Bahrain oppression continues

Nine-Year-Old Boy Shot in Eye by Bahraini Police

From the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:

11 Aug, 2015

Nine-Year-Old Boy Shot in Eye by Bahraini Police

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) condemns the excessive use of force by police in Bahrain that has led to the shooting of a nine-year-old boy, Mohammed Mahmood Ali Habib, in the eye on 7 August 2015.

Mohammed was shot in his left eye while he was walking from his grandfather’s house to his house in the Bani Jamra area. An armored vehicle came from behind, startling him, and suddenly shots from the vehicle were fired in his direction. He was wounded with one pellet in the left eye and a number of cars parked in the same area were also damaged. There were no reports of any protests in the area.

Mohammed’s family immediately took him to Barbar Health Center, where they were told to take him to Salmaniya Hospital. Once they arrived there, his father was interrogated by an officer about how the injury had happened and who had shot at the boy. Mohammed then went through surgery that consisted in cleaning the injured eye. However, the pellet was not able to be removed from the eye due to the risks of removing it from its location behind the eye. The family was told to wait until the following week when it might be possible to remove it by undergoing a new surgery.

Before the surgery, the criminal investigation team videotaped Mohammed and took his clothes. The following day, an officer visited Mohamed to try to talk to him, which was not possible due to the fact that Mohammed was under the effects of anesthesia. The boy’s current health situation is stable but no medical report has yet been delivered to his family as of 10 August 2015.

This is yet another example of the worrisome excessive use of force by Bahraini authorities and the lack of improvement of their behaviour. BCHR has previously documented cases of serious injuries caused by the misuse of force in Bahrain, including the case of Ahmed Mansoor Al Naham, a five-year-old child who was blinded after being shot by security forces.

On 29 June 2015, the US announced plans to lift the long-standing ban on arm sales from the US to Bahrain. BCHR reiterates its concerns against the sales of arms to Bahrain at a time when the authorities are continuing their violations of human rights, including the disproportionate and unnecessary use of force.

Based on the above, BCHR calls on the Government of Bahrain to:

Take all the necessary actions to provide all the medical requirements to the injured child Mohammed Mahmood;
Hold the security officers who took part in the attack responsible for the long term damage they have caused to Mohammed;
Immediately stop the excessive use of force in Bahrain.

Additionally, BCHR calls on the United States and other governments to:

Stop supplying military aid and arms to Bahrain;
Put pressure on the Bahraini government to fully reform and respect human rights.

From in France abou this:

Video: Beating of migrant worker in Bahrain stirs outrage

Mohammed Al-Maskati

In a nine-second video published online, a Bahraini man smacks a migrant worker in the face with a blow that sends him reeling. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon sight in Bahrain, which is known for widespread abuses against its many migrant workers. …

The short video, posted on Twitter and YouTube on August 1, could have easily gone unnoticed. The post contained no information about the context of the incident and didn’t even mention the exact date it occurred. The video captures a Bahraini man hitting a migrant worker of Asian origin in the face, while the person filming mocks the victim.

However, Twitter users spotted it and started sharing it. When the video started to circulate online, the reaction was fast and furious from many Bahrainis. Outraged internet users created a hashtag “migrant worker hit by a Bahraini” (in Arabic) to decry the cruelty of their countryman…

Bahrain, like its Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, has many unskilled labourers, many of whom hail from southeastern Asia. According to a report by Human Rights Watch from 2011, there were already 478,000 migrant workers in Bahrain–which is substantial, considering the entire Bahraini population numbers only 1.4 million. The report also highlighted frequent abuses of these migrant workers. Mohammed Al-Maskati, president of the human rights group BYSHR, agreed that mistreatment of migrant labourers is widespread.

Unfortunately, this kind of scene plays out frequently in Bahrain and we have received numerous complaints from migrant workers who’ve fallen victim to abuse.

Employers can act in this manner because of the “kafala” system [Editor’s note: This controversial system requires all foreign workers to have an in-country sponsor, usually their employer, who is responsible for their visa and legal status. Many employers take away passports and abuse their workers with little chance of legal repercussions]. However, this is the first time that a video showing these abuses against migrant workers has been shared widely like this.

This year, we have seen more and more initiatives launched by activists or NGOs trying to raise awareness about the daily struggles of migrant workers [Editor’s Note: In February, a Bahraini lived for 24 hours as a migrant worker and made a short film about his experience].

The fact that this video was shared across social media and stirred up such outcry proves that Bahrainis are starting to question the way that migrant workers are treated and that, little by little, attitudes are starting to change.

US approves $150m support plan for Bahrain fighter jets: here.

1 thought on “Bahrain oppression continues

  1. Pingback: Stop Bahraini regime’s human rights violations | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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