Articles by "Crime"

Body-camera video showed Dominique Heaggan-Brown shooting Sylville Smith as he appeared to be throwing the gun over a fence. (Photo by AP)
A court in the US city of Milwaukee in Wisconsin state has acquitted a former police officer in the fatal shooting of an African-American man, with the father of the victim saying there is no justice in the United States. 
Dominique Heaggan-Brown was found not guilty of first-degree reckless homicide in the killing of 23-year-old Sylville Smith in August last year. Members of Smith's family cried in court as the verdict was read. 
Outside court, Smith's father said the verdict was "disrespectful."
"Why are they trained to kill when they're supposed to protect and serve us?" Patrick Smith said of police officers. "There is no justice here."
"I want the community to calm down and come together," he added. 
The fatal shooting of Smith sparked days of protests and unrest in Milwaukee, with protesters throwing rocks, bricks and bottles at police officers.
Following the unrest, the city mayor decided to impose a 10:00 pm-curfew for in an attempt to quell the violence and restore calm. Dozens of protesters had been arrested and a handful of officers injured.
According to reports, Smith was fleeing a traffic stop on foot and had allegedly turned with a gun in hand toward the pursuing officer.
Body-camera video showed Heaggan-Brown shooting Smith once in the arm as he appeared to be throwing the gun away. And less than two seconds later, the footage shows the officer firing the second shot in the chest of the victim who’s lying on the ground.

Prosecutors argued Smith was defenseless at the time of the second shot because he had thrown the weapon over the fence
The ex-cop’s attorneys argued that he acted in self-defense.
The ruling follows Friday's acquittal of a police officer in the state of Minnesota over the shooting death of a black man, triggering local protests and fueling debate over the use of force by law enforcement against minorities.
Officer Jeronimo Yanez was accused of killing 32-year-old student Philando Castile, a cafeteria worker, inside his car as he tried to reach for his driver’s license during a traffic stop near St. Paul in July last year.
A jury said after five days of deliberation that Yanez had acted reasonably and was not guilty. He was also cleared of two lesser charges regarding the case.
The rulings are the latest examples of police officers escaping unharmed after killing African Americans over the past few years.
Similar rulings were issued by grand juries in the deaths of Eric Garner on Staten Island, Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, all of them controversial cases that prompted a national debate about race relations and the use of force by law enforcement.

This file photo shows the entrance to the building of Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs in the capital Manama.
A court in Bahrain has handed down death sentence to an anti-regime activist and sentenced another to life in prison as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed clampdown on political dissidents and pro-democracy campaigners in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
On Tuesday, Bahrain's Fourth High Criminal delivered the death verdict to the prime suspect and sentenced the other defendants to life imprisonment in connection with a bomb explosion that ripped through a car in the village of Eker on June 30, 2016, killing a woman and injuring her three children, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.
 The woman was later identified as 42-year-old Fakhriya Mosallam Ahmed Hasan.
The court also revoked the citizenship of the two, and passed three-year prison sentences to seven other defendants.
Ahmed al-Hammadi, head of the Terrorist Crimes Commission, said the decisions issued against the accused are based on oral evidence.
The court ruling against the second defendant, identified as Hassan Jassim Hassan al-Haiky, comes as he lost his life on July 31, 2016, after being tortured during interrogation at the notorious Criminal Investigation Building.
This photo provided by the state-run Bahrain News Agency shows the aftermath of a bomb attack in the village of Eker, south of the capital Manama, on June 30, 2016.
Hayki was among three suspects arrested in connection with the Eker bombing. The Public Prosecutor's Office claimed in a statement that the trio had confessed to their involvement in the attack, and Bahraini judicial authorities ordered their imprisonment then.
Hayki was subjected to severe torture for 10 days, before Bahrain’s state-run television channel broadcast his pictures, which showed tiredness and fatigue on his face.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.   
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3.

