2017: A Bloody Year Leaves 15 Martyrs, Live Rounds Resulted in the Deaths of 12

2018-01-10 - 5:55 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The year 2017 emerged as one of the most burdensome years in the memories of Bahrainis, and one of the deadliest years ever.

The year 2017 began with the return of political executions that claimed the lives of three young men (Abbas Al-Samie, Ali Al-Singace and Sami Mushaima) whose lives were ended after a comical trial- the first executions since the eruption of protests in 2011 (More details on the execution). Meanwhile, the second month of the year witnessed the murder of the courageous Rida Al-Ghasra and his companions at sea (More details on the death of Al-Ghasra).

Even before mid-year, Bahrainis witnessed a massacre, which was the most brutal in years. Five youths were shot dead by security forces: Mohammad Al-Sari, Mohammad Kadhem Zainuddin, Mohammad Hamdan, Ahmad Jamil Al-Asfour and Mohammad Abdul Karim Al-Ekri, as they were peacefully participating in an open sit-in at the house of the spiritual leader of the Shiite majority in Bahrain, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, voicing their solidarity and defending the Sheikh (More details on the Diraz raid).

The year 2017 witnessed the martyrdoms of youth Mohammad Sahwan in prison, youth Mustafa Hamdan about two months after he entered a coma as a result of sustained injuries from a bullet that penetrated his skull, as well as youth Abdullah Al-Ajouz during an operation that was more like an assassination by security forces in Nuwaidrat. Nabeel Al-Samie was also killed in a mysterious explosion.

The year 2017 bore another mark of the criminal regime: i.e. preventing the families of 12 martyrs from burying them in their hometown, as they were forcibly buried in graveyards of the regime's choice without public funerals and in the presence of a limited number of representatives of the families. As for the case of the five martyrs of the Diraz massacre, they were buried without the presence of their families.

Martyr Abdullah Al-Ajouz «February 2017»

The month of February did not approach its end with just the martyrdom of the five martyrs of freedom, as the youth Abdullah Al-Ajouz, 20, followed them on February 20, 2017. He was killed while being pursued by security forces in the village of Nuwaidrat.

Preliminary information from political and human rights sources indicates that Al-Ajouz ( who was wanted by the security authorities) was thrown from the roof of a house in Nuwaidrat by a security officer. However, the Interior Ministry said that Al-Ajouz "tried to escape during his arrest and was injured due to his fall and taken to hospital where he died of his injuries."

Afterwards on February 21, 2017, the family of the martyr said that he was hit with "gunshots", denying the ministry's statement, confirming that they had seen gunshot wounds on his head and chest but that the authorities prevented them from taking photos of him inside the Salmaniya morgue.

On Tuesday morning (February 21st), the body of Al-Ajouz was handed over to his parents. Despite the security siege on the town of Nuwaidrat, thousands managed to participate in the martyr's funeral procession and bid him farewell in his hometown. The final funeral ceremony of the martyr on Friday (February 24, 2017) witnessed clashes between mourners and security forces in Nuwaidrat.

Martyr Mohammad Sahwan «March 16, 2017»

On Thursday, March 16, 2017, Jaw Prison inmate Mohammad Sahwan, 45, sentenced to 15 years in prison in a politically-motivated case known as the "Qatar cell", was martyred.

Sahwan was arrested in November 2011 and continued to suffer from medical negligence in prison, as 80 shrapnel fragments remained in his head as a result of being shot with shotgun pellets (birdshot) during demonstrations in Sanabis in April 2011.

The Interior Ministry said that Sahwan died "while exercising in the reform and rehabilitation center at Jaw," adding that preliminary information indicates that his death was of natural causes and that the Public Prosecution was notified of his demise.

On Friday afternoon (March 17, 2017), thousands of Bahrainis participated in the funeral procession of Mohammed Sahwan during which he was paraded to his last resting place in Sanabis. Security forces clashed with mourners by firing tear gas canisters.

Martyr Nabeel Al-Samie «June 19, 2017»

On Monday, June 19, 2017, Nabeel Al-Samie was martyred in mysterious circumstances, after being abducted from his farm by civilians. Sources close to the family reported that he was killed by interior ministry forces.

For its part, the Interior Ministry claimed it had found "the body of a person in a farm in the village of Al-Hajr," and that the competent authorities were looking into the incident, while the ministry later alleged that he was killed by a "bomb explosion."

Two days after the death of Al-Samie, security forces forcibly buried him on June 22, 2017,in Al-Hoora cemetery, contrary to his will. The Interior Ministry claimed on June 24, 2017 that Nabeel Al-Samie was killed while carrying a bomb.


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