A human rights group called on the United Arab Emirates to investigate allegations of torture that are being made by defendants on trial for allegedly trying to overthrow the government.
Several of the 94 defendants told a security court last week that they had been repeatedly beaten, kept in solitary confinement, denied medical treatment, blindfolded and forced to take unknown medications, AP reported
Human Rights Watch on Monday said the trial “raises serious questions about UAE’s willingness to respect the fundamental right of all accused.” The group called on the court not to introduce evidence “obtained through ill-treatment or coercion.”
The trial resumed on Monday but authorities barred international media, including The Associated Press, from attending.
Ninety-four people have gone on trial in the UAE on charges of trying to overthrow the government, the latest in a growing crackdown in the Persian Gulf state against perceived political or security threats inspired by the Arab spring uprisings.
About 200 relatives were bussed to the court in Abu Dhabi for the hearing on March 4 amid tight security. The road leading to the court was closed and authorities barred international media and rights groups from attending.
The defendants--unnamed doctors, academics, lawyers and other professionals--have been accused of building a secret network to plot the coup and raising money through property and other deals.
The government said the 94 were suspected of links to the Muslim Brotherhood and other unnamed parties they allegedly contacted for expertise and financial support . The detained include men and women who were arrested over the past year.
They are believed to be part of a loosely knit network known as Al-Islah or Reform, which advocates a greater public voice in UAE’s tightly controlled affairs.
Rights groups have criticized the crackdown and it has also raised tensions with Egypt, which is governed by the Brotherhood.
Last year, the UAE set stricter internet-monitoring and enforcement codes that include giving authorities wider leeway to crack down on web activists for offences such as mocking the country’s rulers or calling for demonstrations. Last week, a scholar from the London School of Economics was barred from entering the country, prompting the school to pull out of a planned conference.
Separate Attacks In Iraq Kill 11 People
A suicide attacker drove his explosives-laden car on Monday into a police station in northern Iraq, killing five people, while attacks elsewhere in the country killed six more Iraqis, officials said.
The deputy police chief in the northern city of Kirkuk, Maj. Gen. Torhan Abdul-Rahman Youssef, said the dead in the suicide attack in the town of Dibis included two policemen and three civilians. Thirty-six others, including some students from a nearby school, were wounded in the blast, Youssef said.
The town is located near Kirkuk, which is 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, AP reported.
In Baghdad, militants launched a wave of attacks that killed six people, police and health officials said.
In the northwestern neighborhood of Shula, gunmen broke at dawn into a house, killing a man and his wife, a police officer said. In the northern Sabi Al-Boor neighborhood, another group of assailants killed a minimarket owner, another police officer said.
Also, an off-duty policeman in the western Ghazaliya area was gunned down in his car by drive-by shooters. A civilian was shot dead in the southern Saydiyah neighborhood and an anti-Al-Qaeda militiaman was killed in southwestern Amil district.
Three medicals officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks but suicide bombings and well-coordinate assassinations are a hallmark of Al-Qaeda’s Iraq branch.
Violence has ebbed across Iraq since the peak of the fighting in the last decade, but deadly bombings and shootings still occur almost daily.
Bahraini Rights Activist Acquitted
A Bahrain court on Monday acquitted leading Shiite rights activist Yousif Al-Muhafda who was on trial for spreading false news, his lawyer Mohammed Al-Jishi wrote on his Twitter account.
Muhafda, who is the acting deputy head of the local non-governmental organization, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was last month released on bail of 100 dinars ($265/198 euros), AFP reported.
He was arrested on December 17 in Manama for tweeting a picture of an injured protester after he clicked photographs of clashes between police and demonstrators.
On December 20, the public prosecution reportedly claimed that publishing the picture resulted in “protests and acts of sabotage that disrupted security and order on the same day.”
Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet, has seen two years of political upheaval linked to opposition demands for a real constitutional monarchy, with the unrest costing at least 80 lives, according to international rights groups.
A new round of talks between the Shiite-led opposition and the government began last month against the backdrop of daily Shiite-led protests marking the second anniversary of an uprising against the Sunni monarchy that erupted on February 14, 2011.
But the talks have been dogged by disagreements as the opposition insists that representatives of the king should join them as the Sunni Al-Khalifa monarchy which rules Shiite-majority Bahrain “monopolizes all powers” in the tiny Persian Gulf state.
Following Sunday’s dialog session, Justice Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ali Al-Khalifa, who is also the coordinator of the talks, said participants have agreed that outcomes of the discussions will be approved by the king, state news agency BNA reported.
The opposition demands any decisions in the dialogue be approved in a referendum.
Moreover, Bahrain’s king has appointed his heir to an additional role overseeing government affairs in an apparent gesture to opposition groups.
Monday’s announcement by the official Bahrain News Agency said that Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa will have the added portfolio of first deputy premier to watch over the performance of top offices in the kingdom.
The move by King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa could be an effort to accelerate the slow-moving talks between Shiite-led opposition groups and envoys from the Western-backed Sunni monarchy.
More than 80 people have been killed in the Arab Spring-inspired unrest, but some activists place the death toll higher.
The government has also been pressuring social media sites that have served as primary news outlets, since authorities have blocked many international journalists from entering Bahrain, but there was another sign Monday that the campaign may be easing.
What is OHCHR Doing About US/NATO Atrocities?
