Charles Taylor guilty of aiding Sierra Leone war crimes

bbc news

International judges have found former Liberian leader Charles Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes during the Sierra Leone civil war.
Taylor, 64, has been on trial in The Hague at a UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone for almost five years.
He was accused of backing rebels who killed tens of thousands during Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war.
Taylor was convicted of 11 counts including terror, murder and rape - but cleared of ordering the crimes.
Taylor is the first former head of state convicted by an international court since the Nuremburg military tribunal of Nazis after World War II.
Human rights groups described the judgement as historic.
"This is an incredibly significant decision," Elise Keppler from the campaign group Human Rights Watch told the BBC. "Today is a landmark moment."
Rights group Amnesty International said the verdict sent an important message to all high-ranking state officials.
"While today's conviction brings some measure of justice to the people of Sierra Leone, Taylor and the others sentenced by the Special Court are just the tip of the iceberg," the group's Brima Abdulai Sheriff said in a statement.
Diamond support
Reading out the verdict in The Hague, Judge Richard Lussick said Taylor had been found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in connection with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Those included terror, murder, rape, and conscripting child soldiers, he added.
Judge Lussick said that as Liberian leader, Taylor had extended "sustained and significant" support to the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in neighbouring Sierra Leone.
The judge said the accused had sold diamonds and bought weapons on behalf of the RUF - and knew the rebels were committing crimes.
But Judge Lussick added that this support fell short of effective command and control over the rebels.
"The trial chamber finds the accused cannot be held responsible for ordering the crimes," he said.
He also said the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Taylor was part of a joint criminal enterprise.
A sentence hearing will be held on 16 May, with the sentence to be handed down on 30 May, he added.
Taylor is expected to serve his sentence in a British prison as the Dutch government only agreed to host the trial if any ensuing jail term was served in another country.
Mr Taylor, a warlord in the 1980s and early 1990s, was elected president of Liberia in 1997 following a peace deal than ended a brutal civil war.
He governed for six years before being forced into exile in Nigeria following a second conflict.
In 2006 he was arrested, repatriated to Liberia and eventually sent to The Hague to be tried.

Bahraini Activist Zainab al-Khawaja remanded in jail for seven days

Bahraini Activist Zainab al-Khawaja remanded in jail for seven days(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Bahraini authorities have remanded into custody for seven days the daughter of jailed human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja for protesting during last week's Formula One Grand Prix.

Zainab al-Khawaja was arrested on Saturday night, one day before the F1 race, while sitting peacefully in the middle of a main road leading to the Bahrain International Circuit, demanding the cancellation of the race, the end of the Manama crackdown on protests, and the release of her father who has been on hunger strike for almost 77 days.

She was charged with disrupting traffic and insulting an officer. Zainab has been arrested several times for organizing protests demanding her father's release. It is her second detention in a month.

Meanwhile, mystery surrounds the whereabouts of Khawaja and his wife, Khadija al-Mousawi, said on Wednesday that there has been no information on his health since two days ago.

"Something is very wrong. He was talking about accepting death as the path of freedom, he sounded very weak and tired," Reuters quoted Mousawi as saying, referring to her last conversation with Khawaja on Monday.

Khawaja, the co-founder and former president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, went on hunger strike in early February to protest against the life sentence he received last year and Manama’s ongoing crackdown on peaceful protests.

Despite national and international calls for Khawaja's release, Manama has so far refused to drop charges against him. Bahrain’s Court of Cassation is due to rule on Khawaja's appeal against his conviction next week.

Amnesty International considers Khawaja a ‘prisoner of conscience, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression.’

Attorney to Give Explanations about \"Salmaniya Doctors Crimes\" Case

Manama, April 24 (BNA) -- General Lower Court Attorney Ahmed Al Doseri declared regarding Salmaniya Medical Complex doctors' crimes that the attorney had already called to hear for about 300 witnesses consisting facts witnesses, victims and those affected by the crimes committed by the accused medical staff.

Al Doseri said that the court listened only to five witnesses who emphasized that the accused medical staff have occupied Salmaniya Medical Complex and controlled its premises.

