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Sport Fame Tax, Is Arrest [July 2011]

Sport Fame Tax, Is Arrest [July 2011]

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Published by Fakhri Almosawi
Being a famous face in Bahrain is now a sign of danger, if this face was participated in any democratic movement the past February and March. Since the Saudi Bahraini crackdown on the peaceful Bahraini pro-democracy movement, Bahraini authorities have been engaged in hunting down as many democratic criminals as possible from every single organization and institution... the easiest was to start with the famed faces, as the athletes got a good piece of the cake... of course the sectarian nature was not absent from this sight of the story...
This simple report is about the sport heroes who turned to become political heroes lately, they have been suspended, arrested and tortured for the reason of participating in peaceful protests and calling for democratic demands. Reports and articles have been collected were the reader can get a simple comprehensive view about the athletes situation in occupied Bahrain...
Being a famous face in Bahrain is now a sign of danger, if this face was participated in any democratic movement the past February and March. Since the Saudi Bahraini crackdown on the peaceful Bahraini pro-democracy movement, Bahraini authorities have been engaged in hunting down as many democratic criminals as possible from every single organization and institution... the easiest was to start with the famed faces, as the athletes got a good piece of the cake... of course the sectarian nature was not absent from this sight of the story...
This simple report is about the sport heroes who turned to become political heroes lately, they have been suspended, arrested and tortured for the reason of participating in peaceful protests and calling for democratic demands. Reports and articles have been collected were the reader can get a simple comprehensive view about the athletes situation in occupied Bahrain...

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Published by: Fakhri Almosawi on Jul 07, 2011
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Sport Fame Tax

,
Is Arrest
July 2011
A B OUT
Being a famous face in Bahrain is now a sign of danger, if this face was participated
in any democratic movement the past February and March. Since the Saudi Bahraini
crackdown on the peaceful Bahraini pro-democracy movement, Bahraini authorities
have been engaged in hunting down as many democratic criminals as possible from
every single organization and institution... the easiest was to start with the famed
faces, as the athletes got a good piece of the cake... of course the sectarian nature was
not absent from this sight of the story...
This simple report is about the sport heroes who turned to become political heroes
lately, they have been suspended, arrested and tortured for the reason of participating
in peaceful protests and calling for democratic demands. Reports and articles have
been collected were the reader can get a simple comprehensive view about the athletes
situation in occupied Bahrain...
S P ECIA L T HA NK S
2
T A B L E OF CONT E NT
4
Top sp ortsmen sa cked for ta king p a rt in
ra llies
Pla yers’ role in ra llies to b e p rob ed
In Ba hra in, first, they ca me for the a thletes
A’a la Hub a il, Ba hra in Soccer Sta r, Rema ins
Deta ined After Arrest
Lea d ing Ba hra in p la yers A’a la a nd
M oha med Hub a il a rrested for ta king p a rt in
a nti-reg ime p rotests
Useful Links
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4
Top sp ortsmen sa cked for ta king p a rt in ra llies
Thursday, April 07, 2011
MORE than a dozen sportsmen and offcials were sacked yesterday by their respective
clubs for their participation in the recent demonstrations around the Kingdom. In a
statement issued by Al Ahli Club, national soccer team striker Ala’a Hubail and his
brother Mohammed are expelled from the clubs’ soccer squad.
The decision was taken after a Bahrain TV programme showed the brothers among
anti-government demonstrators.
The Hubail brothers were key members of the Bahrain national team in the recent past,
guiding the Kingdom to victories in several regional and international competitions.
Their most inspiring moments were in the 2004 Asian Cup in Beijing where they led the
squad into the semi-fnals where they lost to champions Japan 34- in extra-time.
Ala’a was the most inspiring fgure for both Al Ahli Club and the national team. Known
in Bahrain as the ‹Golden Boy›, Ala’a became the frst Bahraini to win the ‹Golden Boot›
award after scoring fve goals during the Beijing Asian Cup.
5
Pla yers’ role in ra llies to b e p rob ed
Friday, April 08, 2011
BAHRAIN Basketball Association’s president Adel Al Assomi has formed a probe
committee to look into its players’ participation in anti-government protests.
