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New Testimonies on "Diraz Massacre" Reported by BFHR

2019-03-03 - 9:34 p

Bahrain Mirror: The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights published new testimonies on the killing processes that claimed the lives of 5 protestors at Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim's house, during Diraz Raid, in May 2017, and the crimes that took place at that time.

This came in a statement issued by the forum after the verdicts issued on February 27, 2019 against Diraz protest defendants who were arrested during the security process, noting that the court sentenced 52 of the defendants to 10 years in prison, meanwhile, the total number of convicts in the case reached 167.

The security authorities raided the peaceful square field around Sheikh Isa Qassim house that lasted for 11 months, noting that 5 citizens were martyred during the process. The martyrs were: Mohammad Ali Al-Sari, Mohammad Abdulkarim Al-Ekri, Mohammad Hamdan, Mohammad Kadhem Zeinuldine and Ahmad Jamil Al-Asfour.

The BFHR added that the security officials and members, who were involved in various violations, including extrajudicial killings and torture after the raid on the peaceful sit-in square in Diraz, were able to escape very well from punishment.

One eyewitness told the BFHR that after Mohammad Kadhem Zeinedine fell to the ground due to the illegal use of shotguns, which caused direct injuries to the heart and the right lung, accompanied by a heart failure and an injury hemorrhage, the victim was taken to a nearby house. There were attempts to rescue him - because of the inability to transfer him to the hospital due to the use of excessive force by the security forces. When the rescuing attempts did not succeed, some people took him to the security members to request an ambulance, but the security members refused to rescue him, and kept him on the ground near the door of the house for about half an hour before their eyes while he was dying. After that, some of the individuals in that house tried unsuccessfully to rescue him until he passed away. Despite a forensic report issued on 06/18/2017 confirming that the death was due to the use of shotgun shells, there was no serious prosecution of those involved in the incident.

One of the victims said that after raiding the sit-in square next to the house of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmad Qassim, he was injured by the use of excessive force, so he fell on the ground, near the same door where Mohammad Kadhem Zeinedine laid. The victim added, "A security member kicked me several times despite my injury, to make sure whether I was still alive or not, instead of rescuing me, so I pretended to be dead. Then, another security member next to the one kicking my body said, "Leave him, he's dead."

In addition, all these events, over which 171 Bahrainis have been tried, happened after imposing a security siege on Duraz that lasted for nearly a year. This siege affected several aspects, including: Internet usage was not available within certain times in and surrounding Diraz; Diraz residents couldn't meet their relatives and friends outside Diraz; the sieged Diraz had been in financial and social isolation from the rest of Bahraini regions; many local businesses suffered dramatically, and major losses were incurred; only two entrances allowed access to Duraz, while the rest were fully cordoned off by the security forces.

The security authorities restrictively targeted residential areas in Diraz, making the movement of the residents terribly difficult. Military vehicles were deployed at all the main entrances, and minor entrances were sealed off with concrete slabs and barbed wires. Diraz residents were subjected to repeated questioning and inspection, humiliated and had their beliefs insulted by the security men.

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