Posts tagged Bahrain.
#Bahrain Crackdown continues. The last few hours in tweets.
Bahrain security forces… An urgent appeal to Human Rights orgs from the Bahraini people
Bahrain: Human right defenders, bloggers and political activists at high risk | Bahrain Center for Human Rights

Targeted/their houses were stormed /escaped arrest/ most are in hide
(Updated 30 March 2011)

As compiled by Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights and Bahrain Center for Human Rights

1 Mahdi Abu-Deeb Head of Bahrain Teachers Society, House was stormed early morning 21 March.

2 Sayed-Yousef Al-Mahafdha Active member of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), House was stormed early morning 20 March.

3 Nabeel Rajab President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and vice Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Arrested briefly and beaten on 20 March. Banned from travel to Geneva to attend a human rights meeting his communications is cut. He was harassed again on 30 March while interviewed by CNN crew at his house.

4 Mohammed Al-Masqati President of the Bahrain Youth Human Rights Society (BYHRS), His photo, address and phone number was published on the internet with a message that he should be killed.

5 Abdulhdi Alkhawaja Former president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), His photo, address and phone number was published on the internet with a message that he should be killed.

6 Naji Fateel Board member of the Bahrain Youth Human Rights Society (BYHRS), His photo, address and phone number was published on the internet with a message that he should be killed.

7 Salman Naji Member of the Committee for the Unemployed. Was detained in August 2010 and recently released. House stormed early morning 28 March. His brothers, Ali and Hussain were beaten.

8 Abdul Gani Khanjer Head of the Committee of the Victims of Torture. Was detained in August 2010 and recently released. House was stormed

9 Abdul Amir Al Aradi Activist. Was detained in August 2010 and recently released. House was stormed

10 Hisham AlSabbagh Active member of the Islamic Action Society (AMAL), House was stormed

11 Fahmi Bakalwa board member of Islamic Action Society (AMAL), House was stormed

12 Hussain Omran Activist. Was detained in August 2010 and recently released. House was stormed

13 Ali Abdul Imam Prominent blogger. Was detained in August 2010 and recently released. House was stormed

14 Dr. Mohammed Saeed Member of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR). Was detained in August 2010 and recently released. House was stormed

15 Ahmed Jawad Al-Fardan Was detained in August 2010 and recently released. House was stormed

16 Ali Jawad Al-Fardan Was detained in August 2010 and recently released. House was stormed

17 Mohammed Ali Al-Mahfoudh Cleric. Secretary General, Islamic Action Society (AMAL) House stormed early morning 21 March.

18 Abdulla Alsaleh Cleric. Deputy Secretary General, AMAL House stormed early morning 21 March.

19 Habib Abdulla Hassan Cleric. Former board member of AMAL House stormed early morning 21 March. His younger brother Jaffer was arrested

20 Sayed Hadi Redha Al-Mousawi and his son Sayed Mahdi Al-Mousawi Both are Clerics. Associated with AMAL, House in Bani Jamra was stormed early morning 21 March. Brother in law, Salah Al-Khawaja, was arrested.

21 Mohammed Habib Al-Mugdad Prominent cleric. Was detained in August 2010 and recently released. House was stormed

Bahrain | Protests | Unrest
Bahrain protests sunni shiite 2011 3 29
Bahraini Shiite women cry during a funeral for protester killed by government security forces in central Manama on March 22, 2011. (Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

MANAMA, Bahrain — It was late Friday afternoon. The deserted roads of this capital city were blanketed with soldiers, faces masked, seated atop armored personnel carriers. Checkpoints secured access roads to outlying Shiite villages, where squads of police were out in force to foil any protest that might erupt.

My taxi driver stopped at one checkpoint. Three riot policemen in blue uniforms bent down to look in the car.

“Where are you going?” one asked.

“I’m bringing her back to her hotel,” my driver said.

The next question — “Where are you coming from?” — carried this tagline: “Shit on you and your face.”

The driver kept his cool, replying: “Before you say that, you should look at my identity card — by the way, I’m Sunni.”

Taken aback, the policeman abjectly apologized.

“I’m sorry,” he said, embarrassed by his mistake in assuming my driver was Shiite just because we were in a Shiite area.

The incident underscores the deep trauma afflicting this Gulf kingdom, whose citizens say they once reveled in the comforting intimacy that infuses life on a tiny island.