The probe committee is being headed by BBA’s vice-president Jassim Al Sindi and
includes members Abdulla Abdulghaffar, Hameed Abbas and Talal Jassim.
Meanwhile, Sitra Club’s board have decided that its basketball team will play the
remaining matches in the Zain Bahrain Basketball League.
The club had earlier announced that it would pull out of the league due to the security
situation in Bahrain.
The board have urged its players to return for training starting today under their
new coach Vladimir. Sitra will play the remaining games in the season without any
professional players.
A LARGE GROUP OF ATHLETES IN THE MARCH OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE
PEOPLE OF BAHRAIN
6
In Ba hra in, first, they ca me for the a thletes
Friday 22 April 2011 12.04 BST
On April 4, Bahrain state television ran a chatshow segment in which prosecutor-
journalists grilled Ala’a Hubail, a member of the national football team and winner
of the 2004 Golden Boot. This public interrogation and shaming was a result of his
repeated appearances at demonstrations during the Bahraini uprising which began on
February 14.
The next day Hubail – a trained paramedic who reportedly worked as a medic at
demonstrations – and his brother Mohamed (also a member of the national football
team) were detained by the authorities and have remained in custody since.
Alongside these, other sporting fgures have been arrested and more than 100 sports
offcials, referees, football, handball and volleyball players from national and local clubs
have been suspended from their teams and banned from playing internationally.
A similar programme was aired on Bahrain TV on April 2, targeting the country’s only
independent newspaper, al-Wasat. The anchor presented a «case fle» purportedly
showing that the paper had published fabricated news.
The same night, the state news agency, BNA, released a «full report» on its website,
announcing that al-Wasat’s proprietor, Mansoor al-Jamri, faced legal action for
«unprofessional and unethical practices».
Al-Jamri, who claims that the stories were planted, resigned to save the paper from
being closed down. The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the Bahraini
authorities for their «strong-arm tactics», which have effectively silenced the voice of
the opposition in licensed local media.
7
Come April 16, Bahrain television continued
its saga of public defamation, this time
focusing on Nabeel Rajab, president of the
Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, who is
also chairperson of a health rights NGO,
CaramAsia, and deputy secretary general
of the International Federation for Human
Rights (FIDH).
Amid the din of dramatic violins, the show’s
presenter promised to continue bearing
witness against «whomsoever conspires
against the country». A flm loop showed
what appeared to be a policeman being run
over by a four-wheel drive vehicle, footage
of a smashed car, and young boys throwing
stones.
The talkshow’s guests, Nabeel Ansari from
the health ministry and Abdullah al-Dossary
from the social affairs ministry, claimed that
Nabeel Rajab (in his human rights capacity)
had failed to make any statements regarding
attacks on Asian migrant workers during
recent civil unrest, and had not replied to
correspondence on the issue sent to him by
Ansari.
Ansari, who is now infamous for his claim
last month that Bahraini protesters stole
drugs from the largest public hospital to
«simulate the symptoms of nerve gas
8
exposure» for international media, accused Rajab of being a «saboteur» wearing the
«cloak of a human rights activist» to mask more sinister activities.
Rajab has already come under fre more than once since the emergence of the Bahraini
uprising. He was detained by masked and armed national security personnel, beaten,
threatened with sexual assault and released on March 20.
On April 10 he was summoned to the military prosecutor for allegedly publishing a
«fabricated image» of Ali Isa Saqer who died in police custody on April 9, his body
showing signs of severe beating. In a story splashed across every major local newspaper,
Rajab was accused of tweeting a photo that differed (albeit only slightly) from the
offcial photo of the deceased released by the interior ministry. Most recently, on April
18, «unknown assailants» fred tear gas into his home.
Clearly, the Bahrain government is working hard to silence Nabeel Rajab. His former
colleague at the Front Line NGO, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, was reportedly beaten
unconscious on April 9, and is currently being held incommunicado by the Bahraini
authorities.