He said that the witnesses retained that the medical staff also committed other crimes, mentioning that they refused to offer medical attention to some patients on sectarian bases and protesting at the hospital's premises.

The attorney said that the court listened to the defense that hold by attaching the Bahrain Independent Committee of Inquiry with the case file, which proves that accused medical staff violated ethics medical work.

Al Doseri pointed that the attorney will go deep in explaining the case facts at the pleadings and the way medical staff committed their crimes with unequivocal evidences.

Bomb attack injures Bahrain policemen

A bomb explosion has wounded four members of Bahrain's police force - two of them seriously - during clashes with protesters, officials have said.

Police said the injured men had been protecting firefighters investigating a blaze inside a shop in the mainly Shia village of Diraz on Tuesday night.
During the operation a "terrorist" bomb was detonated nearby, they added.
Tensions have been rising over the worsening condition of an imprisoned activist who has been on hunger strike.
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is protesting against the life sentence he received from a military court in June for allegedly plotting against the state.
'Empty hospital room'
Mr Khawaja's wife, Khadija, told the BBC that she had not been able to speak to him by telephone as usual on Tuesday.
She said she had spoken to the ward sister at the Bahrain Defence Forces Hospital on Wednesday morning who told her that Mr Khawaja was not in his bed and his room was empty.
Mrs Khawaja was advised to call the interior ministry, which said it would be in contact. However, she said this had not yet happened.
Later, the interior ministry wrote on Twitter: "Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is in good health despite rumours. He is in hospital receiving full medical care."
Meanwhile, the family of an anti-government protester who was found dead on a makeshift garage roof in the village of al-Shakoura on Saturday told the BBC that a doctor who had examined his body independently had found evidence that he had been beaten.
The official death certificate said the cause of Salah Abbas Habib's death was "internal bleeding and gunshot wounds".
In addition to buckshot wounds, the doctor found a broken neck, fractured skull, three broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and injuries to the spleen. He also found scrape marks on his body, suggesting it had been dragged.
The doctor listed the possible causes of death as the injuries to the head, lungs, spine and spleen, and not gunshot wounds.
Bahrain's interior ministry has already said it is launching an investigation into the death of Mr Habib, who reportedly took part in protests on Friday night but fled after police arrived to disperse protesters and chased him.
Activists and human rights groups accuse Bahrain's security forces of using excessive violence against demonstrators.
At least 60 people are said to have been killed since protests erupted last year demanding more democracy and an end to discrimination against the majority Shia Muslim community by the Sunni royal family.

