Bahraini regime and army to face War Crime Charges – Press Release 1

PRESS RELEASE

Tuesday, May 3rd 2011

BAHRAINIS TO LODGE INDICTMENT AT THE HAGUE – REGIME AND ARMY WILL FACE WAR CRIME CHARGES

A group of Bahrainis living in Britain will travel to the Hague on Thursday to lodge an indictment for war crimes against the Al Khalifa family at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

A dossier of evidence charts the use of army tanks, snipers, and Apache helicopters to fire on peaceful unarmed        protestors killing at least 31. Hundreds were severely injured, and then denied basic medical treatment and access to the country’s main medical centre “Al Salmaniya Hospital”. Some of those who made it to the hospital were picked up by the police, brutally attacked and taken away while still receiving treatment. Medical staff were impeded and grievously assaulted while doing their duty trying to help the wounded. The whereabouts of most of those detained are unknown and their families are in serious fear for their lives as many corpses of known detainees are surfacing.

‘Many professionals striving to serve their country and their people, from all sects and levels of society-  including senior doctors, nurses, teachers, heads of university faculties, engineers, accountants, lawyers, journalists, students, sportsmen, and businessmen – have been detained. Hundreds of others have been dismissed from their jobs, and trade unions have been dissolved,’ explained one of the Bahrainis who has helped draw up the charges of war crimes. ‘Bringing these charges against the King is a big step, we fear for our families in Bahrain, but we have to stop these brutal attacks on the whole Bahraini nation.’

The ‘crackdown’ followed a demonstration of hundreds of thousands of women, youth, children, and elderly, from across Bahraini society, from every occupation and sect. On February 14th, they united and took to the streets of Bahrain calling for the introduction of a constitutional monarchy and constitutional reform to promotes basic human rights, civil liberties, power sharing, equal access to employment, and the right to choose a new prime minister. Some estimates say half the population were involved in these protests.

The brutal suppression was assisted by foreign forces from neighboring Saudi Arabia. Reports from human rights organisations and journalists have been used to compile a dossier which provides the basis of the charge of war crimes. These organisations include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders, Physicians for Human Rights, US Solidarity for Labor and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Journalists’ reports from the BBC, CNN, AP, AFP, New York Times and Post, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, and The Independent were also used in the dossier.

Lawyers will lodge charges of War Crimes against King Hamad Al Khalifa at the International Court at the Hague. Bahrainis in Britain who joined peaceful, legal protests in London and Manchester in support of human rights and democracy have faced repression at home. Some students who have returned at the behest of the King have ‘disappeared’ after being met by security forces at the airport.

‘Those of you who still have some human sense, and moral bindings to human respect and universal principles and integrity, now is the time to stand up for your Bahraini brothers and save them from further detainment, disappearance, torture, killing. They are being harassed, abused, silenced, and executed by their government just because they call for freedom, basic democratic rights, and a life with integrity like any other nation in the 21st century.’

 Yassar Al Sayer 07868 663 746/ 07909 981 873
Dominic Kavakeb Press Officer at the Hague 07545 965 302
Kath Grant Press Officer in the UK: 07810 548 449

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About dominickavakeb
Dominic Kavakeb is a recent Masters graduate in International Journalism from City University, London. He lives in London and is of British/ Middle Eastern origin.

One Response to Bahraini regime and army to face War Crime Charges – Press Release 1

  1. Abbas says:

    The biggest and most serious war crime is resorting to sectarianism as a motive to commit the other war crimes. Also using sectarianism to cover war crims and legitimize it. Also racism used by royal tribe against endogenous Baharna…..

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