King of Bahrain congratulates deposed Egyptian dictator Mubarak


This video says about itself:

Bahraini oil bought international silence & UK seized my passport’ – Nabeel Rajab

31 July 2014

Rights activists in Bahrain are accusing the authorities’ of targeting journalists trying to report on the crackdown against anti-government protests. Bahraini opposition leader Nabeel Rajab tells RT about the human rights situation in the country.

The Bahrain News agency, the official mouthpiece of the Bahraini absolute monarchy, reports:

Manama, Nov. 29 (BNA)– His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa held today a telephone call with former Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, got assured about his health and congratulated him on being acquitted by the Egyptian judiciary.

That sentence is only partially true. Mubarak was acquitted today only of murdering many hundreds of demonstrators just before the fall of his dictatorship. There are still charges against Mubarak of corruption and other crimes. Nevertheless, a worrying sign in Egypt of a movement away from the Arab Spring and back to Mubarak-sstyle dictatorship.

HM the King paid tribute to the former Egyptian President for his honourable stances towards Bahrain and efforts to bolster bilateral relations, wishing him abundant good health and happiness.

This 30 November 2014 video from Egypt is about Cairo University students protesting Mubarak acquittal.

Egyptian anti-Mubarak verdict protesters tear-gassed by police: here.

Protests flare after Mubarak cleared of Arab Spring deaths: here.

The acquittal of the deposed Egyptian dictator underscores the determination of the Egyptian bourgeoisie to drown the revolutionary struggles of the working class in blood: here.

This video is called 11th Feb. 2011 – Storyful – Mubarak Resigns Egypt Cairo Tahrir celebrations Alexandria.

There appears to be the usual share of confusion about what the Mubarak trial judge just said and did. As seen on television, the judge promised his “sons in the media” flash drives containing talking points (in the neighborhood of 200 pages) to help them, he said, with their news coverage until they have had a chance to read the entire ruling. Until that summary is available, I will address here a couple of the most persistent questions so far, pending further updates: here.

On Tuesday, Egypt’s high court overturned the last remaining conviction against former dictator Hosni Mubarak, paving the way for his possible release, four years after the mass revolutionary struggles of the Egyptian working class that overthrew him: here.

The Egyptian military dictatorship of Field Marshal-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi boasted last weekend that it had detained nearly 10,000 people over the past 12 months. This grim estimate came as Washington moved to further normalize its relationship with the regime, and as the US Congress effectively waived human rights conditions for the provision of military aid to the Cairo regime: here.

Saudis, Bahrainis protest Saudi killing of demonstrator


This 30 September 2014 is about a demonstration in Bahrain, protesting against the killing of a demonstrator in Saudi Arabia.

From Middle East Eye:

Protests erupt in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain after killing of man dubbed ‘terrorist’

Tuesday 30 September 2014 23:26 BST

An eastern province of Saudi Arabia has erupted in protest on Tuesday night after the funeral of Bassem al-Qadihi, who activists say was killed during a peaceful protest, but who Saudi authorities allege was involved in “terrorist crimes.”

While the Saudi establishment denounces peaceful demonstrators as ‘terrorists’, they have a history of supporting the real terrorists of ISIS.

Hundreds of mourners thronged the streets of the restive majority-Shiite province of Qatif in a mass funeral procession for Qadihi, amid reports of a fierce gun-battle between Saudi security forces and people protesting Qadihi’s killing.

The Saudi Interior Ministry announced on 26 September that Qadihi has been arrested, having been wanted on allegations that he launched armed attacks on civilians and security personnel and incited young people to violence.

A day later, local media reported that Qadihi had died in hospital as a result of injuries sustained during his arrest.

According to al-Akhbar, Qadihi was injured along with nine others when security forces, driving unmarked cars, fired live ammunition at a demonstration organised to protest the ongoing detention of prominent cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Activists on social media told the newspaper that Qadihi was taken to hospital, but that security forces later checked him out and took him to an unknown location, where he died.

The Interior Ministry gave no statement on the incident at that time, but later announced simply that security services had tracked down the “fugitive” Qadihi, who had been “involved in leading a number of terrorist operations.”

The statement made no mention of reports that Qadihi had been killed.

Protests in the wake of Qadihi’s funeral were not limited to the eastern areas of Saudi Arabia – activists in Bahrain also took to the streets in a solidarity demonstration on Tuesday night.