Nabra Hassanen, 17, was abducted and killed outside a mosque in Virginia, June 18, 2017. (Photo from social media)
The brutal murder of a teenage Muslim girl in the US state of Virginia has sparked outrage among Muslim communities across the country.
Nabra Hassanen, 17, was kidnapped from near a mosque in northern Virginia and repeatedly hit with a baseball bat by a man named Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, on Sunday. Nabra died from blunt force trauma to the upper body.
The girl was walking with friends when she was attacked and beaten to death. Her body was later found in Sterling area, outside Washington with signs of beating. Torres has been charged with the killing.
Police say the killing is being investigated as a road rage incident. But Nabra's father has rejected the police theory and said his daughter was attacked because she was Muslim.
“There is nothing at this point to indicate that this tragic case was a hate crime. No evidence has been recovered that showed this was a hate crime. Nothing indicates it was motivated by race or religion,” claimed Julie Parker, a spokeswoman for Fairfax County police.
She added that if evidence surfaces that does point to a hate crime, “at that point detectives would obviously take the investigation in that direction.”
‘My daughter was killed because she was Muslim’
Nabra’s father, Mohmoud Hassanen (Photo by The Guardian) 
In a phone interview with The Guardian on Monday afternoon, Nabra’s father, Mohmoud Hassanen, rejected the police claim. “I don’t believe this story.  I tell the detective the same thing.”
“He killed my daughter because she is Muslim. That’s what I believe. That’s what I told him,” the 60-year-old father said.  
According to a statement by the Fairfax County Police Department, the girl was with her friends when they engaged in a dispute with a motorist, who left his car and assaulted them.
Nabra's friends, who had scattered around during the brawl, could not find her at the scene afterwards, the statement added.
‘Why did you do this to my daughter?’
Nabra Hassanen
Struggling to keep his emotions in check, the father recounted the version of events they were given. “My daughter fell down. When she fell down, the guy hit her with a baseball stick. He went and drove his car and came back, and picked her up and threw her in a lake a mile from the mosque,” he said.
“He followed the girls, and all of them had head cloths, meaning they are Muslim, and he had a baseball stick,” said Egyptian-born Hassanen who moved to the US in 1987.  
“I told the detective: ‘I want to ask him one question. Why did he do that? Because he doesn’t like Muslims, or what?’ He tells me he has no answer for that. This answer is going to be in the court.”
“When I go to court I’m going to look him in the eye: why did you do this to my daughter? Then I’m going to forgive him and leave him to God’s face. The lord is going to judge him. He took my daughter’s life,” he said.
Social media have been flooded with shock and resentment, with Muslims calling on authorities to investigate the murder as a hate crime.

