SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- On Sunday 13th January Hajj Habib Ibrahim, the elderly Bahraini citizen from Malikiya Town, was martyred after suffering the ill-effects of the chemical gases. He developed inability to breathe after he had inhaled extensive amounts of those illegal gases the day before. His lungs were damaged as a result. People exchanged two of his images; one with the V sign indicating his steadfastness and hope of victory; the other with a hand-made basket made of palm leaves on his highly-held head symbolizing the dignity and pride of Bahrainis. His funeral turned into a public expression of anger against the regime that has adopted violence as a means to quell the rising anti-regime demonstrations. People chanted “Down with Hamad” and “People want regime change”.
As human rights violations continued, Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action demanding the release of Sayed Yousif Almuhafdah, of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. He was first arrested on 15 August 2012 after he took a picture of a checkpoint in A’ali town, south-west of Manama, and posted it on Twitter. He was stopped on the road by the traffic police. He said he was beaten by a policeman and detained for two hours, after which he filed a complaint at the Public Prosecutor’s Office. It is not known whether his complaint was investigated. Amnesty International said: “The human rights situation in Bahrain has markedly deteriorated in recent months, with repressive practices increasingly entrenched and government disregard for the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) becoming more flagrant… However, many of the government’s pledges remain unfulfilled… The promise of meaningful reform has been betrayed by the government’s unwillingness to implement key recommendations around accountability; this includes its failure to carry out independent, effective and transparent investigations into allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and excessive use of force and to prosecute all those who gave the orders to commit human rights abuses”
The leading figures of the Revolution whose prison sentences have recently been confirmed by the Alkhalifa court of cassation have rejected their sentences and vowed to continue their struggle for justice. The leading figures signed a public statement which emphasized four points: that their trial was a political one, presided over by one of the Alkhalifa figures, that they are part of the political struggle undertaken by the people within the Arab Spring revolutions, that they would not be silenced by those unjust sentences that include eight life terms and that the struggle would not end until the domination of the tribe over the state has ended and a parliamentary democracy established. The signatories include Abdul Wahab Hussain, Hassan Mushaima, Ibrahim Sharif, Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace and Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja.
Meanwhile the European Parliament has published its report on the situation in Bahrain, following the visit by some MEPs to that country last month. The report is a damning international document dealing with various aspects of the Bahrain crisis. It confirmed that the circle of political tension, protests and repression is well-entrenched, and that the situation has become so polarised that the regime will not be able to survive if it does not take immediate steps to resolve it. It referred to what it called “extremists within the Alkhalifa family” who continue to reject any idea of a political solution. It also talked about the opposition and how it has two main trends; those calling for removal of regime and those who aim at reforming it. The report lambasted the ruling family for failing to implement the various recommendations that would lead to reducing the tension. It also talked about the failure of the judiciary to act with professionalism and how it has been used as a political tool in the hands of the regime against its opponents. It is the latest in a series of international reports condemning the Alkhalifa family for dictatorship and human rights abuses.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
18 January 2013