Bahrain: 47 fishing boats are still detained by Qatar

Bahrain: 47 fishing boats are still detained by Qatar
A boat in Bahraini waters near the port of Manama on Dec. 2, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 21 December 2020

Bahrain: 47 fishing boats are still detained by Qatar

Bahrain: 47 fishing boats are still detained by Qatar
  • Qatar has detained nearly 650 boats and 2,153 persons with official Bahraini IDs in the past 10 years
  • Bahrain’s human rights body slammed the silence over Qatar’s continuous targeting of local fishermen

DUBAI: Qatar was still holding 47 Bahraini fishing boats, state news agency BNA reported on Sunday.
Bahrain’s marine Maj. Gen. and head of Coast Guard Alaa Siyadi added that Qatar has detained nearly 650 boats and 2,153 persons with official Bahraini IDs in the past 10 years, the report added.
The Coast Guard was receiving complaints from fishermen who have been targeted by Qatar in order to take appropriate legal measures, Siyadi added.
Qatar’s actions have affected the fishermen by damaging their boats and income, the report added.
On Friday, Bahrain’s human rights body slammed the silence over Qatar’s continuous targeting of local fishermen in the kingdom’s territorial waters.
The National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) expressed concern over the silence of NGOs on Qatar’s violations of human rights, without naming the accused organizations.
Bahrain’s Interior Minister Rashid Al-Khalifa issued a warning to Qatari authorities last week and described Qatar’s actions towards Bahraini fishermen as “brutal.”
The minister said the fishermen were arrested in a hostile and humiliating manner. 
“According to Bahraini fishermen, they were stopped in Bahrain’s water, and we won’t accept this,” he said.


US designates Bahrain, UAE ‘major security partners’

US designates Bahrain, UAE ‘major security partners’
Updated 17 January 2021

US designates Bahrain, UAE ‘major security partners’

US designates Bahrain, UAE ‘major security partners’
  • Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet and hostssome 5,000 American troops
  • UAE hosts 3,500 US troops and its Jebel Ali port is the busiest port of call for American warships outside of the US

DUBAI: The US called Bahrain and the UAE “major security partners” early on Saturday, a previously unheard of designation for the two countries home to major American military operations.
A White House statement tied the designation to Bahrain and the UAE normalizing ties to Israel, saying it “reflects their extraordinary courage, determination and leadership.” It also noted the two countries long have taken part in US military exercises.
It’s unclear what the designation means for Bahrain and the UAE.
Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, while the UAE’s Jebel Ali port is the busiest port of call for American warships outside of the US. Bahrain hosts some 5,000 American troops, while the UAE hosts 3,500, many at Al-Dhafra Air Base.
Already, the US uses the designation of “major non-NATO ally” to describe its relationship with Kuwait, which hosts the forward command of US Army Central. That designation grants a country special financial and military considerations for nations not part of NATO. Bahrain also is a non-NATO ally.
The US military’s Central Command and the Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The 5th Fleet referred queries to the State Department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House designation comes in the final days of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Trump forged close ties to Gulf Arab countries during his time in office in part over his hard-line stance on Iran.
That’s sparked a series of escalating incidents between the countries after Trump unilaterally withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
It also comes after Bahrain and the UAE joined Egypt and Saudi Arabia in beginning to resolve a yearslong boycott of Qatar, that houses Al-Udeid Air Base.