Being pro-democracy is ‘terrorism’ in Bahrain

This video says about itself:

Ebtisam Al Saegh: We are looking forward to a decision that protects human rights defenders

23 September 2016

A Bahraini human rights defender who works for Salam for Human Rights and Democracy, Ebtisam Al Saegh was recently prevented from leaving her home country.

That was then. Now, things are even worse for her.

From Amnesty International:

Bahrain: Human rights defender charged with terrorism

19 July 2017, 18:08 UTC

Her only ‘crime’, is her bravery in challenging the government’s appalling human rights record.

Samah Hadid, Middle-East director of Campaigns for Amnesty International

The Bahraini authorities’ decision to bring terrorism charges against Ebtissam al-Saegh, a human rights defender detained since 3 July 2017, is a chilling blow to human rights in the country, said Amnesty International.

Ebtisam al-Saegh was previously tortured, including by being sexually assaulted by members of the Bahrain National Security agency while she was held in custody last May.

“Ebtisam al-Saegh is a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released. Her only ‘crime’, is her bravery in challenging the government’s appalling human rights record. By charging her with terrorism for her work on human rights, the Bahraini government is itself attempting to intimidate and silence civil society in Bahrain,” said Samah Hadid, Director of Campaigns for the Middle-East at Amnesty International.

“Amnesty International has strong reasons to believe that Ebtisam al-Saegh is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. When she was arrested in May 2017 she was beaten and sexually assaulted by members of the National Security Agency. We are deeply concerned for her well-being.

“There must be public outcry over the deteriorating situation in Bahrain. The silence of the UK government, which continues to insist that Bahrain is on a path to human rights reform, is deafening and shameful, and appears to have played a part in emboldening the Bahraini government to commit more human rights violations.”

Ebtisam al-Saegh was charged on 18 July 2017, in the presence of a lawyer, by the Terrorism Crimes Prosecution office, with “using human rights work as a cover to communicate and cooperate with Al Karama Foundation to provide them with information and fake news about the situation in Bahrain to undermine its status abroad”. She has been detained for six months pending completion of the investigation.

Ebtisam al-Saegh was arrested on 3 July 2017 after tweeting about the abuse of female detainees in Isa Town detention centre for women. She has been on hunger strike since, in protest at her arrest, her lack of access to her family and the fact that her lawyer is not allowed to attend her interrogation despite her requests to this effect.

Amnesty International learned that she was being interrogated for 12 to 13 hours daily at an undisclosed location. When not interrogated, she is being held in solitary confinement at the Isa Town detention centre for women, on the outskirts of Manama.

On 15 July, prominent human rights defender and prisoner of conscience, Nabeel Rajab, told his family that he had seen Ebtisam al-Saegh on a stretcher at the Ministry of Interior medical facility in al-Qalaa and asked them whether she had been involved in a car accident. He was unaware of her arrest.

Ebtisam al-Saegh’s husband who was able to visit her for a few minutes on 16 July said she was in a wheelchair at the time.


Bahraini jihadists lure young Indians to death for ISIS

This video from the European Parliament, of Irish Fine Gael center-right MEP Sean Kelly says about itself:

10 July 2015

I spoke in plenary this week about the breach of human rights in Bahrain, particularly in the case of Nabeel Rajab. Rajab is imprisoned in Bahrain currently for tweeting about ISIS.

More specifically, Rajab tweeted about links between the Bahraini autocratic regime and ISIS. There are many such links.

Most people in Bahrain are against its absolute monarchy. To prop up its wobbly position, the royal family relies on the Saudi autocracy and its armed forces. And also on the fanatical Saudi wahhabist state ideology, the model for the ISIS ideology.

Twitter is a social conversation! We need to exercise every pressure we can to release him. Furthermore, I think it would be prudent to set up a working group between Bahrain and the EU to work on human rights– in particular, media freedom.

From the Times of India:

Keralites radicalised youth before being killed fighting for Islamic State [ISIS] in Syria

TNN | Updated: Jul 6, 2017, 09.50 PM IST

KOZHIKODE: The Kerala youth, who were killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria, were the members of an extreme Salafi group in Bahrain before they joined the outfit (IS) [ISIS].

Sources told TOI that the two Salafi preachers from Kerala – one from Mankada in Malappuram and the other from Perumbavoor in Ernakulam – were instrumental in radicalising the youth. Four members of the group, including Muhadis from Vandoor, were killed in military operations within a span [of] four months in Syria.

The Salafi preachers had organised classes at a religious centre in Bahrain and at other places where they injected the extreme Salafism in the youth. A few members of the group were working with a catering company in Bahrain.

Sources said the preachers are members of a splinter group among the Kerala Salafis and have no connection with any of the established Salafi organisations in the state. One among them is currently in Mangaluru and his activities are closely monitored by the security agencies.

After getting initiated into extreme Salafism, the youth were learnt to contact some well-known Salafi scholars from Kerala who went to Bahrain at different times. “The Salafi scholars did not entertain the youth as they were found to have strong leanings towards the Islamic State,” sources said.

The youth later came into contact with Abdul Rashid Abdulla, the former employee of the Peace International School in Kozhikode, who had already become a full-fledged IS cadre. It is suspected that the Salafi preachers had a role in helping the youth in establishing contact with Abdul Rashid, who is learnt to have steered them to the IS stronghold in Syria. Rashid himself has landed in Afghanistan and is coordinating the propaganda activities of [the] Kerala module.

