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BAHRAIN – NEWS

[tweetthis]

BAHRAIN PRESS HEADLINES TODAY: “ROYALTY SEND CABLES TO INDONESIA” & “JEWELLERY FAIR OPENS” – DEATH OF 16 YEAR OLD NOT WORTH A MENTION:

TIMELINE – 18th AUGUST 2012 12.45 GMT:

In another week of the ongoing conflict in Bahrain, the Al Khalifa Government really distinguished itself by imposing an absurdly long prison sentence on Nabeel Rajab and killing a 16 year boy.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Hassum Al Haddad Killed Aged 16

The 16 year old, Hussam Al Haddad, was killed last night, Friday, after being blasted with shotgun pellets fired by the police.

An eyewitness is reporting that after Hussam fell to the ground a man in civilian clothing accompanying the police, was seen repeatedly kicking the the teenager.

Police officers did not intervene in the attack on the injured boy.

After a family member retrieved Hussam, who was soaked with blood, he briefly opened his eyes and then fell unconscious. After the teenager was later confirmed dead, his family were ushered out of Salmaniya hospital without being allowed to see or take away the body for burial.

Although there is no indication of why the teenager was shot in the first place at this stage, the Ministry of Interior was quick to put out a statement in Arabic confirming the death but referred to the Hussam as a “terrorist” and backed their “claim” by Tweeting a video clip of a Molotov attack on vehicles in Muharraq, HERE:

Photographs shown by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) website this morning shown vast areas of shotgun blast on the boy’s body, indicating a shooting at very close range, (though caution urged, graphic and distressing photographs) HERE:

The Ministry of Interior media website, the Bahrain News Agency (BNA – the official Government website) and the Gulf Daily News (GDN), the main English language newspaper, have failed even to mention Hussam’s death this morning, Saturday.

In fact BNA leads this morning with the riveting news that the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister of Bahrain have both sent a “cable” of congratulation to the President of Indonesia on the commemoration of the country’s Independence Day and the GDN’s top article is about a jewellery fair that is about to open in Bahrain under the headline “Sparkling Show”.

Such is the value of a teenager’s life in Bahrain – at least if he is a member of the Shia sect. If the 16 year old had been a Sunni, who had died for any reason, you can sure it would have been frontpage news despite it being the eve of the Eid holiday to celebrate the end of the Ramadan fasting period.

EDITOR: How the hell the Al Khalifa Government ever hopes to bring about reconciliation in Bahrain under these circumstances is beyond me.

Their arrogant disregard of almost 70% of their population and continued rule by sectarian suppression in the 21st century is neither allowable or sustainable and in my view will result in the destruction of their economy and the complete disintegration of their society.

They will reap the whirlwind of the grievances that they choose to ignore.

http://www.petercliffordordonline.com/bahrain-news

Al Al Shaikh – 14 Years Old – Killed Eid 2011 – BCHR

Meanwhile for the Al Haddad family there will be no Eid celebration.

And similarly, the Al Shaikh family will be remembering the death of their 14 year old son Ali Al Shaikh who died almost exactly a year ago when he was struck in the head by a tear gas canister during a peaceful demonstration during the Eid festival.

BCHR has documented the deaths of 9 children by Bahrain Government security forces either by a direct shot or excessive use of tear gas.

To date, no-one has been held accountable for any of these deaths and neither has there been any proper inquiry into any of them.

SPITEFUL, REVENGEFUL, POLITICAL PRISON SENTENCE ON NABEEL RAJAB RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION:

The Al Khalifa Government also excelled itself on Thursday by allowing its judiciary, which is under direct control of the ruling family, to impose a 3 year sentence on Nabeel Rajab, the well known President of BCHR, for taking part in three “illegal gatherings” and “inciting others” to take part.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Nabeel Rajab Hugs His Mother

Nabeel was already in custody serving a 3 month sentence for Tweeting criticism of Bahrain’s antique prime minister (in the job consistently since 1971), Khalifah ibn Sulman al-Khalifah, the king of Bahrain’s uncle.

As well as President of BCHR, Nabeel is the director of the Gulf Center for Human rights, the vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and on the advisory board for the Middle East and North African affairs section of Human Rights Watch (HRW) in the United State.

Nabeel was also awarded in 2011 the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award because he “has worked tirelessly and at considerable personal peril to advance the cause of democratic freedoms and the civil rights of Bahraini citizens”.

But that cuts no ice in Bahrain where a political sentence has clearly been imposed, making a mockery of the Al Khalifa’s claims to be making a “march towards democracy” and transparency,

Commenting on the sentence imposed on Nabeel Rajab, Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director for Human Rights Watch , said, “This ruling shows that Bahrain’s rulers are committed to a policy of comprehensive repression”.htp://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

More than 40 members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), of which BCHR is a member, issued a statement condemning the court ruling.

Annie Game, IFEX executive director said,”By sentencing Nabeel to prison, the Bahrain government is sending a strong message to the world that it doesn’t care about human rights. With this decision the Kingdom’s international reputation remains at stake”.

Amnesty International described it as “a dark day for justice in Bahrain”

Even the British Foreign Office and the US Statement Department, strong allies of Bahrain, were moved to comment on the length of the sentence and described it as “disproportionate”.

The jail term provoked demonstrations outside the Bahrain embassy in Washington and in villages across Bahrain last night.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Zainab ALKhawaja Imprisoned Once Again

Also still in detention, apart from the dozens of other political prisoners held by the Al Khalifa Government, is Zainab AlKhawaja who was arrested on 2nd August after staging a one-woman protest on a roundabout in support of her imprisoned father, human rights activist Abdulhadi AlKhawaja.

Zainab is still on crutches after sustaining a serious injury causing a fracture at a previous demonstration from a teargas canister fired at close range by police.

This is Zaninab’s fifth arrest since April. On August 4th she was detained until a hearing on 28th August after being accused of “tearing up a photo of the king”. (EDITOR: Wish I had been there to give her a hand!).

KING, PM AND JUSTICE MINISTER OPEN “COMEDY STORE” FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE JOKES IN BAHRAIN:

The Prime Minister of Bahrain, Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, reportedly set up this week a “High Coordinating Committee for Human Rights” whose aims, among others, are to “develop a mechanism that can ensure that the best human rights policies are in place”.

Clearly another Al Khalifa joke designed to bolster the charade of “change and reform” that the Bahrain Government’s PR machine likes to send out into the world.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

King Hamad Still in the Driving Seat – Courtesy @CarlosLatuff

The King of Bahrain, in celebrating the beginning of Eid, also this week issued a pardon to 305 prisoners, including prostitutes, who had served part of their sentences.

Apparently the act “reflects HM the King’s keenness on providing the pardoned inmates the opportunity to integrate society anew and participate in their country’s construction and development march” according to the BNA.

Unfortunately, of course, it did not include any of the political activists ( and key players in any reform process) that oppose his Government, all of whom remain in jail on long sentences following sham trials and constantly delayed appeals.

The Bahrain Government farce was also added to by the Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa (known as “Sheikh Smirky” on this blog) blathering on this week about:

“Bahrain’s constant keenness to go ahead with the comprehensive modernization and development process as well as the implementation of the National Consensus Dialogue’s visions and the recommendations of Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which ushered in a new chapter of reform and development”.

Try reading that again quickly - it’s complete rubbish!

AVAAZ PETITION: FREE NABEEL RAJAB FROM THE AL KHALIFA DICTATORSHIP IN BAHRAIN:

Last word to Nabeel Rajab who was heard to say after sentencing on Thursday, “You can jail me for three years or 30 years, but I will not back down or retreat from my human rights work.”

EDITOR: I have started a new petition on AVAAZ, the 15.5 million people strong community organisation, in support of Nabeel’s release, HERE:

The short link is http://bit.ly/FreeNabeelNow  if you wish to Tweet or email it.

PLEASE SIGN AND SUPPORT THIS PETITION BY SHARING IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITH YOUR CONTACTS AND FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD.

If we get sufficient numbers then AVAAZ may well put it on their community page and send out to their wider membership. 325 people worldwide signed the petition in the first 24 hours.http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news



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HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IN US, UK AND BAHRAIN, TARGETED WITH SOPHISTICATED MONITORING SOFTWARE – WHO FROM?:

TIMELINE – 16th JULY 2012 13.52 GMT:

Yesterday Bloomberg, the major US news organisation, published a report on the use of spyware against human rights activists, including some from Bahrain.

The spyware goes under the name of FinFisher and FInSpy and is marketed by a somewhat secretive software company known as the Gamma Group, which seems to operate from 2 bases, one in the UK and one in Munich, Germany.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahraini-news

Example of Trojan Emails (Safe!) – Citizen Lab


If the FinFisher software , which is typically emailed to activists as an attachment to emails carrying subject lines, pictures and statements which may be of interest to them, is opened it will secretly download to your computer a programme which will copy every key stroke, copy files, monitor Skype calls and send all this information to the originator.

The software can reputedly even turn on webcams and read documents as they are being typed. This is no joke or spurious “spam alarm” circulating on the Internet, but the result of a careful examination by the Global Affairs’ Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto in Canada.

Gamma executive Martin J. Muench claims that the sophisticated monitoring software is used to “catch criminals” and that FinFisher, “to avoid abuse”,  is only sold to Governments.  Software like this sells apparently at $470,000 a time.

Muench, seen as something of an expert in this field, appears around the world at security conferences giving talks with titles such as “Offensive IT Intelligence Information- Gathering Portfolio — An Operational Overview.”

