Bahrain: police fires teargas directly at people’s heads. Overall, 39 deaths due to use of teargas.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/29/bahrain-teargas-stockpile-plan-campaign

Activists and human rights watchdogs, however, say the gas is used indiscriminately and lethally against demonstrators.

Pressure to prevent deliveries has been growing since the publication of a leaked document showing that Bahrain is seeking to purchase more teargas canisters than its entire population, of 1.2m.

Samira Rajab, a government spokesperson, was quoted as saying that police would have been justified in using live fire,…

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said the Bahraini security forces have “repeatedly used teargas disproportionately and sometimes unlawfully in suppressing anti-government demonstrations” since 2011, when protests against the western-banked Sunni monarchy erupted as part of the wave of Arab spring uprisings.

Teargas misuse has been implicated in more than a dozen deaths and serious injuries, HRW says.

Police also fire the canisters directly at people’s heads, which has caused serious injuries and deaths.

Overall, 39 deaths in Bahrain have been attributed to teargas, according to Physicians for Human Rights.

The US and Britain have urged Bahrain to implement political reforms and address the grievances of the country’s Shia majority, which has long faced discrimination.

Who is the real threat: Iran or Israel?

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/10/who-real-threat-iran-israel-2013101791830213883.html

“Iran’s nuclear bomb is a product of Israel’s propaganda. Since 1992, Netanyahu and current Israeli President Shimon Peres have repeatedly claimed that Iran will build a nuclear weapon over the next few years….Netanyahu is now declaring that if Iran possesses 250kg of uranium enriched at 20 percent, Israel will bomb its nuclear sites. This is while Israel possesses up to 200 nuclear warheads and is not a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)…Barak and Netanyahu were determined to attack Iran in 2010, but were thwarted by the military and intelligence establishments within Israel…To justify military aggression against Iran – who unlike Israel, has not attacked another country for almost 300 years – Netanyahu constantly likens Iran to Nazi Germany…”

Qatar sentences poet for 15 years jail for a poem criticizing the emir

Mr Ajami was originally jailed for life last year but the sentence was reduced to 15 years on appeal in February.

The case against Mr Ajami was said to have been based on a poem he wrote in 2010 which criticised the former emir, Sheikh Hamad Al Thani.

The father of four, also known as Mohammed Ibn al-Dheeb, has said the poems were not meant to be offensive or seditious.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24612650

Amnesty: Saudi Arabia increasing repression even more, still Saudis speak from “daily progress”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24607253

“Four years ago, Saudi Arabian diplomats came to Geneva and accepted a string of recommendations to improve human rights in the country. Since then, not only have the authorities failed to act, but they have ratcheted up the repression,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director.

Promises the Gulf Kingdom made to the UN Human Rights Council in 2009 were “nothing but hot air”, a report claims.

The authorities continue to crack down on activists through “arbitrary arrests and detention, unfair trials, torture and other ill-treatment”, it adds.

In March, two founders of the prominent Saudi Civil and Political Rights Organisation (ACPRA), were sentenced to 10 and 11 years respectively.

The men, who used Twitter to promote human rights, were found guilty by a court of “breaking allegiance and disobeying the ruler”, “undermining unity”, “questioning the integrity of officials”, “seeking to disrupt security” and “inciting disorder by calling for demonstrations”.

Torture and other ill-treatment during detention is rife and carried out with impunity, the report says.

It documents other alleged violations, including “systemic discrimination of women in both law and practice” and “abuse of migrant workers”.

The report also accuses the Sunni-ruled kingdom of “discrimination against minority groups”, including Shia in Eastern Province, where many have been arrested for taking part in protests to demand greater rights and several have been killed.

Bandar bin Mohammed al-Aiban, who is the president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, added: “Tangible progress has been achieved on a daily basis,”

Watchdog reports Damascus co-operating with weapons inspectors

The world’s chemical weapons watchdog says it is confident that Syria will meet an important early milestone in its disarmament

Michael Luhan, a spokesman for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said the Syrian government had provided complete co-operation with the 27 weapons inspectors in the country.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/23/syria-deadline-chemical-weapons-opcw

Syria: How rebels fire indiscriminately at civilians

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/03/syria-deadlock-war-ceasefire-assad-regime

“The rebels appear to have more firepower than in February. Mortars regularly rain down on government-held areas. They may not have as much destructive force as the Syrian army’s artillery, but they are as indiscriminate in their choice of victims.

In the last two weeks of August 123 mortars landed in the Christian quarter of the Old City, an area with no military targets