Bahrain: Witnesses Against the Ministry of Interior Face Unknown Destiny
2015-05-12 - 1:01 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Bahraini security authorities arrested, on Friday, May 1, 2015, the member of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Abdullah Al-Saba', from the exit of King Fahd Causeway that connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.
Al-Saba' was among 7 others who made their statement before the court (Wednesday, April 22, 2015) refuting the charges against the opposition leader, Al-Wefaq's Secretary-General, Sheikh Ali Salman, whom the authority accuses for inciting to use force; the thing the witnesses denied.
Al-Saba', who participates in organizing protests through which tens of thousands take part in, said, "Salman was always concerned to direct the protests and events towards peacefulness and maintain the private and public properties."
Accompanying Salman to his private meetings, he said, "Salman always used to highlight these titles (...). He never degraded any party or sect. He always adhered to maintain the rights of all people and meet the goals with the least losses."
In this regards, Yusuf Rabie, the president of Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, commented saying, "The texts of the Bahraini Constitution guarantee legal safeguards to the witnesses (...) however, the security authorities resort to targeting them in an arbitrary way through criminal cases regardless of the legal basis, aiming at getting rid of them for they embarrass the authority."
Rabie considered that Al-Saba' reflects a clear example of the aforementioned case, for he is one of the defence witnesses in Sheikh Ali Salman case, adding that, "these measures violate the defendants' rights and defames the equity, which the defendant and witness have to enjoy at the same time."
This is not the first time that Bahrain shows such an attitude against the witnesses in political cases and those related to protestors' murder. This formed a systematic pattern to hide the truth since the popular protests erupted four years ago.
Naziha Saeed, the correspondent for France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, was arrested on May, 2011 and was subjected during her arrest period to forms of torture and insults just because she told a special committee established by the king that she saw an officer shooting on old man in his head (17 February 2011).
Since she gave her statement regarding the killing of Isa Abdulhassan (61 years) until today, Saeed has been subjected to harassments from the government. Meanwhile, the officer who tortured her, Sara Al-Moussa, was acquitted, while Saeed's journalistic license was withdrawn and she was threatened by the Information Affairs Authority to be prosecuted for the reports she wrote about the political and human rights statuses in Bahrain.
A video recorded in 2012 shows the president of Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab (in the minute 3:40) protesting against one of the officers for arresting witnesses whom he called for to give their statements with regards to the incident of killing the child Ali Al-Sheikh through shooting him in head while fleeing from a police car (31 August 2011).
Yousef Al-Mahafdha, the vice president of the center says in this context, "I, along with Rajab, transported the witnesses to the police station but we did not expect them to get arrested, two months later, from their domiciles and charged with assembly. It was sad that they get arrested over this."
"Arresting people who witnessed the killing of the protestors is an attempt to hide the evidence of crimes and to cover them as much as they can from the lawyers, monitors, human rights organizations and media. This is also considered a means of revenge and intimidation," Al-Mahafdha adds.
He recounts another story that he says is another example of an attempt to hide the crime traces. He says that the police fired tear gas against him and Nabeel Rajab when they approached the location where the police ran over a protestor.
"We were trying to document the killing of Ali Baddah (17 years) who was murdered by a police vehicle, however, they chased us away before accomplishing our mission," he continues.
The witness for the incident of killing the second protestor in 14 February uprising was facing life-imprisonment, before the authority commuted his sentence to 15 years.
Mohammed Al-Mahasneh (33 years) pointed at the officer who killed the martyr Fadel Al-Matrook, and handed a video that shows Al-Matrook's killing moment to human rights parties, which made the authorities arrest him.
During one of his trial sessions (23 December 2012), Al-Mahasneh could detect the officer who killed Al-Matrook. Nonetheless, the Bahraini regime will not stop at the level of acquitting the Al-Matrook's murderer and arresting Al-Mahanseh, being a witness.
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