After torture, executions in Bahrain


This 20 February 2016 video is called Bahrain’s army deliberately kills peaceful protesters.

From Deutsche Welle in Germany today:

Bahrain executes three, despite protests

Bahrain has executed by firing squad three Shiite men … . Activists warn that civil unrest could ensue in the Gulf state, which hosts the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Bahrain said the executions proceeded Sunday despite protests by majority Shiites and warnings from human rights advocates that resort to the death penalty would destabilize the Gulf region. …

The case dates back to a March 2014 bombing that killed three policemen, including an Emirati member of a force sent in 2011 by regional powers, notably Saudi Arabia, to put down months of Shiite-led protest inspired by reformist “Arab Spring” revolts.

Last Monday, Bahrain’s high court rejected an appeal filed by the three against convictions for their alleged involvement in the attack in Bahrain’s al-Daish area.

Terms of life imprisonment had been imposed on seven other defendants.

Protests, appeals

On Saturday, scores of people had protested in Bahrain on news of the impending executions.

“This is a black day in Bahrain‘s history. It is the most heinous crime committed by the government of Bahrain and a shame upon its rules,” said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.

The London-based human rights group Reprieve said the trio’s convictions had been “based on confessions extracted through torture.”

Ahead of the executions, Brian Dooley, the head of the Washington-based Human Rights Defenders, had urged the US government to dissuade Bahrain.

“Washington should warn its Gulf ally that this would be a reckless, frightening level of repression to pursue, likely to spark rage and further violence in an already volatile region,” Dooley said.

Bahrain is a strategic ally of the United States and host of the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Last year, Bahraini authorities escalated a crackdown on Shiite critics by imprisoning a top rights campaigner and shut down a main opposition political bloc.

Fresh fears over UK links to Bahrain’s ‘torture prisons’. Evidence emerges of visit by Gulf state jail officials to immigration detention centre Yarl’s Wood: here.

Bahrain’s torture ‘evidence’ to condemn people to death


This video is about torture in Bahrain.

From Reprieve in Britain:

Bahrain uses torture evidence to sentence three more to death

January 9, 2017

Bahrain’s highest court has today (9th January) upheld the death sentences of three men, despite allegations that they were tortured into making false confessions. Their executions are now imminent.

Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mushaima, and Ali al-Singace were originally sentenced to death in February 2015.

All three were tortured into signing false ‘confessions’ that were used against them in court.

Mr Mushaima was forced to sign documents despite being illiterate. He is a relative of a prominent opposition politician, but has never been involved in activism.

Mr al-Samea was admitted to hospital for surgery as a result of his interrogation. He is a PE teacher and aspiring photojournalist who had taken pictures at a protest.

The three men’s death sentences were overturned in October 2016 after a court ruled that their initial sentences were “misjudgements.”

However, in December 2016, the appeals court reinstated their death sentences.

Human rights organization Reprieve wrote to Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May asking her to raise the issue of police torture and the death penalty ahead of her meeting in Bahrain last month.

Millions of pounds in UK government aid have been spent on training Bahrain’s police, prison guards and torture watchdog in recent years.

Commenting, Maya Foa, a director of Reprieve, said:

“It is extremely alarming that Bahrain, a close ally of Britain, is gearing up to execute three people, all of whom were convicted on the basis of false ‘confessions’ extracted through torture. Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mushaima, and Ali al-Singace will be the first people to be executed in Bahrain in six years. All three were charged with political offences and tortured into signing ‘confessions’ that were used against them in court – despite one of them being illiterate and not able to read the document. On her recent visit to Bahrain, Theresa May said that the UK ‘does not uphold our values and human rights by turning our back on this issue’ yet apparently declined to raise the cases of these prisoners facing imminent execution. The UK must do more to ensure its close allies do not render them complicit in the gravest abuses.”

UK trains Bahraini troops as May puts trade before human rights: here.

Bahraini royals killing Pakistani protected birds


This video is called MacQueen’s Bustard on a mating dance.

Note: the article below here mentions “houbara bustards“. Meanwhile, biologists consider the MacQueen’s bustards of Pakistan and elsewhere in Asia, as a species, separate from the African houbara bustard.

Bahraini royals kill not only female journalists. They, like Qatari princes, kill protected birds in Pakistan as well.

From Dawn daily in Pakistan:

Bahraini king, family members get permits to hunt protected houbara bustard

Bhagwandas — Updated Dec 28, 2016 12:15pm

KARACHI: The federal government has issued at least seven special permits to dignitaries of Bahrain, including King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, to hunt the internationally protected bird houbara bustard in the country during the 2016-17 hunting season, according to sources.

Among those who have been given the permits to hunt the migratory bird in Sindh and Balochistan are an uncle of the king, his defence adviser, a field marshal and armed forces chief, and other members of the Bahraini royal family, according to the sources.

