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Entries in Sameera Rajab (9)


Middle East Today: Bahrain --- Cabinet Approves Bill to Stop US "Interference"

US Ambassador to Bahrain KrajeskiKuwait: 4 Sentenced to Life for Spying for Iran

The Supreme Court has upheld life terms on two Iranians, a Kuwaiti. and a stateless person on charges of forming a ring to spy for Tehran.

The court, whose rulings are final, upheld the acquittal of two Iranians, including the only woman among the defendants, and a Syrian.

In May last year, the appeals court reduced death sentences against three defendants to life and upheld the same term on the fourth.

The two Iranians and the Kuwaiti worked for the Kuwait's army at the time of their arrest in May 2010, while the stateless person was a former soldier.

The defendants were accused of passing information on the Kuwaiti and US military in the Gulf emirate to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and planning to blow up key oil pipelines.

The defendants denied the charges and insisted they had been tortured to extract confessions.

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Bahrain Special: Growing Concerns Amid Questions Over Bombs and A Tide of Repression

One of the claimed sites of Monday's explosions in Manama (Photo: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters)

The fear is that the regime will exploit the violence and tragic deaths to publicly --- and internationally --- justify its current path of repression, rather than reform, evading any accountability and obligations. Equally, regime factions will likely use the conflict to stoke up the loyalist base to ensure that any attempts at dialogue or reconciliation are undermined.

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Bahrain 1st-Hand: Nabeel Rajab's Wife Describes The "Judicial Farce" of His Appeal


Nabeel Rajab, briefly released from prison, at his mother's funeral on 5 October

Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was in court on Tuesday to appeal his three-year sentence for organising and participating in protests, only to hear that the appeal is postponed to 8 November. One witness, Stéphanie David of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) was denied entry to Bahrain, and the judge refused the defence's request for the testimony on others on the grounds that this would not be "relevant".

In a statement, The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders said the appeal proceedings "blatantly violate[d] the rights of the defence" and called on "the Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Rajab and to put an end to all acts of judicial harassment against him".

Last night, Nabeel's wife Sameera posted an account of the hearing:

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Iran Propaganda Feature: Fars News Makes Up Interview with "Bahrain Opposition Leader"

On Saturday, Fars News featured an interview with a "Sheikh Sadiq Kadhim Al-Jamri", a Bahraini who extolled the Islamic Republic as a model for Muslims in the Middle East. Al-Jamri said that it was the late Ayatollah Khomeini who had first inspired the "Arab Awakening" with the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which had "brought revolutions to Muslims from Tunisia to Egypt and Libya to Yemen and Bahrain ".

But who is Sheikh Sadiq Kadhim Al-Jamri?

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The UN Tries Again With Assad

1618 GMT: Bahrain EA's John Horne reports:

A group of Human Rights organisations have written to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton "asking her to suspend all US military aid to the government of Bahrain because of its human rights violations".

The letter brings attention to the US Leahy Law (Section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act) which states that:

No assistance shall be furnished under this Act or the Arms Export Control Act to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.

The NGO's cite a series of reports which they argue constitute "credible information", adding that "attacks by the police and other security forces on unarmed, non-violent, pro-democracy activists rise to the level of 'gross human rights violations,' particularly so when the attacks resulted in death.

The letter continues:

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Bahrain Opinion: The Significance of the Detention and Treatment of Nabeel Rajab

Nabeel Rajab in July --- his last interview and his arrest by hooded security forces

Rajab's case appears to raise the stakes. On previous occasions since the start of the uprising in February 2011, including in the spring, he has been held but soon released. This time, the detention --- despite international criticism --- appears to be long-term and, if his wife is correct, accompanied by solitary confinement and ill treatment.

Is this a step beyond for the regime's approach to Rajab and other political prisoners, inflicting humiliation and exerting psychological torture while claiming a desire and dialogue and the pursuit of reform? And if so, is there any possible remedy for the situation?

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Bahrain Special: Preaching Religious Tolerance, Practicing Religious Discrimination

Bahrain Shia pray at the site of a demolished mosque, 24 December 2011

The historic and continued discrimination against Shia citizens in Bahrain is regarded by many as institutionalised sectarianism, an opinion buttressed by the Al-Bandar report. Serious accusations have been leveled at the regime by NGOs, foreign governments, and the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, but little to nothing has been done by the regime to address political, institutional, and structural causes, enabling the views which guided such policy and practice to remain intact.

There is often a notable disconnect between the Bahrain regime's rhetoric and the reality of its actions. Indeed, it is the role of the public relations firms paid millions to market a fantasy version of the island Kingdom to cover up this disconnect. However, this latest attempt for a vision of Bahrain as a modern, reforming state is remarkable in its audacity, and --- given the events at home, rather the presentation abroad --- more than a little chilling in what it perhaps purports to achieve.

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Bahrain Live Coverage: "Union" with Saudi Arabia?

Saudi King Abdullah and Bahraini King Hamad, 18 April 2010

See also Bahrain Live Coverage: Challenging the US Arms Sale

1652 GMT: The lawyer of detained Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, on Day 96 of a hunger strike, is reported that the human rights activist has been moved from military hospital back to Jau Prison.

Alkhawaja's wife reported, after a two-hour visit on Sunday, that Alkhawaja was taking water and juice.

1650 GMT: An interesting turn in the Saudi Arabia-Bahrain "union" story, as the Saudi Foreign Minister appears to quash the idea at today's Gulf Co-operation Council meeting in Riyadh --- from Andrew Hammond of Reuters:

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Bahrain Live Coverage: Challenging the US Arms Sale

See also Bahrain Feature: A Very British System of Repression
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Pause in the Conflict?
Saturday's Bahrain Live Coverage: Marches and US Arms Sales

Cartoon: Carlos Latuff1914 GMT: The wife of detained human rights activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, who is Day 95 of his hunger strike, has seen him for two hours today.

Khadija Almousawi said her husband appears in better condition, but he is still only taking water and juice.

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