Bahrain dictatorship and football update

This video says about itself:

E:60 – Taken / Athletes of Bahrain

8 November 2011

Produced by Yaron Deskalo of ESPN. Filmed and Edited by Evolve Digital Cinema.

What if a country’s biggest athlete, a legend, a hero, a player who brought the nation some of its biggest sporting moments, was at practice one day and was suddenly taken into custody by masked men? What if he was held for months, tortured, his career ended, banned from his team and for playing for his country, all because he expressed his political views? It’s not a storyline from a Hollywood script — that is what allegedly happened in Bahrain.

Specifically, it’s what Alaa Hubail says happened to him. Hubail is the most famous soccer player in Bahrain and says similar treatment was forced on his brother, Mohammad, also a member of Bahrain’s national soccer team; and to Anwar Al-Makki, Bahrain’s internationally ranked table-tennis champion. In a story largely ignored by the Western world, these athletes describe in detail the horrific torture they endured at the hands of their government — a government that is allied with the United States despite allegations of human rights abuses against pro-democracy protestors. E:60 goes to the Middle East for the first time to investigate how athletes were caught up in the clash of democracy, freedom, repression and politics. Jeremy Schaap reports.

From the Human Rights First site in the USA:

October 28, 2015

Bahraini Sheikh and FIFA Presidential Hopeful Continues to Dodge Allegations over Targeting Athletes

By Brian Dooley

FIFA Presidential hopeful Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of the Bahrain ruling family has failed to adequately answer questions about his part in the violent crackdown against pro-democracy protests in 2011. In a BBC interview last night, he dismissed the reports as “nasty lies” that he was involved in identifying footballers and other athletes who were targeted – and some jailed – during 2011.

Associated Press estimated that more than 150 athletes, coaches, and referees were targeted, and some jailed for their perceived part in the protests. There are several major issues he has failed to answer in connection to what happened four years ago:

First, it’s not clear if he is denying involvement in what happened or if he’s disputing that the targeting and jailing of athletes happened at all by the Bahraini government, which is headed by his family. There are numerous press reports that athletes were jailed, and their targeting was reported in the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, a body set up by the Bahrain government itself to investigate what happened in early 2011. Is Sheikh Al Khalifa denying these things happened, or that he had no part in them?

Second, his response to his role in identifying those to be targeted is rhetorical and inadequate “[did] I need to get involved in this?” There has so far been no satisfying response to The Guardian‘s discovery a few days ago revealing that he was named in an official April 2011 media statement by Bahrain’s state news agency as the lead investigator on an official committee investigating the athletes who had joined the protests. Is Sheikh Al Khalifa denying he was part of this committee?

Third, Sheikh Al Khalifa says he should be judged by those in football who know him. “Ask anyone in football about myself,” he suggests. Will Sheikh Al Khalifa allow foreign journalists into Bahrain to ask footballers and other targeted athletes what they think of him and what role, if any, they believe he played in their identification?

Sheikh Al Khalifa says he offers FIFA “fresh blood.” It’s an unfortunate phrase given the context, and he needs to explain far better than he has what role he played in the targeting of footballers and other athletes in 2011.

If Uefa had any moral backbone it would consider withdrawing from Fifa, by Marina Hyde. The only way these seven Fifa presidential candidates could be considered new brooms is if they were placed next to a recently unearthed fossilised sweeping implement believed to date back to the early Iron Age: here.

The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights (BFHR) stated that the Bahraini child Ali Abdullah Isa (15 years old) was recently arrested in a raid on his father’s house in Zayed city in the early hours of the morning by members of civilian security forces and was taken to the juvenile detention center. BFHR added that he “was harshly beaten and tortured, despite his medical condition as he suffers from sickle cell anemia and was born with a punctured heart,” calling for his immediate release: here.

October 30, 2015, 05:00 pm. US must push for reform in Bahrain. By Brian Dooley: here.

3 thoughts on “Bahrain dictatorship and football update

  1. Pingback: British government helps Bahraini human rights violations | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Bahrain human rights violations update | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Bahrain regime’s Internet sabotage | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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