Wikileaks published a Gamma company brochure about the software system last year, HERE:

TROJAN SOFTWARE, “ONLY SOLD TO GOVERNMENTS”, SENT IN EMAILS TO ACTIVISTS, TRACED BACK TO MANAMA:

The software installs what is called a “Trojan”, which effectively takes over your computer.  Several recipients of the emails containing the Trojan included Bahrain activists Ala’a Shehabi, who is an economist based both in London and Bahrain, and Husain Abdulla, a U.S. citizen who is director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, based in Alabama.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

These Trojan Pictures Were Also Attached to Emails (Now Safe!) – Citizen Lab

The Trojan carrying emails have also been received by activists in Bahrain’s capital Manama and carry such enticing subject lines as “Torture reports on Nabeel Rajab”; “King Hamad Planning,” a reference to the Bahraini king’s trip to London for Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee; and “Breaking News from Bahrain — 5  Suspects Arrested.”

Bill Marczak, a computer scientist at the University of California Berkeley, installed 4 samples of the emails on a “virtual machine” on his laptop and monitored the Trojan’s behavior, tracing the Trojan’s transmissions back to an Internet IP address in Manama.

Luma Bashmi, a spokeswoman for the Bahrain Government’s Information Affairs Authority, when asked about this said in an e- mailed statement, “Such allegations are taken very seriously and if there is any evidence that there is any misconduct in use of such technology, each case will be investigated immediately according to the laws and regulations of the Kingdom of Bahrain”.

Congratulations to Bloomberg on investigating this. You can read the whole fascinating article, HERE:

And the technical analysis carried out by Citizen Lab, HERE:

EDITOR: As a human rights activist I have some experience of this kind of behaviour and am always careful about which links I open.  This site has been attacked a number of times and I now have security monitoring software over-watching the website 24/7 and increased levels of protection on the server.

As many of you know, my petition “Ban Sheikh Nasser” on AVAAZ was also attacked by highly sophisticated spoiling software which dumped 36,000 false signatures on the petition site in an attempt to ruin it. 

It took more than a week for AVAAZ, with all its technical resources, to eliminate the interfering “bot”. A letter referring to the more than 10,000 real signatures on the petition has been sent to the UK’ Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Finally, rest assured that all links on this site have been tested and are working fine and, at the current time, are completely safe!

 

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AL KHALIFA GOVERNMENT “CELEBRATES” RAMADAN BY SENDING POLICE TO INVADE HOUSES, BEAT & SHOOT AT 4.00 IN THE MORNING:

TIMELINE – 25th JULY 2012 10.54 GMT:

The Al Khalifa Government of Bahrain “celebrated” the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan last night, by sending in its mercenary riot police into numerous villages at 3.00 and 4.00 am in the morning.

The police fired tear gas shells, raided houses, fired shotguns at young protesters and beat them. Here are some pictures of a night’s “holy” work by Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior employees:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Police Inflicted Injuries in Aldair

BAHRAIN JUDICIAL FARCE 3: Despite the recommendations of the BICI commission that citizens should not be arrested for “freedom of expression”, 15 year old Ali Alasheeri was yesterday sentenced to 1 year in prison for taking part in an “illegal gathering”. 

The “benign” judge handing down the sentence was reportedly Rashid Al Khalifa, a member of the country’s ruling family (EDITOR: And therefore entirely “independent” in his judgements of course!).

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Police Inflicted Injuries Sitra

 

BAHRAIN JUDICIAL FARCE 4: Continuing its policy of “torture by postponement” the appeal by human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, was put off yet again yesterday until 5th August.

An appeal for bail was denied – just another excuse to keep him in prison and “off the streets”.  Meanwhile, policemen on trial accused of murder, continue to be allowed home at night to sleep in their own beds.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Police Inflicted Injuries Deraz

BAHRAIN JUDICIAL FARCE 5: At the appeal trial of Mahdi Abu Dheeb, head of the Bahrain Teacher’s Association and his deputy, Jalila Al Salman, yesterday a video was shown by defence lawyers clearly illustrating that in addressing crowds infront of the Education Ministry last year, Abu Dheeb called for the rallies to be peaceful and asking people to be organised.

Mr. Dheeb was sentenced by a military court to 10 years in prison for “trying to overthrow the government, distributing leaflets containing political propaganda, disseminating fabricated information and encouraging teachers to walk out of their jobs in protest”. Mr Dheeb, who has health problems requiring regular check ups, has been held in prison for over a year now.

Jalila Al Salman, who was sentenced to 3 years in prison, but free on bail pending the appeal result, argued in court that the teachers had a right to protest

Once again the appeal was postponed until August 6th. The GDN has more detail, HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

1 Year in Prison for 15 Year Old

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Protest in Bahrain Last Night

 

*****************************************
AVAAZ PETITION FORCES NAAS CORPORATION TO RELEASE 100 INDIAN WORKERS AFTER ONE COMMITS SUICIDE:

TIMELINE- 18th JULY 11.35 GMT:

An AVAAZ community petition getting more than 20,000 signatures has resulted in the Nass Corporation in Bahrain dropping charges of “absconding from work” brought against 100 of its indian workers, thus allowing them to return home to India.

The petition was started by Shanker Mariappan after his brother, Pasupathi, hung himself in desperation in a public garden in Bahrain. Under Bahraini law workers who fail to complete their contract for any reason or are in debt can be legally prevented from leaving the country.  

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Indian Workers Want to Go Home

There are around 350,000 Indian workers in Bahrain, many living in poverty and poor conditions. 

The majority are employed on construction projects and work for low wages. There have been 26 suicides of Indian workers since the beginning of 2012 alone.

The petition appealed to a Nass Corporation business partner in Bahrain, Baremar Golf UK, tp sever a business contract if Nass did not let the workers go.

After discussions with the Indian embassy in Manama, the Nass Corporation has agreed to withdraw the court cases against the “run-away” Indian workers as a “goodwill gesture”.

“The company will not hereafter institute any legal proceedings against run-away workers except in cases of criminal offences, if any, committed by them,” a company statement said.http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

The Nass Corporation is part of the Nass Group, a huge conglomerate involved in construction, engineering, cement, landscaping and the supply of imported wholesale foods among other things and has almost 5,000 employees.

AVAAZ described the decision as “a huge victory for the 20,000 people” who signed the petition. The petition site is HERE:

***************************************
LONDON DEMONSTRATION IN SUPPORT OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN BAHRAIN:

TIMELINE – 15th JULY 2012 13.45

Yesterday, Saturday, around 200 men, women and children attended an Opposition rally in London in support of political prisoners in Bahrain.  

http://www.petercliffonline.com/bahrain-newsThe rally also featured the “Eye4Freedom” campaign in support of those who have lost an eye after being shot in the face by the Al Khalifa riot police and the “Ban Sheikh Nasser” campaign to get the “torturer prince” banned from the Olympics.

Using sophisticated and loud PA equipment, the crowd infront of the Bahrain embassy in London’s Belgrave Square let the Al Khalifa officials in the embassy building opposite know what they thought about their political masters back home. Supporters came from all parts of the UK, from Ireland and from Bahrain itself.

http://ww.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

AVAAZ Petition Poster

AVAAZ.org the international community action group with over 15 million members, who have been supporting the “Ban Sheikh Nasser” Campaign petition, kindly designed and paid for a number of posters.

For almost 2 hours “Yasquot Hamad” (Down, Down King Hamad) and other slogans calling for freedom, self determination and democracy rung out across the upmarket embassy quarter of London’s Belgravia. The embassy officials meanwhile, hid between silvered one-way windows, no doubt filming and photographing all the protesters opposite.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain/news

Eye4Freedom Campaign

UNLIKE BAHRAIN, LONDON POLICE TREAT BAHRAIN OPPOSITION PROTESTERS WITH COURTESY AND RESPECT:

In marked contrast to the police in Bahrain, London’s Metropolitan police force maintained a discrete, non-offensive presence, with just 3 unarmed policemen infront of the embassy and up to 2 vans of support officers nearby.  At no point did the support officers get out of their vehicles.

No weapons, no teargas, no birdshot. In fact, many of us had friendly chats with the officers, some of whom were interested in what the demonstration was about.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Ban Sheikh Nasser

The demonstration was supported by the Stop the War Coalition and MP Jeremy Corbyn and writer and broadcaster John Rees, both speaking eloquently about the discriminatory situation in Bahrain and the suppression of human rights, political freedoms and democracy.

Although it had rained fairly steadily in London all through the morning, the rain held off from the start of the protest and did not return until well after it ended.

BAHRAIN PROTESTERS IN LONDON MARCH ON SAUDI EMBASSY TOO:

The second part of the demonstration was a march through London’s very busy streets to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Curzon Street, more than a mile away from the Bahrain embassy in Belgrave Square.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

March Through Central London

Once again, in marked contrast to the actions of the Ministry of Interior in Bahrain, the march was not banned because of the “problems in might cause to traffic and the public”, but allowed to go ahead unimpeded.

In fact, remarkably, the British police did not even accompany the march, despite the fact it had to cross some major 3 lane roads such as Park Lane, but left the march and crowd control entirely to the stewards from the Bahraini community.