Despite protests, Bahrain Grand Prix runs without a hitch

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- Days of escalating government protests failed to halt the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, which took place even as nearby streets were blocked with burning tires and trash.
Opposition calls for large protests had raised fears the Grand Prix would have to be canceled for a second year in a row and pose a threat to Formula One crews, workers, and fans.
There were no major signs of protest at the race itself. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel secured the win, followed by Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean of Lotus-Renault.
Activists said police arrested a group of at least seven female protesters inside the circuit who held up a signs demanding the release of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a member of the opposition who has been on a hunger strike for more than two months. A government spokesman said he could not confirm those reports.
"It has been reported but not confirmed that two women have been detained out of 50,000 attendees," Bahraini government spokesman Abdul-Aziz bin Mubarak Al Khalifa said. "They tried to cause a scene at the end of the race, but they did not get very far."
Sunday's race was a "huge success," he said.
In addition, television reporter Jonathan Miller and members of his crew from Britain's Channel 4 were taken into custody, though there was no immediate explanation as to why. British Foreign Secretary William Hague wrote on Twitter, at what was then early Monday morning in Bahrain, that he was "very concerned about (the journalists) detention" and that embassy officials were "seeking urgent consular access."
A short time later, Miller sent a message himself on Twitter declaring he'd "been released with my crew. Breakneck drive to Bahrain airport in police van. Being deported now." The foreign affairs correspondent wrote that police "refused to give us back our cameras and computers," and that his driver and an activist accompanying them were still in custody.
"We are assured they will be freed soon," Miller said.
Anti-government protesters had called the race a publicity stunt by the country's rulers to make the nation appear more unified.
The Bahrain Grand Prix was canceled twice last year amid an uprising sparked by the success of popular revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. Bahrain's Sunni-ruled government brutally crushed the Shiite uprising, though the opposition has continued to demand political reform in protests and, occasionally, clashes with authorities.
The February 14 Youth Coalition, an opposition group that took its name from the day the Bahrain uprising began last year, had urged protesters to turn out during the race Sunday.
"We ask the rebels in the western villages to escalate the revolutionary mobilization to the highest levels and to continue to target the street leading to the Bahrain circuit," the group said on its Facebook page.
Protests with burning tires and trash blocked most of the secondary roads leading to the race track, though the main highway remained open, said Mohammed al Maskati of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights.
There were also protests in many nearby villages, he said.
The government spokesman said there were "pockets of violence in remote parts of the country, but there has been no activity that has been seen anywhere around the circuit or on the way to the capital."
Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa had said another race cancellation would play into extremists' hands, according to the state-run Bahrain News Agency. And the sport's governing body vowed the event would go on, despite continuing high tensions.
On the eve of the race, security forces in a suburb of Manama clashed with thousands of protesters who were attempting to march to the highway that leads to the Formula One circuit. At least three people were injured during clashes, al Maskati said.
The demonstration was in response to the death of a protester whose body was found early Saturday on a farm outside Manama, a day after he took part in a demonstration that was broken up by security forces, according to opposition groups.
Bahrain's leading opposition party Al-Wefaq and the Bahrain Youth Society identified the man as Salah Abbas Habib Musa. The Bahrain Interior Ministry confirmed the identity of the 36-year-old man, and said the case is under investigation.
Formula One is the world's most popular motor sport, and races have a TV audience of more than 500 million. Canceling the race last year cost Bahrain an estimated $480 to $800 million in potential investments.
The Bahraini government has played down any risk to visitors, saying the Grand Prix will act as a unifying force amid the nation's civil unrest.
Bahrain has declined to extend the visas of non-sports reporting crews from CNN, Reuters and other news outlets and told them they would not be allowed to stay for the race.
Protesters, meanwhile, are using the international spotlight on the Grand Prix to call for the release of al-Khawaja, who was arrested about a year ago.
Al-Khawaja is protesting the life sentence he received for his role in anti-government demonstrations.
Denmark's ambassador met Sunday with al-Khawaja, who once lived in the country and holds Danish citizenship. The Danish government has asked that Bahrain turn him over; Bahraini officials have refused.
He was in stable condition Sunday, the Bahraini government spokesman said.
Al-Khawaja can appeal his life sentence during a hearing Monday, the government has said.