A woman looks on while standing near the site where four terrorists blew themselves up near a bus station in Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria on March 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
At least 16 people have been killed when suspected members of the Takfiri Boko Haram terrorist group detonated their explosive vests near a camp of displaced people in the volatile northeastern state of Borno, the birthplace of the terror outfit.
Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a statement that the bomb attacks occurred close to the Dalori camp at Kofa village, located nearly 10 kilometers southeast of the provincial capital Maiduguri, at about 08:45 p.m. local time (1945 GMT) on Sunday.
According to Abdulkadir Ibrahim, the spokesman of the NEMA, two female terrorists first attempted to enter the camp but were thwarted by security personnel of the camp.
However, "two other female bombers detonated their explosives at the adjoining Dalori Kofa village, where they killed 16 people," he added in the statement.
Borno state police spokesman Victor Isuku gave a more detailed account of the attacks in his initial report of the incident, saying the first assailant detonated her explosives "near a mosque", claiming the lives of seven people, and the second one blew herself up "in a house", killing six people. He added that at least 11 people also sustained injuries in the blasts and were taken to hospital.
However, Ibrahim updated Isuku's report, saying three of the wounded succumbed to their injuries later on. "The 16 does not include the bombers," he added.
Isuku revised the number of attackers up to five from four, and maintained that other three assailants, not directly involved in the blasts, were also killed.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks but they bear the hallmark of the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group, as it in the past employed radicalized females on multiple occasions to conduct bombing attacks against people or army troops.
Dalori is one of the largest camps allocated to internally displaced people (IDP) in the remote region and Boko Haram terrorists had previously tried to hit the camp. Back in January last year, Takfiri militants killed at least 85 people as they rampaged through the communities near Dalori. They burned down houses and killed people either by gunfire or by detonating explosives.
Nigerian soldiers patrol in the town of Banki in northeastern Nigeria on April 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The Sunday attack is the deadliest one in Nigeria since June 8, when Boko Haram militants killed 14 people in yet another mixture of gunfire and blasts in the Jiddari Polo area of Maiduguri.  
In recent months, army troops and civilian fighters in Nigeria have managed to foil many bomb attacks involving terrorists wearing explosive vests before the assailants were able to reach heavily-populated targets and detonate their bombs of their own accord.
Last December, however, two women, with the Boko Haram, killed 57 people and injured 177, including 120 children, after they detonated their explosive vests at a bustling market at Madagali, a town in the neighboring province of Adamawa.
On December 24, 2016, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in 2015 with a pledge to eradicate Boko Haram, announced that the army had “crushed” the terror group a day earlier by retaking its last key bastion, deep inside the thick Sambisa Forest in Borno.
The group, however, has resorted to sporadic shooting and bombing attacks in the northeast of the African country, spreading panic among the local residents.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly terror attacks in Nigeria since the beginning of their militancy in 2009, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 20,000 people and made more than 2.7 million displaced.
The United Nations has warned that areas affected by Boko Haram face a humanitarian crisis.
Back in February 2016, four nations of the Lake Chad Basin - Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria - launched a campaign, together with a contingent from Benin, to confront the threat from Boko Haram terrorists in the region.

The suicide rate for children increased by 60 percent between 2007 and 2014, according to new research. (file photo)

A new survey has found that gunfire kills or injures at least 19 children across the United States every day, with African-American teenagers being most affected by gun violence.
The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers, looking at data from death certificates and hospitals from 2002 through 2014, recorded a yearly toll of nearly 1,300 deaths and almost 6,000 nonfatal injuries from gun violence involving children ages 1 to 17.
The tally makes gunshot wounds the third leading cause of death for children.
Researchers also found that child suicide rate involving a firearm increased by 60 percent during that time, with majority of unintended deaths resulting from people playing with guns.
Homicides and suicides accounted for most of the child gun deaths while assaults caused most of the nonfatal injuries.
Boys were found to be especially vulnerable to gun violence, accounting for 82 percent of gun-related deaths and 84 percent of all non-fatal gun injuries.
"The majority of these children are boys, 13 to 17 years old, and African-American in the case of firearm homicide, and non-Hispanic white and American Indian/Alaska Native in the case of firearm suicide," said lead author Katherine Fowler of the CDC.
The findings highlight the reasons why researchers brand gun violence as a public health crisis in the US, where easy access to firearms has long compounded the problem.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (C) looks over at a batch of assault rifles and two rocket propelled grenade launchers, at a press conference to show the results of an anonymous gun buyback program at police headquarters in Los Angeles, California, on May 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Such research “is fundamental for understanding the problem and developing scientifically sound solutions,” Flower said.
Statistics by the CDC show that firearms kill more than 33,000 people in the US every year, a number that includes accidental discharges, murders and suicides.
It is estimated that there are between 270 million and 300 million guns in the US, about one per person, according to the New York Daily News.

