Bahrain dictatorship’s genital torture of teenager

Khalil Al-Saffar, before and after torture

From AhlulBayt news agency in Britain:

Bahraini boy stripped of his clothes & beaten on his genitals

October 4, 2015 – 9:57 AM

The European-Bahraini Organization for Human Rights (EBOHR) said that it received information stating that detainee Khalil Ibrahim Al-Saffar, who suffers from a cerebral laceration, is being tortured in the Criminal Investigation Department.

EBOHR explained in a statement issued on Wednesday (September 23, 2015) that “we received information about the torture detainee Khalil Al-Saffar is being subjected to in the Criminal Investigation Department. He was stripped of his clothes, beaten on his genitals, beaten by batons and plastic cables on his body parts until he fainted and was transferred to the Al-Qala’a hospital.”

The organization further stated that “Khalil was returned to the Criminal Investigation Department after that and was tortured more than once,” adding that “he is being tortured 3 times a day for more than an hour and a half. He is put inside a small cold room that causes him headaches.”

EBOHR published medical reports about Al-Saffar’s cerebral laceration. He underwent a bone grafting surgery on March 16, 2012 and needed another surgery on June 2012. He underwent a third surgery during which they put a plastic piece in his skull to replace the broken one.

Al-Saffar still suffers from bouts of cramps which require him to take medication continuously.

The organization expressed its deep concern about what Al-Saffar is being exposed to and demanded the United States, Britain, United Nations and international human rights organizations to pressure the Bahraini government into releasing him. Al-Saffar was arrested on September 15, 2015, after civilian forces backed by security forces raided his home in Bilad Al-Qadeem.

His family said that he was taken to the Interior Ministry bus after his home was searched and his mobile phone was confiscated. After his mother asked about the reason behind her son’s arrest, one of the civilians told the family that they will interrogate him for an hour and then release him. No one knows anything about him since more than 8 days ago.

A human rights NGO run by Irish lawyers has submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) that Ireland may be in breach of international law, owing to the Irish Medical Council’s (IMC) decision last December to grant RCSI-Medical University in Bahrain (RCSI-MUB) accreditation. This came amid alleged human rights abuses, including the torture of injured pro-demonstrators and medics who treated them, by the Gulf state’s ruling regime within the training hospitals it uses: here.

Bahraini authorities should immediately release the unjustly imprisoned political opposition leaders Ibrahim Sharif and Sheikh Ali Salman: here.

Swedish crime author Henning Mankell, of Kurt Wallander books, dies

This video says about itself:

Henning Mankell‘s Wallander S1 (Trailer)

28 April 2012

Krister Henriksson stars as author Henning Mankell’s Detective Kurt Wallander. Season One features the movie version of Mankell’s bestselling crime novel “Before The Frost” and includes twelve more 90-minute mysteries based on original stories by Mankell.

From the BBC today:

Wallander writer Henning Mankell dies

Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell, best known for novels featuring Inspector Kurt Wallander, dies aged 67

The writer revealed he had cancer in a newspaper column last year, adding: “My anxiety is very profound.”

He dealt with the experience in his most recent book Quicksand: What It Means To Be A Human Being.

His best-selling mystery novels, which follow policeman Kurt Wallander through Sweden and Mozambique, were turned into a TV drama starring Kenneth Branagh.

The original, Swedish version of the drama starred Krister Henriksson in the title role, and was screened in the UK on BBC Four.

By Carolyn, San Francisco, California, USA, 8 September 2010:

I am sorry that you devoted no more than a few comments on Henning Mankell’s Wallander series. I find that his thoughts about the decay of Swedish society, transmuted into the thoughts of the character Wallander are illuminative of the state of mind in many Swedes today. I find the character of Wallander to be humane and sympathetic and his flaws to be human.

