Death of Fadhel Al-Matrook
|Fadhel Salman Ali Al-Matrook|
Fadhel Al-Matrook body at Salmaniya morgue
|Born||فاضل سلمان علي المتروك
November 8, 1979
|Died||February 15, 2011
|Cause of death||bird pellet gunshots|
|Resting place||Mahooz, Bahrain|
|Residence||Isa Town, Bahrain|
|Known for||2011 Bahraini uprising|
Fadhel Salman Ali Salman Al-Matrook (Arabic: فاضل سلمان علي سلمان المتروك) (8 November 1979 – 15 February 2011) was a 31-year-old Bahraini who died in hospital on 15 February 2011 after reportedly being hit in the back and chest by bird pellet gunshots (a type of shotgun shell) fired from short distance by Bahraini security forces during the Bahraini uprising (2011–present). Bahrain king Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa announced in a rare televised speech that the deaths of Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima and Fadhel Al-Matrook would be investigated. However, results of the investigation have not been revealed as of November 2011.
As part of a string of protests that occurred across the Arab World following the self-immolation and eventual death of Mohammed Bouazizi in Tunisia, the mostly Shia population of Bahrain took to the streets demanding greater freedoms. Al Jazeera reported that a protest was planned for 14 February, just a few months after the controversial 2010 election.
On 14 February (referred to by protesters as Day of Rage), clashes were reported from parts of Bahrain. Helicopters circled over Manama, where protesters were expected to gather in the afternoon; there was also a greater police presence in Shia villages. At least fourteen people were injured in clashes overnight and with police having fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters in the village of Nuwaidrat, south west of Bahrain. The marchers were calling for the release detainees who were arrested during earlier protests.
Al-Matrook's father died when he was 8. He was married with two children, a 5-year-old son, Hussain and a 2-year-old daughter, Ruqayya. He was unemployed and had been arrested once before, his brother reported. Al-Matrook lived in his father's house; his housing request goes back seven years before his death.
On 15 February, funeral procession of Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima, who died the previous day took place. The march was authorized. It was organized that the body be taken from the Salmaniya medical complex and then carried to the cemetery in Al Daih for burial. According to eye witnesses, more than 2,000 were starting to gather by hospital gates in order to take part in the procession, when riot police used tear gas and shotguns to disperse the crowd. One man, Fadhel Al-Matrook, died in hospital after getting shot by shotgun pellets. Al-Matrook's brother, who was near him, told the local newspaper Al Wasat that his brother was shot from a very short distance, 2 to 5 meters away, which caused internal bleeding and punctured his lungs. According to witnesses, at least 25 were injured as a result of police rubber bullets, tear gas and shotgun.
An eyewitness who was injured called Shaker Mohammed Abdulhussain told Al Wasat that police cars were parked near Salmaniya Medical Complex gates where the funeral was supposed to move out from. To prevent clashes between mourners and riot police, mourners formed a human chain in which Shaker was standing next to Al-Matrook. There were two people speaking to riot police telling them that the youth will ensure that nothing would go wrong. Then a man wearing full black came from outside the funeral and threw a stone at riot police, who then started firing rubber bullets and bird pellet gunshot indiscriminately. While Shaker and Al-Matrook were trying to help a man who was injured by rubber bullets to his leg, they were shot with bird pellet gunshot. Shaker was injured in his chest and other parts in the body, while Al-Matrook was injured in his back and died in the hospital.
The Ministry of the Interior said in a statement that during the funeral of Ali Mushaima some mourners clashed with four police patrols which were parked in the funeral's course. They explained that clashes were because one patrol was not working and three patrols went to evacuate it. During the clash one man named Fadhel Al-Martook was injured and died later in a hospital.
On February 16, thousands of Bahrainis took part in the funeral procession of Al-Matrook while others were camping in Pearl Roundabout for the second day in a row. The funeral began in Salmaniya medical complex and ended in Mahooz graveyard. Al-Matrook's coffin was covered with Bahrain's flag. The funeral began at 8:30 am, and mourners that took part carryed pictures for Al-Matrook, Bahrain flags, and black flags which represent grief. They chanted "No god but Allah, the martyr is loved by Allah" and "No Sunni, No Shia, all of us are one united Bahrain".
The final funeral procession for Al-Matrook was on February 18, which took part in Mahooz and ended in Mahooz graveyard. Mourners carried Bahrain flags as well as black flags. They chanted "we scarify our blood and soul for you martyr" and "we scarify our blood and soul for you Bahrain". One of the mourners carried flowers. Sheikh Mohammed Al-Mansi gave a speech at the end of the funeral procession.
Local and international reactions
- In a rare national TV address on Tuesday, February 15, King Hamad expressed his regret about the victims of recent events and announced an investigation. He expressed regret about the deaths of Ali Mushaima and Fadhel Al-Matrook "There have sadly been two deaths. I express my deep condolences to their families," he said. "Everyone should know that I have assigned Deputy Prime Minister Jawad al-Urayyid to form a special committee to find out the reasons that led to such regrettable events," he added.
- Prime minister, Khalifa ibn Salman Al Khalifa praised the king's speech. "We regret the events which led to the death of two of my sons and express condolences to their families".
- Minister of Interior, Rashed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said in a televised speech on February 15, that they are reserving on those responsible for the death of Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima and Fadhel Al-Matrook and that initial investigations began. As well as full cooperation with the committee formed by Bahrain's king.
- Al Wefaq, the country's biggest opposition party suspended their participation in the Parliament and threatened to resign, in protest at the brutal practices of the security forces, according to Matar Matar, Al Wefaq's MP (now former MP).
- The Independent block, the second largest in the parliament praised the king's speech and supported his decision to form an investigation committee. They also expressed condolences to families of victims.
- Nationalist Democratic Rally Society called for an open dialogue between the regime and civil society foundations. They emphasized their refusal and condemnation to the "brutal and repressive" methods that protests are dealt with by riot police which led to the death of 2 martyrs. They also expressed condolences to the families of the martyrs and victims.
- Progressive Democratic Tribune denounced the use of excessive force by security forces and called to respect the rights of people to protest. They expressed condolences to families of martyrs Ali Mushaima and Fadhel Al-Matrook who joined the martyrs convoy of our people in their journey to democracy. They Called for the formation of a national body which unites Shia and Sunna like the National Union Committee in the 1950s.
- Islamic Association party, a relatively small Shia society expressed condolences to citizens of Bahrain and the families of the victims. They said "At the same time that we emphasize our refusal to the excessive use of force against protesters, we stress the importance of keeping the peacefulness of the protests". and "we appeal to the committee formed by Bahrain's king to make a neutral and honest investigation and to accelerate publishing the results as well as punishing those responsible".
- P.J. Crowley, the United States State Department spokesman said: "The United States is very concerned by recent violence surrounding protests in Bahrain,". He added that US welcomed the investigation into the killings and urged the government of Bahrain to "quickly follow up on its pledge."
- Amnesty International called the authorities "to immediately stop using excessive force against the protesters", "to set up an immediate, thorough and independent investigation into the deaths of ‘Ali ‘Abdulhadi Mushaima’ and Fadhel ‘Ali Matrook, and ensure that any police found to have used excessive force are brought to justice." and " to respect and protect the right of freedom expression, movement and assembly in Bahrain".
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