#Bahrain: Notes from the front

The following is my translation of a post published today on the German blog Aufstand in Arabien. The original is at http://aufstand-in-arabien.blogspot.com02011/04/bahrain-sichelzellenanamie.html?spref=tw  I did the translation out of solidarity with @angryaribaya, whom I follow on Twitter.

10 April 2011

Bahrain: sickle-cell anemia, manipulation and arrests

In Bahrain, two people died in police custody on Sunday, according to the Gulf state’s Interior Ministry.  Ali Isa Saqer, 31 years old and accused of killing a police officer, was reported to have attacked civil servants, necessitating the use of force.  The Ministry did not share the reason for or the circumstances of his death in custody.   Zakria Rashid al-Asherri, 40, was also found dead in his cell.  Al-Asherri, a website operator, was imprisoned on April 2 on charges of “incitement to hatred” and “subversion.”   An autopsy cited the cause of death as sickle-cell anaemia.  This is the second case in which the Bahraini police cited the disease as the cause of death.  According to authorities, on April 3, Hassan Jassim Maki, 39, also died due to sickle-cell anemia. Relatives and friends of the men suspect that torture and a lack of medical care were the real causes of death.

Meanwhile, the wave of arrests continues in Bahrain. A dramatic and well- documented example is that of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja . He was attacked early Saturday morning, at around 2 a.m., by masked and armed men in black uniforms.  They entered the door and beat Al-Khawaja bloody and unconscious, although he did not resist. Al-Khawaja was the founder and longtime chairman of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. Later, he was a rapporteur for Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations. He stopped this work last year after harassment and threats by the authorities.   At opposition rallies earlier this year, he gave speeches in which he accused the Bahraini government of torture and murder, and called for investigations and prosecutions of these cases, as well as for an effective fight against corruption. With him were his brother and his son-in-law, who have also been active in the opposition; they too were arrested. Three weeks ago, Abdulhadias’ brother, Salah Al Khawaji, was likewise taken into custody, and the family still know nothing of his whereabouts or the charges against him. The arrest of Al-Abdulhadi Khawajas, carried out with no arrest warrant or charges laid, took place in front of his daughter, Zeinab. Half an hour later, she documented the events on Twitter. Here is the link: http://chirpstory.com/li/1085


Filed under Current events, Death, History and historiography, Journalism, Media, News, Reading and writing, Weblogs

2 responses to “#Bahrain: Notes from the front

  1. Simon Dyson

    See book Sickle Cell and Deaths in Custody for ways in which sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait can be misused in arrest and detention. http://www.amazon.com/Sickle-Deaths-Custody-Simon-Dyson/dp/1861771150

  2. Thank you so much for translating and posting this article. I’ve just found out about this situation through Mosaic World News and am currently collecting all of the information I can in order to be an informed supporter of Zainab, her family, and all detainees. Also, thanks to Simon for the above comment and link.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s