool for human rights violations and abuse,” the letter said.

    “Please withdraw the nomination of Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa to the position of chairman of the AFC.”

    However, FIFA said it had not received a copy of the letter, which was addressed to Blatter and posted on the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights’ website.

    Sheikh Salman, one of four men bidding to run the Asian football body, has also denied allegations of vote-buying on his behalf by the Kuwait-based Olympic Council of Asia.

    Despite the claims against him, he told World Football Insider that he was “very confident” of winning the election. Thailand’s Worawi Makudi, Yousef Al Serkal of UAE and Saudi Arabia’s Hafez Ibrahim Al Medlej are his rivals.

    “The target is to reach the 31, two-thirds of the (46) votes. I think it’s achievable. This is how confident I am,” he told the website.

    The AFC is trying to move on from bin Hammam, after the Qatari was accused of bribery during FIFA’s 2011 presidential poll, as well as financial wrongdoing, and was barred from football activities. He stepped down last year.

    Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved


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