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    Bahrain Center for Human Rights condemns the continuous targeting of former Members of Bahraini Parliament because of their political opinions and criticism of government officials and bodies.

    Bahrain Center for Human Rights has monitored the cases of former MPs, both Sunni and Shia Muslims, that have been punished in a variety of ways because of their political opinions. It demonstrates the constraints on freedom of expression and opinion against all citizens, including MPs in Bahrain.

    Former MP, Jawad Fairooz, a member of al Wefaq opposition party and president of Bahrain SALAM for Human Rights confirmed that he was threatened during his time as MP from 2006 to 2011. Mr Fairooz was warned by a media personality that the State does not accept his activism and questioning of the government, and revenge against him will be sought “sooner or later”. On 2 May 2011, Mr Fairooz was arrested during the severe national security crackdown against anyone who showed support for the popular national demonstrations in February 2011. He was left in solitary confinement for more than 43 days and was subjected to physical and psychological torture before being released in August 2011 (1).

    Mr Fairooz further stated that one of the investigators in the security apparatus said to him: “who do you think yourself to question and hold accountable the ruling family figures, even if they are ministers”.

    Mr Fairooz was charged in a military court and was sentenced to imprisonment for 15 months in November 2012 after he was charged for an offence relating to freedom of opinion (2). The sentence coincided with the decision by the Interior Minister to strip 31 Bahrainis of their nationality, which included Mr Fairooz. His house was attacked on numerous occasions with Molotov cocktails and his pension fund has been ceased. His family has been targeted too, with his wife being briefly arrested in 2011, and has been harassed at work. Mr Fairooz was travelling outside of Bahrain when his citizenship was revoked, thus forcing him to seek asylum.

    Mr Fairooz was not the only MP that was subjected to arrest and torture in the security crackdown in 2011, as another MP, Matar Matar, was also arrested on 2 May 2011 and was tortured as well according to reports (3). He too was released in August 2011 (4).

    In November 2012, former MP Jalal Fairooz had his citizenship revoked whilst he was travelling abroad. His wife was targeted at her workplace and his daughter was expelled from her university as a form of retaliation against him.

    In September 2013, former MP Khalil Al-Marzooq, the chairman of al Wefaq in Parliament, was arrested. He was detained for more than a month and was released on 24 October 2013 (5).

    Further, in May 2014, Osama Al-Tamimi’s Parliamentary membership was revoked. Mr Al-Tamimi was also prevented from accessing his pension fund (6). He was arrested again in October 2014, charged with abusing police officers, with sentencing against him still on-going. His business place was attacked by armed forces in May 2012 after his criticism of the Prime Minister of Bahrain (7).

    In December 2014, former MP Sheikh Ali Salman, Secretary General of al Wefaq and leader of the largest parliamentary opposition, was arrested and remains imprisoned following investigations of charges against his political statements (8). On a previous occasion, a tear-gas canister was directed at him, which caused major injuries to another who received the blow. Sheikh Ali Salman has been called in numerous times for investigations since 2011, and was investigated by the Military Prosecution. His house has been repeatedly hit with tear-gas canisters.

    On 25 December 2014, former MP, Khalid Abdil-Aal, was called in for questioning by the Public Prosecution because of criticisms he tweeted in April 2014, charging him with the offence of “slandering the Ministry of Interior” (9).

    In addition, on 14 January 2015, former MP, Jameel Kadhim, chariman of the consultative council of al Wefaq, was sentenced to 6 months in prison following the charge of “disrupting elections”. The Justice Minister brought forward the case against Mr Kadhim because of tweets he made where he suggested “political money runs in the election” (10).

    As a result of this rhetoric, the Inter-Parliamentary Union has described Bahrain as one of the most dangerous of 7 countries in the middle-east for MPs that are active in human rights (11).

    Bahrain Center for Human Rights has expressed its grave concerns regarding the absence of freedoms of expression and opinion in Bahrain, and that Bahraini MPs have paid a hefty price for exercising their rights in this regard. What they are experiencing from arrests and judicial-hounding to imprisonment is seen as revenge against their human rights and political activities.

    In light of what has happened, Bahrain Center for Human Rights demands the following from the Bahraini Government: 

    1- The prompt release of Sheikh Ali Salman and Jameel Kadhim along with all activists, political or otherwise, that are in Bahraini prisons, aswell as to drop the charges against them.

    2- Cease revengeful crackdowns against former opposition MPs, which are being carried out in violation of their right to freedom of expression.

    3- Ensure that all MPs are able to exercise their rights and duties in inspecting and questioning senior officials in Parliament without fear of reprisals.