Nabra Hassanen, 17, was abducted and killed outside a mosque in Virginia, June 18, 2017. (Photo from social media)
A young Muslim girl has been found dead after being kidnapped outside a mosque in the US state of Virginia, police say.
Nabra Hassanen, 17, was abducted and later on murdered as she left the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) mosque about 30 miles outside Washington on Sunday.
The girl was with her friends when they engaged in a dispute with a motorist, who left his car and assaulted them, according to a statement by the Fairfax County Police Department.
Nabra's friends, who had scattered around during the brawl, could not find her at the scene afterwards, the statement added.
The victim’s body was found in a pond after an hours-long search of the area with a baseball bat next to her. Nabra’s friends said the assailant had swiped a baseball bat at them.
Police said they had arrested a motorist “driving suspiciously in the area.” The driver, later identified as identified as 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, was charged with the girl’s murder.
Authorities said they did not rule out hate as the underlying motivation for the murder.
"We are devastated and heartbroken as our community undergoes and processes this traumatic event," ADAMS said in a statement.
The incident came as officials in New York stepped up security measures around local mosques in the wake of a deadly attack on fasting Muslims outside a mosque in London.
London police confirmed on Sunday night that one man was pronounced dead at the scene and at least eight were injured after a vehicle rammed into worshipers coming out of the mosque in the Finsbury Park area.
Some major US cities had already sent extra law enforcement officers to guard mosques since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a report early last month that the number of such incidents increased 57 percent in 2016.
A total of 2,213 anti-Muslim incidents were recorded across the country, up from 1,409 in 2015. There was also a 44 percent rise in hate crimes in the same period. Incidents had increased 5 percent in 2015 from the year before.

Deputy Chairman of Turkey’s opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Enis Berberoglu
A Turkish court has sentenced a prominent lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to 25 years in jail for his role in leaking secret documents to a newspaper showing the country's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) shipped weapons to foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists in Syria.
On Wednesday, Istanbul’s 14th Heavy Penal Court handed down the sentence to CHP Deputy Chairman Enis Berberoglu for releasing secret documents with the purpose of political or military espionage.
Berberoglu was arrested in the courthouse after the hearing. He will remain under arrest while waiting for the appeal process to conclude.
CHP spokesman Engin Altay sharply condemned the decision, saying he saw the verdict as an attempt by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government to intimidate the opposition.
"This decision is intimidation to the opposition. This decision is intimidation to all who are displeased with the Justice and Development Party (AKP)," Altay told reporters outside the Caglayan Justice Palace in Istanbul.
He said the decision was a sign that the judiciary in Turkey was under the command of government executive organs.
Back in May 2015, Cumhuriyet daily posted on its website footage showing Turkish security forces in early 2014 intercepting a convoy of trucks carrying arms for the militants in Syria.
The paper said the trucks were carrying some 1,000 mortar shells, hundreds of grenade launchers and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition for light and heavy weapons.
A still image grabbed from a video published on the website of the Turkish Cumhuriyet daily on May 29, 2015 shows mortar shells in boxes intercepted on a truck destined for Syria.
Ankara denied the allegation and claimed that the trucks had been carrying humanitarian aid to Syria. However, Berberoglu defended the video, saying it was genuine.
The incident triggered a huge controversy in Turkey with many bashing the government for explicitly supporting terrorism in neighboring Syria.
Cumhuriyet’s former editor-in-chief Can Dundar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul were among other defendants in the case.
Last year, Dundar and Gul were sentenced to at least five years in jail for revealing what was said to be state secrets. The prosecutor is now seeking an additional 10 years in prison for the two over the report on MIT trucks.
Turkey arrests 78 lawyers in post-coup crackdown
Meanwhile, Turkish forces have arrested 78 lawyers as part of an investigation into suspected links to the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having orchestrated last year’s failed coup against Erdogan.
A security source, who asked not to be named, said the detentions were carried out across eight provinces.
Istanbul's chief public prosecutor had earlier issued arrest warrants for 189 lawyers on charges of affiliation to Gulen’s movement. Some are also accused of using ByLock encrypted messaging application for communication with fellow opposition members. 
Also on Wednesday, a Turkish court sentenced Aydin Sefa Akay (shown in the picture above), a top judge attached to the UN's Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, to seven years and six months in jail on charges of links to the failed July 15 coup.
The court also placed an overseas travel ban on Akay, effectively making his cooperation with the UN courts system impossible.
He was released pending the ruling from the Supreme Appeals Court.
Turkey witnessed a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the Turkish military declared that the government of Erdogan was no more in charge of the country.
A few hours later, however, the coup was suppressed. Almost 250 people were killed and nearly 2,200 others wounded in the abortive coup.
Gulen has censured the coup attempt and strongly denied any involvement in it.
Turkey, which remains in a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups, who were believed to have played a role in the failed putsch.
Over 40,000 people have been arrested and more than 120,000 others sacked or suspended from a wide range of professions, including soldiers, police, teachers, and public servants, over alleged links to the failed coup. 
Many rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have denounced Ankara’s heavy clampdown.

