SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The Australian ambassador to Iraq visited the shrine of Imam Ali (AS) in the holy city of Najaf. During this visit she was informed about the services and facilities available at the complex and praised the efforts made to look after the pilgrims to the holy site. After her visit the ambassador said visiting this holy site is a beautiful experience and it is an important place where the entire world should know about. She expressed her desire to re-visit the Shrine of Imam Ali (AS) in order to find out more about the etiquettes of Ziarat and the particular duas recited by pilgrims.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The Alkhalifa clan has been handed serious defeat at the UN Human Rights Council this week. As the session on Bahrain’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) got underway it became clear that the Saudi-Alkhalifa spin policies and companies had been working for a long period to change the course of the debate. Apart from the GCC member states, no other country came to the support of a regime that has been found guilty by its own investigation commission of “systematic torture”, extra-judicial killings and unprovoked destruction of mosques. The hawkish Alkhalifa foreign minister brushed aside any talk of reform or respect of human rights. He shocked the international audience in the Geneva session when he insisted that jailed political opponents were “criminals” thus dashing any hope of releasing them. The Austrian delegation grilled the Alkhalifa regime exposing its gross violations of human rights and calling for the immediate release of the political leadership of the revolution. While the British and American delegates disguised their support of the regime by urging it to undertake more serious reforms, ten international human rights bodies, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others, lambasted the Alkhalifa FM and scrutinised the embattled and unpopular tribal regime. It was one of the worst moments for the Alkhalifa who had thought they still stood a chance of turning the deliberations at Geneva to their own favour.
Amnesty International commented on the UPR outcome arguing that “Unless Bahrain’s government now puts into practice the UPR’s recommendations at the national level, this will have been just a hollow box-ticking exercise.” Others who addressed the 21 session session include journalists Without Borders, Ifex for freedom of expression, Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, the Arab Network for information of Human Rights and the International PEN. They called for an immediate stop to the repression against human rights defenders and the release of all political prisoners.
Meanwhile the US-based Freedom House has issued its annual report on the state of democracy and human rights in the world. It concluded that “Bahrain, once seen as one of the more developed countries, saw its measures decline across the board pulling its country average down to 2.03, the level of pre-uprising Syria, from a recent peak of 3.27 in 2004.”
On Wednesday 19th September a new martyr submitted his soul to God after inhaling excessive amounts of chemical and tear gases fired on orders from Bahrain’s dictator. Hajji Hassan Abdulla, 59, passed away after struggling with the after-effects of those gases. His home was repeatedly attacked in Sitra, causing him to inhale excessive amounts of these fatal gases. His funeral on Wednesday attracted thousands of Bahrainis who braved the Alkhalifa attacks. Anti-regime slogans were chanted by the mourners who felt sorrow at the loss of one of their compatriots.
The mother of a 14-years child spoke of her anguish as her son was kidnapped by the regime’s Death Squads last week. Faisal Hussain Al Tarrah, 14, was snatched as he played in the street with his colleagues. He was taken to what is known as “Youth Houses” in Sanabis which are used as a staging post where initial torture takes place before the victim is taken to prison. He was then taken to the prosecution office which ordered his detention for longer period to conceal torture marks. The boy told his mother that he had been severely tortured.
In Bahrain itself, the daily demonstrations have continued unabated with the youth upholding the values of the revolution. The revolutionaries are now becoming more determined to achieve regime change. More gases are now deployed against the homes of the ordinary citizen.
Yesterday an Iraqi provincial council decided to ban flights by Bahrain's carrier Gulf Air in solidarity with those facing "repression" in the tiny Sunni-ruled kingdom. The flights were stopped in March 2011, the month that Bahraini security forces backed by a Saudi-led Gulf force crushed a Shiite-led protest movement in a bloody crackdown.
"The committee formed to oversee the airport decided to ban the Bahraini company Gulf Air from conducting flights to Najaf in solidarity with the Bahraini people who are subjected to repression by authorities there," Najaf provincial council said in a statement. Council spokesman Mohammed al-Khuzaie said the move was an expression of support for "the oppressed people of Bahrain."—www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - In the name of Allah the most Beneficent the most Merciful
The office of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Al-Sistani in Najaf to all believers that investigation on the month of Shawwal moon sighting was done after sunset on Saturday 29 of Ramadan. Moon sighting was not proved for Ayatollah Al-Sistani in naked eye neither in Iraq nor the rest of the Arab and Islamic countries. According to this research, tomorrow Sunday, will be considered the 30th day of Ramadan and Monday will be the first day of Eid Al-Fitr and the month of Shawwal. May Allah accept the prayers and deeds of all Muslims.
Night of 30th of Ramadan 1433 H
Office of Sayyed Al-Sistani, Najaf
Translation of SHAFAQNA from original Arabic announcement