This escalation is especially disturbing because Rajab’s voice is one of the few that have
been consistent, fair, and unequivocal in calling for human rights for all – well before
the current uprising.
«Where is Nabeel Rajab when these violations are being committed against migrant
workers? Aren’t human rights for all?» asked Bahrain TV. In fact, as well as documenting
the violations of human rights by the Bahraini regime the his organisation has rightly
9
highlighted and condemned violent attacks on Asian migrant workers more than once.
In the past, Rajab has lent his voice to campaigns for Bahraini detainees at Guantánamo
Bay, migrant workers’ rights, women’s rights (including migrant women). He has
spoken out for the victims of repressive laws, sectarianism, illegal naturalisation, and
has condemned abuse and maltreatment in Bahraini prisons, arbitrary arrests and
detention without trial.
If the walls of these prisons could talk, they would tell tales of Bahrain’s secular nationalist
political history and speak of the coalition of legal minds fghting for constitutional rights
and rule of law.
They might also tell us the high price of providing medical care to protesters, or being
a student participating in a national youth movement, a teacher practising the values
they teach, or a unionist in a country that doesn’t value the land and sea it rests upon,
let alone the salt of its earth.
They may not even talk of politics at all, but of community service or online social
media and blogging. They might just tell you about being young, and daring to dream
aloud under the false spell of freedom during a brief Bahraini spring. With these and
many hundreds more brave Bahrainis behind bars, every day fewer are left to speak for
freedom or justice in Bahrain.
In the shadow of diminishing international media attention, if Rajab’s voice is silenced
by the government, what will happen to us? And by «us», I mean all the people who
are protected by his courageous words and unwavering determination to speak for the
protection and promotion of people’s rights, whatever the price he may pay.
10
A’a la Hub a il, Ba hra in Soccer Sta r, Rema ins Deta ined After Arrest
Thursday 21 April 2011
Bahrain’s most famous soccer player remains in
detention after his arrest earlier this month in the
tiny Gulf island country as authorities there crack
down on protesters demanding reforms, according
to Said Yousif, a member of the Bahrain Center for
Human Rights.
A’ala Hubail, 28, the country’s leading scorer with 24
goals in 68 appearances, was arrested along with his
brother Mohammed after state television showed the pair attending a pro-democracy
protest, according to the Times of London.
They were arrested while training with their club Al Ahli and reportedly handcuffed and
frog-marched off the training feld.
Two other players, Abbas Ayaad and Mohamad Sayed Adnan, were also arrested and
detained. Both players, as well as Mohammed Hubail, still remain in detention as well,
Yousif remarked.
According to the Associated Press, the four have been suspended by their clubs and by
the national team for supporting the protests, joining a reported 150 more sportsmen
who’ve suffered a similar fate in recent weeks.
The Bahrain Football Association has backed the move, saying, “The suspension falls
under misconduct, and the breaching of the rules and regulations of sporting clubs…not
to engage in political affairs.”
Bahrain are ranked 95th in FIFA world standings and seventh in Asia out of 43 nations.
They narrowly missed out on the 2010 World Cup, losing a playoff match to New
Zealand. The oil rich Gulf kingdom has a 10 team professional league but matches
have been suspended since protests began in February.
Bahrain’s Sunni government, headed by the Al Khalifa royal family who’ve ruled for
more than 200 years, launched a ferce crackdown against the protesters demanding
more rights for the Shia population who form the majority of the country’s estimated
600,000 residents but are barred from holding key government posts and from joining
the police or army.
The Hubali brothers are both Shia, as are all the other athletes suspended. A’ala had
worked as a paramedic before becoming a professional soccer player. His fve goals in
the 2004 Asian games won him the Golden Boot award as the tournament’s joint top-
scorer.
Some 800 people have been arrested and detained since the protests started, according
to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. The government imposed marital law on
March15.
At least four people detained since February 14 have died in police custody, according
to New York-based Human Rights Watch. The group said one of its researchers in the
country saw “signs of horrifc abuse” on the body of one the detainees who died in
custody.
The sweeping crackdown has seen doctors, nurses, teachers and lawyers rounded up
and fred from their jobs for participating in the protests.
