Thursday, February 14, 2013

16-Year-Old Protester Killed as Bahrain Uprising Turns 2

It's hard to believe that a year ago, I was in Bahrain. I haven't had time or strength to write anything about that, but wanted to share this update from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. It's so sad that one year later, people are still being killed by the regime in their freedom struggle. Yet inspiring that they continue to rise unabated. When people say, "Well, no wonder the Occupy/Decolonize movement died down, look at how violently it was repressed," I can't help thinking of the Bahrainis. According to the NYT blog, at least 88 people have been killed since the beginning of the uprising two years ago today. Bahrain's population is roughly equivalent to that of the city of San Francisco. What if 88 Occupy protesters had been killed? And our government continues to arm to Bahraini monarchy.

All I can say to my Bahraini friends is, I continue to be amazed and inspired by you all.

 

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February 14 Summary
Anniversary
of an
Uprising



The Bahrain Center for Human Rights Releases below a summary report of the first major day of protests to mark the second anniversary of the pro-democracy movement. At the time of writing, major protests are still ongoing through the night in Bahrain. European arms are assisting in the brutal repression that already claimed the life of one young, unarmed and peaceful protester today.


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Date: 14 February 2013

(Bahrain) – The human rights situation is rapidly deteriorating in Bahrain on the second anniversary of the pro-democracy movement. Security forces in full riot gear have swarmed the streets with armored vehicles and helicopters; many streets are filled with tear gas. The government’s response has been, throughout the day, wildly out of proportion to the largely peaceful demonstrations.

Since the earliest hours of the day around dawn, protesters took to the streets in large numbers, groups of hundreds gathered in all parts of the country, the vast majority of which were peaceful. Protesters have established roadblocks of their own to prevent riot police from driving at high speed into the villages. The security forces used consistently excessive and disproportionate force against protesters across Bahrain throughout the day.


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Photo: Hussain Al-Jazeeri photos

Due to the culture of impunity being practiced by Bahrain authorities and the continued use of excessive force, a 16 year-old protester, Hussain Ali Al-Jazeeri, died this morning as a result of a close-range direct hit from a police officer’s shotgun to his abdominal area which led to sever lung injury & pneumothorax. He was shot while he was peacefully protesting in the area of Daih. There is no evidence that AlJaziri was representing any kind of threat to the policeman who fired on him and killed him. Al-Jazeeri died in the ambulance before reaching the hospital. This video shows the medic who was trying to rescue Al-Jaziri in the ambulance ( http://youtu.be/76dYQPj5Sbw ). The Bahraini riot police continue to use the birdshots against the peaceful protests in Bahrain even after 2 years, during which dozens were killed with shotgun, including the first man who was killed on Feb 14, 2011, Ali Mushiama.

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Photo : Above : Shotgun Injuries, Below: Extensive use of Teargas

Dozens of injuries were documented today, including tear gas suffocation, shotgun pellet injuries, fractures and bruises. The number of shotgun pellets injuries have rapidly increased today. Many of those injuries were in vital areas of the body including the face and chest.

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Photo : A protestor getting arrested.

The Bahrain authorities arbitrarily arrested a number of peaceful protesters during the day. In an attempt to prevent information on human rights abuses from spreading; agency photojournalists Mazen Mahdi (DPA), Hassan Jamali (FP) and Mohammed Al-Shaikh (AP) were arrested this morning while they were covering the protests despite the fact that they have valid ID; they were released several hours later without any explanation of why they were arrested.

Due to the fact that there are many protests organized during the night and in the coming days, the BCHR fears that the escalation of the violations will continue. The security forces continued the widespread use of pellet shotguns, despite the fatality that occurred this morning.

The birdshot canisters, which were found on site where AlJaziri was killed today, are from Cyprus Victory Starlight cartridges. In other areas, Italian manufactured weapon (Benelli M4 Super 90 shotgun) and German-owned South African Tear Gas canisters were spotted as being used against protesters.

The BCHR also calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the UN and all other allies and international institutions to put pressure on the Government of Bahrain to stop its use of excessive force in response to the continued peaceful protests, and to consider a meaningful solution to resolve the persistent political issues of instability in the country.

The BCHR calls on the European Governments and other ally Governments to Bahrain to stop supplying the government of Bahrain with arms that are used against peaceful protesters, which cause severe injury and death among them.

Read more in BCHR two-year anniversary report:

Deaths and Detentions:
Documenting Human Rights Abuses During the Pro-Democracy Movement in Bahrain

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