April 20, 2011

Bahraini Forces Rape Kill Female Poet

According to Fardanews, Ayat al-Ghermezi, a 20-year-old poet, recited poems criticizing the ruling regime and Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifah Ibn Salman al-Khalifah during protests in Pearl Square, Manama. Subsequently, she received numerous insulting and intimidating letters and emails. When she reported the threats to the police, her family claims that she was insulted and mocked by the officers.

In late March, security forces raided Ayat al-Ghermezi’s home twice, pressuring her family to disclose her whereabouts. They threatened to “destroy the house over their heads” if they did not comply, allegedly acting on the orders of high-ranking officials. After being coerced, the family disclosed Ayat’s hideout, but they heard nothing from her afterward, according to Ayat’s mother.

When the family began searching for Ayat, the police claimed to have no information about her and attempted to make them confirm in a letter that their daughter was missing. In mid-April, the family received an anonymous call informing them that Ayat was in a coma at an army hospital. Medical professionals at the hospital confirmed that she had fallen into a coma after being raped multiple times. Despite the doctors’ efforts, Ayat’s life could not be saved, and she passed away at the army hospital.

There have been reports of several other women, including doctors, university professors, and students, being kidnapped or arrested by Bahraini security forces. Additionally, it is alleged that extremist Saudi Wahhabi forces, with the backing of Bahraini police, have targeted 253 Shia mosques, destroying 29 of them completely and causing significant damage to over 210 others. Holy objects, including more than 50 copies of the Quran and over 500 prayer books, were burned, and more than 18 religious places were damaged.

Since mid-February, anti-government protests in Bahrain have attracted thousands of demonstrators demanding an end to the Al-Khalifa dynasty, which has held power for nearly forty years. On March 13, Saudi-led forces were deployed to the Persian Gulf island at the request of the Bahraini government to suppress the nationwide protests. According to local sources, dozens of people have been killed, and hundreds have been arrested during the government’s crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations.

Please note that the information provided is based on reports from agencies and sources cited.