|Bahrain Freedom Movement – 20/02/2007 – 15:39 | Hits: 63|
Bahrain’s ruler has ordered the re-commissioning of the massive networks of torture chambers which had been temporarily closed in 2001. More Bahrainis are now detained, tortured and then released. It is a practice intended to inflict maximum pain to opponents in a short time to avoid attracting outside attention. People of Bahrain are now feeling the extent of betrayal of the Al Khalifa ruling family as it seeks to alter the social and religious composition of the country. Death squads have become the main force in combating the rising public discontent. A new element has made these squads more dangerous. Recent reports have spoken of a new recruits from former Ba’thists from Iraq. Camps have been opened to train members of the death squads to deal with the new realities following the failure of Sheikh Hamad’s political programme and the new resurgence among the discontented youth. The arrival of hundreds of former soldiers in Saddam’s special forces coincided with a massive media campaign promoting sectarian hatred in a last ditch attempt to fragment the opposition which is gathering momentum and crossing the sectarian barriers created by the Al Khalifa.
Last Friday, the death squads snatched Saeed Ibrahim Ali, 34, from the small coldstore of his father near the town of Sanabis. He was sitting with a group of people when the attack happened. He was pulled from the shop into the street, beaten up to the verge of death and left for dead. No reason was given, but Sheikh Hamad has now decreed to rule the country by spreading fear especially among the young and the vulnerable. They used electric batons in addition to their hands and feet. Ali suffered grievous wounds and a broken finger. Saeed later described the Al Khalifa crime: “The riot police pulled me from inside the coldstore while I was talking with other youth. I was dragged outside and beaten by masked plain clothed officers. They used a black tool in their hands. One of them then hit me on my head with his rifle and I felt blood spilling. I tried to tell them I was not one of the demonstrators, but to no avail. Then they sat me against the wall where blood stains are still visible”.
In another development several people at Bani Jamra town were arrested and tortured before being released except for one, Jaffar Fardan Salman Yousef (23yrs) a residence of Karranah village. In the following evening, the death squad snatched another youngman, Radhi Ali Radhi (22 yrs), from his house in the village of Abu-Saiba’, which has witnessed protests and clashes with these forces, for three nights in a row. The two have been accused of using molotev bottles against foreign-staffed riot police who attacked a peaceful demonstration in the town. The fate of another young Bahraini, Jaffar Fardan from Karrana is still unknown. He was taken to hospital after being severely tortured by the death squads last week. He was due to appear at a kangaroo court, but no more information was available. One of the Al Khalifa henchmen, Adel Khalifa Al Fadhel, failed to present a credible case for the maltreatment of Bahrainis when he attempted to present the group as part of a plot to destabilize the country. The arrests came in the wake of a demonstration in Bani Jamra.
Meanwhile the Al Khalifa torturers summoned four other Bahrainis to one of their torture centres. They are: Sayyed Mohammad Al Kamel, Sadeq Hussain Jaffar, Hussain Mohammad Ahmad Salman and Ahmad Jaffar Al Mutaghawwi for more interrogation. They had been detained for over six months without trial before being released. They exposed to malicious torture including sexual harassment and forced to walk barefoot in the open yard, where the hot summer temperature exceeds 45degrees. This is to induce as much pain and punishment as possible for taking part in peaceful demonstrations against the Al Khalifa hereditary dictatorship. Another citizen, Hassan Hamada was also detained last week while Sadeq Hussain and Salman Naji were summoned for more questioning.
The Al Khalifa have lost their nerves following the fiasco they had suffered when they unlawfully arrested two prominent figures earlier this month; Hassan Ali Mushaima and Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja. A one-day uprising flared up throughout the country, and Sheikh Hamad was forced to order their immediate release. Mr Al Khawaja subsequently flew to Washington, for pre-arranged meetings. He was accompanied by Dr Salah Al Bandar and Nabil Rajab. The delegation held a Press briefing at the America Institute Enterprise and held meetings with political and human rights bodies. A week earlier, Dr Abdul Jalil Al Singace and Hussain Abdulla also flew to Washington to highlight the plight of the people of Bahrain and present a case against the Al Khalifa hereditary dictatorship.