Outside the Saudi Arabian embassy, security was more marked, with 6 policemen infront of the line of demonstrators and 2 armed policemen from the diplomatic security police directly infront of the embassy building itself. At no point did the armed police raise or point their weapons, but just remained quietly in the background.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Demonstration Opposite the Saudi Embassy

The Bahraini protesters gave the Saudis a good hour or more of chants, including “Free AlKhawaja” and the embassy staff must have enjoyed viewing the pictures of King Abdullah displayed as Count Dracula, blood dripping from his jowls.

At one point an angry middle-aged man on a mobile, presumably a Saudi, torn his way through the demonstrators muttering curses in Arabic and saying how “wonderful the Al Sauds were”.  The second time he did this, he was taken aside by a burly police officer and cautioned about his behaviour.

Shortly before 6.00pm the demonstration ended and the crowd departed tired but happy that they had made their voices heard and kept the fight for freedom and democracy in Bahrain alive.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Jeremy Corbyn MP Speaks in Support of Bahrain Opposition

EDITOR: Good to meet some very nice people, make some new friends (you know who you are!) and hear some very sad but interesting stories about persecution in Bahrain. “Sumood!” (Steadfast).

In the photograph: Ahmed Ali, Dr. A’Al Shehabi, John Horne (EAWorldView) and Tara O’Grady from Ireland (Bravo) in the background:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

MORE PICS:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Opposite the Bahrain Embassy, London

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Outside the Bahrain Embassy

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

John Rees, Writer/Broadcaster Speaks on Behalf of Bahrain Activists

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Sending a Clear Message to the Bahrain Embassy

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Demonstration Alongside Heavy London Traffic

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

The Massive Saudi Embassy in London

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Saeed Shehabi Outside the Saudi Embassy

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Police Stand Quietly By As Bahraini Women Tell the Saudis What They Think

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

SUMOOD


***************************************

COWARDLY AL KHALIFA GOVERNMENT MOVES BACK TO  DARK AGES AS IT SENDS MASKED MEN TO ARREST PROSECUTED  ACTIVIST:

BAHRAIN GOVERNMENT TAKES FURTHER STEPS TO STIFLE DISSENT AND POLITICAL FREEDOM BY BANNING AMAL SOCIETY:

AL KHALIFA GOVERNMENT USELESS AT MANAGING INVESTMENTS AS ITS SOVEREIGN “WEALTH” FUND LOSES $1.34 BILLION IN 2 YEARS:

TIMELINE – 10th JULY 2012 10.32 GMT:

Bahrain took another step back towards the Dark Ages yesterday as leading human rights activist Nabeel Rajab was convicted  of “defamation” by using his Twitter account for “libelous” Tweets and sentenced to 3 months in prison.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Nabeel Rajab – Imprisoned for 3 Months – Reuters

Nabeel’s popular Twitter account has more than 158,000 followers.

His lawyer, Mohammed Al-Jishi, said that they would normally expect a fine if someone was found guilty in such a case. 

Nabeel, who has been harassed since being arrested at Manama airport when returning from a meeting in Beirut in May, has already spent 3 weeks in prison related to the charges and this should be counted against his sentence.

Nabeel declined to appear at the court hearing on Monday, but was arrested at his home infront of his family shortly after the verdict was announced.

In truly cowardly fashion, the Ministry of Interior, sent 4 vehicles containing masked men in balaclavas and plain clothes to arrest him.  A video of the arrest can be seen, HERE:


EDITOR: One can’t help wondering if the men sent to undertake the arrest hid their faces because they were so ashamed of their actions?

In a series of Tweets on June 2nd, Nabeel accused the citizens of the town of Muharraq, a generally pro-government suburb, of being Government stooges, particularly in relation to Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s 41 year incumbent geriatric Prime Minister, who they had recently welcomed.

Nabeel implied that they only supported the prime minister for unspecified financial gain.

One Tweet said:

“Khalifa, leave the residents of Al Mahraq, its Sheikhs and its elderly. Everyone knows that you are not popular here, and if there wasn’t a need for money, they wouldn’t have gone out to receive you. When will you step down?”

Signatories who filed the lible complaint “on behalf of Muharraq’s citizens” included Adel Flaifel, a former government security officer accused of torturing Opposition detainees, Saleh Bin Isa Bin Hindi, a consultant to the King of Bahrain, and a number of other retired police and security officers.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Nabeel Rajab Teargassed At An Earlier Protest

Nabeel is expected back in court on 19th July and again on 26th September, to face other charges, potentially lengthening his incarceration even further.

Nabeel Rajab, who is the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, a Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and a member of the advisory board of Human Rights Watch in the United States, has won numerous international awards for his human rights work.  His lawyer has lodged an appeal against his conviction.

Clearly “freedom of expression”, which was supposed to have become easier under the recommendations of the BICI report issued in November 2011, has now taken another step backwards .

BAHRAIN GOVERNMENT TAKES FURTHER STEPS TO STIFLE DISSENT AND POLITICAL FREEDOM BY BANNING AMAL SOCIETY:

The Al Khalifa Government also took further steps to suppress the voices of dissent yesterday when the The Political Societies Affairs Bureau at the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry, received a judgement in the courts to dissolve the Islamic Action Society (Amal) for “grave and continuing breaches”.

Sheikh Mohammed Ali Al Mahfoodh – Jailed for 10 Years

The society’s Secretary-General, Sheikh Mohammed Al Mahfoodh, is currently serving a 10 year jail sentence after being convicted of attempting to “overthrow the regime” and taking part in  “illegal gatherings”.

The society’s lawyers are planning to appeal the dissolution order.

Both the actions against Amal and Nabeel Rajab and string of aggressive activity by the authorities against other prominent human rights activists, including the recent close-range shooting of Zainab AlKhawaja with a teargas canister, can only lead to further anti-government demonstrations and disruption in the 16 month old conflict.

Piles of tyres were set alight in protest this morning, Tuesday, in a number of locations in protest against yesterday’s judgement against Nabeel Rajab.

AL KHALIFA GOVERNMENT USELESS AT MANAGING INVESTMENTS AS ITS SOVEREIGN “WEALTH” FUND LOSES $1.34 BILLION IN 2 YEARS:

Lastly, the Al Khalifa Government seems no better at handling its investments that it does in dealing with human rights, democracy and political freedom issues.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Mumtalakat Official Logo – mumtalakat.png

On Saturday, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, announced record losses for 2011 of  $717.7 million. 

This was on top of losses of $621.3 million in 2010, making a total of $1.34 billion over the 2 year period..

The deficit is largely laid at the door of Gulf Air, the national carrier, one of a number of state-owned businesses controlled by the Mumtalakat holding company, including the F1 racing circuit.

Gulf Air has posted an operating loss for a number of years and this has only been increased by the ongoing disturbances in Bahrain since February 2011 and significant upward costs in the price of aviation fuel.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Al Khalifa Government Running Scared of Tweets – Courtesy @Cartoon_BH

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DESPICABLE AL KHALIFA GOVERNMENT USES COURTS TO EXTEND REPRESSION AND APPLY PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL TORTURE:

BAHRAIN GOVERNMENT LOBBIES FOR A PLACE AS HUMAN RIGHTS “EXPERT” ON UN HR ADVISORY COMMITTEE:

NEW DEMONSTRATION IN SUPPORT OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN BAHRAIN SCHEDULED FOR OUTSIDE LONDON EMBASSY 14th JULY 2012:

TIMELINE – 5th JULY 2012 12.35 GMT:

Once again, the Bahrain legal system showed its deliberate, manipulative and punishing face yesterday when it postponed judgement in the case of 28 medics, including 13 doctors, 12 paramedics and 3 nurses.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

HRW Report February 2012

The “excuse” this time was that the judge wanted to “consider allegations of torture on the medics during their detention”. 

Their “crimes” are alledged to be “inciting hatred against the regime” and “illegal gathering”.

In reality these are sectarian charges against medics who were doing their job assisting injured protesters. 

The verdicts in the case have been postponed to September 4th, the courts being closed for the holidays for most of the time until then.

Nabeel Hameed, a neurosurgeon and one of those accused, said after the postponement was announced, “Our suffering continues and our future is unclear. All the medics are disappointed as it means our lives continue in suspended animation”.

One femaie doctor described her experience at the hands of the police while in detention. “A policewoman slapped me, a two-handed slap on either side of my face and started banging me on the head with her fist. Male police officers were abusing us verbally, saying terrible things. Every time my name was called I was terrified, not knowing what they might do to us.”

Now the group is being collectively punished by dragging out the “trial” month after month, torturing them psychologically and emotionally and wrecking their careers and the lives of their families.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Wall Poster Calling for the Release of Younis Ashoori

Younis Ashoori, a long term administrator at a maternity hospital, who is in Jaw prison and unwell, continues to be held in this way in a separate case by repeated court hearing suspension. 

His “crime”? Supplying oxygen cylinders to help the injured on the orders of a superior.

Ashoori is 61 years old and suffers with kidney stone problems and an enlarged prostate. So far he has spent more than 15 months in jail.  Despite his serious health conditions he was not allowed to see a doctor for more than 12 months.

His case has been postponed until 11th July, reputedly because the Ministry of Interior has failed to hand over voice recordings.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Mahdi Abu Deeb More Than 1 Year Behind Bars

Another case is that of Mahdi Abu Deeb, President of the Bahrain Teacher’s Association, effectively the Teacher’s Union, who has been held in prison for more than a year.

At the time of his arrest he was thrown from the second storey of a building and subsequently tortured and beaten in prison.

Abu Deeb suffers from poor health with diabetes and high blood pressure problems, yet has been frequently denied medication.