They shouted “your martyr is our martyr” and carried a huge banner bearing an image of Qadihi’s face and the slogan “all solidary with you, Qatif.”

The Shiite minority of Saudi Arabia, which make up the majority of the population in Qatif, have long complained of violations of their rights by the central government.

Human Rights Watch alleges that the Saudi government “systematically discriminates against its Shiite citizens”, citing poor access to public education and government employment alongside unequal treatment in the justice system.

Bahrain election protest: Opposition group ‘occupies’ capital downtown: here.

Bahrain human rights activist’s years in jail for tweets


This video says about itself:

8 May 2012

In the fourth episode of The World Tomorrow Julian Assange speaks with two leading Arab revolutionaries in the middle of conflict, Alaa Abd El-Fattah from Egypt and Nabeel Rajab from Bahrain. Alaa Abd El-Fattah is a long time Egyptian blogger, programmer and political activist. His parents were human rights campaigners under Anwar Sadat; his sister Mona Seif became a Twitter star during the 2011 Egyptian revolution, and is a founder of the No Military Trials for Civilians group formed under the post-Mubarak military junta.

El-Fattah was imprisoned for 45 days in 2006 for protesting under the Mubarak regime, and released after “Free Alaa” solidarity protests in Egypt and around the world. In 2011, from abroad, El-Fattah helped route around Mubarak’s internet blockade.

Nabeel Rajab is a lifelong Bahraini activist and critic of the Al Khalifa regime. A member of a staunch pro-regime family, Rajab has agitated for reform in Bahrain since his return from university in 1988. Along with the Bahraini-Danish human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, he helped establish the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights in 2002. Rajab is reasonably new to the limelight — becoming a face for the Bahrain uprising of February 14 2011, after the sit-in at Pearl Roundabout.

Since then, he has been a public face for the revolution, waging a social media war on Twitter with PR companies working for the regime. After al-Khawaja was imprisoned, he led protests for his release. He has endured beatings, arrests and legal harrassment for engaging in pro-democracy demonstrations. On Saturday 5th of May, he was arrested at Manama airport , and charged the next day with encouraging and engaging in “illegal protests.” Nabeel Rajab remains in detention at the time of broadcast.

From the Irish Times:

Bahrain human rights activist spent two years in jail for tweets

Nabeel Rajab urges Ireland ‘to fight for democracy around the world’

Erin McGuire

Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 01:00

A Bahraini human rights activist who spent two years in prison for using Twitter to call for peaceful protests has urged Irish people to “fight for democracy around the world”.

Speaking yesterday in Dublin, Nabeel Rajab said the human rights situation in Bahrain was deteriorating, with increasing numbers of people being jailed or forced into hiding.

Rajab was released from prison in May after serving two years of a three-year term. He was arrested several times for his involvement in pro-democracy protests during the 2011 Arab Spring. All of his arrests were related to tweets criticising the government or encouraging people to demonstrate.

During the Arab Spring, activists in Bahrain were required by law to ask for permission to protest. Protests in the capital Manama have since been banned.

Social media use

Rajab, who is president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and co-founder of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, is known for using social media in his human rights work.

He has 234,000 Twitter followers, more than anyone else in Bahrain, a country smaller than Co Dublin with a population of 1.3 million. “The government hates [my social media presence] because of the influence I have. When they put me in jail they thought the Twitter account would stop, but it continued – my Facebook and Twitter accounts kept working.”

The Bahraini government’s violent crackdown on protesters motivated him to transfer his contracting business to his family. “When I realised I would be targeted and could get killed, I transferred everything to my family, my wife . . . I’m a fighter for human rights. Fears about my personal life were not an issue. I was prepared for anything.”

Many of his friends were also arrested during the Arab Spr- ing. He estimates 50,000 people were in and out of Bahraini jails in the past three years.

While in prison, he was isolated from other political prisoners and kept in a cell with people who spoke different languages so he could not communicate with them.

Rajab is on a two-day visit to Dublin as a guest of Front Line Defenders, a non-governmental organisation that protects human rights defenders. He is briefing Government officials and rights organisations on the clampdown in Bahrain.

