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Bahrain Strengthens Its Presence in World of Spanish Football to Cover up Its HR Violations

2020-05-15 - 3:01 am

Bahrain Mirror: The Spanish El Mundo Newspaper said that the Kingdom of Bahrain, through "brutal repression" man who is accused of torture, Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, is strengthening its presence in the world of football in the Kingdom of Spain to cover up human rights violations.

In a lengthy article by Francisco Carrión from Cairo, the newspaper said that the process was carried out through "Infinity" Company, which has been controling the Córdoba Football Club for several months, and through which the ruling family in Bahrain put its foot in the world of Spanish football.

The investment company is owned by Bahrain's Crown Prince, according to Husain Abdulla, executive director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain.

He says "The company's funding comes directly from the Government of Bahrain, which is a clear case of corruption in which public funds are used for the benefit of the royal family," indicating that Salman  Al Khalifa, 50, the eldest son of king Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, is the "financial mind" of the family.

Although Salman provided the funds to buy the Cordoba Club, his brother, Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, 33, is in the forefront. Nasser is the commander of the Royal Guard, head of the elite unit that took part in the bloody war in Yemen, the president of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, the head of the government's Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, and the owner of the Bahrain McLaren Cycling Club, according to the newspaper.

"Prince Nasser, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa son, wants to use the team in his public relations and to whitewash his image," Husain Abdulla adds.

"There are very strong torture charges against Nasser, and the UK Supreme Court has already revoked his diplomatic immunity."

Yousif Al-Houri, a Bahraini human rights activist who had his citizenship revoked and lives in exile in Germany, says Nasser "follows the footsteps of Turki Al-Sheikh, advisor of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, owner of the Almeria Club."

Al-Houri knows Prince Nasser very well. "I was protesting against him when he was here in Berlin participating in the Iron Man competition. We were beaten."

Bahraini dissidents living either behind bars or in exile consider that Nasser is a key figure in the brutal repression practiced by the Al Khalifa family since 2011 with the help of its neighbors in the region, the Spanish newspaper reported.

After the protests broke out and at the height of the Arab Spring, Nasser publicly threatened to punish the athletes who participated in the uprising, saying, "to everyone that demands the fall of the regime, may a wall fall on their heads. Everyone involved in such issues and networks will be punished. Whether he is an athlete, an activist or a politician, he will be punished in this time. Today is the judgment day ... Bahrain is an island and there is no escape."

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