True, the Wallander series is of the police procedural genre, but I find his portrayals of them as no more or less than human beings in a certain situation and profession, without resorting to caricature as is the case in so many “cop” novels, to be refreshing. Mankell has a long history of working against social injustice and has obviously thought long and deeply of what is happening in the society around him. He is exactly my age—postwar, born in 1948—and has grown and matured in the same world society as I have. …

the very violence of the early 21st century has created an incubator for the ideas of violence and retribution as a response to society’s ills. Naturally, the incubation has been the result of a failure of political perspective, leaving people—particularly youth—with the sense that society and its institutions have failed them and therefore that nothing remains but to strike back (or even before) they become victims themselves.

There are plenty of reasons for this, most particularly the capitalist system and the viciousness with which it declares “every man for himself”. If entire generations have been exposed to nothing else, their desperation will become a danger to themselves and others. Henning Mankell has his Wallander ruminate on this idea many times in his stories. Wallander stands aghast at what is happening in his country. It is true that the author and his character have no (stated) idea of how to solve the problem, but they each closely observe the phenomena surrounding them.

This is a start.

‘NATO Kunduz hospital bombing is a war crime’

This video says about itself:

Kunduz attack may amount to war crime – UN Human Rights chief

4 October 2015

The US military said it launched an attack around the time a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) charity hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz was hit by an airstrike, killing 19 people: staff, patients and children.

“The strike may have led to collateral damage to a nearby medical facility,” according to a statement from US Army Colonel Brian Tribus, Spokesman for US Forces in Afghanistan.

UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein led a chorus of condemnation.

Read more here.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

MSF/Doctors Without Borders speaks of war crime in Kunduz

Today, 10:28

MSF says that the bombing of a hospital in the Afghan city Kunduz is a war crime. “The Afghan government admits they have okayed this premeditatedly,” says Director Arjen Hehenkamp of MSF in the Netherlands. …

Gates closed

“It is totally unacceptable,” said Hehenkamp. “The Afghan government says there was a deliberate and purposeful bombing of a hospital in the middle of the night because there might maybe have been Taliban fighters.”

According to the organization, the gates of the hospital were all closed, so at the time of the attack only staff and patients were there. “We know for sure that it was not used for combat operations. Because of the heavy fighting, our team spent the past week continually at the compound.”

Hehenkamp recognizes that there may have been wounded Taliban fighters in the hospital, but that should be no reason to attack, he stressed. MSF treats all injuries, whether they are of civilians, Taliban fighters or coalition troops. “It is a violation of the law of war, because people can be sued for this. A hospital is sacred, especially in wartime.”

It was not inaccurate, not accidental or collateral damage, it was very purposeful.
Arjen Hehenkamp

According to Dutch Major General (retired) Frank van Kappen it does not matter whether there were combatants or not. “Even then you should not do it. You can not under international law just throw a bomb on a hospital.” …

Hehenkamp says he has heard other stories from his colleagues. “They attacked very specifically a very specific building in that large area several times, the intensive care unit. That was the only building that was hit. It was not inaccurate, not accidental or collateral damage. It was done quite deliberately.”

MSF demands an independent investigation into the incident, in which 22 people were killed, including twelve Doctors Without Borders workers and three children. …

US silent

MSF has already removed its staff from Kunduz. Thus the only hospital in the city is closed. Patients are brought to hospitals in the region. Because there are thirty seriously wounded people, Hehenkamp expects the death toll will continue to rise.

The United States, which was probably

‘Probably’? Does anyone believe seriously the Taliban have warplanes?

involved in the incident, has said nothing about this, says Hehenkamp. “It is incomprehensible that they do not seek contact in an active way after such a big butchery.”

DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS LEAVES KUNDUZ AFTER DEADLY BOMBING The loss of medical services after an alleged U.S. airstrike, which killed 22 patients and staff, will be catastrophic for a region already lacking in medical support. And hear what a nurse who survived the bombing Saturday has to say about the tragedy. [NYT]

A protracted series of precisely targeted US airstrikes ripped through a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical center in Kunduz, Afghanistan on Saturday, killing at least 22 and wounding at least 37. The dead included 10 patients, including three children, and 12 members of the MSF staff: here.

Nato’s bombs fall like confetti, not containing conflict but spreading it, by George Monbiot. Syria, Isis, Iraq … there are no easy solutions. But killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan and elsewhere draws more people into insurgencies: here.