Rajab believes there are similarities between Bahrain and Ireland in their shared struggles for democracy, justice and equality. “You were ruled by the British; we are ruled by a family who invaded the country 200 years ago and treated the indigenous population badly. [The government] marginalised people, put them in jail.”

He says that because Ireland achieved democracy, the Irish people “have an obligation to fight for democracy around the world . . . and to play a more active role in human rights struggles in the Middle East”.

This is especially important to Rajab now, as he believes the situation in Bahrain has deteriorated. “There are more people in jail, in exile, in hiding. There are more human rights violations. The Shia people are being marginalised more . . . The government’s efforts to contain the media have been successful.”

Rajab will return to Bahrain even though he does not feel safe there. He plans to dedicate the rest of his life to human rights work, despite the fact it could land him back in jail.

“Prison made me much more determined. I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else . . . I’m going to continue tweeting, raising human rights issues, empowering people and criticising dictators of repressive regimes. I don’t want to end up in jail, but I’m not afraid . . . The situation has to change and I’m willing to pay the price for those changes.”

US Rep Jim McGovern Issues Statement on Refusal of Bahraini Government to Grant Him Access to Bahrain: here.

Bahraini pro-democracy fighters don’t give up


This video says about itself:

Nabeel Rajab discusses the continuing demonstrations in Bahrain

10 August 2014

Nabeel Rajab, human rights activist and founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, talks to Middle East Eye – shortly after being released from prison in Bahrain – about the continuing pro-democracy movement in the country, the impact of the Bahrain Indepedent Commission of Inquiry, the impact of pro-Gaza protests and the influence of Iran.

Nabeel Rajab on the situation in Bahrain and lack of western pressure: here.

More on Bahrain: here.

Saudi Arabia jails human rights activist for 15 years


This video says about itself:

6 February 2013

The Olof Palme Prize 2012 is awarded to Radhia Nasraoui and Waleed Sami Abu al-Khair

Radhia Nasraoui, human rights defender and lawyer, is awarded the 2012 Olof Palme Prize, for her untiring work against torture and impunity for more than three decades. As a concerned and patriotic citizen, she has under severe pressure defended human rights in her country [Tunisia] and challenged authorities under the motto “We must use our voices. Not saying anything makes us accomplices of the oppression”.

Waleed Sami Abu al-Khair receives the 2012 Olof Palme Prize for his strong, self-sacrificing and sustained struggle to promote respect for human and civil rights for both men and women in Saudi Arabia. Together with like-minded citizens and colleagues, Waleed Sam Abu AlKhair does so with the noble goal of contributing to a just and modern society in his country and region.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Saudi Arabia jails prominent human rights activist for 15 years

Waleed abu al-Khair was imprisoned on charges that included seeking to undermine the state and insulting the judiciary

Antonia Molloy

Prominent Saudi human rights lawyer Waleed abu al-Khair has been sentenced by a Jeddah court to 15 years in prison for crimes including “inciting public opinion”.

Abu al-Khair, the founder and director of an organization named the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, was jailed on Sunday on charges that included seeking to undermine the state and insulting the judiciary, the state news agency reported.

He had been on trial on sedition charges that included breaking allegiance to King Abdullah, showing disrespect for authorities, creating an unauthorized association and inciting public opinion.

The rights activist was also fined 200,000 Saudi riyals (£31,100), banned from travelling outside the kingdom for another 15 years and had all his websites closed down, the SPA said.

Abu al-Khair was critical of a new anti-terrorism law passed by Saudi Arabia at the start of the year which was widely condemned by rights activists as a tool to stifle dissent.

The anti-terrorism law states that terrorist crimes include any act that “disturbs public order, shakes the security of society, or subjects its national unity to danger, or obstructs the primary system of rule or harms the reputation of the state”.

In the past year Saudi authorities have been criticised by international rights groups for jailing several prominent activists on charges ranging from setting up an illegal organisation to damaging the reputation of the country.

In May a client of Abu al-Khair was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes after being arrested in June 2012 on charges of cyber-crime and disobeying his father.

Raif Badawi was the editor of the Free Saudi Liberals website, which included articles that were critical of senior religious figures such as Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti and allegedly insulted Islam and religious authorities, according to Human Rights Watch.

Abu al-Khair was unable to represent Badawi in an appeal because he was also in jail at the time, awaiting his trial in the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom.