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  • Wise Son Wise Son Apr 10, 2013 23:31 Flag

    Tortured for asking United for a minute's silence


    I don't imagine anyone at the club knows about this (and don't pretend that posting it here will make them aware of it), but this does make me disappointed that the club is one of many sporting organisations working over there, allowing the Bahrain regime to distract from its brutality.

    "In the days after his death, some people in Bahrain wrote to Man United asking if they might hold a minute's silence before one of their games in tribute to Ahmed. An ambitious ask, but people sent emails to the Man United account making the request. One of them was Dr. Fatima Haji, a rheumatologist in Bahrain's Salmaniya Medical Complex, and a Ryan Giggs fan. Along with dozens of other medics she was arrested after treating injured protestors and tortured in custody. But her interrogation was a bit different; she had written the email asking for the minute's silence and then deleted it, knowing it might be incriminating. When she was arrested on April 17 her laptop was taken too, and a few days later -- with tragic efficiency -- Man United responded to her email, which her interrogators then saw.

    I was blindfolded and handcuffed with my hands behind my back, and beaten. A man asked me 'What's is your relationship with Alex Ferguson?' I was shocked and figured out they'd gone through my emails. A female officer hit me on head on both sides at the same time -- she was wearing what I later found out was a special electrical band on her hands and she electrocuted me a couple of times -- I felt a shock wave through my head. It was very painful and the whole world was spinning. I was beaten again on the head.

    Haji says she was questioned over and over again about her connection to Manchester United: "because they'd responded to my email the police thought I somehow knew someone at Manchester United." She spent several weeks in custody and was tried with 19 other medics in a military court. She was sentenced to five years in prison and then acquitted on appeal in June 2012. Three of her co-accused are still in prison.

    None of this was Man United's fault, but the club and Denis Law might want to know about what happened to Ahmed and Fatima, and say something about it."

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