The sources said that not only was Pakistan a signatory to various international nature conservation conventions that restricted the bird’s hunting but the country’s wildlife protection laws also prohibited its killing. The Pakistanis were, therefore, not allowed to hunt the protected species.

The hunting permits signed by the foreign ministry’s deputy chief of protocol, Naeem Iqbal Cheema, have been sent to the members of the Bahraini royal family through Bahrain’s embassy in the federal capital.

The letter Mr Cheema sent to the Gulf kingdom’s diplomatic mission in Islamabad says: “The ministry of foreign affairs of Pakistan presents its compliments to the Embassy of Kingdom of Bahrain in Islamabad and has the honour to state that the government of Pakistan has conveyed its recommendations to the authorities in the provinces concerned for allocation of following areas to the dignitaries of Kingdom of Bahrain for hunting of houbara bustard for the season 2016-17.”

According to the letter, King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa has been allocated Jamshoro district (Thano Bula Khan, Kotri, Manjhand and Sehwan tehsils) in Sindh.

The king’s uncle, Sheikh Ebrahim bin Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, has been allocated Shah Bandar tehsil and Janabad and Sonda union councils in Thatta district. The king’s defence adviser, Sheikh Abdullah bin Salman Al-Khalifa, will hunt birds in Jati tehsil of Thatta district.

Field Marshal and Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Forces Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa will hunt the bird in Toisar tehsil of Musakhel district in Balochistan. The king’s first cousin and interior minister, Lt Gen Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, will hunt the migratory bird in Jaffarabad district of Balochistan.

Bahraini prince accused of murdering journalist


This video says about itself:

Female journalist Eman Salehi shot dead in front of son by a member of Bahrain’s royal family

29 December 2016

Eman Salehi worked as a sports journalist for Bahrain‘s state-run TV broadcaster. She, a young mother, has been gunned down in the street as her six-year-old son watched from inside their car in Bahrain.

Eman Salehi was a 28-year-old Shiite woman.

She was known for her piercing blue eyes and friendly demeanor.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Bahrain: Royal family implicated in death of journalist

Saturday 31st December 2016

BAHRAIN’S royal family has been implicated in the killing of a journalist in front of her young son.

Reports suggest that Eman Salehi was murdered by a Bahraini royal serving in the military. Ms Salehi was a sports journalist for Bahrain’s state television.

She was shot dead in the street on December 23 as her six-year-old son watched from her car.

Ms Salehi’s vehicle was stopped in Riffa, an area popular with the royal family and military chiefs. A 34-year-old man is said to have shot her once in the head and then turned himself in.

“If you say it involves the military, it involves the king,” said Said Yousif Almuhafdah of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. “No-one wants to mention that.”

The Gulf monarchy is heavily backed by Britain with arms and political support. It is currently carrying out a widespread crackdown on civil rights activists. In one case, campaigner Nabeel Rajab faces 15 years in jail for a few tweets.

More than three months ago, on 29 September 2016, a large number of men in masks raided Fadhel Abbas’s home at Hamad Town in Bahrain at 3am and took him away in Ministry of the Interior (MOI) vehicles. Family members who were there say no arrest warrant was shown and that Abbas called around seven hours later saying he was being held at the feared Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID): here.

Bahraini human rights activist still imprisoned


This video says about itself:

29 December 2016

Prominent Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab has been released from prison on bail, following a seven-month pre-trial detainment over a series of tweets, but was ordered back into custody over separate investigations.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Bahrain: Jailed rights activist denied bail over tweets to reporters

Thursday 29th December 2016

BAHRAINI rights activist Nabeel Rajab, due for release on bail, had the bars slammed shut on him again yesterday.

Prosecutors said that the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights president should remain in detention over separate allegations.

Mr Rajab has been held in custody for seven months after tweeting about the Saudi Arabian war on Yemen and describing torture in Bahraini prisons. The despotic British-backed kingdom wants to jail Mr Rajab for 15 years for the tweets.

While he was due to get bail for this “offence,” it appears that prosecutors were not happy with him sending letters to foreign newspapers.

Underscoring the ludicrous nature of the charges against Mr Rajab, they announced his continued imprisonment on social network Instagram.

Bahrain is conducting a sweeping crackdown on civil activists, nearly six years since it bloodily put down pro-democracy protests with the aid of Saudi and UAE troops and British-supplied weapons.

Bahrain regime crackdown again


This video says about itself:

Bahrain – the government assault on women – hit – sexual harassment

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Bahrain: Police clash with protesters in town of dissident cleric

Thursday 22nd December 2016

BAHRAINI police fought yesterday with residents of a besieged town that is home to a leading Shi’ite cleric, firing tear gas and arresting at least two youths before withdrawing.

The riot police drew many women protesters into the street who were fearful that Sheikh Isa Qassim would be deported.

