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Back Activities Press Releases PRESS RELEASE: Bahrain/UK–IHRC writes to Manchester United requesting minute silence for fan killed

PRESS RELEASE: Bahrain/UK–IHRC writes to Manchester United requesting minute silence for fan killed

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[photo:manchester_united_logo_4bp_blogspot_com]

Ahmad was killed wearing his team’s jersey while playing football.

IHRC has written an open letter to Sir Alex Ferguson and Malcolm Glazer, urging them to commemorate the death of Sayyed Ahmad Saeed Shams with a one minute silence before kick off against Chelsea on 8th May at Old Trafford[1][2].

On 30th March, Ahmad had been playing football, wearing a Manchester United jersey, outside his home in the village of Sa’ar, Bahrain, when security forces shot the fifteen year old in the head.

Massoud Shadjareh, Chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said:
“The cruel circumstances of Ahmad’s death require that efforts are made by Manchester United to remember one of their own fans. Manchester United has remembered fans that have been killed brutally in the UK and this gesture of remembrance will send a message to the world that Manchester United values children regardless of religious or national background. This will also affirm to the Bahraini regime Manchester United’s commitment and expectation of young children being able to build a better life for themselves even in Bahrain.”

For more information please contact the Press Office of the IHRC at (+44) 20 8904 4222, or via email at info@ihrc.org. Alternatively, you can call (+44)7903053362 .

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Notes to Editors:
1 Open letter to Sir Alex Ferguson.
2 Open letter to Malcolm Glazer.
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Full Text of Open Letter(s) follows:

Sir Alex Ferguson,
c/o Trafford Training Centre,
Birch Road,
Carrington,
Manchester,
M31 4BH.

Dear Sir Ferguson,

Re: One minute silence before the Chelsea match to remember Ahmad

I am writing an open letter regarding Sayyed Ahmad Saeed Shams, a fifteen year old boy who whilst playing football wearing a Manchester United jersey was shot dead by Bahraini security forces on 30th March 2011. This killing took place outside his home in the village of Sa’ar, Bahrain.

I am sure that as a football club you will be outraged that any security force would kill a boy who was simply playing football outside his home in a Manchester United jersey. This tragic killing is indicative of the violent suppression that the Bahraini government has sunk to in order to deny its citizens basic rights. Here this is further evidenced by the fact that it has not acknowledged the brutality of its actions to the extent that it does not even feel the need to begin an inquiry to bring the perpetrators to justice. I am sure that you will agree that there can be no excuse for a boy who is playing football outside his home to be killed.

Manchester United has a global following and the image of this boy lying dead in a Manchester United jersey has been flashed around the world. This has created an expectation of a response from your club which I am articulating directly to you. It is well known that Manchester United has in the past carried out its civic duty appropriately by acknowledging those of its fans that have died in tragic circumstances. Today we, at the Islamic Human Rights Commission, appeal to this sense of duty and social conscience to give respect to this fan of yours who has died in such tragic circumstances. It will give the family of this boy some comfort that there are people out there who will remember their son through the bond of football and a common humanity.

As the most successful manager in the club’s history, you have pledged your commitment on the website of the Manchester United Foundation to “inspire young people to build a better life for themselves”, and ensure the development of the youth – which would include creating an environment where children like Ahmad are able to realise their potential. We expect yourself and the club to make good on this pledge. In this regard we ask you to hold a one minute silence before the home match against Chelsea on Sunday 8th May 2011 and dedicate that match to the memory of Ahmad. This would mark the fortieth day after Ahmad’s tragic death. This gesture will enhance the international image of this club as one which cares for one of its own irrespective of where they live in the world and what religion they choose to follow.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and we look forward to a positive response on this important matter.

Yours sincerely,

Massoud Shadjareh
Chair of Islamic Human Rights Commission.


Malcolm Glazer,
c/o Trafford Training Centre,
Birch Road,
Carrington,
Manchester,
M31 4BH

Dear Malcolm Glazer,

Re: One minute silence before the Chelsea match to remember Ahmad.

I am writing an open letter regarding Sayyed Ahmad Saeed Shams, a fifteen year old boy who whilst playing football wearing a Manchester United jersey was shot dead by Bahraini security forces on 30th March 2011. This killing took place outside his home in the village of Sa’ar, Bahrain.

I am sure that as a football club you will be outraged that any security force would kill a boy who was simply playing football outside his home in a Manchester United jersey. This tragic killing is indicative of the violent suppression that the Bahraini government has sunk to in order to deny its citizens basic rights. Here this is further evidenced by the fact that it has not acknowledged the brutality of its actions to the extent that it does not even feel the need to begin an inquiry to bring the perpetrators to justice. I am sure that you will agree that there can be no excuse for a boy who is playing football outside his home to be killed.

Manchester United has a global following and the image of this boy lying dead in a Manchester United jersey has been flashed around the world. This has created an expectation of a response from your club which I am articulating directly to you. It is well known that Manchester United has in the past carried out its civic duty appropriately by acknowledging those of its fans that have died in tragic circumstances. Today we, at the Islamic Human Rights Commission, appeal to this sense of duty and social conscience to give respect to this fan of yours who has died in such tragic circumstances. It will give the family of this boy some comfort that there are people out there who will remember their son through the bond of football and a common humanity.

As owner of one of the most successful clubs in the world, you are expected to lend your support to the pledge of the Manchester United Foundation to “inspire young people to build a better life for themselves”, and ensure the development of the youth – which would include creating an environment where children like Ahmad are able to realise their potential. We expect yourself and the club to make good on this pledge. In this regard we ask you to request that a one minute silence is held before the home match against Chelsea on Sunday 8th May 2011, and that this match is dedicated to the memory of Ahmad. This would mark the fortieth day after Ahmad’s tragic death. This gesture will enhance the international image of this club as one which cares for one of its own irrespective of where they live in the world and what religion they choose to follow.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and we look forward to a positive response on this important matter.

Yours sincerely,

Massoud Shadjareh
Chair of Islamic Human Rights Commission. [ENDS]

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The Islamic Human Rights Commission is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom
Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Web: www.ihrc.org

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