The revised guidelines address businessmen and women, officials and stakeholders

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
Manama: The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has re-issued its Guidelines for International Investment to adapt to new challenges of the international investment environment and to promote investment as a driver of economic growth.
The revised guidelines - addressed to members of the global business community, government officials and stakeholders - were launched at the World Investment Forum, organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Doha, Qatar.
While the value of cross-border direct investment has grown substantially in the past decade, international investors have reason to be concerned about the impact of recent developments and policies on the free flow of international investment.
"Investment underpins economic growth and has shared value for companies and governments alike," Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the Board for Nestle, said. "It allows companies to establish themselves in global markets and creates ties between domestic and foreign companies, allowing them to expand their activities and create new jobs."
The aim is for the Guidelines to facilitate cross-border investment for investors and governments, as well as to harness the vast potential of cross-border investment for stimulating balanced global growth, the ICC said in a statement. Trade and investment have the potential to reinvigorate the global economy during the present economic crisis, particularly by driving sustainable growth in developing countries.
"The nature of investment has evolved geographically, with developing economies accounting for more investment inflows and outflows," said James Bacchus, Chair of the drafting group for the revised guidelines.
According to the statement, there has been a sharp increase, since the original Guidelines were drafted in 1972, in international investment inflows to, and outflows from, developing and transition economies. In 2010, these accounted for 52 per cent of the total investment inflows and 29 per cent of total investment outflows.
Global inward investment flows now approach $1.2 trillion and sales of affiliates worldwide are just under $30 trillion, far in excess of world trade flows. There are also more than 2,800 bilateral investment treaties, many of them south-south.
The contribution of cross border investment to the global economy could however be even greater if the conditions for investment and trade were more effectively set out. ICC has integrated emerging areas of concern for business into the Guidelines, which were first produced in 1949.
These issues have been grouped into three categories, business confidence regarding sovereign debt policies, macro-economic imbalances, taxation, and regulatory uncertainty, re-regulation of foreign investment and state-owned enterprises and Sovereign Wealth Funds.
Updates to the guidelines were significant in the chapters on labour and fiscal policy, reflecting the environment for international investment today, while new chapters on competitive neutrality and corporate responsibility have been added.
"The revision of the ICC Guidelines for International Investment provides another opportunity for business to voice its concerns about how the regulatory environment can encourage economic growth," ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier said. "To invest, business needs to know that it is being supported by effective regulations, and that further barriers to trade will not be put up,".
ICC said that it has been leading the global business community with initiatives - including the ICC Business World Trade Agenda and the ICC G20 Advisory Group - that encourage dialogue between business and government, in a bid to establish practical policies for opening trade and investment.
The ICC Business World Trade Agenda initiative will feature consultations with business executives around the world over the next year in preparation for the World Business Summit, being hosted by ICC Qatar in April 2013, back-to-back with the ICC WCF Eighth World Chambers Congress.
The aim of this initiative is to provide fresh solutions to opening global trade following the stalemate in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization trade negotiations.
ICC will also feed trade and investment proposals into the G20 policy process, with the aim of strengthening the trade and investment policy component of the G20 agenda.

52kg of heroin hidden in fruit shipment seized in Dubai

gulf news
Four people arrested for smuggling 52kg of heroin hidden in fruit shipment
  • By Dina Aboul Hosn, Staff Reporter
Dubai:   The police Anti-Narcotics Department early this month busted a gang involved in an attempt to smuggle 52kg of pure heroin from the fruits and vegetables market in Al Aweer, it was announced yesterday.
Four men, all Pakistanis, were arrested in what police tagged as the biggest heroin operation and one of the biggest drug busts in two years.
The gang’s mastermind – a woman in her mid-50s and a male cohort – remain at large and were reported to be out of the country.
Major-General Abdul Jalil Mahdi, Director of the General Department for Anti-Narcotics at Dubai Police, said the police Central Operations Section has been monitoring the gang after receiving intelligence information about their operation.
“This is a 100 per cent national operation, as no tip was received from a foreign source and our team members were the ones who reached the information and monitored the gang’s activities to catch them red-handed,” he said.
Police initially received an intelligence information on the activities of a Pakistani identified only as J.Z.A., who was reported to be taking part in the drug smuggling operation.
The information revealed that the plan was to conceal the heroin in a 2,600 box shipment of oranges from Pakistan. The contraband will then be transhipped to an African country by a Nigerian man.
A police team was despatched to pounce on the suspects who were at the fruits and vegetables market at around 6.30pm on April 5. They were to bring the boxes out of the market’s storage area.
The police pounced on the suspects just as they were about to finish loading the boxes into a truck.
The contraband were found packed in 657 bags that were hidden between layers of cardboard.
According to the police, one of the suspects, J.Z.A., admitted that their female leader told him to deliver the contraband to a Nigerian man.
The female mastermind was a customer of one of those arrested, A.S.F., who works as a tailor.
Major-General Mahdi said the woman has been doing business with A.S.F. for many years. After finding him to be trustworthy, she allegedly asked him to take part in her drug smuggling operation.
“We have addressed the authorities in Pakistan to arrest the woman, and are following up with police bodies to arrest the other suspect,” Mahdi said.


Bahrain Grand Prix: riot squads, teargas and petrol bombs as protesters claim police beat Shia activist to death


As drivers prepared for the Bahrain Grand Prix, parts of the desert kingdom looked more like a war zone and one protester was discovered dead. Colin Freeman reports.