The government, dominated by the Sunni monarchy, stripped Mr Qassim of his citizenship in June, accusing him of fuelling extremism.

Mr Qassim is the spiritual leader of al-Wefaq, by far Bahrain’s largest political party which has acted in concert with leftist and Ba’athist groups to demand democracy in the Gulf despotism.

The cleric’s supporters say he’s being targeted as part of a wider crackdown on dissent on the island, which is home to an under-construction British naval base as well as the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

One witness said police targeted a building near Mr Qassim’s home where young people who protectively surround his home at night sleep during the day.

The recent crackdown on dissenters is at a level unseen since the 2011 Arab Spring protests, when the country’s people demonstrated to demand more political freedom from the ruling al-Khalifa family.

Al-Wefaq was involved in those protests, which were put down by force with the help of 1,000 troops from Saudi Arabia and 500 from the United Arab Emirates. Britain supplies arms to all three countries involved.

Prime Minister Theresa May said recently that Britain’s new Bahraini naval base, HMS Jufair, would see “more British warships, aircraft and personnel deployed on operations in the Gulf than in any other part of the world.”

A British military officer is also embedded in Bahrain’s Interior Ministry, and British troops recently conducted a three-week training operation there.

Amnesty International described the silencing of opposition voices as “relentless,” with 40 civil activists interrogated, charged or banned from leaving the island.

Fifty civil society groups have urged the UN to demand the release of Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, who faces 15 years in jail for tweeting about the war in Yemen and describing torture in Bahraini prisons.

British government helps torture in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain


This video says about itself:

No End to Torture in Bahrain

22 November 2015

Bahraini security forces are torturing detainees during interrogation. Institutions set up after 2011 to receive and investigate complaints lack independence and transparency.

Human Rights Watch has concluded that security forces have continued the same abuses the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) documented in its November 2011 report. The commission was established after the fierce repression of pro-democracy demonstrators in February and March of that year. Bahraini authorities have failed to implement effectively the commission’s recommendations relating to torture, Human Rights Watch found.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Britain: ‘Complicit in Rights Abuses by Torture States’

Thursday 22nd December 2016

British police provide training to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain – Techniques used to identify and arrest people who are then tortured

BRITAIN was accused of complicity with the death penalty yesterday after a report revealed that police and security training is provided without safeguards to countries that torture and execute children.

International human rights organisation Reprieve suggested that there may have been a cover-up and demanded an end to support for death penalty states after freedom of information (FOI) requests revealed that officers from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been trained in Britain without the required human rights checks being conducted.

Assessments are necessary before support and training is given to those states where arrests could lead to the death penalty.

Official guidance on the provision of overseas security and justice assistance said it should meet “our human rights obligations and values” and, before assistance is given, requests should also be considered by the International Police Assistance Board.

However Reprieve claims that its FOI requests found that no such assessments had been done by the UK College of Policing, which conducted the training.

The National Police Chiefs Council came under fire in June for continuing to provide training to Saudi police despite identifying a risk that “the skills being trained are used to identify individuals who later go on to be tortured or subjected to other human rights abuses.”

In November, the council said the publication of this information had been a mistake and it would not release similar documents in the future.

Both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia use the death penalty and have tortured people involved in anti-government or pro-reform protests.

In Saudi Arabia, Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher were all children when they were arrested for their involvement in demonstrations calling for reform. They are currently on death row awaiting execution.

In Bahrain, police officer Mohammed Ramadan faces the death penalty for having told interrogators while under torture that he had attacked other officers after joining a pro-democracy protest.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman claimed the government continues to raise concerns over the cases cited by Reprieve with the respective governments and that it “opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and in all countries.”

“The British government consistently and unreservedly condemns torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and it is a priority for us to combat it wherever and whenever it occurs.”

On the case of Mr Nimr and the two others convicted while they were juveniles, she said: “We expect that they will not be executed. Nevertheless, we continue to raise these cases with the Saudi authorities.”

But Maya Foa, who heads Reprieve’s death penalty team, said: “At best this is incompetence, at worst a cover-up; either way, the result is that this training risks rendering the UK complicit in the death penalty.

“It is shocking that neither Police Scotland nor the UK College of Policing hold any information about what human rights assessments were undertaken before this training went ahead.

“The conclusion is that once again, the UK’s policy on the death penalty has been ignored. Support to police forces in death penalty states such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain must be suspended until they can show real progress — starting with scrapping the death sentences handed down to children and political protesters.”

The Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We are rightly proud of the British model of policing and it is not surprising that there is an international appetite to learn from the best.”

Britain has a long history of involvement in Bahrain, with many British citizens having served in top roles with its internal security services.

The most notorious was Ian Henderson, a colonial officer in Kenya and head of various police agencies in Bahrain from 1966 to 1998. He presided over torture and was accused by opposition groups of “masterminding a ruthless campaign of repression.”