The Sunni monarchy last month invited 1,500 troops from neighboring Gulf countries
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to join Bahrain forces in crushing the protest
movement.
11
12
Other sporting stars arrested include a former bodybuilding champion, Tareq al-Fursani,
a gold medallist in several Asian championships, who was arrested at his home in a
village east of the capital Manama on Saturday, Reuters reported.
A soccer commentator, Faisal Hayat, has also been arrested for attending the pro-
democracy protests prompting International Sports Press Association President Gianni
Merlo to speak out: “We will always be on the side of journalists who are fghting to
defend their rights and freedom,” Merlo said.
“Our association will make an offcial complaint to the National Olympic Committee of
Bahrain,” he added.
And, embarrassingly, the unrest also forced Bahrain to cancel its March 13 Formula
One Grand Prix, depriving the government of the international prestige that comes with
hosting the event.
An online petition launched on Monday is calling on FIFA chief Sepp Blatter and the
heads of other international sporting organizations to immediately ban Bahrain from
international sporting events.
Most of the arrests came after an April 4 appearance on state TV by Nasser Al-Khalifa,
a son of the king and head of Bahrain Olympic Committee.
“Bahrain is an island with no escape passage, everybody who interfered in these issues
will be punished and everybody who took a stand (supporting the regime) will be
awarded,” he said. “The people who stood with or against the king are well-known to
us.”
13
BAHRAIN’S CHAMPION BODYBUILDER, TAREQ AL-FURSANI,
ALSO ARRESTED AND DETAINED IN CRACKDOWN
14
Lea d ing Ba hra in p la yers A’a la a nd M oha med Hub a il a rrested
for ta king p a rt in a nti-reg ime p rotests
April 08, 2011 7:40AM
Two of Bahrain’s leading footballers are under government investigation following their
arrest for taking part in anti-regime protests.
In a move that could leave the Gulf kingdom in breach of international rules which
separate politics and sport, A’ala and Mohamed Hubail were arrested during training
with their club Al Ahli after appearing on television attending a pro-democracy rally.
Striker A’ala has played 68 games for his country while Mohamed has been capped 52
times. Both took part in Bahrain’s 2010 World Cup qualifers against the Socceroos in
2009.
At least 28 people have died and hundreds were injured in the Sunni regime’s efforts to
quell the pro-democracy movement, lead by the country’s Shia majority.
ARRESTED ... MOHAMED HUBAIL (RIGHT) IS KNOWN
TO AUSTRALIAN AUDIENCES
15
The Bahraini government has also suspended some 200 sportsmen over their roles in
the anti-regime protests. All the men suspended are Shia Muslims.
A’ala Hubail, 28, a paramedic before he became a professional soccer player, worked as
a nurse during the protests.
Among those suspended by government offcials were a soccer referee and several
leading basketball, volleyball and handball players.
Bahrain Football Association offcials admitted they were in uncharted territory as they
met to discuss the crisis. The arrested men were under investigation by the government
and their clubs.
«The suspension falls under misconduct, and the breaching of the rules and regulations
of sporting clubs ... not to engage in any political affairs,» the association said in a
statement.
A’ALA HUBAIL, NUMBER 9, PLAYING AGAINST AUSTRALIA IN A 2009
WORD CUP QUALIFYING MATCH
16
USEFUL LINKS
Sport Revolution
- Facebook Page
- Twitter Page
Almosawi Blog
- Article about the most famous arrested athletes
- List of all arrested and suspended athletes
Bahrain Center for Human Rights
- Arrest, military trials, & suspension from sport activities,
for athletes who practice practice their legitimate rights
- BYSHR Report: “Sports” defendant in Bahrain, because
of freedom of opinion and expression
- AIPS: Bahraini sports journalist among hundreds
arrested in government crackdown
- About a quarter of the staff of BIC, host of Bahrain F1,
were arrested
- FIFA ask Bahrain to explain jail term
Youtube
- Thanks to Bahrain Athelets
- Bahrain Athelets in prison
- Bahrain Athelets in prison 2

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