Arrests in Jidhafs after house raided

Said Yousif Almuhafda, head of monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, reports that “police raided a a house in Jidhafs and they arrested 16 protesters”. He shared four pictures:

Jidhafs_21-4-2013_Arrests

Earlier in the day, a group of young men blocked a main road in Jidhafs with burning tyres, as part of the “Flame Volcanoes” anti-F1 campaign which had been initiated by the underground February 14th Youth Coalition.

There have also been reports of a 15 year old boy arrested in Sitra, and another young teenager arrested in Al Dair.

According to Said Yousif, several children who were arrested in Duraz, Sanabis, Musalla and Daih have been released after having been beaten.

 

 

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Clashes and tear gas at Jabreya school

Jabreya boys secondary school, located about a kilometre from the capital Manama, is once again the site of violence. On Tuesday, dramatic scenes unfolded as the school was attacked by police firing tear gas against students who were protesting the arrest of a fellow student the day before. Today, protests resumed. An Al Jazeera correspondent reports:

Students have barricaded themselves in, we could see smoke from burning tyres and I’ve seen pictures of tear gas outside classrooms. We’re hearing reports that two students are injured. They are protesting because a fellow student was removed from the school last week by plain clothes police. He is still in custody. This has died down and now we are seeing sporadic clashes with police and protesters.

Photojournalist Mazen Mahdi tried to cover the unfolding events, but authorities prevented him. About 10:30 local time Mazen tweeted:

Police kicking me out from the protest near the school in Manama claiming without police media ID journalist can’t work

Half an hour earlier, Said Yousif Almuhafda, head of monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, tweeted this picture of tear gas being used against the students, sent to him from inside the school:

Jabreya_School_21-4-2013_teargas

Other photographs from inside the school have been posted online by the “Sanabis Revolutionary Movement”.

Said Yousif later drove towards the location of the school and reported that he could see “riot police blocking the road” leading to the school, and a helicopter hovering above it. He took this picture of the police outside:

Jabreya_School_21-4-2013_police

Shortly before midday, local time, one activist, Maryam, tweeted an eyewitness account:

I’m now next to AlJabriya school. Gun shots are being heard non stop. Mercenaries are aiming directly at students while shooting. Toxic gas canisters all around AlJabriya school area. AlJabriya’s school campus is more like a war-zone!

Students are out from the entrance next to the public garden standing at a close range with mercenaries. As we stood next to AlJabriya school, a man was documenting the attack, mercenaries asked him to hand his phone over to them. Mercenaries asked us to leave telling us that the situation is stable & everything is under control! Yet,we can still hear gunshots.

The officer asked who seemed to be the school doorman if he could recognize any of the guys who started the protest earlier this morning. The doorman replied he couldn’t recognize any of them as their faces were covered. The officer replied, “you expect me to believe this?! You’re telling me you cannot recognize not even one of them?” After that, we were asked to leave that area as the officer told us everything was under control and our stand was unnecessary.

This picture, taken by students, reportedly shows the tear gas cannisters collected by students following the police attack:

Jabreya_School_21-4-2013_teargas1These cannisters are most likely South Korean in origin. Another picture reportedly from the school shows a tear gas cannister manufactured by US firm NonLethal Technologies. A cannister from this company was also identified in Sanabis yesterday.

Further reports of police violence from Sanabis yesterday

Said Yousif Almuhafda, head of monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, has been to Sanabis, scene of violent scenes yesterday, to speak with the affected residents. This account is taken from his recent tweets:

Riot police raided a house yesterday in Sanabis, kidnapped a citizen and assaulted women. Women stated to me that riot police beat them with weapons, pepper-sprayed them and cursed them.

I met the kidnapped citizen who stated to me that he was severely beaten in the police jeep in Sanabis. He stated that he was beaten nearly 30 minutes, cursed and threatened by riot police inside the jeep.

Pictures of injuries:

Sanabis_Young_Man_attacked_20-4-2013I met another young man kidnapped yesterday, beaten severely with batons and weapons by riot police. He stated that he was sexually harrassed, burned with lighters and cigarettes and he was threatened to work as an informer.

Said Yousif also shared this video of an arrest of a young man in Sanabis yesterday. At around 0:30 in the video, one of the arresting officers can be seen to jab the young man sharply in the stomach with his baton:

Policeman filmed slapping a child before arresting him

A policeman is caught slapping a child before arresting him, in footage covertly captured in Abu Saiba earlier today. The policeman’s violence is completely unprovoked. Policemen on foot and in a car are seen stopping two children, who are passive throughout. Said Yousif Almuhafda, head of monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, tweeted: “I just met those kids in the video and they are just 12 and 13 years old.”

