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Bahrain arrests Twitter users, Arab leaders warn of social media "extremism"

Bahrain arrests Twitter users, Arab leaders warn of social media "extremism" | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Bahraini authorities have detained six people for allegedly defaming the country's ruler on Twitter, according to the country’s public prosecutor’s office.        .... 

The six, who were not identified, join a growing list of anti-government activists caught up in an Internet crackdown by authorities in the Gulf nation.

Meanwhile, Arab interior ministers warned of the spread of extremism through social media networks at a security meeting in Riyadh Wednesday.

“Extremist thought... on social networks has resulted in a major increase in terrorist acts, political assassinations and sectarian conflicts," Mohammed Kuman, head of the council of Arab interior ministers said in an opening speech.

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The International home of 'Extremism' is Saudi Arabia, home of the Wahhabis and Salafists....

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Bahrain Opposition Rejects Discovery of 'Terrorist Cell' - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Bahrain Opposition Rejects Discovery of 'Terrorist Cell' - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

This is not the first time that the Bahraini Interior Ministry has announced the discovery of a “terrorist cell” aiming to destabilize the country, hurt the economy and assassinate public figures. Throughout the past few decades, security agencies have constantly talked about cells that they characterized as “terrorist,” usually composed of “opposition members” accused of working for foreign entities. Such news, with time, gets relegated to obscurity, very rarely resurfacing into the open.

In their ongoing attempts to divert attention away from important internal Bahraini issues — be they political or parliamentary — the security agencies have, since the beginning of the Bahraini crisis in February 2011, announced the discovery of five “terrorist cells” accused of possessing weapons, perpetrating attacks against police officers and destabilizing security. The most infamous among them might be the “cell of 21,” which included prominent opposition leaders and rights activists who were accused of working to overthrow the regime by force, cooperating with foreign entities and communicating with “terrorist” organizations abroad. Sentences in that case included life imprisonment and were based on the confessions of the accused, who maintained that their confessions were extracted through torture, which was confirmed by medical reports and numerous testimonies.

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'No change in Bahrain as Al Khalifa rules'

'No change in Bahrain as Al Khalifa rules' | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
A Bahraini opposition leader says that the developments in the past two years in the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain have proved that the ruling Al Khalifa regime cannot be trusted to bring about real changes.



The comments come as Bahraini protesters have held fresh protest rallies marking the second anniversary of their pro-democracy uprising against the ruling regime. Anti-regime demonstrators on Thursday held a massive march in the capital, Manama, while similar rallies were held in several other parts of the country. According to Physicians for Human Rights, many doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or have disappeared because they have "evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters. ....

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The US Sold A Bunch Of Weapons To Bahrain During Its Brutal Crackdown

The US Sold A Bunch Of Weapons To Bahrain During Its Brutal Crackdown | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The U.S. has been selling arms to Bahrain amid the small Mideast nation's increasingly repressive crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, Justin Elliot of ProPublica reports.

 

The sales, combined with allegations of censorship by U.S. media, seems to corroborate claims that America has turned a blind eye to the bloody repression inside the country.

The Bahraini uprising — which initially called for greater political freedom and equality for the majority Shia population — began peacefully in February 2011. It was met with a harsh response by the U.S.-backed Sunni ruling party as unarmed protesters were allegedly detained, tortured, targeted by "live ammunition air strikes from Cobra helicopters" and thrown in jail for life.

Defense Department documents released to ProPublica reveal that between February 2011 and February 2012 the U.S. sold the Sunni kingdom items relating to ammunition, combat vehicle parts, communications equipment, Cobra and Blackhawk helicopters, and an unidentified missile system.

Elliot notes that it's unclear whether the arms have been delivered or if the names of the weapons listed may refer to maintenance or spare parts. 

The State Department told ProPublica that the U.S. has only been selling Bahrain items "related exclusively to external defense, counter-terrorism, and the protection of U.S. forces.”

The circumstances surrounding Bahrain led Al-Jazeera to describe the uprising as "the Arab revolution that was abandoned by the Arabs, forsaken by the West and forgotten by the world."...



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/us-selling-bahrain-weapons-during-crackdown-2013-1#ixzz2IBjU5VQG

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When Will Justice Be Served in Bahrain? | The Nation

When Will Justice Be Served in Bahrain? | The Nation | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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Since the uprising began, more than eighty people have been killed and hundreds more wounded. Scores of people have been arrested and sentenced before military courts—many of them human rights advocates, political opposition figures and physicians who treated wounded protesters. Reports of systematic prisoner abuse and torture are widespread.