His case has been postponed for the umpteenth time until 15th July.

With these methods the Al Khalifa Government continues to suppress and punish those unjustly accused of crimes they did not commit and whose “confessions” were invariably extracted under torture and signed while blindfolded.

At the same time the Bahrain Government continues to claim to be “lily white”, implementing the recommendations of the BICI report and be “marching down the path to democracy”. (EDITOR: Hysterical laughter from the villages surrounding Manama)

Brian Dooley of Human Rights First (HR1) described it as, “Justice delayed is justice denied”.  You can read more from HR1, HERE:

BAHRAIN GOVERNMENT LOBBIES FOR A PLACE AS HUMAN RIGHTS “EXPERT” ON UN HR ADVISORY COMMITTEE:

A week after 27 countries signed a document condemning Bahrain and presented it to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Al Khalifa Government has the neck this week to lobby for a seat on the Human Rights Council advisory committee when it holds elections in September.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

UN Human Rights Council Logo

The 2 page document presented to the Council said in part, “We are particularly concerned about the consequences faced by those who protested for democratic change in a peaceful manner.

We call upon the Bahraini government to fully respect their rights of freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and especially to ensure the protection of Human Rights Defenders.”

It also expresses the desire for Bahrain to agree on a comprehensive cooperation plan with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, plus a permanent presence for an OHCHR office in Bahrain.

The statement was signed by Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. 

The two-faced “defenders of human rights”, USA and UK declined to sign.

A week later, in seeking support for its “entirely qualified” nominee, Saeed Mohammed al-Faihani, for a place on the Human Rights Council advisory committee, the Bahrain Government has written to all 57 members of the Organisation of Islamic States.

Letters to the UN endorsing the Gulf kingdom’s candidate have also come from “Bahrain’s National Institution for Human Rights” and several other local government-approved “human rights organisations”.

The move is seen as an attempt by Bahrain to clean-up its human rights image and also to give it influence in human rights discussions at the UN.

The 18 member advisory committee acts as a kind of think-tank for the UN Human Rights Council and its participants are regarded as “experts”. The the committee already includes well known human rights abusive countries such as China and Azerbaijan.

Raza Kazim of the Islamic Human Rights Commission based in London, said, “It’s disgraceful that such a country with an appalling human rights record should be on the human rights advisory committee.

We ask the UN and other countries around the world to reject Bahrain’s application.  Countries with human rights abuses should not be allowed to use the United Nations Human Rights Council to wash away their crimes”.

NEW DEMONSTRATION IN SUPPORT OF POLITICAL PRISONERS IN BAHRAIN SCHEDULED FOR OUTSIDE LONDON EMBASSY 14th JULY 2012:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-newsFor those of you in the UK and the EU, another demonstration against the human rights abuses committed by Bahrain and in support of the political prisoners still in its jails is due to take place outside the Bahraini embassy in Belgrave Square, London SW1 on Saturday 14th July at 2.00pm.

Speakers scheduled to appear include: Tariq Ali author and activist; •  Peter Thatchell human rights activist; •  Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition •  Jeremy Corbyn MP Islington North •  John Rees Stop the War Coalition •  Yvonne Ridley journalist •  Amin Kubba activist •  Ibrahim Sincere poet

For further information see, HERE:

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“CHINKS OF LIGHT” AS ACTIVIST RELEASED, UNIVERSITY TEACHERS ACQUITTED AND NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICERS PUT ON TRIAL:

NOT SO GOOD NEWS AS OUT OF CONTROL AND INCOMPETENT RIOT POLICE DIRECTLY TARGET LEADING ACTIVIST WITH TEAR GAS SHELL:

POLICE RAID ON SUPPOSED “BOMB MAKING FACTORY” REVEALS PRESENCE OF “HIGHLY DANGEROUS” PARTY POPPERS:

TIMELINE – 28th JUNE 2012 10.33 GMT:

There were some small “chinks of light” in Bahrain yesterday as Nabeel Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), was released from custody after 3 weeks in detention. 

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Nabeel Rajab With Family After Release

Despite the fact that he still charged with 4 “offences” he expressed defiance saying he will “keep defending the people’s rights” against what he calls the “dictatorship that runs Bahrain”.

Rajab had been arrested and held in custody, the second time in 2 months, after 24 retired police officers living in Muharraq had filed a complaint that he had “cast doubt on their patriotism” by referring in a Tweet to citizens in the area as “government stooges”.

Rajab’s defence lawyer presented a letter to the judge signed by 400 Muharraq residents who said they did not regard what Mr Rajab wrote on his Twitter account as insulting. The trial will reconvene on July 9th for a verdict.

It is also reported that 2 National Security Agency (NSA) officers appeared in court yesterday charged with the unlawful killing of Abdulkarim Fakhrawi who died at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital from injuries sustained in NSA custody on April 11th last year.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

AbdulKarim Fakhrawi

Mr. Fakhrawi, who went to a police station to complain about police surrounding a relative’s home on April 3rd, was never seen alive in public again.

He was a well-known Bahraini businessman and, significantly, the founder of the Opposition newspaper Al Wasat.

The officers are claiming that Mr. Fakhrawi attacked them with a toilet seat while in custody, something that is not in their original statement and which was only added later. The BICI report concluded that he died as a result of torture.

The case, which was adjourned until September 19th to allow lawyers access to more documentation, follows the decision of judges in another case where they have rejected accusations of manslaughter against 3 other police officers and substituted the charge of murder.

The litmus test of credibility though will be to see whether these prosecutions come to a definitive conclusion, what the sentences will be if they are found guilty and what happens on appeal.  Only then can the public decide whether the Bahraini judicial system is on course to reform itself or not.

Also reported yesterday was the dropping of all charges against 11 university teachers.  They had previously been charged with “inciting hatred, attending rallies at the Pearl Roundabout, reporting falsified news and not attending work during last year’s unrest”. The Lower Criminal Court cleared them of all charges due to lack of evidence.

Had the judicial process been fair in the first place, and not full of sectarian prejudice and bias, everyone would have been spared a great deal of time, money, inconvenience, life disruption and distress and pain.

NOT SO GOOD NEWS AS OUT OF CONTROL AND INCOMPETENT RIOT POLICE DIRECTLY TARGET LEADING ACTIVIST WITH TEAR GAS SHELL:

Not so good tidings came from the village of Buri yesterday following a small peaceful demonstration which was broken up by riot police. It appears that Bahrain’s police mercenaries are still out of control and incapable of behaving in an appropriate manner.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Injury to Zainab AlKhawaja

Zainab AlKhawaja and Said Yousif of BCHR, who attended the demonstration, were surrounded by riot police officers who made mocking remarks and then on the orders of an officer fired towards them at close range. 

Zainab was struck on the left leg with a tear gas cannister, causing bleeding and a  cut that required hospital treatment. The injury is deep and there is some concern that there is muscle damage.

That Bahrain’s riot police officers seem incapable of following the standard international instruction to fire tear gas shells in the air, but instead use them as targeted offensive weapons, is testimony to the failure of so-called police “training” in Bahrain.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Zainab AlKhawaja in Hospital – Sumood – courtesy @connect_bahrain

Further bad news was the imprisonment of  human rights lawyer Mohammed Al Tajer for another month.

Mohammed, who has defended a number of high profile Opposition figures and is a victim of torture himself, has already spent 3 months in prison as a result of numerous charges trumped up against him.

Scroll down to 26th June for further information.

POLICE RAID ON SUPPOSED “BOMB MAKING FACTORY” REVEALS PRESENCE OF “HIGHLY DANGEROUS” PARTY POPPERS:

Lastly, two other reports from Bahrain.

The first article says King Hamad received congratulations from King Mohammed Vl of Morocco on the birth of twin boys to the king’s son Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

In typical Bahrain News Agency fashion, there is no mention of Sheikh Nasser’s wife, who was clearly entirely superfluous to the process.

Apparently Sheikh Nasser achieved this all by himself in between riding horse in endurance races and facing accusations of  personally torturing protesters.

In the second article , Major-General Tariq Al-Hassan, the head of Bahrain’s Public Security, reports on the discovery of a suspected bomb factory and the seizure of 5 tons of “highly explosive material” and 110 litres of chemicals.

Closer photographic examination of the haul reveals the presence of a number of “highly dangerous” party poppers! Three named individuals (partygoers?) are being sought in connection with the raid.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Police Bomb Haul Contains “Highly Explosive” Party Poppers

************************************
ON UN DAY OF SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF TORTURE, BAHRAIN DRAGS HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER AND TORTURE VICTIM TO COURT:

NOT ONE, SINGLE, SOLITARY SENIOR OFFICIAL HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR TORTURE IN BAHRAIN:

POLICEMAN GIVEN 5 YEARS FOR INJURING PROTESTER WITH BIRDSHOT – WHAT ABOUT ALL THE DOZENS OF OTHER VICTIMS?:

DESPITE SO CALLED “TRAINING” POLICE CONTINUE TO FIRE AT POINT-BLANK RANGE, NOT CARING WHO THEY INJURE:

TIMELINE – 26th JUNE 2012 11.25 GMT:

Today, June 26th, is the United Nations Day in Support of Victims of Torture around the world.

There are many such victims in Bahrain. Some have been released from detention and are living with their memories.

Some are still in prison convicted on trumped up charges and “confessions”, usually signed while they were blindfolded and extracted under torture.