No more. Bahrain today is a fearful abode of sectarian division, fueled largely by the Sunni-led government’s violent suppression of a once euphoric protest movement, and a campaign of Shiite intimidation that is both pitiless and petty.

“People feel they are under collective punishment,” said Sayed Hadi Al Mosawi, a senior official of the moderate Shiite political party, Al Wefaq. “The situation is very, very bad.”

The “situation” has included nighttime arrests of political opposition leaders, protest movement activists, human rights monitors, and even artists who supported the reformist movement. Shiites stopped at checkpoints, sometimes run by masked men in civilian clothes, are often insulted, and then robbed of their money and mobile phones, Al Mosawi said.

The home of opposition figure Munira Fakhro was firebombed twice; the offices of her party, al Wa’ad, were burned down, and the presses of the opposition Al Wasat newspaper were vandalized. Scores of people are missing, according to Al Wefaq, the political party.

A journalist, who asked not to be named because he feared retaliation, noted that official statements used the word “cleansing” to describe the security forces’ routing on March 16 of the protesters camped in Pearl Roundabout, a traffic rotary that served as the movement’s main staging ground.

“It’s right to add ‘ethnic,’” the journalist added, saying that he believed the aim of the two-week-old campaign “is to instill fear and horror in the Shiite community and make everyone succumb to the authorities.”

Human Rights Watch reported Tuesday that 11 people have been killed since the crackdown began, most of them “by security forces using excessive force, namely crowd-control equipment at extremely close range and live gunfire.” Four members of the government security forces were also killed. Prior to the crackdown, seven protesters had been killed.

Inspired by protest movements in Tunisia and Egypt, Bahrainis launched their own on Feb. 14, and it swelled beyond expectations. The demands were political reform, with most calling for a constitutional monarchy and an end to corruption. Protesters were mostly Shiite — 60 percent of the island’s population is Shiite — and they were demanding a fairer distribution of jobs as well as an end to their political marginalization.

The government of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, now dominated by a hardline faction within the royal family, declared “a state of National Safety,” or emergency law, on March 15 and raided Pearl Roundabout the next day.

Violent clashes followed over several days as security forces also took over Salmaniya Hospital, whose parking lot had become another base for protesters, and sought to subdue Shiite villages where residents had erected checkpoints to keep police out.

The government said it was acting to restore stability and security and indeed, some actions by protesters appeared to be deliberately provocative. For instance, on March 13, a few hundred youths, working at dawn’s light, set up barricades to block the main highway into Manama’s financial district. According to another Bahraini journalist, this move was organized by hardline opposition figures that had called for the abdication of the royal family — a minority but vocal faction in the protest movement.

The leader of Al Wefaq, the largest Shiite political party, called for outside mediators to break the tension-filled impasse between the Sunni government and the Shiite population, which is not only ripping apart Bahrain but inciting sectarian sentiments around the Middle East as Sunnis and Shiites elsewhere watch events here.

“There is very deep distrust between the government and the people and we prefer that some third parties come to help for this dialogue,” Sheikh Ali Salman said in an interview Saturday at his party’s headquarters.

RT!! RT!! NEW emergency speak to tweet/message line for #BAHRAIN - +97316199342 #telecomix #Intercom #emcom

NEW emergency speak to tweet/message line for BAHRAIN



It’s vital this number reaches people LIVING IN BAHRAIN!

Video: Bahrain police carry out drive-by shooting - Telegraph
BBC News - Bahrain hospital on the front line

The leading hospital in the Bahraini capital, Manama, has found itself on the front line of the clashes between pro-reform protesters and the security forces sent in to crack down on opposition supporters in the kingdom.

Salmaniya Hospital, in the Bahraini capital Manama, is one of the leading medical facilities in the Gulf, a jewel in the crown of Bahrain’s public healthcare system.

It attracts doctors and healthcare workers from all over the region and the world.

But Salmaniya is close to Pearl Roundabout and when protesters based themselves there, the hospital found itself on the front lines of what began as a peaceful pro-democracy demonstration that soon turned violent.

Wounded protesters in Manama, 18 February (YouTube grab)Dozens of people were wounded when the military opened fire at Pearl Roundabout on 18 February

When security police stormed the roundabout in the early hours of 17 February, doctors, nurses and paramedics went to the aid of people who had been shot, beaten and tear-gassed.

