3. Action required
4. Sample letter
Sayyed Ahmad Saeed Shams, a fifteen year old child, was playing football wearing a Manchester United jersey when he was shot dead by Bahraini security services on 30th March 2011. This killing took place outside his home in the village of Sa’ar, Bahrain.
IHRC urges campaigners to write letters to the Manchester United Football Club asking them to organise a minute silence at Old Trafford before the kick off on Sunday 8th May which will be the fortieth day after the killing of Ahmad.
Ahmad had been playing football, wearing a Manchester United jersey, outside his home in the village of Sa’ar when security forces and military personnel ruthlessly gunned him down. There had been fourteen security forces’ cars spread throughout the village.
His father told IHRC that his son was killed in a very narrow passage. Security men intentionally had gone there and shot him with a rubber bullet in his eye and hit him with the pistol grip on his neck, causing a break in the neck. The father also said, “I picked him up and I could hear him breathing in pain. He took his last breath and then he did not breathe again. He died in my arms”.
His mother said: “He was a normal boy. We want these brutal killings in Bahrain to end.”
Ahmad’s body was taken to the hospital but the hospital authorities did not write the actual cause of the boy’s death for fear of repression from the regime.
IHRC urges campaigners to write letters to the Manchester United Football Club asking them to organise a minute silence at Old Trafford before the kick off on Sunday 8th May which will be the fortieth day after the killing of Ahmad. 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.
3. Action required
Write letters and emails to Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Foundation, to ask Manchester United football club to hold a one minute silence before the match on Sunday 8th May between Manchester United and Chelsea. The match should be dedicated to the memory of Ahmad. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with subject title: FAO Sir Alex Ferguson.
4. Sample letter
A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.
Campaigners can also send emails to Sri Alex Ferguson on email@example.com with the subject title: FAO Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sir Alex Ferguson,
c/o Trafford Training Center,
Dear Sir Ferguson,
Re: One minute silence before the Chelsea match to remember Ahmad
On 30th March 2011, a fifteen year old boy was shot dead by security forces in Bahrain. His name was Sayyed Ahmad Saeed Shams, and he had been playing football outside his home in the village of Sa’ar when security forces and military personnel ruthlessly gunned him down.
Ahmad was unarmed, and did nothing to provoke such a brutal and lethal response. He died not only as an innocent Bahraini teenager, but also as a typical young football fan wearing a Manchester United jersey.
Images of the young boy lying dead in the Manchester United shirt have provoked massive sorrow in Bahrain during what is an immensely important juncture in the country’s future. The harrowing images have become a symbol of the aspirations of freedom which the Arab peoples wish to achieve.
I would appreciate any effort that the club can make to organise a minute’s silence at Old Trafford before the kick off on Sunday, 8th May between Manchester United and Chelsea. The club has a good record of organising minute’s silence to commemorate tragedies which affect both Manchester United fans, and humanity as a whole. I do not believe that the club’s enthusiasm for such efforts should be lessened by the fact that this tragedy occurred in a foreign country. The boy’s family and people around the world would welcome this gesture from the club as an indication of its commitment to promoting the game of football as a way towards peace, coexistence and dialogue.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response on this urgent matter.
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“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75
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