Some of the Medics in Prison or Now Acquitted

Some of the Medics Prosecuted in Bahrain

Recently, 20 medics, many convicted for periods between 5 and 15 years on the basis of “confessions”, had there sentences drastically reduced or cancelled completely.

9 of the medics, formerly threatened with imprisonment for a total of 60 years, were acquitted. 9 others had their sentences reduced from a total of 120 years to a total of 10 years 10 months.

(EDITOR: Mainly I suspect because the regime could not be seen to totally lose face by releasing them all from convictions which the whole world knows are absurd and unjustified).

2 medics remain with convictions of 15 years because they were tried in absentia and did not appeal because they are either in hiding or have managed to leave Bahrain.

According to Physicians for Human Rights, in addition to those mentioned above, another 32 medical professionals in Bahrain are either held in prison or released and awaiting trial. For further details go, HERE:

14 high profile Opposition activists, including Abdulhadi AlKhawaja, Ibrahim Sharif, Hassan Mushaima, Abdul Jalil Al Singace and Mohammed Habib Meqdad, all sentenced to life in prison, are currently going through the interminable Bahrain legal process of appealing against their sentences.

Again most, if not all of these men, were tortured in prison and their convictions rely on “confessions” extracted under those circumstances. Many of those mentioned above are suffering ongoing medical problems as a direct result of torture.

AlKhawaja had to have a number of operations to reconstruct his face and jaw with metal plates and screws after being beaten up infront of his family at his arrest and subsequent treatment in prison where he was also sexually assaulted. Others are still being treated for back injuries or existing medical conditions which have been exacerbated because of their experiences in prison.

And on  top of this regular reports of youngsters being beaten and tortured following their arrest, usually taking place in informal areas prior to their delivery to official police centres, persist on a regular basis.

NOT ONE, SINGLE, SOLITARY SENIOR OFFICIAL HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR TORTURE IN BAHRAIN:

The point is that on the United Nations Day of Support of Victims of Torture, torture on a regular basis continues in Bahrain and not one, single, solitary, senior official has yet been held accountable for this policy or put on trial.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Banner at London Protest

Until that happens there will be no justice in Bahrain, a country which perversely is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture and “celebrates” today’s international event by bringing to court Mohammed Al Tajer, a Bahraini human rights lawyer who has been tortured by the regime himself and defended many other torture victims.

Brian Dooley of Human Rights First says,  “Bahrain has a serious torture problem. The regime allows those responsible to enjoy impunity. Prosecuting a lawyer who was tortured in custody and whose clients include many other torture survivors is simply unacceptable”. A more detailed report from Human Rights First is HERE:

POLICEMAN GIVEN 5 YEARS FOR INJURING PROTESTER WITH BIRDSHOT – WHAT ABOUT ALL THE DOZENS OF OTHER VICTIMS?:

Following intense international criticism of actions by its police and security services, the Al Khalifa Government has taken token steps to prosecute lowly members of its enforcement arm.

Today the Gulf Daily News reports the conviction of a 27 year old policeman for shooting an anti-government protester with birdshot last year during the protests.

Tried in absentia, because he is currently recovering from burns sustained during a petrol explosion at Duraz, the policeman was given 5 years in jail.  It will be interesting to see what happens on appeal against that conviction. You can read the report HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Another Victim of Police Birdshot

In another case at the High Criminal Court, judges took the step yesterday of scrapping the charges of manslaughter against a 24 year old police lieutenant, the highest ranking officer prosecuted so far, and substituted a more serious charge of murder.

The officer is accused of shooting Hani Abdulaziz Goma, who subsequently died of his injuries, three times with birdshot. You can read more HERE:

EDITOR: Given the above, it is hard to understand why the Bahraini police continue to fire birdshot on an almost daily basis and regularly fire tear gas and stun grenades directly at protesters bodies and heads.

Despite all the apparent high level training of police officers instigated by the Ministry of Interior’s highly paid US and UK advisors, John Timoney and John Yates, little seems to have got through.

DESPITE SO CALLED “TRAINING” POLICE CONTINUE TO FIRE AT POINT-BLANK RANGE, NOT CARING WHO THEY INJURE:

During last Friday’s demonstration by Al Wefaq, police fired and threw tear gas and stun grenades at almost point-blank range injuring one demonstrator, Ali Mulawi with a fractured skull and hitting Hassan Al Marzouq, an Al Wefaq leader, with a rubber bullet to the neck, rquiring his hospitalisation.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Sheikh Ali Salman

The Al Wefaq General Secretary, Sheikh Ali Salman was hit with tear gas or stun grenades on his shoulder and back and suffered minor injuries.

Speaking afterwards he said that the leaders had been intentionally targeted, the first time that the Bahrain security forces had done so.

“More violations will complicate our efforts for reconciliation and a meaningful dialogue,” he added. “We continue our democratic demands and call for universal human rights principles through peaceful assemblies. It is the people’s right.”

Bizarrely, it is reported that a young man who stayed behind to attend to the injured Ali Mulawi at the demonstration has been arrested and detained for 15 days. He can be seen, wearing a brown T-shirt, at the end of this video, which being in slow motion reveals all that happened, HERE:

Clearly Bahrain has a very long way to go before it will see an end to torture, victimisation and violence and before it stands even the remotest chance of an even “dialogue” and political, social and judicial reform.

******************************************

DESPITE BICI REPORT BAHRAIN COURTS CONTINUE TO USE CONFESSIONS OBTAINED UNDER TORTURE AS “EVIDENCE”:

TRIAL DEFENDANT DESCRIBES IN COURT TORTURE AT THE HANDS OF SHEIKH NASSER AND 5 OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICERS:

LETTER CLAIMS “SHEIKH NASSER HAS BEEN A GREAT  INSPIRATION TO THE YOUTHS OF BAHRAIN” (TO OPPOSE THE GOVERNMENT?):

SECURITY CHIEF CLAIMS 11 YEAR OLD HELD IN DETENTION FOR 4 WEEKS BECAUSE HE WAS AN “AT RISK YOUTH”:

TIMELINE – 22nd June 2012 11.55 GMT:

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on Bahrain’s Appeal Court to reject the use of so-called “confessions” as evidence against the 20 prominent activists, including Abdulhadi AlKhawaja and Ibrahim Sharif sentenced to life imprisonment, whose appeal against conviction by a military court last year is still being heard.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Some of Bahrain’s Imprisoned Activists – byshr.org

At the court hearing on Tuesday 19th June, despite the BICI report last November saying the defendants had been subject to coercion to extract “confessions”, Nayef Yusif, the chief public prosecutor, told the judge that all evidence submitted to the court will be used in what amounts to a retrial, including the “confessions”.

Joe Stork, deputy Middle-East Director at HRW, said yesterday, “After the consistent and credible allegations of torture and the many promises to punish torturers, it is astonishing that the prosecutors still intend to rely on this evidence to uphold the earlier unfair convictions. The appeals court needs to decisively reject any use of tainted confessions.”

The military appeals court confirmed the convictions and sentences in September 2011 but on April 30 2012, the Court of Cassation, Bahrain’s highest court, referred the case to the civilian criminal appeals court.

Bahrain’s laws, as well as international law prohibits torture and the use of evidence obtained by torture.

“Bahraini authorities have produced no evidence of any actual crimes by these activists,” Joe Stork added, “They should be released now, and the court of appeals should use this opportunity to make clear that torture is not tolerated.” HRW’s statement is HERE:

TRIAL DEFENDANT DESCRIBES IN COURT TORTURE AT THE HANDS OF SHEIKH NASSER AND 5 OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICERS:

On Tuesday one of the defendants, Mohammed Habib Al Meqdad, also known as Al Safaf, gave an account of his arrest and subsequent treatment in custody by the authorities, including accusations of physical and psychological torture and sexual harassment.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Mohamed Habib Al Muqdad

In his testimony, Al Meqdad, who has been sentenced to a total of 96 years imprisonment for “offences” including the “incitement of people to kidnap a policeman”, “abduction”, “attempting to overthrow the monarchy” and “having links with a terrorist organisation abroad”, related some of the more than fifty occasions when torture had been used against him.

The torture he described included deprivation of sleep for 7 days, held upside down while being beaten, use of electrical instruments on sensitive parts of the body, spitting into his face and mouth and being forced to swallow it, verbal abuse about his family, especially female relatives, forced to sit naked for long periods, forced to gargle with his own urine while in hospital for tests and being forced to kiss the torturers’ shoes and pictures of the king.

Notably, Al Meqdad also named his torturers in court, including Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Specifically, Al Meqdad claims that on 2nd April 2011, the second day of his torture, while held in the underground cells of the National Security Agency at the prison known as the “Castle”, he was addressed by Sheikh Nasser while blindfolded.

“Do you know me?”, he was asked. “No”, he said, because he obviously could not see. “Nothing separated us on the Safriya march but the wall of the castle of the king and his family,” said the voice.

“Do you know me?” the voice repeated. When Al Meqdad said “No” again, the voice said “Prince Nasser is talking to you”. This was followed by blows to the head until he fell down, followed by being forced to stand up and more beating until he fell again.

On one of these occasions when falling to the floor, his blindfold became dislodged and he saw Sheikh Nasser standing over him and directing the other officers present to hit him.

Al Meqdad, who additionally holds Swedish citizenship, also accused and named 5 other government officers of torturing him, including Badr Ibrahim al-Ghaith, a captain in the National Security Service. The European-Bahraini Organisaton for Human Rights (EBOHR) has a summary of Al Meqdad’s statement, HERE:

An article appeared in the London Guardian on Wednesday, following the publication by the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) of the above testimony. ECCHR, based in Berlin, has forwarded its documentation to David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, and William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary.