More reminiscent of a war zone than a spectator sport, this was the extraordinary scene on Saturday as the Bahraini authorities launched a massive security clampdown to prevent pro-democracy supporters disrupting Sunday's Grand Prix. Yet their efforts to keep things peaceful proved fruitless: by late afternoon, demonstrators around the capital, Manama, were once again fighting running street battles with police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
"This is not way to deal with peaceful protests," said demonstrator Hussein Mohammed, 25, looking down a street to where clouds of tear gas were drifting. "The government should not be hosting racing contests when people are denied basic rights."
Last night, it was claimed that one activist had already paid the ultimate price. The body of Salah Habib Abbas, 37, a municipal gardener, was found lying in a pool of blood on the roof of an allotment shed close to Shakhura village, where anti-government protesters had played a cat-and-mouse game with police the night before.
Fellow demonstrators said that after being chased through allotments, he had last been seen being arrested by police, who they alleged then beat him to death.
Why the riot squad would then have hoisted him up onto to a roof and left him in a pool of his own blood was not clear. But with more than 80 demonstrators already killed during the 14-month-long pro-democracy protests, most activists are prepared to believe the police are capable of anything.
"We are 100 per cent sure that the police killed him," said his brother Hussain, 24, as the family gathered to mourn in a the parlour of their cramped breezeblock flat. "When we got to the hospital, they wouldn't even let us see his body close up."
The Bahraini interior ministry said the death was being "being treated as a homicide", although government sources denied the police were responsible. But within hours, pictures of his bloodied face, an anti-teargas mask dangling around his neck, were being circulated on activist social networking sites, which inevitably dubbed him the Bahrain Formula One's first "martyr". With clashes continuing into evening across Manama last night, it looked as if there could be more.
Meanwhile, in what seemed like a separate world, the Formula One drivers continued their qualifying races. In post-race press conferences, they continued to avoid addressing the human rights drama off-track, despite some protesters holding up banners depicting them as stick-wielding riot police.
Frenchman Jean Todt, president of Formula One's ruling body, the International Motoring Federation, insisted the sport's image had not suffered, speaking yesterday of the "healing" power of sport. "We are not a political body, we are a sporting body," Mr Todt said. "I already hope it will be a great outcome to hold the Grand Prix."
However, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said he had spoken with his Bahraini counterpart, Sheikh Khalid al Khalifa, to express "concern about the violence in Bahrain".
"We urge all sides to restrain from violence and to enter into an inclusive and constructive political dialogue to achieve long term stability for Bahrain," Mr Hague said.
Mr Khalifa, though, seemed to think there was little to be concerned about: in a Tweet, he described the protests on Friday as simply "examples of freedom of speech and assembly".
Even at the race circuit itself - which, located nearly 10 miles out in the Bahraini desert, was hard for protesters to reach - there were signs of the heightened security presence. Visitors had to go pass through multiple checkpoints, while guards checked the undercarriages of cars for bombs and frisked racegoers with airport style metal detectors.
Some security officials had been issued with photographs of known activists, amid fears that they might pose as spectators and try to disrupt the racing itself by running onto the track.
The protests, which began several weeks ago in the run-up to the race, have already robbed it of much of its usual hype and razzmattazz. Notably lacking in recent days have been the usual pre-race VIP photocalls and lavish sponsor's parties, and despite the excited predictions of local newspapers, there have been no sightings of Formula 1 "Wags" such as Lewis Hamilton's pop singer girlfriend Nicole Sherzinger, or Button's model partner Jessica Michibata, both of whom turned up for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, as millions of Formula One fans watch Hamilton and Button battle it out today, Zainab al Khawaja will have a rather different finishing line looming ahead of her. Since Feb 8 her father Abdulhadi, a veteran human rights campaigner jailed for life for his part in Bahrain's own Arab spring uprising last year, has been on hunger strike.
Doctors have already warned him that from day 60 onwards, his body's nutrient-starved organs would start to fail. He has now gone more than 70 days without food and his daughter now fears the next time she sees him may be in a coffin.
"He is already way into the danger zone, and we fear he could die at any day," said Ms Khawaja, a feisty 28-year-old who has inherited her father's reputation for standing up for her rights.
"The last time we were allowed to see him was three days ago, when he already looked very weak and tired. We are only allowed to see him every two weeks. He may die before we see him again."
Tomorrow, Ms Khawaja and other activists will attend a hearing at Bahrain's Court of Cassation - the highest judicial authority - where judges will rule on an appeal against her father's conviction for trying to overthrow the state.
