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By Rawlinsview and two Bahraini correspondents, plus press reports.
April 24– New York/Manama, Bahrain
A pattern of blanket harassment and intimidation of the majority Shia population in Bahrain has intensified since Saudi Arabian military forces entered the small island monarchy on March 14, 2011 intending to shore up the minority Sunni Arab backed regime. There have been many reports regarding the presence of police forces and troops conducting interrogations, arrests, public humiliation and political expulsions of Shia students in intermediate and secondary schools. In some cases students have been detained by authorities and even expelled permanently from their studies for refusing to swear loyalty to the crown, sing the national anthem, or maintain required pro-monarchial documents at their desks.
In a separate event, reported in this blog, Kalifa monarchy in Bahrain proudly announces the dismissal of 200 students and faculty following “regretful” events, the title of the article being self explanatory. It has also been broadly reported, and direct sources confirm, that the Bahrain government has threatened to revoke the scholarships of Bahraini students who are studying outside of the country and who are deemed to be in sympathy with the pro-democracy movement there or who have spoken out against the repression of the Shia population.
“I feel that we cannot allow our children to go to school anymore,” said one correspondent, a university student. Regarding recent attacks and interventions on the part of the Bahrain Monarchy’s security forces.
On April 21, five men were arrested from the College of Health Sciences which is located at the Salmaniya Hospital in Manama. Sadiq Ebrahim, ‘Aadl Abdalkareem, Hussain Abdali, Zuhair Alshama’a and one other who’s name has not been confirmed. Another man was reportedly arrested there today.
At the Al-ahd Alzaher Secondary Girls School in Hamad Town, which has a mixed Sunni and Shia population. The police have come almost everyday to arrest and detain girls and their teachers. Also on Thursday April 21 more than 20 girls were detained by security forces at this school. The girls are aged between 15 and 18 years. These are the names of those that we can confirm: Muna Abdalazeez, Zainab Sayed Naji, Fatima Ja’afar Ali, Amina Abdaljalil, Eman Mohammad, Zahra Ebrahaim, Asmaa Albahrani, Fatima Mohsin, Esraa Ali, Entsar Ali, Fatima Ali, Fatima Mohammad, Akila Ali, Fatima Ahmed, Wadeaa Ebrahim, Sharifa Mohammad Ali, and Duaa Ali. Some have been released though our information on this is not complete. There have been ongoing protest and resistance activities on the part of the Shia population in Hamad town in spite of the intense repression by the regime and the Saudi agents backing it.
The following testimonials describe recent events at the school mentioned above. They were gathered by a correspondent in Bahrain. She is trusted and has verified the general circumstances of these events. No names of correspondents can be used due to the extreme danger which faces individuals sympathetic to the democracy movement there.
From ‘Julie’ a secondary school student:
There was news that an Orchestra or a music band will come to the schools to sing about the government and the country. So some girls and teachers (Sunni or with the government) prepared themselves by wearing red makeup and clothes, nothing happened so far. But after the midterm exam these girls and teachers went out and started singing and making noise.
The Shia and others who oppose the government went to another place and sat to be sure that nothing bad could happen between them and the other girls. After awhile they heard the Sunni girls scream and run away. Suddenly troops entered the schools and went to the Shia girls. Some of the Sunni girls accused the Shia
From ‘Dorothea’ also a secondary school student.
In the morning we saw the Sunni wearing the Bahraini and Saudi flags (large flags). When they finished the test and went to the schools yard, they start dancing with teachers one of them (Nabeela –English teacher-) and one of the teacher was take a photos or them her name Mona Aldalhan (working in the library in the school) Then the teachers told these girls to scream like something bad happened!
Suddenly the troops entered the school, female soldiers with two men, one of them with a burly body and the other one tall. The first one started shouting at the Shia’a girls and another man gave the Sunni girls a paper and told them to write the names of the girls who are against the government. While the troops started inspections to find if the girls wear a necklace written on it about ahl albait (AS) like ya Hussain or ya Ali [this would indicate Shia affiliation] After that one of the Sunni girls told the troops that the Shia girls had removed the picture of the king from their books .
The troops had taken that paper with the names and searched for the girls to take them! The heavy officer shouted at these girls and hit them in brutal way. The troops did the same with them. One of them Said to the students “there is no space in jails. If there was we would take you all!”
The Shia families came to take their daughters from the school but they couldn’t because troops surrounded the school.
A Bahraini correspondent who helped to source this story said. “This is the reason why they arrest more than 20 girls? So pathetic!”
In all the following schools have suffered military and police intervention over the past few days:
Al-Ahd Alzahir Secondary Schools, Al Qirawan Intermediate Girls Schools, Alhid Intermediate Girls School, Omayma Bnt Aln’aman Secondary School
April 21 In Budayia street:in Alqurya village the troops entered a bus for children in primary and intermediate school and beat some of them.
Near Hamad Town intermediate and secondary school there were two tanks parked on the 21st of April. “I don’t understand why there are tanks near a children school!!” commented a townsperson.
As of April 24 there are reportedly over 10 teachers from Al-ahd Alzahir Secondary School who have been detained. Some of these have reportedly been released. We have the names of nine of them: Eman Alaliwi (Computer teacher), Fatima Mahdi (Math teacher), Huda Alrosani, Khadija Hassan (Arabic teacher), Amina (computer teacher), Fatima Salman (Arabic teacher), Sharifa Alsayed (physics teacher), Zamzam [last name missing] (physical education teacher), and Khadija Alaali
In another incident that was reported In Yathrib Intermediate School
” the troops took one girl and asked her: “Down who?” She said:” Down Hamad” [Hamad al Kalifa the King of Bahain.] So they beat her and asked her again, but she answered the same answer, so they beat her again but she shouts “down Hamad.””
“I really like this brave girl,” said a university student who sourced this story.
Though this is original material it is further corroborated by reports in the ABNA news agency.
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