According to the Guardian website yesterday, Thursday, Sheikh Nasser has issued “a legal complaint” about the article.  You can read it, HERE:

LETTER CLAIMS “SHEIKH NASSER HAS BEEN A GREAT  INSPIRATION TO THE YOUTHS OF BAHRAIN” (TO OPPOSE THE GOVERNMENT?):

A letter to the Guardian, also published yesterday, from Fahad A al-Binali of the “President’s office, Bahrain”, “vociferously rejects the very serious allegations your newspaper has made against HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa”.

Sheik Nasser (in uniform) Gets to Meet Queen – dailymail.co.uk

” Anyone who has followed events in Bahrain over the last year”, the letter continues, ” Knows that we condemn all acts of torture”.

Then, acknowledging the BICI report citing torture, the letter say however, “We must also categorically deny any involvement of HH Sheikh Nasser in any of these grave unfounded accusations of torture ….

….. for the record, HH Sheikh Nasser has been a great inspiration for the youths of Bahrain since assuming his new position as chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and has been involved in a number of projects addressing the legitimate grievances of the youth population”.

(EDITOR: Well that’s alright then, Sheikh Nasser “never touched anybody” and has made it up to all the young people he cursed and wanted punished for.)  You can read the letter, HERE:


Despite the cases of torture, several deaths in custody and “confessions” extracted by torture outlined and acknowledged in the BICI report, not one single senior officer or Bahraini Government official has ever been held accountable.

SECURITY CHIEF CLAIMS 11 YEAR OLD HELD IN DETENTION FOR 4 WEEKS BECAUSE HE WAS AN “AT RISK YOUTH”:

11 year old Ali Hassan, who was held in custody for over a month on charges of “illegal gathering” and “blocking the road”, apppeared in court again this week but in the time honoured fashion of Bahrain’s bizarre legal system, the case was adjoured again until July 5th.

On Wednesday, an “investigation” by the Chief of Public Security, Major-General Tariq Al Hasan, following claims that Ali had been badly treated in custody, revealed that Ali had been arrested after “blocking the road 3 times in one afternoon”.  According to the police Ali “admitted” being paid BD 3 to commit his “crimes”.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Major-General Tariq Al Hasan

Major Al Hasan also claimed that Ali was held at a youth detention centre for 4 weeks, after a “social worker” had determined that Ali was an “at risk youth”.

Vindicating the actions of the police (his own department) and the juvenile justice system, Major Al Hasan said his report, “Also points to the need for greater parental and community adult supervision in the lives of at-risk youth.

What is deplorable is how some older people will take advantage of vulnerable youth for their own political purposes.”

(EDITOR: Obviously Major Al Hasan thinks Bahrain’s youth are incapable of recognising injustice when they see it and completely unable to have a mind of their own.

If so, his “troubles” are not going to go away and probably only just beginning.  I am sure 4 weeks in detention did wonders for Ali Hassan’s opinion about the Al Khalifa regime.) 

You can read Major Al Hasan’s “report”, HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

“At Risk Youth” Apparently With His Mum – guardian.co.uk

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“ROYAL TORTURER”, SHEIKH NASSER, INGRATIATES HIMSELF BEFORE OLYMPICS WITH LONDON’S MAYOR BORIS JOHNSON:

SOME ATHLETES WON’T BE AT THE 2012 OLYMPICS BECAUSE THEY ARE STILL IN PRISON:

AVAAZ PETITION UNDER HEAVY ATTACK AS SHEIKH NASSER TROLLS PANIC:

CORRUPT AND COMPROMISED LEGAL SYSTEM DETAINS PRISONERS  FURTHER AHEAD OF SUMMER RECESS:

TIMELINE – 20th  JUNE 2012 14.55 GMT:

What the hell is London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, doing giving house room to Bahrain’s “Royal Torturer”,  Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa?  (Email Boris Johnson to tell him what you think: mayor@london.gov.uk  )

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Last Monday, Sheikh Nasser, King Hamad’s son, as president of Bahrain’s Olympic Committee and chairman of Bahrain’s “Supreme Council for Youth and Sports”, met London’s Mayor ahead of the forthcoming 2012 Olympics to be staged in the UK’s capital city in July.

Normally, this would not matter, except that Sheikh Nasser’s record on treating athletes and sports officials and abusing them on sectarian grounds is appalling.

Many of Bahrain’s athletes, some of them world class players, will not be at this year’s Olympics because Sheikh Nasser’s actions have excluded them from Olympic trials and wrecked their sports careers.

The Olympic Charter declares that “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity,” and that “The practice of sport is a human right.

Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

Sheikh Nasser and his cronies fail to live up to this on every count.

Two of the most well known athletes  were the Hubail brothers A’ala and Mohammed. Both were jailed and prosecuted and Mohammed was sentenced to two years in prison.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

A’ala Hubail Playing in 2009 World Cup

Despite being 2 of the Bahraini teams best players and A’Ala its all-time top goal scorer, they have been left off the list for the team’s 2014 World Cup qualifying matches, although Peter Taylor, the English coach, has said he would not rule out adding them at some point.

(EDITOR: At least Peter Taylor is now acknowledging their existence – In this ESPN video he had “never heard of them”.) 

Mohammed Hubail says that even if the charges are dropped and the national team offers him a spot, he is not sure he would wear Bahrain’s red and white jersey: “Sure, I want to play. But first we need a solution to all of this. I need to know what is going to happen to me. For our community, the nation, how long are we going to be like this?”.

Other athletes such as  Mohammed and Ali Salman, who played for the national handball team that went to the World Cup in January 2011, as well as the 16-year-old footballer, Zulfiqar Naji were also imprisoned.

Zulfiqar Naji, who comes from Iraq and was just 16, was sentenced to 1 year in prison for demonstrating, but released in November 2011 after serving 7 months as a “goodwill gesture”.

SOME ATHLETES WON’T BE AT THE 2012 OLYMPICS BECAUSE THEY ARE STILL IN PRISON:

Mohammed and Ali, 23 and 22 respectively, were given 15 years in prison, where they still remain.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Mohamed Ali Jawad AlFardan

Mohamed Ali Jawad AlFardan, a beach hand ball player, was accused of “burning down a farm” and also given 15 years by a military court.

Mohamed Mirza, 37, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) trainer. He was accused of “kidnapping a policeman” and sentenced to 20 years. 

The full list of athletes currently imprisoned, as of May 2012, is HERE:

Many of those arrested and imprisoned complained of torture and being forced to sign “confessions” under duress.

Many others remain in a legal no-man’s-land as they wait for their trials to resume and/or are running out of money and struggling to support their families as they are prohibited from returning to their government jobs, .You can read further HERE:  and

HERE: (EDITOR: Though the name of the Salman brothers is incorrect I believe and the 16 year old Iraqi has been released as stated above.)

Meanwhile Sheikh Nasser, his brother Khalid and other members of the “royal” family remain untouched and free of prosecution, despite their implication in the most horrifying crimes.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Boris Waving the Olympic Flag

In his meeting with Boris Johnson, Sheikh Nasser, according to the Gulf Daily News article, was busy ingratiating himself by promising to arrange “endurance horse races”  to raise money for charity.

EDITOR: London’s Mayor has a bit of a reputation as an unpredictable “loose cannon” who can make the most terrible gaffs at times, for which he has often had to apologise,  he should not be taken in by the physically handsome but morally repugnant Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain.

If you want to tell London’s Mayor what you think about this, email him at: mayor@london.gov.uk

AVAAZ PETITION UNDER HEAVY ATTACK AS SHEIKH NASSER TROLLS PANIC:

Meanwhile, my AVAAZ petition to get Sheikh Nasser banned from the London Olympics has reached an outstanding “35,000 + signatures” as of this morning.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Sheikh Nasser And ?

But both I and AVAAZ know that this number is not real as so scared are Sheikh Nasser and his advisers, supporters and/or trolls by this campaign that they have thrown, it’s suspected, the highest level of automated disruption “bot” software at it to try and discredit the petition.

While AVAAZ, who have a lot of experience at dealing with this kind of thing are working at solving the problem, do not hesitate to sign the petition yourself and get your friends and contacts to do the same.

All the false signatures are of a particular type and will be filtered out, and genuine ones left in place.  While the petition remains under attack the normal name and flag ticker and number counter have been removed by AVAAZ. Your own details are safe if you have signed already.

The Guardian also carried an article today about Sheikh Nasser’s proposed visit to the Olympics, referring to this petition and a complaint from the human rights organisation ECCHR,  HERE:

EDITOR: I suppose it is some kind of “compliment” that Sheikh Nasser’s supporters have devoted so much time and expensive, sophisticated resources to trying to counter this petition?

You can still sign the petition HERE:

CORRUPT AND COMPROMISED LEGAL SYSTEM DETAINS PRISONERS FURTHER AHEAD OF SUMMER RECESS:

The corrupt and discredited legal system grinds on in Bahrain, detaining people without good cause and proper authority and in an unsophisticated and pathetic form of torture, repeatedly postponing cases and decisions in order to prolong detention, even if innocent, for as much time as possible.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

Human Rights Always Under Attack in Bahrain

Nabeel Rajab, whose has now been accused of at least 4 crimes, including “insulting the citizens of Muharraq” by calling them “Government stooges”, was remained in custody yet again this week until 27th June.