The case, which has become an international cause celebre, spells trouble either way for the Bahraini authorities, who were accused of deliberately postponing the ruling until after the Formula One race was over.
Releasing Mr Khawaja, it is feared, will simply galvanise his supporters. Keeping him in jail, though, will almost certainly ensure that he dies there in coming days - which will galvanise them all the more.
"My father has always called for peaceful resistance, but if he dies, peaceful resistance may die with him," his daughter warned. "The problem is that in any contest of force, the government will always win."
All of which means that while Formula One may soon move on to its next circuit, the Arab Spring that rocked the small Gulf island of 1.3 million remains unfinished business. Somewhat overlooked by the outside world because it fell between the revolutions of its bigger Arab Spring cousins, Egypt and Libya, the "February 14 uprising" saw crowds fill Manama's central Pearl Roundabout to protest against the rule of the Sunni Muslim al-Khalifa royal household.
More than 50 people were killed and hundreds arrested during the ensuing unrest, which split the royal household between the reform-minded King Hamad and hardliners like the prime minister, Prince Khalifa, who stands accused of institutionalising discrimination against the country's Shia majority.
However, while the King did respond with offers of reforms, Bahrain's position on the Gulf region's Sunni-Shia fault-line makes truly representative democracy a tricky prospect from the start.
Sunnis worry that the end of their minority rule could lead to Bahrain falling under the influence of Shia ayatollahs in Iran - a fear that led neighbouring Saudi Arabia to send in troops to help "stabilise" Manama last year, and which many claim limits the prospect of any real reform.
Hence, as Formula One rolled into town last week, not everyone was in a position to forgive and forget in the name of sport. Among them was Dr Ali al Ekri, 44, one of 20 doctors and medical staff who are still on bail facing jail sentences of up to 15 years each for treating injured demonstrators last year.
Once personally congratulated by King Hamad for his work as a frontline doctor in Gaza, the Irish-trained orthopaedic surgeon spent nearly six months in custody last year, during which he claims to have been whipped with cables and beaten unconscious by his captors. Once, six of them spit in his face in a row.
"I still have nightmares now," said Dr Ekri, as he related, with clinical precision, the lasting injuries sustained to lower his back and eardrum. "It is nonsense to suggest the protests have been anything to do with Iran. All we want is democracy, which we doctors saw for ourselves while training in Europe."
The royal family of Bahrain, which was a British protectorate until 1971, bitterly resents comparisons with the Assad clan of Syria or the Gaddafis of Libya. They point out that King Hamad's own official commission of inquiry last year conceded that human rights abuses took place, and have promised constitutional reforms and freedom of speech.
John Yates, the former Scotland Yard chief, has also been appointed as an adviser to improve policing, and foreign journalists are not banned from the country. Unlike so many Arab regimes, the government has also deployed a number of youthful, media-savvy spokespeople, who are often just as smart as their activist opponents.
Last week, Fahad al Binali, an Edinburgh-educated member of the Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority, even turned up at a press conference held by Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, politely putting the government's case.
"It is admirable that people here are advocating human rights and pointing out where abuse has happened," said Mr Binali, who dresses in traditional white robes and headdress. "Yet the fact that you are holding this press conference right now here in Bahrain - what does that say about freedom of expression?"
Speaking after the press conference, Mr Binali added: "It is not true that we are holding the Formula One race to pretend everything is OK. If we wanted to avoid bringing international attention on Bahrain's internal problems, it would have been easier to cancel the race completely."
However, for every Bahraini who might see Mr Binali as the genuine voice of reason, there is another who sees him as yet more window-dressing done on the advice of Western public relations firms hired by the government. And in any event, old habits die hard.
On one demonstration that The Sunday Telegraph witnessed last week, tear gas was fired within minutes of it starting, while on another, an accredited Reuters TV journalist was rung by officials and told not to film the "illegal gathering".
A translator and fixer used by this newspaper, Mohammed Hassan Sudaif, was also arrested and beaten while attending a demonstration independently on Friday night. Yesterday he was charged with attending an illegal gathering.
In any event, no amount of spin-doctoring will be able to defuse the anger that will be felt across Bahrain should Mr Khawaja die in coming days. The Formula One fans and drivers will probably have gone by then, but Mrs Khawaja promises not to let them forget.
"They should be ashamed of themselves for coming here," she said. "Hopefully their children will one day ask them why they did so, when people were being tortured by dictators."