This seemed to anger security forces. At least one doctor was attacked by baton-wielding officers while tending to an injured demonstrator.

Doctors staged a protest after word spread that security forces were preventing the wounded from being brought to hospital.

They blocked the entrance to the hospital, demanding the resignation of the health minister. Other hospital workers, including nurses, joined in the protests.

The state-controlled media began to spread allegations that doctors at the hospital were refusing to treat injured police. There were even suggestions that the only patients they would treat were Shia Muslims.

"That is completely untrue," one doctor at the hospital told me. "We are doctors, we treat patients, we don’t ask if you are Sunni or Shia."

Start Quote

Even patients for dialysis are afraid to come for their weekly dialysis”

End Quote Doctor

The doctors who have spoken out have all requested anonymity for fear of repercussions for themselves and their families.

As the government crackdown intensified, doctors from Salmaniya found themselves caught at the sharp end of an increasingly bitter and angry battle between protesters and the police.

On 16 March, the government sent the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) into the hospital.

The move prompted the UN rights chief Navi Pillay to voice alarm at what she called the illegal “military takeover of hospitals” in the kingdom.

The government said it was forced to take the step because armed protesters were threatening staff and patients.

But a doctor who was there called that claim “a complete fabrication”.

Another doctor who tried to get to the hospital said he was turned away.

A relative reads a prayer book near an injured protester, 15 MarchA wounded protester lies draped in the Bahraini national flag

Then he got a call from a private hospital to treat a young man with a serious gunshot wound, but was stopped at a checkpoint and told to go home.

"I don’t know what happened to that boy," he said. "Without specialist treatment, he was going to lose a leg."

Savage attack

It is not just doctors who say they were stopped from treating patients.

Abdulrazal al-Hujiri, who worked in a lab at the hospital sterilising surgical instruments, was arrested on 19 March, witnesses say.

Two days later his family was told to come and collect his badly beaten body.

Photographs appear to confirm that he was the victim of a savage attack.

That weekend, five senior consultants were arrested.

A friend described one such arrest: “He was taken by security police. He didn’t know why. We don’t know why. He is not political in any way. He was just helping to care for people.”

Dozens of officers arrested doctors in front of their terrified families, their relatives have said. Computers, mobile phones and discs were taken, as well as family cars.

"Forget about your husband," one woman says she was told.

The government has refused to confirm or deny the arrests of the doctors.

It has been more than a week since they were seized and still the families have no word of their whereabouts.

Thus far no investigation has been undertaken into the death of Mr Hujiri, the lab technician.

Anti-government protesters form a human chain at the Salmaniya Hospital fearing an attack by riot police in Manama, 15 MarchProtesters form a human chain at Salmaniya fearing an attack by riot police on 15 March

And in another development, sources say that wounded protesters have been moved to a military hospital and to King Hamed Hospital, a new and not yet fully operational facility on an island in the north of the country.

Many wounded and injured are not seeking treatment at Salmaniya for fear of arrest. But even those who had nothing to do with the protests won’t go there.

"Patients are afraid to come to the main hospital on the island because of security checks. Even patients for dialysis are afraid to come for their weekly dialysis," one doctor said.

The government has dismissed the claims as baseless.

"At no point [other than for one hour when the hospital was secured] were any patients or staff prevented from accessing the hospital although since the operation there have been delays on exit as a result of checks," it said in a statement.

So what could be behind the government’s treatment of staff at its prized medical facility?

"The government wants to hide the facts," says Sayed Hadi al-Mosawa of the opposition Wefaq party.

"They don’t want the world to know that they were using live ammunition, tear gas, batons and shotguns against peaceful protesters, against their own people."

He told me there are hundreds of injured, but because so many are afraid to seek treatment, it is impossible to get an accurate count.

Independent sources confirm 20 dead protesters.

The government says four security officers have died.

#Bahrain Updates from twitter and youtube
Corruption and #Bahrain’s Royal Family: Tensions rise over Bahrain ‘land grab’ (video)

Please share this. The interest and understanding of Bahrain’s protesters’ is waning significantly.

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Dear Bahrain, I see what you did there…

#Bahrain security accused of excessive force. AJE video.