Younis Ashoori, the 61 year old and not very well hospital administrator, accused of supplying oxygen cylinders for use with, wounded demonstrators (EDITOR: Yes, that’s his “crime”), was held in custody again on Sunday until 1st July.

The upcoming problem is that the Bahrain courts close for the summer recess on 15th July and do not reopen until the 1st September – a “great opportunity” for Bahrain’s corrupt judiciary to keep people in prison even longer.

In Saudi Arabia, the 4 year old, Ahmed Naham, shot by police with birdshot, while sitting at the side of the street with his father who was selling fish, has undergone 2 operations at the specialist hospital to which he was evacuated from Bahrain, and is hopefully doing well.  Both pellets have now been removed from his left eye.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/bahrain-news

4 Year Old Ahmed After His 2 Operations – Courtesu @izynb


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170 comments to
BAHRAIN – NEWS

  • Nil

    Where is the news about Bomb attack on policemen ? Oh I see you missed it ;)

    • admin

      Your eyesight is obviously poor Nil1 – its on the page under the heading “Bomb explosion” in village injures 7 policemen….” Try reading the article before you comment!

  • Fares

    Dear Editor,

    I do believe that your story is rather one sided, and in my opinion far too bias. You see if we back track through this entire ordeal we question the initial actions that had set this entire “Crisis”.
    When individuals had gone to protest for improved living standards (higher salaries, more Govt housing, etc); and protesting peacefully, there was truly a beautiful feeling in the air. However, horribly two were killed due to the inappropriate actions of certain police officers in which the Bahrain regime accordingly apologized. Unlike other countries in the region, Bahrain’ regime is far more forgiving and less violent than the exaggerated responses we have seen in Syria and Libya.

    As time progressed we found new words in the dictionary of protesters that continue to be plastered all over the internet. “Human Rights” “Equality” “Human Rights defenders” so on and so forth. The question is, is this all true? After violent radicals had taken the streets, religious leaders calling for violence, and of course, the calls of “Death to Khalifa” these all reflect how peaceful these protests are. Let us not forget the vandalism of public property, disruption of traffic, and of course violent acts (kidnapping, beating, theft, the list goes on)

    I admire your journalism, and commitment to the cause, but I believe your efforts are only making the situation worse. You see the issue in Bahrain is 100% sectarian. There are few who even know what their demands are, other than to have a Shiite Based government. Now if Human Rights defenders are so keen (of which we find all are shiite) we see that Human Trafficking, child abuse, sexual discrimination, domestic violence, lack of education in children, are all present in Bahrain yet blatantly ignored for the downfall of a supportive regime. Let’s face it a country where you pay no taxes, practically everything is free, and there are countless windows of opportunity, it doesn’t get much better now does it?

    Further more, we find threats to visitors of Bahrain as well as expats. Racism progresses as individuals say that foreigners are stealing their country. So its not right to give out a citizenship? The president of the United States is from an immigrant father, yet in Bahrain they are called “Fake” Bahrainis? Youth calling for violence, discrimination, and of course to avoid compromise.

    The fact is that everyone in Bahrain is equally at fault for this giant Media Circus, in which we find journalists, news stations, political groups, and many others take advantage of it to their own desire. It’s quite a shame that those who truly believe in a better future for Bahrain and those who can bring a positive change and even those who protest peacefully, must have their dreams and hopes crushed by the ignorant, uneducated, greedy, and selfish hypocrites who claim to be fighting in the name of Human Rights and Peace.

    You see the steps forward are not to continue to protest and ask for the regime to go, but to come to compromise and to have educated leaders stand up to assist them in their needs, and not in the needs of others.

    I applaud your stance on helping those who are victimized to violence, and must suffer because of the crimes of others, and I only can wish that the fighting in Bahrain stops so it may return to the unified and caring people they have always been.

    My apologies for the long comment, yet I feel I must say only a bit. I also would like to speak to you sometime more about the depth of this issue perhaps on another day.

    • admin

      Fares, thank you for your lengthy comments, which I have left intact as you make some reasonable points and are non-abusive.

      Yes, I am biased. I support the underdogs, the ones who have no power, the ones who have no voice. If this was the Sunni community in Bahrain I would support them (as I do in Syria) – but it is not. For that I make no apology.

      For me the issues are never sectarian, or religion, or race etc, but democracy and human rights. For more than 200 years one family has been exploiting that. Boundaries have been gerrymandered to protect the minority, positions given to members of the same family in a way that is frankly ridiculous and as for a PM in power for more than 40 years – laughable. There is no way that such a system of favoured privilege is not riddled with corruption – meaning that the mass of the population, complicated by sect in Bahrain, do not stand a chance to stand for the highest office.

      That is what democracy is – equality of opportunity and vote. As for the torture, sham trials, the beatings, the nightly tear gassing – there is no way you can justify this.

      Human trafficking, child abuse etc are all things that need tackling. But where everything depends on privilege and position, many of those things will just get covered up. And where freedom is the burning issue, the passion for it will prevail and it becomes the priority before all else.

      No taxes, free this and free that are all bribes to keep the masses happy. In case you have not noticed, that is not working across the Arab world anymore.

      I have no problem with Bahrain giving foreigners citizenship, but how many are Shia? The people they employ as police for example in many cases are Shia-hating individuals deliberately brought in from Baluchistan, many of whom hate Iran. They are chosen precisely for that reason and to try and degrade the Shia majority in the Bahrain population.

      Lastly, where is the free press in Bahrain, or TV or radio that can criticise the Government? I and my blog would last about 5 minutes in Bahrain, you know full well. Here I can criticise the British Government or the Royal family with impunity, because it is fair and right that they are open to such scrutiny,

      Not so in Bahrain. Until there is change, real change and not cosmetic change, I will support the Opposition movement in Bahrain and ridicule the excesses and foolishness of the authorities at every opportunity. PC

      PS. I have deleted the other shorter post to save space!

  • Mohammed

    Dear,
    Allow me to -somehow- enlighten our ex-pat ppl in Bahrain. We love Bahrain 100times more then you. We love and respect you as well. All what we need is real democracy.. We want to elect our own leader and government.. Is that bad? Do we have to live as slaves in our own country because you feel secure in it! What about us?
    Did you read albandar report? The british consultant for Bahrain government? If not, read it! So you know what our gov is trying to do with us
    Did you hear about the corruption cases in Bahrain (the minister and money laundry case, Bahrain stolen lands, where are our 33 islands?, ALBA, BFH land, the disgusting speeches delivered by the gov religion men against us, the killed ppl with no investigations….etc). Our revolution is not new,,, we have it every 10years!
    Dear,
    All what we need is justice, do not we have the right to have public voting to decide our future? Is not that basic right?

    • admin

      Thanks Mohammed for your comments. As you know, I do believe you should have all the rights you mention. Some ex-pats don’t – too afraid of losing their comfortable lifestyle in my view. PC.

  • If there’s an honest world for real, these PR companies should be held accountable and brought to justice for propagating against democracy seekers and supporting dictatorship in Bahrain!

    If there’s an honest world for real, Bahraini officials and their supporters from UK and USA should be brought to justice!

    I might sould odd, but if we do beleive in justice, we should be beleive that it’s possible to impliment!

    Hussain

    • admin

      However, Hussain, democracy is about being free to say what you believe, whatever that is, so you have to allow them the right to have a totally opposite opinion to your own, otherwise you undermine the right to have yours!. PC.

  • Mr. Clifford,
    I’m glad there are still honest and brave people like yourself in this world, else it would have gone totally out of the way!

    Bahraini people appreciate your good work and efforts. Thanks you, Peter.

    Hired PRs are here too, we can see their thumbprints clearly!
    We all know Bahrain government has hired PR companies for it’s propaganda against its own helpless poeple, US & UK know that too, no single doubt, but ineterest and hypocracy have gone the extra mile way beyond humanity, democracy and all other of their own bright slogans!

    Thank you, Mr. Clifford!
    Hussain

    • admin

      Thanks Hussain for your comments. It is important to counteract blatant propaganda – much of the world is taken in and believes that everything is fine in Bahrain. We know it isn’t – far from it. PC

  • Nil

    Hi
    I do not think you will let my message get published in your blog as it is against what you are writing. Most of the things you are writing are part of the propaganda being used in the internet to tarnish the image of Bahrain. When I moved in the country about 5 years ago I instantly fell in love with this country for its openness without the money only concept of Dubai. Bahrain has been the most open & progressive economies in ME and pioneers in many progress.People who want to work , knows how to work, and are dedicated to their work can do well irrespective whether he is Shia, Sunni or whatsoever. The recondition is you are willing to work and do yourselves some good.If the plan is only to wear try to get free facilities only without working then probably it is not as good as some countries in the region.I have seen how some bunch are just interested in indulging in barbarianism which I doubt any country will allow. Also I found the police decent always eager to help and mild mannered certainly in comparison with UK or Germany. So I don’t think you are giving a true picture of what Bahrain is if you are only seeing the gossips from Twitter or Facebook. To know any country you need to dig deep and approach with an unbiased mind.
    Regards
    Nil

    • admin

      Assuming you are an ex-pat, I suggest you will have a very one sided view of Bahrain. I have no doubt it is a wonderful place to live. However, can I suggest you go and live in one of the Shia villages for a week and endure nightly tear gas attacks and the wanton destruction of their cars and property and the beating up of their young men. That is why they are angry, apart from the fact that they are entitled to equality of opportunity and a fair democratic and judicial system.