The Obama administration has been relatively low-key in condemning human rights violations by the Bahraini government over the past two years and has largely looked the other way as the monarchy has sought to quash the uprising. Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which patrols the Persian Gulf, through which much of the world’s oil passes.

In January, ProPublica revealed new details of the weaponry sold to the Bahraini government by the US over the past two years, including ammunition, Black Hawk helicopters and a missile system.

“The US says they support democracy but under the table they do something else entirely. This is America’s politics, they look to their interests and that’s it,” says Taimoor Karimi, a 55 year-old lawyer who was arrested in March 2011 and spent nearly six months in jail—where he says he was tortured—on charges of “spreading false news” and “participating in [an] illegal gathering.” ....

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‘Bahraini regime on brink of collapse’

‘Bahraini regime on brink of collapse’ | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The Al Khalifa family in Bahrain is on the brink of collapse as the Bahraini people can no longer tolerate the authoritarian rule of the regime, an Iranian lawmaker says.



Ebrahim Aqa-Mohammadi, a member of Iran’s Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said on Saturday, “Countdown has started for the overthrow of Al Khalifa regime.” 

He pointed to the second anniversary of the outbreak of the popular uprising in the Persian Gulf sheikhdom, saying, “The inequality of wealth distribution in Bahrain and the ban on political freedoms have persecuted the people of Bahrain and ultimately incited them against the regime.”

“Getting the support of Saudi forces and also the green light of hegemonic countries, particularly the US, the Al Khalifa regime committed massacre in the country and even used violence against children and women; therefore, in response to such actions, the Bahraini people will not be satisfied with anything, except for the removal of the violent regime,” the Iranian lawmaker stated. 

Bahrainis have held major anti-regime demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the uprising of mid-February 2011. 

The demonstrators say they will continue holding protests until their demands for the establishment of a democratically-elected government and an end to rights violations are met. 
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European Parliament calls for EU sanctions against Bahrain

European Parliament calls for EU sanctions against Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

17 Jan 2013

The European Parliament today endorsed a strong worded resolution addressing the ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain. The effort led by Dutch Member of European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) calls for targeted EU sanctions against human rights violators inBahrain. “For almost two years now the world has ignored the lethal violence used against Bahraini peaceful protestors. We have to be consistent in our policies and impose sanctions to force the Bahraini authorities to respect rights and freedoms”,Schaake says.

Activists
Since February 2011 protests take place in Bahrain. The Bahraini population, of which Shias make up around 70 percent and the rest is mostly Sunni, is being closely watched by Saudi-Arabia and Iran. Bahraini authorities received Saudi support through tanks that were sent to assist in suppressing revolts. Demonstrations in which citizens call for more democracy are increasingly sectarian. Schaake: “People suffocate from the excessive use of tear gas, bird shot is fired from a very close range. Doctors face jail time for providing basic medical care, activists are sentenced to life long imprisonment in flawed trials. Schaake led several other initiatives that got Parliamentary backing....

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Revealed: America's arms sales to Bahrain amid bloody crackdown

Revealed: America's arms sales to Bahrain amid bloody crackdown | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Human rights advocates question whether US-manufactured ammunition and helicopters were used against civilian protesters



A Bahraini protester holds a molotov cocktail during a clash with riot police in a Shiite suburb of the Manama in April 2012. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Despite Bahrain's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, the US has continued to provide weapons and maintenance to the small Mideast nation.

Defense Department documents released to ProPublica give the fullest picture yet of the arms sales: the list includes ammunition, combat vehicle parts, communications equipment, Blackhawk helicopters, and an unidentified missile system. (Read the documents.)

The documents, which were provided in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and cover a yearlong period ending in February 2012, still leave many questions unanswered. It's not clear whether in each case the arms listed have been delivered. And some entries that only cite the names of weapons may in fact refer to maintenance or spare parts.

Defense Department spokesman Paul Ebner declined to offer any more detail. "We won't get into specifics in any of these because of the security of Bahrain," said Ebner.

While the US has maintained it is selling Bahrain arms only for external defense, human rights advocates say the documents raise questions about items that could be used against civilian protesters.

"The US government should not be providing additional military equipment that could make matters worse," said Sunjeev Bery, Middle East advocacy director for Amnesty International USA.

There have been reports that Bahrain used American-made helicopters to fire on protesters in the most intense period of the crackdown. Time magazine reported in mid-March 2011 that Cobra helicopters had conducted "live ammunition air strikes" on protesters.

The new Defense Department list of arms sales has two entries related to "AH-1F Cobra Helicopters" in March and April 2011. Neither the exact equipment or services being sold nor the delivery timetable are specified. ....

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اعدام الانسانية - Execution of Humanity — www.youtube.com — Readability

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