Injuries by police in Sa’ar and Abu Saiba

Said Yousif Almuhafda, Head of Monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, tweeted two images tonight of injuries sustained from police firing shotguns and tear gas respectively. Specific details of the respective incidents are currently unknown. I have combined the images into one graphic below:

Injuries_Sa'ar_&_Abu_Saiber_19-4-2013

Individuals who suffer such injuries rarely receive medical treatment in national hospitals, which are said to have become “militarized”, for fear of arrest. Last week, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights issued an important new report covering this subject: Limited Medical Access and Breach of Medical Neutrality in Bahrain (see pp25-30 especially). As a consequence of the fear instilled by the current state apparatus, underground clinics have been set up to treat people injured by police. As the report notes:

those injured by excessive force from security forces do not go to hospitals out of fear. As a result, secret clinics have been set up in different residential areas with portable first aid clinics. Those who volunteer to work are a few doctors, a few qualified nurses and volunteers who received training on first aid. At times, even fractures and open wounds have been treated at these clinics. The advantage is that these clinics provide basic medical care for civilians who fear going to the hospital. These medics and volunteers treat civilians at their own risk as they become targets of the authorities, and have very limited resources. (p28)

Citizen journalist reportedly assaulted by police, pictures deleted

Said Yousif Almuhafda, Head of Monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, reports on Twitter about an attack against citizen journalist Nader AbdulEmam:

I just talked with blogger @NaderAbdulEmam who was taking pictures as usual when Riot Police stopped him in Jidhafs.

@NaderAbdulEmam stated that Riot Police beat and punched him and cursed him for only taking pictures in one of the villages!

Then he was taken to a checkpoint to see if he’s wanted, they deleted pics from his phone & threatened him with arrest if he took pics again

Our prayers with Formula 1 journalists that they don’t get beaten by Riot police while filming the race like @NaderAbdulEmam

This incident comes 24 hours after a Bahraini journalist and British news team were stopped at a police checkpoint and taken to a police station.

Yesterday, Reporters Without Borders launched a campaign in advance of the F1, titled: “Don’t Leave News Out of the Race” which aims “to draw attention to the government policy of orchestrating disinformation about Bahrain’s street protests and the ensuing crackdown, and to the way news and information have been the crackdown’s collateral victims.”

Sayed Yousif also reports that “27 people were arrested yesterday”. (See also this post on yesterdays arrest of 4 children from Bani Jamra.)

4 children arrested in Bani Jamrah reportedly beaten; another beaten in Karzakan

Maryam AlKhawaja, Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights at BCHR, reports that four children were arrested today in Bani Jamrah. They were released around 9pm local time “after reportedly getting beaten”.

One of the children arrested was Mahdi Salah AlKhawaja, aged 13. Mahdi is the nephew of Maryam’s father, Abdulhadi AlKhawaja, an internationally renowned human rights defender and current prisoner of conscience. Mahdi’s father, Salah AlKhawaja, is also a prisoner of conscience. Both men were arrested, tortured and sentenced in 2011 at the height of the government crackdown against the pro-democracy movement. Mahdi was present when his father was arrested. Khadija Almousawi, who is Abdulhadi’s wife, tweeted the trauma that he went through at the time, aged just 11:

We have just heard about the arrest of Mahdi Sala Alkhawaja, 13 years. My husband’s nephew. A very quiet kid. His father is in jail.

When Bader Ghaith came to arrest Mahdi’s father 2 years ago, he pointed his gun on Mahdi’s head and asked him: “Where is your father?” When they found the father in the next room they took him to the roof. The mercenary police asked Bader Ghaith: “should I bring him or throw him down?” Ghaith said: “Throw him.”

Mahdi was only 11 then. His father was thrown from the roof while Mahdi and his younger sisters were watching. Mahdi’s mother shouted at Ghaith. They went to her started beating and kicking her. And she was sexually harassed. All that and the four kids were watching and crying.

Now Mahdi’s mother has to suffer her little boys arrest when her husband is in jail. How will she spend the night only God knows?

In a separate incident, Said Yousif Almuhafda, head of monitoring and documentation at BCHR, reports that a “boy was beaten by riot police in Karzakan this afternoon”. He shared this picture:

Beating_Karzakan_18-4-2013