Rights body to take Bahrain, Britain to International Criminal Court

June 11, 2011

Bahrain's opposition party al-Wefaq has said Al Khalifa regime has decided to put nearly 400 people on trial over their alleged roles in peaceful anti-regime demonstrations.

The opposition party said that up to 50 people have already been sentenced, with penalties ranging from a short prison term to execution, Reuters reported on Thursday.
A Bahraini government official, who demanded anonymity, rejected the opposition's statement saying al-Wefaq's trial data was exaggerated.
“It's much less than that,” he said, but did not specify any number.
Rights body to take Bahrain, UK to ICC
A Lebanon-based rights body plans to file a case with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Bahraini and UK governments for their collusion in the brutal crackdown on Bahraini protesters.
Chief Representative of Beirut-based International Coalition against Impunity May el-Khansa and 10 European lawyers would file the lawsuit on June 17, Lebanese broadcaster Al-Manar reported on Wednesday.
Speaking to Press TV, El-Khansa said, “We have put a case before the ICC court before this time (sic). But now we are preparing more important case with more evidence to put it again before the court.”
As evidence, the group is expected to present to the court graphical images as well as video footage, which the activist say will show “the crimes of Bahraini government.”
'U.S., UK complicitous in Bahrain crimes'
The United States and Britain are complicit in the violent Saudi-backed crackdowns of the Bahraini regime on peaceful protesters in Bahrain, says a Bahraini political activist.
“I have no doubt that neither (the crackdowns by) the Al-Khalifa regime nor the Saudi invasion (of Bahrain) would have taken place without the tacit approval or, without the silence at least, of the United States; and keeping silent when facing such enormous human rights violations is tantamount to complicity,” Saeed al-Shehabi, with Bahrain Freedom Movement told Press TV on Friday.
The Bahraini activist went on to say that, when the Al-Khalifa crown prince is received warmly by the British Prime Minister David Cameron upon a trip to London, this sends the signal that Britain approves of what the Bahraini regime's crackdowns on anti-government protesters.
Thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging demonstrations in Bahrain since mid-February, demanding political reforms, an end to sectarian discrimination in offering government jobs and allowing political representation, and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests, Press TV reported.
On March 14, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates deployed troops to the kingdom to help Bahraini forces to suppress the nationwide protests.
Scores of people have been killed and many more arrested and tortured in prisons in the Saudi-backed crackdown on protests in Bahrain -- a longtime ally of the U.S. and home to a huge military base of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.
The Islamic Human Rights Commission held an emergency meeting at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to discuss the crisis in Bahrain.
The rights group urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navy Pillay, to send a fact-finding mission to Bahrain to investigate abuses.
The UK-based group also condemned Saudi Arabia for sending troops to the Persian Gulf state.
Photo: Opposition party al-Wefaq says Al Khalifa regime is to put nearly 400 people on trial for attending the anti-regime demonstrations.