The photo taken on March 29, 2017 shows Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo standing beside a bust presented during a ceremony where Madeira's airport in Funchal is to be renamed after Cristiano Ronaldo, Madeira island, Portugal. (Photo by AFP)
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo was on Tuesday accused of evading 14.7 million euros in tax through offshore companies, the latest footballer to fall foul of fiscal authorities in Spain.
The 32-year-old -- the world's highest paid athlete according to Forbes magazine -- follows in the steps of FC Barcelona forward and Argentina star Lionel Messi, who was found guilty of the same offence last year although the sums involved were allegedly smaller.
The issue of tax evasion has caused anger in a country only just emerging from a damaging economic crisis that has seen countless people lose their jobs and inequalities rise.
Ronaldo is accused of "four crimes against the public treasury between 2011-14 ... which involves tax fraud of 14,768,897 euros ($16.5m, £12.9m)", prosecutors said in a statement.
"The accused took advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities, which is a 'voluntary' and 'conscious' breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain," they said.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after Real Madrid won the UEFA Champions League final football match between Juventus and Real Madrid at The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on June 3, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Prosecutors accuse the Portugal international of evading tax via a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands and another in Ireland, known for its low corporate tax rate.
In addition, they say he only declared 11.5 million euros of Spanish-related income from 2011 to 2014, while what he really earned during that time was close to 43 million euros.
And finally, they accuse him of "voluntarily" refusing to include 28.4 million euros in income linked to the sale of his image rights for the 2015 to 2020 period to a Spanish company.

Conrad Roy, Michelle Carter. Photo / Supplied, AP

Massachusetts teen Michelle Carter repeatedly gave boyfriend Conrad Roy III lists of ways he could commit suicide in the weeks before he took his own life, a court heard on Thursday.
Carter, then 17, told Roy, 18, in text messages that he could break his neck by hanging, stab himself, or use a generator to gas himself, the court heard.
She also became angry at him for "putting off" suicide for too long, telling him, "You just need to do it!"
The court also heard from Roy himself in the form of a pair of video diaries in which he talks about trying to overcome his depression, social anxiety and feelings of worthlessness.
In one moving moment, he says he's scared that he "will never be successful, will never have a wife, never have kids, never learn".
Roy was found dead in his pickup truck in a store parking lot in Fairhaven in July 2014; Carter, now 20, faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
The pair communicated through texts and phone calls, and rarely saw each other in person even though they lived just 55km apart.
In one message before his death, Roy texted Carter that "I keep regretting the past it's getting me upset", her response was: "Take your life?"
In another, she wrote: "Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself idk there's a lot of ways."
As the days got closer to Roy's death, Carter's tone began to change as she seemingly became annoyed that he had not killed himself.
When he offers up reasons not to commit suicide, she appears to encourage him to give in and take his life.
At one point Roy wrote: "Like no I would be happy if they had no guilt about it. Because I have a bad feeling tht this is going to create a lot of depression between my parents/sisters."
She replied: "Everyone will be sad for a while, but they will get over it and move on. They won't be in depression I won't let that happen.
"They know how sad you are and they know that you're doing this to be happy, and I think they will understand and accept it. They'll always carry u in their hearts."
In the final days before his death, Carter repeatedly admonished him for not going through with suicide attempts.
In one message she says: "The time is right and you're ready, you just need to do it! You can't keep living this way.
"You just need to do it like you did last time and not think about it and just do it babe. You can't keep doing this every day."
The prosecution also played two videos found on Roy's computer he had made about a month before his death in which he explained his inner turmoil.
In one, he says he is trying to think positively, watch more films and build his vocabulary to fit in.
However, he says, he is a "minuscule particle on the face of this Earth that's no good, trash, will never be successful, will never have a wife, never have kids, never learn.
"But I have a lot to offer someone. I'm introverted, nice and caring - that's some benefits. I'm a nice kid. But it comes to a point where [I'm] too nice."
In another, he talks more positively about his "social anxiety" and how he has learned not to believe that people are watching him and judging him at all times.
He says he finds it "hard to be in my own skin" but is hoping to stop "weeping and crying over things that are in the past".
"It's going to be hard to accomplish this but I have to, for my own personal growth, accomplish this sense of self-pride."
He adds: "I do have a lot going for me, like I'm a f***ing captain - I just got a job from the Boston Duck Tours to captain their boat - that's a huge accomplishment!"
Sergeant Michael Bates, who reviewed thousands of text messages between Carter and Roy, said under cross-examination that there were also texts in which Carter had tried to help Roy.
The prosecution rested on Thursday after the troopers and the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Roy's body testified.
The pathologist, state medical examiner Dr Faryl Sandler, said it would have taken up to 20 minutes for Roy to die after the carbon monoxide fumes began entering his truck.
She said it would take 13 minutes for someone to fall unconscious - backing up the prosecution's claim that Carter had plenty of time to persuade Roy to get out of the truck or to alert his family and police.
Sandler also testified that Roy had no alcohol or illicit drugs in his system, just lethal amounts of carbon monoxide and prescription antidepressants.
Under cross-examination by Carter's attorney, however, Sandler acknowledged that she listed suicide as the cause of death on Roy's death certificate.
Carter's lawyer, Joseph Cataldo, says that no crime was committed by his client.
He says Roy had a history of depression, had previously attempted suicide and was entirely responsible for his own death. He says Carter's texts are protected free speech.
The case is being heard without a jury. Cataldo indicated that he planned to make the standard move of asking the judge to grant a not guilty verdict on Friday.
If that motion is rejected, the defence plans to start presenting witnesses.