Tens of thousands of people have died from dehydration, dysentery and diseases caused by impure water, inability to obtain effective medical assistance and debilitation from hunger, shock, cold and stress. The destruction of civilian facilities left the entire civilian population without heat, cooking fuel, refrigeration, potable water, telephones, power for radio or TV reception, public transportation and fuel for private automobiles. It also limited food supplies, closed schools, created massive unemployment, severely limited economic activity and caused hospitals and medical services to shut down. As a single illustration, Iraq consumed infant milk formula at a rate of 2,500 tons per month during the first seven months of 1990. From November 1, 1990, to February 7, 1991, Iraq was able to import only 17 tons. Its own productive capacity was destroyed. Many Iraqis believed that President Bush intended that their infants die because he targeted their food supply. The Red Crescent Society of Iraq estimated 3,000 infant deaths as of February 7, 1991, resulting from infant milk formula and infant medication shortages. The US has violated the UN Charter, Hague and Geneva Conventions, Nuremberg Charter and the laws of armed conflict – Navi Pillay, any comments? Sri Lanka took on the LTTE after it closed the sluice gates in Mavil Aru denying water and means of livelihood to thousands of civilians.
US/NATO Crimes in Afghanistan
The 9/11 bombing of the US was used as an excuse to militarily intervene in Afghanistan though the hijackers were mostly Saudis and none was an Afghan.
• “US troops posed with body parts of Afghan bombers.” Los Angeles Times, April 18, 2012
• “G.I. Kills 16 Afghans, Including 9 Children In Attacks on Homes.” New York Times, March 12, 2012
• “NATO Admits Airstrike Killed 8 Young Afghans, but Contends They Were Armed.” New York Times, Feb. 16, 2012
• “Informer Misled NATO in Airstrike That Killed 8 Civilians, Afghans Say.” (Seven shepherd boys under 14.) New York Times, Feb. 10, 2012
• “Video [of US Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters] Inflames a Delicate Moment for US in Afghanistan.” New York Times, Jan. 12, 2012
• “Commission alleges US detainee abuse.” Minneapolis StarTribune, Jan. 8, 2012
• “Six Children Are Killed by NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan.” New York Times, Nov. 25, 2011
• “American Soldier Is Convicted of Killing Afghan Civilians for Sport.” New York Times, Nov. 11, 2011
• “Pakistan: US Drone Strike Kills Brother of a Taliban Commander.” New York Times, Oct. 28, 2011
• “Afghanistan officials ‘systematically tortured’ detainees, UN report says.” Guardian, & BBC Oct. 10; Washington Post, Oct. 11, 2011
• “G.I. Killed Afghan Journalist, NATO Says.” New York Times, Sept. 9, 2011
• “Raid on Wrong House Kills Afghan Girl, 12.” New York Times, May 12, 2011
• “Disposal of Bin Laden’s remains violated Islamic principles, clerics say.” Associated Press, May 2, 2011
• “Photos of atrocities seen as threat to Afghan relations.” St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 22, 2011
• “Afghans Say Attack Killed 52 Civilians; NATO Differs.” New York Times, July 27, 2010
• “Afghans Say NATO Troops Killed 8 Civilians in Raid.” New York Times, Aug. 24, 2010
• “A dozen or more” Afghan civilians were killed during a nighttime raid August 5, 2010 in eastern Afghanistan, NATO’s officers said. Chicago Tribune, Aug. 6, 2010
• “Afghans Die in Bombing, As Toll Rises for Civilians.” New York Times, May 3, 2010
US/NATO Crimes in Libya, Somalia, Pakistan
• “NATO Strikes Libyan State TV Transmitters.” New York Times, July 31, 2011
• “NATO admits raid probably killed nine in Tripoli.” St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 20, 2011
• “Libya Effort Is Called Violation of War Act.” New York Times, May 26, 2011
• “NATO Accused of Going Too Far With Libya Strikes.” New York Times, May 2, 2011
• Gerald A. Perreira, “British Intelligence Worked with Al- Qaeda to Kill Qaddafi,” Global Research, March 25, 2011
In July 2011, NATO aircraft bombed Libya’s main water supply facility, which provided water to approximately 70 percent of the nation’s population.
British Special Forces played a key role in steering and supervising Libya’s “freedom fighters” to victory.
• “US Expands Its Drone War to Take On Somali Militants.” New York Times, July 2, 2011
• “Missiles Kill 26 in Pakistan” (“most of them civilians”) New York Times, March 18, 2011
• In June 2008, NATO bombers attacked a Pakistani paramilitary force called the Frontier Corps killing 11 of its soldiers. New York Times, Nov. 27, 2011
• Did the US troops not enter Pakistan without Pakistani Govt knowledge and kill an unarmed Osama bin Laden including his unarmed son watched by the US President, the US Secretary of State and numerous other US military personnel?
The US/NATO crimes are nothing even the common man is not aware about. When organizations tasked to keep peace hide their crimes whilst going after smaller nations it spells doom for a world supposedly working towards peace.
When nations of the West are experiencing economic downfall we know that it is looking once again to the East to continue the second phase of their plunder – Asia and Africa will always be the targets as they are rich in resources STILL.
Protesters in Saudi Arabia once again held a demonstration against the Al Saud regime in Qassim Province, Press TV reported.