Bahrain Live Blog

One year after the pro-democracy uprising began on February 14, protests against the ruling al-Khalifa monarchy continue across Bahrain. 
Al Jazeera is not responsible for content derived from external sites.
Online reports that the Bahrain International Circuit Company has said that they have sold 28,000 tickets to today's contested Grand Prix in Manama.
If that figure holds true, that would mean that the 45,000 seat venue was at 62 per cent capacity.

Activist Ala'a Shehabi has just tweeted that she been arrested by security forces.
Shehabi, who had tweeted the arrest of the Sunday Telegraph's Colin Freeman, was with several foreign journalists when they were all detained along the Budaiya highway, says Ali Al A'ali, a Bahraini activist.


The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights has posted images online that they say is of teargas at protest sites in Sitra - an island south of Manama - and Abu Saiba and Jidhafs in the west.
Picture of Jidhafs via @SaidYousif.
Video said to show female protesters inside the Grand Prix circuit in Manama being detained.
Twitter user @SaidYousif has posted an image of what he says are the women prior to their detainment.
A picture said to show tear gas at a protest against the Bahrain Grand Prix today.
Image via twitter user @SaidYousif
The Telegraph is confirming that their reporter Colin Freeman, and his fixer, Mohammed Hassan Sudaif, were were taken to a police station in Bahrain.
"They were told they were in an area where there have been illegal demonstrations," said Alex Spillius, of the Telegraph's foreign desk.
Photos posted online are said to show some among the 10 female protesters who managed to enter the Bahrain Grand Prix circuit being led away by security forces.
There are also reports that Colin Freeman, chief foreign corespondent for The Sunday Telegraph, has been taken to a police station in Bahrain.
Freeman's fixer, Mohammed Hasan is also said to be with the reporter.

A video allegedly depicting Salah Abas Habib, the protester found dead on the eve of this afternoon's Grand Prix in Bahrain, has surfaced online.
The video, depicting a protester's abuse at the hands of Bahraini police, is said to have been shot only hours before Habib's body was found.
Watch the graphic video here.
Picture of a Bahrain vigil in Washington DC's Lafayette Park, across from the White House.
Image of Lafayette Park via twitter user @WitnessBahrain.

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Another Night of Violence in Bahrain Ahead of F1


Daughter of Bahrain hunger striker arrested over protest

(Reuters) - The daughter of a prominent Bahraini opposition activist who has been on hunger strike for over two months was arrested on Saturday evening for trying to stage a protest in the capital Manama, activists said.
Sayed Yousif al-Muhafda said Zainab al-Khawaja, who has been arrested before only to be released several hours later, was taken by police after she tried to protest near the Financial Harbor in the capital.
She was among protesters who riot police tried to prevent marching inside the city's market area, a Reuters witness said.

(Writing by Andrew Hammond in Dubai; Editing by Michael Roddy)