This file photo shows the entrance to the building of Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs in the capital Manama.
A court in Bahrain has handed down prison sentences ranging from two to fifteen years to 21 anti-Manama protesters as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy clampdown on political dissidents and pro-democracy activists in the kingdom.
On Thursday, Bahrain's Supreme Court of Appeal, presided by Judge Mohammed bin Ali Al Khalifah, found the defendants guilty of attempts to kill two policemen by setting fire to the patrol car they had been riding, and the destruction of a truck belonging to a food company, Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website reported.
The ruled that three defendants must be sentenced to 10 years in prison instead of 15, while the fourth was given a 15-year jail term.
Sixteen others have to serve two years in jail instead of three, while the last one received a three-year prison sentence.
The Manama regime has stepped up crackdown on political dissent in the wake of US President Donald Trump's meeting with Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah during a summit in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh last month.
This image provided by an activist, who requested anonymity, shows Bahraini security forces during a raid on a sit-in demonstration in the northwestern village of Diraz, Bahrain, on May 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Less than 48 hours after the US president left Saudi Arabia, Bahraini regime troops attacked supporters of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim in the northwestern village of Diraz, killing at least five people and arresting 286 others. Reports said 19 policemen were also injured in the clashes.
The London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy said Trump “effectively gave Hamad a blank check to continue the repression of his people.”
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.   
King Hamad ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3.

People hold placards during a gathering of representatives of the Muslim communities, south of London Bridge in London, June 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The number of Islamophobic crimes in the UK has increased dramatically following the recent terror attacks in London, police figures show.
There has been a fivefold rise in hate crimes against Muslims across Britain in the days since Sunday’s London Bridge terror attack, where assailants ran over pedestrians and went on a stabbing spree at a nearby restaurant, killing 7 people and injuring 48 more, The Independent reported Wednesday.
On Tuesday, police officers handled 20 crimes specifically targeted at Muslims, while the average for such crimes was 3.5 on a daily basis in 2017.
As a whole, there were 54 racially charged crimes on Tuesday, compared to the daily average of 38 this year.
The number of crimes also exceeded the levels recorded in the aftermath of the Paris attacks in November 2015 and the murder of British Army soldier Lee Rigby in May 2013, the report added.
Muslim community leaders had already warned of a hike in hate crimes following last month’s bombing at a concert in Manchester, which killed 22 people and injured around 120.