      If you had one ounce of independent moral judgement in your head, you would not be able to tell me that the treatment of the Shia protesters, doctors, students etc in the Bahrain courts is “fair” – it is totally biased. I don’t have to live there to know that.

      And of course the police are nice and polite to you. From you they have nothing to fear. Why do you think the Government are recruiting large numbers of officers from Baluchistan? A Shia hating Sunni nation that is in conflict with the Government of Iran.

      I read carefully all the Bahrain press and the Government press agency output as well as items referred to on the internet. I also read the observations of Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First – They all wrong?

      In your very comfortable world supported by the Al-Khalifas all may be well – but I think you should get out more!

  • ahmed yousif

    Hi Peter, it seems to me for sure you have not been to Bahrain nor the Gulf or the Middle East. I did study in UK many years ago. I have been to US and Canada recently. In Bahrain the living standards and situation is much better than USA,UK , Canada … etc., especially for those people who are prepared to do some works. In Bahrain there free health treatments for all the people whether Bahrainis or visitors. Many do receive Government houses and other benefits freely. This is one of the reasons the people here in Bahrain are very lazy and do not like works or any orders given. In USA, UK , Canada …etc., you must look after yourself, the Government will not look after you if one is lazy as in Bahrain. I have seen many homeless sleeping rough in those noted countries. While in Bahrain the Government provided help to all without exceptions. Though it is normally those people who are prepared to work and study and cope with failures as part of life most do succeed.

    • admin

      I suspect that I have travelled in my life much more widely (including the Gulf and the Middle East) than you realise, so don’t make assumptions, but that is another story.

      Frankly, I think many of the hard working members of the Shia community in Bahrain will find your remarks insulting. Much of the Government’s “largesse” is buy off the population and keep them compliant. If people want to go along with that, that is fine, but if you want proper democracy and the end to the rule by one family that is also fine. Everyone has the right to democracy, freedom, equality and human rights.

      I have removed your article reference. Its references to the “popcorn revolution” will be deeply offensive to those who have stood up for their rights in Bahrain and to the families and friends of those that have died. I will continue to support their struggle. PC

  • paul baker

    hey adminz stop lying…. the whole worl knows the truth. these ppl are supported by dirty iranians. and the new technique of attacking policemen with moltov (petrol bomb) i think u need to discuss that also and let the ppl know how peacefull u ppl are….. u may delete my coments as u may not like it. i have stayed in bahrain for last 20 yrs and seen with my own eyes what u ppl do and have been doing…….

    • admin

      Well,Paul, as a previous ex-pat said, foreigners who benefit from the status quo have a very distorted view of what is going on. There is no evidence – and the Government could not provide any to BICI – that Iran are involved, but given their government they will make media coverage over anything that discomforts Sunni governments. Unfortunately, Sunni governments do the same about Shia ones.

      But that is not the issue here. There is a genuine movement in Bahrain for democratic government by the majority. The Shia in general have been short changed on jobs,housing, opportunity and freedom. I don’t support the use of Molotovs, it is a dangerous reaction. But hardly a hardly surprising one given the nightly tear gassing and destruction of cars etc. carried out by out-of-control mercenary police in the villages most nights. PC.

  • Husain

    Many thanks Mr Clifford
    I’m glad that a kindly ppl like you concern about the humen in the countries like Bahrain.
    rgds
    Hussain

  • jessy panocci

    will all i can say that i hope the best for the people of bahrain against the bloody criminal dictator family ( the khalifas )

    freedom bh

    • admin

      Yes, I think we all do. But it is a long struggle which does not receive the world recognition it should. Thanks for your contribution. PC>

  • loloalbahrain

    We are proud that we have friends like you,Thank you for supporting Bahrain people.I can hardly express my gratitude I shall always remember you with gratitude, Thank you so much for your interest in the issue of the Bahraini people.

    • admin

      My pleasure to support a just cause. I am probably hated by a segment of Bahraini society but if it makes them stop just for a momennt and think about what they are doing then it is worthwhile. Many thanks for your comments. PC.

  • elaine masons

    thank you Peter for your writing on bahrain, Yes I was there in the villages for a week, and what i witnessed was horrific, how these people have to live on a daily basis. It is not just what I saw with my eyes but what i felt with heart, my heart truly broke and I felt very depressed while i was there as i was been watched all the time and had no freedom, many times I thought i was going to die and the stress of all these feelings have taken its toll on me, and i was only there for one week!! These people have no choice but to try and survive this situation & there strength blows my mind. And I say to the people that are Silent… Shame on You!! elaine

    • admin

      Well done Elaine for putting into action what you believe. The experience has obviously made you an even stronger advocate for human rights and democracy than before. Do not be depressed, you are stronger in the knowledge that you can now be one with those you support.

      Unfortunately, I think I would be arrested if I set foot in Bahrain – but perhaps one day. In the meantime I sincerely hope your health has not suffered permanently and that your spirits will soon be lifted once again for the battle ahead!. Best wishes and thanks for your contribution to the struggle for human decency. PC.

  • rozaalaujan

    Thanks a lot 4 your huge support & efort.

    @rozaalaujan

  • Mohammed

    Mr. Clifford,

    Many thanks to you and supporters who support Bahrain struggle for democracy.

    Good luck and best wishes.

  • ahmed

    Thanks Peter for the site and for the coverage on Bahrain issues, you are a freevoice, thank you for supporting Bahrain people.

  • Thank you Yankee Tom for your honesty, it is good that there are expats out in Bahrain not swallowing the governments lies. I know there are many more like you but are too afraid to speak out.

  • NM1961

    Thanks a lot Mr Peter we all appreciate your support to us (Bahrain)

    • admin

      Many thanks. A cause worthy of support, considering the millions spent by the Bahrain Government trying to spin an alternative story. PC

  • Yankee Tom

    In response to Mr Timoney’s claim that “he thinks they are now using less tear gas”, on Saturday night I watched (and counted) while the police shot over 100 canisters at people shouting from their rooftops (about the only way most protesters can have a voice these days). 100 tear gas canisters in little over half an hour all at the one village (I stopped counting at 103).

    On Sunday night the police fired another volley. This time I stopped counting at 70 but all in the space of 15 minutes and all once again aimed at the same small village. Tear gas in that quantity surely must be toxic. And it smells here! Tear gas should be odourless and this gas smells like burnt matches. There is just no way the protesters can have a voice here with the overwhelming use of tear gas against them. It seems to be a crime here to even shout from your roof.

    Today being the anniversary they posted police on the entrances to the villages so they could shoot tear gas to prevent anyone leaving the villages. No chance of making it to Pearl Roundabout. The stench of tear gas is overpowering at times. And I don’t even live in a village. I’m an expat who has been here for years.

    Perhaps I should send you a photo of what the police drew on the walls nearby. The protesters had stencilled pictures of their martyrs on the walls and the police pulled up and instead of painting over the pictures they drew horns and long tongues to portray these people who died as devils. They did this in broad daylight. There can be no peace here until the police are held accountable. They are a law unto themselves.

    • admin

      Yankee Tom, many thanks for that, both very interesting and horrifying at the same time. Have emailed you separately.

  • fatima

    thanx very much Peter, we deeply appreciate ur support to our ppl

  • Fadhel alsari

    في زمن قل فيه المعين والناصر حتى من القريب، يظهر لتا رجال مخلصون يوصلون مظلوميتنا للعالم أجمع.. فشكراً لكم..
    In a time that the supporters & helpers are few, honestly men are being shown to transfer our message to the whole world.. Thanks a lot..

  • Qasim Alhashmi

    السيد كليفورد المحترم
    برهنت بمشاركتك فعالية البحرين انك انسان قبل كونك صحفي متميز شكرا لك من اهل البحرين ونعتز بان لنا اصدقاء مثلك
    حبي وتقديري واحترامي
    قاسم الهاشمي
    عضو تحالف المعارضه البحرينيه

    Google Translate: Mr. Clifford
    Demonstrated your participation effectiveness of Bahrain you are human before being a journalist distinct Thank you from the people of Bahrain and are proud that we have friends like you
    My love and appreciation and respect
    Qasim al-Hashemi
    Member of the Alliance of the Bahraini opposition

    • admin

      Qasim, Many thanks for your comments, especially as you were one of the speakers at the London Rally. Unfortunately, I only speak a few words of Arabic but I am sure we are thinking along the same lines. Best wishes, PC.

  • DarkCloud

    Thanks alot for supporting humen rights :)

    this comment for the people {slaves} that saying they are living in fear because of the molotophs or rocks or for blocking the streets , i just wanna know where are you when people getting :
    killed/torture/raped/hungered/silenced/kidnaped/beaten !!
    Destroyed there mosques and quraan were burned !!!
    Attacked everyday in houses at midnight , humiliated , stealed , beaten , take there sons or fathers or mothers without primition , threat the family !

    where is your reject about throughing toxic inside the houses to kill people even if there are no protests in the area ?!
    where is your reject for all the lies the government did !!

    • admin

      DarkCloud, thank you for your comments. As you say it is a complicated situation and many of those who complain about the “inconvenience” of block roads and youths throwing Molotovs, are not speaking out when people are tortured, or imprisoned for long periods on made up charges and “confessions”. Yes, it is not a good situation for anybody, but no-one should be forced to give up their human rights to “keep the peace”. The tide has turned and there is no going back. I have shortened your comments for space reasons. PC>

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