The unravelling of the Bahrain group has confirmed the suspicion of the security agencies that the influence of the IS runs deep[er] in Kerala than it was initially thought to be. The number of Malayalis who joined the terror outfit could be much higher than the official estimate which is based on missing cases. IS is suspected to have recruited more Malayalis working in the Gulf countries. Authorities feel that the members of the families of the IS recruits are either unaware of their migration to IS strongholds or are keeping mum due to fear of being ostracized by the society.

Insights gained regarding the Bahrain group have once again forced the law enforcing agencies to sharpen their focus on the Salafi groups in Kerala. Many youth in the Salafi organisations have lost sense of direction after the innumerable splits in the movement.

… Many of the youth who are associated with these extreme Salafi groups finally end up in the tentacles of the Islamic State [ISIS].

Bahrain absolute monarchy bans secularist opposition

This Turkish TV video in English says about itself:

The Newsmakers: Banning Bahraini opposition?

16 March 2017

Bahrain‘s justice ministry has taken steps to dissolve the main opposition party, Wa’ad, or the National Democratic Action Society. Bahrain says the group supports terrorism. But Wa’ad members say it’s yet another move to stamp out dissent and undermine their political work. So what’s driving the turmoil in the tiny island state?

From daily News Line in Britain, 3 June 2017:

Bahrain’s dissolution of a major political opposition society is the latest troubling move in its blatant campaign to end all criticism of the government, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

Amnesty said: ‘The secular National Democratic Action Society (Wa’ad) was dissolved today after having issued a statement in February, saying that Bahrain was suffering from a “constitutional political crisis” amid continuous human rights violations. The group was subsequently charged with “advocating violence, supporting terrorism and incitement to encourage crimes and lawlessness”.’

‘By banning major political opposition groups, Bahrain is now heading towards total suppression of human rights,’ said Lynn Maalouf, Director of Research at Amnesty International’s Beirut Regional Office. ‘The suspension of Wa’ad is a flagrant attack on freedom of expression and association, and further proof that the authorities have no intention of delivering on promises of human rights progress.’

Amnesty added: ‘At the request of the Ministry of Justice, a Bahraini court dissolved Wa’ad following a statement it made on 14 February 2017, the anniversary of the country’s 2011 uprising, criticising the Bahraini constitution. The court also ruled to liquidate its funds.

‘On 6 March, the Ministry of Justice filed a lawsuit against Wa’ad for violating the Law on Political Associations. Wa’ad first learned about the lawsuit through the media, receiving official notification on 7 March. Wa’ad is also being charged on account of its support to the main opposition party Al Wefaq, which was dissolved on baseless charges in July 2016, and its Secretary General, Sheikh Ali Salman, an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience.

‘It also is accused of electing Ebrahim Sharif, a former prisoner of conscience, as a member of its Central Committee despite his having “lost his civil and political rights” when he was charged in 2011. The Ministry of Justice accused Wa’ad of “advocating and inciting terrorism” after it condemned the execution of three men on 15 January – referring to them as “martyrs” – and calling “martyrs” other men who died or were killed by security forces in February.’

‘The allegations made by the Ministry of Justice against Wa’ad and its leaders are baseless and absurd,’ said Lynn Maalouf. ‘Their only so-called “crime” is exercising their right to freedom of expression and association.’

Wa’ad and its leaders have repeatedly stated their opposition to violence and commitment to peaceful means and they have denied the charges. The Wa’ad party also signed the National Declaration of Non-Violence Principles in 2012 and has repeatedly condemned calls for violence and acts of violence against security forces.

Bahrain regime kills five demonstrators

This video is called President Trump Participates in a Bilateral Meeting with the King of Bahrain 5/21/2017.

From The News in Pakistan:

Five killed during Bahrain police raid on protest

DUBAI: Five people were killed in Bahrain on Tuesday after police opened fire on a protest by supporters of a top cleric in a Shiite village, the interior ministry said, in the latest unrest to hit the Sunni-ruled Gulf state. …

Witnesses had earlier told AFP that several civilians were wounded when police officers fired at demonstrators …

“A total of 286 arrests were made, including fugitives that had escaped from Jau Prison,” the ministry said. …

The kingdom has been rocked by unrest since 2011, when local authorities backed by a Saudi military force crushed Shiite-led protests demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.

Earlier Tuesday, the Britain-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) had announced one death as the police moved to disperse the long-running protest.

Amnesty International identified that protester as Mohamed Zayn al-Deen, 39, and said he had died of birdshot wounds to the head.

The police operation came just days after President Donald Trump met with Bahrain´s King Hamad in Saudi Arabia at the weekend, where the US leader made a clear break from previous US policy.

Trump told the king on Sunday it was “a great honour to be with you” and said there “has been a little strain but there won´t be strain with this administration”. …

The [Bahraini] government´s clampdown on dissent has drawn harsh condemnation from international rights groups and governments.

Saudi Black Hawk down in Yemen, ‘friendly’ fire

This 15 March 2011 video says about itself:

Saudi Troops and Helicopters Massacre of Peaceful Bahraini Protesters.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In Yemen a Saudi military helicopter has been shot down. All twelve soldiers who were in the Black Hawk helicopter have been killed.

The accident occurred in Marib province, east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa. According to the Ministry of Defense in Yemen [that is, the Saudi puppet government in exile of Yemen] website the helicopter was shot down by friendly fire.

See also here.