Police walk with forensic investigators in a street south of London Bridge on June 7, 2017, in London. (Photo by AFP)

A similar rise in Islamophobia was reported in March, after terrorists killed five people in another car and knife attack.
Fiyaz Mughal, founder of Islamophobic helpline Tell Mama, warned of a “measurable and large spike” following the latest attack in London.
“We know from all of the terrorist attacks since 2011 that anti-Muslim hatred spikes sharply in our country after them,” he told The Independent.
“Terrorists are trying to divide our communities and society. People who target innocent Muslims who have nothing to do with extremism or terrorism are playing into the hands of Islamist extremist terrorists. This is what they want – divided societies and communities,” he added.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pinned the attacks on “evil Islamist extremism” and has pledged to fight this “perversion of Islam and the truth.”

The woman was stabbed in the hand as she tried to fend off a knife to her chest. Photo / Supplied

It's a story that almost beggars belief.
Attacked and sexually assaulted by a notorious rapist, a 29-year-old Canadian woman identified as Angela Cardinal* was thrown in the same jail as her attacker. She was then forced to travel to court with him after a judge ordered her "detained to ensure her testimony".
The Cree Indian woman was homeless in 2014 when she was dragged from the apartment block stairwell where she slept. She ended up inside the flat of convicted sexual predator Lance Blanchard, CBC reported.
On Tuesday, three years after the attack, the real story of the events that unfolded began to emerge.Blanchard hauled his victim by the hair into his apartment, sexually assaulted her, stabbed her and beat her.
Somehow, she managed to dial 911. She put the phone on loud speaker and tossed it across the room while he was attacking her.
In a haunting recording released this week, both parties can be heard pleading with police for help. She screams: "Help me, help me, I've been stabbed. He stabbed me." He claims she broke in to his apartment and grabbed his knife.
"Get somebody here, I'm holding her down. You're going to get arrested for break and entry," Blanchard can be heard saying.
As if her ordeal was not difficult enough, Cardinal faced her attacker in court at a preliminary hearing. There, the nightmare got worse.
When she kept falling asleep in court and struggled to focus and answer questions, the prosecutor complained she "presented in a condition unsuitable for testifying, and we don't know what the reason is".
Judge Raymond Bodnarek then ordered the woman be kept in custody under a section of Canadian law to ensure her testimony.
After a weekend in the cells, she returned to court begging the judge release her and let her stay with her mother.
"I'm the victim and look at me, I'm in shackles," she said. "Aren't you supposed to commit a crime to go to jail?"
"It's not a pleasant scene I'm living. I'm the fricken victim here."
The judge did not agree, sending her back to the same jail in which Blanchard was held.
She spent five nights there.
Twice she was forced to take the 10-minute trip from the jail to the courthouse in the same van as him.
By day, she testified to his horrific attack. By night, she slept near him.
"He started stabbing me. He said he was going to make me ugly and stick me in a closet and keep me," she told the court.
He groped her at knifepoint on a blood-soaked lounge, tried to tie her legs with electrical cords. She was stabbed in the palm as she blocked a knife to her chest.
She ran for the door, but could not open it with her blood-soaked hands.

She was the victim

Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganly has now ordered two investigations into the case.
"She was the victim. We should have treated her as the victim," she said.
"None of us will ever really understand what it was like for her to sit there and stare at the man who did this to her - while she's trapped, essentially," she said, after being told about the case recently by CBC reports.
"I've never seen a case like this. I mean, how many people did she come into contact with and nobody stood up and said, 'Guys, I think this is wrong. I think we've made a mistake'."
Ganly knows "there's nothing that can ever be done to make it up", but has apologised to the dead woman's mother.
"We failed her at every level," she said.
"She was a young woman and the victim of a horrific crime. The way she was treated in the system is absolutely unacceptable."