Bahrain: Activist found dead ahead of Grand Prix

A man has been killed in Bahrain during overnight clashes with the security forces, activists say, a day before Sunday's F1 Grand Prix.
Officials said an investigation had been launched after his body was discovered in a Shia village near the capital, Manama.
On Friday, tens of thousands took part in at times violent protests demanding an end to the crackdown on dissent.
Armoured vehicles are patrolling the streets of Manama ahead of the race.
The discovery came as practice and qualifying sessions for the Grand Prix were taking place. Mainly Shia protesters have announced "days of rage" against the race.
Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, only went ahead with the Grand Prix after the government said it had security under control.
Last year's Grand Prix was cancelled after 35 people died in February and March during a crackdown on mass demonstrations calling for greater democracy.
The protesters demand an end to discrimination against the majority Shia Muslim community by the Sunni royal family.
Human rights groups and activists estimate that at least 25 people have died since the start of the protests, many as a result of what has been described as the excessive use of tear gas.
Activists from opposition group al-Wefaq named the man found dead on Saturday as Salah Abbas Habib, 37, and accused government forces of killing him.
An earlier unconfirmed report said the man had been found with gunshot wounds.
Chief of Public Security Major-General Tariq Al Hasan confirmed his body had been found in "suspicious circumstances" and said more details of the investigation would be released as they became available.
On Friday, Bahrain's Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, said cancelling the Grand Prix "just empowers extremists", and insisted that holding the race would "build bridges across communities".
Jean Todt, the president of the motor racing governing body, the FIA, said he had no regrets about the race, as extensive investigations into the situation in Bahrain had unearthed "nothing (that) could allow us to stop the race".
"On rational facts, it was decided there was no reason to change our mind," Mr Todt said.
The Shia protesters say going ahead the race lends international legitimacy to a government that is continuing to suppress opposition with violent means.
Al-Wefaq said security forces had beaten protesters in Shakhoura with tools and weapons, according to the AFT news agency.
The group reported on Saturday that 70 people had been injured by security forces in the past two days and 80 others arrested.
Meanwhile, the daughter of political and human rights activist Abdul al-Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike for more than two months, was briefly detained when she went to see him in hospital, Nabeel Rajab said. She was not allowed to see her father.
Mr Khawaja launched his hunger strike in protest against a life sentence handed down by a military tribunal in June.
He stopped drinking water on Thursday, according to his daughter, Zainab.
She told the BBC that on Saturday her father was in a critical state.
"He's on the 73rd day of his hunger strike and the last call he made yesterday, he asked for his lawyer to go see him so he could write his will.
"We're afraid that we might never hear of him again, and that we might not see him again."
During Friday's protests, tens of thousands people walked along a motorway from Budaiya, an area to the west of the capital, Manama.
Police fired stun grenades and tear gas at a small group who tried to reach the site of the former Pearl Roundabout, which was at the heart of the initial mass anti-government protests last year.
A prominent Bahraini activist, Mohammed Hassan, who has worked with many foreign news organisations including the BBC, was arrested on Friday night, his family said.

Bahrain: Video of riot police preventing family of killed protester

Women activists are heading to #US embassy in #Bahrain

Women activists are heading to #US embassy in #Bahrain now to "your silence kills us" protest #Bahrain #UniF1ed #bahrainF1

Bahrain: This is an earlier video of the man who was killed yesterday

#Bahrain: This is an earlier video of the man who was killed yesterday & he was protesting facing a tank unarmed.

Unarmed protesters in Al-Qadam/Bahrain face to face with tanks trying to break the curfew of the Bahraini-Saudi Army.

BAHRAIN: Wefaq confirms the death of protester Salah Al Qattan

Matar_Matar: Wefaq confirms the death of protester Salah Al Qattan, 37 yr old, killed by #Bahrain police 1 day before #F1 via B_

 Wefaq confirmation of #Bahrain protestor's death significant. Had been voice of moderation in opposition movement. What they do now critical
 Ministry of Interior ‏ @moi_bahrain  Reply  Retweet  Favorite · Open
The body of a deceased person was found in Shakhoura today. Police have begun an investigation
[13.Body founded in #shakoura, investigation started, his family prevented from seeing him, its been suggusted that #Police killed him #Bahrain
 Maryam Alkhawaja ‏ @MARYAMALKHAWAJA  Reply  Retweet  Favorite · Open
Salah was a political prisoner for 5 years in the 1990's. Ppl from the village say his body was dumped there early morning #bahrain #F1

Protestors ran away in a farm as a refuge. Police chased them tortured arrested others including Salah Abbas a 37yrs man ..
URGENT: Saturday 7PM Candlelight vigil in #DC for #AlKhawaja on 73rd day of hunger strike in #Bahrain jail: