Bahraini Officer Killed; Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Updates
The Bahraini government reported that a police officer has been killed after being targeted by “rioters” in an “unprovoked” attack. A press release says, “Mohammed Asif was targeted by rioters in Sehla who shot a projectile that fatally injured him. He died on his way to hospital.” Earlier in the day, a 16-year-old boy was killed after security forces opened fire upon him. Opposition protesters have renewed calls for protests on Friday, and some tweets show people gathering in Manama. Katherine Gallagher writes that the Bahraini government “must stop paying lip service to human rights while violating its citizens’ most basic rights and protections,” and should release Nabeel Rajab and other activists. Josh Rogin posted an interview of Jalila Al-Salman of the Bahrain Teacher’s Society and Mohammed Al-Maskati, president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, on the anniversary of the unrest.
In nearby Oman, 17 activists jailed for “unlawful assembly and violating the Cyber Law and are serving jail terms from six to 18 months” have begun a hunger strike to protest the delay of their trials. Reporters Without Borders have expressed concern over the activists’ case, as did the Monitor of Human Rights in Oman.
In Kuwait, opposition groups have welcomed the dismissal of charges against individuals accused of insulting the emir on Twitter. Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch said, “Kuwaiti authorities should take a cue from this decision and revoke sentences and drop charges against others accused of offending the emir.” Also, Bedoon activist Abdulhakim al-Fadhli has reportedly restarted a hunger strike over his detention for illegal assembly and attacking a police officer.
Finally, in Saudi Arabia Human Rights Watch called for the release of Sulaiman al-Rashoodi, “a 76-year-old former judge and president of the Saudi Association of Civil and Political Rights.” He is reportedly one of 16 people detained in 2007 and convicted in 2011 for “peacefully trying to establish a human rights organization in Jeddah. Four others also have been sentenced to long prison terms.” Additionally, the Adala Center for Human Rights’ trial was postponed again in a case that has challenged Saudi Arabia’s NGO regulations as it is attempting to register as an NGO. In an op-ed, Rasha Shuaib suggests that the unrest in Qatif is not a revolution, but rather a fight against “sectarian injustice.”