Apology too late

It's all too late for the woman, who was killed in an unrelated accidental shooting seven months after the 2015 preliminary hearing.
Blanchard's trial still allowed her testimony, and he was found guilty of aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful confinement, aggravated sexual assault, possession of a weapon and threatening to cause death or bodily harm.
In his written decision, Justice Eric Macklin made scathing remarks about the treatment of the victim.
"Her treatment by the justice system was appalling," he wrote.
* Not her real name

Police officers stand guard in an area in Manchester, on May 29, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
British police say they have arrested a new suspect in connection with the investigation into last month’s terror attack that killed at least 22 people, including seven children, at the Manchester Arena at the end of a concert.
Greater Manchester Police said on Saturday that they arrested a 24-year-old man on Friday night in Rusholme, an inner-city area of Manchester. "He was arrested on suspicion of offenses contrary to the terrorism act."
The arrest was made after police seized a car, which they said could provide a "significant development" in the investigation.
Before the arrest, police evacuated the area and called out bomb disposal team to remove the car from the area in southern Manchester which was visited by Salman Abedi, the bomber who died in May 22 explosions.
The man is the 17th that has been arrested in connection with May 22 attacks. Eleven men, aged between 18 and 44, are remained in custody but six people have since been released without charge.
Britain’s terror threat level had been set at critical in the aftermath of a bombing. Last week authorities reduced the level to severe, a change that indicates another terror attack is still highly likely, but not imminently expected.

Adam Osmayev survived after his wife opened fire on the attacker, shooting him four times in the chest, hip and back. Photo / AP
A former public school boy who was once jailed for plotting to assassinate Vladimir Putin is in a serious condition after being gunned down in an apparent attempted contract killing.
Adam Osmayev, a former pupil of Wycliffe College who commanded a pro-Kiev battalion in the war in eastern Ukraine, was rushed to hospital after being shot twice by a hit man in Kiev on Thursday night.
Kiev police said in a statement that Mr Osmayev survived after his wife opened fire on the attacker, shooting him four times in the chest, hip and back.
Amina Okuyeva. Photo / Facebook

Amina Okueva, who was uninjured in the attack, said in a statement on Facebook on Friday that her husband was in a "serious but stable" condition and that she had been informed the attacker had a bullet stuck in his spine.

"He has the murders of many Chechens on what is left of his conscience, including in Europe. I am glad he got what he deserved from my hand," she wrote.
Although Ms Okueva did not elaborate, she appeared to be referring to the murders of a number of critics of Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya, over the past decade.
Kiev police said the attack happened when the couple agreed to meet a man posing as a journalist from the French newspaper Le Monde.
The attacker was carrying a Ukrainian passport in the name of Oleksandr Dakar, but police said they had not yet established whether the document was genuine.
Mr Osmayev, 36, is a native of Chechnya, the north Caucasian republic of Russia that saw two brutal wars in the 1990s and 2000s.
He was educated at Wycliffe College and the University of Buckingham in the 1990s and early 2000s, when his father Aslanbek was a high ranking official in charge of the republic's oil reserves.
The family fled Chechnya after falling out with Mr Kadyrov, who came to power after the death of his father in 2004, over lucrative oil contracts.
Mr Osmayev moved to Ukraine, where in February 2012 he was arrested and charged in connection with a foiled plot to assassinate Vladimir Putin with an attack on his motorcade.
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo / AP
Although his extradition to Russia was halted by the European Court of Human Rights, he spent nearly three years behind bars in Odessa for illegal possession of explosives and forgery.
After his release in 2014 he joined a battalion of Chechen volunteers fighting against Russian-backed separatists in the war in eastern Ukraine.
The battalion, founded by a prominent Chechen field commander called Isa Munayev, included several dozen Chechens who had fought against Russian troops in the wars of the 1990s and 2000s.
They saw service in several major battles in 2014 and 2015. When Munayev was killed in February 2015, Mr Osmayev succeeded as commander of the battalion.
Chechens have fought on both sides of the war in east Ukraine, with troops loyal to Mr Kadyrov showing up on the pro-Russian side.


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