     

    [1] http://www.redress.org/case-docket/allegation-letter-concerning-jawad-fairooz

    [2] http://www.alwasatnews.com/3714/news/read/714144/1.html

    [3] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14439733

    [4] http://www.alwasatnews.com/3322/news/read/600526/1.html

    [5] http://www.alwasatnews.com/4310/news/read/898764/1.html

    [6]http://www.alhurra.com/content/%D8%A5%D8%B3%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B7-%D8%B9%D8%B6%D9%88%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A6%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%86%D9%8A-%D8%A3%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A9-%D9%85%D9%87%D9%86%D8%A7-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%82%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%AE%D9%8A%D8%A9/250040.html

    [7] http://www.bahrainrights.org/ar/node/5282

    [8] http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/7215

    [9] http://www.alwasatnews.com/4493/news/read/947534/1.html

    [10] http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/7229

    [11] http://www.ipu.org/press-e/pressrelease201412081.htm

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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is gravely concerned over the continuing judicial harassment of whoever exercises his/ her right of free speech, particularly through the use of social media.

    On 27 January 2015, nine men, Mohammed Saeed Al Adraj, 24 years, Mohammed Ahmed Ali, 21 years, Yousif Fadhel Salman, 21 years, Abas Ali Ahmed, 21 years, Kameel Ibrahim Yousif, 19 years, and Hussain Mohammed Ahmed, 22 years, over charges related to free expression. The Ministry of Interior stated that these men have misused social media and they could face an imprisonment term of up to two years or a fine of up to BHD200 according to article 215 of Bahrain’s Penal Code which punishes with these terms whoever “offends in public a foreign country or an international organization based in Bahrain or its president or representative. The same penalty shall apply to a person who offends such organization’s flag or official emblem.” It’s believed that the posts of concern have been critical to the late Saudi king Abdulla Alsaud.

    Recently, the Government of Bahrain has escalated its repression and targeting of free speech through judicial harassment, since 2012, numerous individuals were tried and sentenced to more than 408 months in prison for merely exercising their rights to free speech, while more than 186 months imprisonment were handed down in 2014 alone.

    Just last week, on 20 January 2015, the prominent human rights defender, Nabeel Rajab, was sentenced to 6 months in prison over a conviction related to a tweet he published in September 2014. The international community has been outspoken about the case of Nabeel Rajab and calling on the Government of Bahrain to respect human rights and free speech. Another example of targeting free speech, is the recent case against the former Member of Parliament and Al-Wefaq’s head of Shura Council, Sayed Jameel Kadhem, who was sentenced to 6 months in prison and a fine of BHD500 on charges of “disturbing the elections” for comments he made on Twitter.   

    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights condemns the arrest of the nine internet users yesterday and calls for their immediate release and based on the escalation of the repression exercised by the Bahraini government on freedom of speech, we call for the international community to intensify its efforts in pressuring the Bahraini government to drop all charges and release all of those who are being sentenced for exercising their internationally protected right to freedom of expression.

    The BCHR calls on the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States and other national and international bodies to:

    - Publicly call for the Government of Bahrain to release the 9 individuals;

    - Apply pressure on the Government of Bahrain to halt any further judicial harassment on the 9 individuals; and

    - Urge the Bahraini government to repeal laws that infringe upon the internationally protected right of free expression.

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    A leading opposition figure in Bahrain was denied bail in a first court hearing attended by an Amnesty International delegation. He will remain in custody until 25 February. Amnesty International is calling for charges to be dropped and for his immediate release.

    The trial of Sheikh ‘Ali Salman, Secretary General of the main opposition group in Bahrain, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, started on 28 January before the High Criminal Court in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. An Amnesty International delegation attended Sheikh ‘Ali Salman’s first hearing, together with representatives of the UK and US embassies, amongst others. He pleaded not guilty. Requests by his lawyers to release him on bail were rejected and the court ruled he should remain in custody until the next hearing on 25 February.

    He was arrested on 28 December following interrogation at the Ministry of Interior’s Criminal Investigations Directorate in connection with statements made in speeches in 2012 and 2014. Sheikh ‘Ali Salman was charged with “incitement to promote the change of the political system by force, threats and other illegal means”, “public incitement to loathing and contempt of a sect of people which will result in disrupting public disorder”, “publicly inciting others to disobey the law” and “publicly insulting the Interior Ministry”.

    Some of these charges seem to stem from statements made during his speech at the party’s General Assembly meeting on 26 December when he referred to the refusal of the opposition in Bahrain to follow the approach of the Syrian opposition and turn the country into a military battleground. In the same speech, he spoke about the opposition’s continuing determination to reach power in Bahrain, to achieve the demands of the 2011 uprising through peaceful means and to hold those responsible for abuses to account. He also highlighted the need for equality for all Bahrainis, including with the ruling family.

    Please write immediately in English or Arabic:

    - Calling on the Bahraini authorities to release Sheikh ‘Ali Salman immediately and unconditionally and to drop the charges against him, as he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression;
    - Urging them to uphold the right to freedom of expression and repeal laws that criminalize the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. 

    PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 11 MARCH 2015 TO:

    King
    Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa Office of His Majesty the King P.O. Box 555
    Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama Bahrain
    Fax: +973 1766 4587
    Salutation: Your Majesty

    Minister of Interior

    Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa

    Ministry of Interior

    P.O. Box 13, al-Manama

    Bahrain

    Fax: +973 1723 2661

    Twitter: @moi_Bahrain

    Salutation: Your Excellency

    And copies to:
    Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs

    Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa

    Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs

    P. O. Box 450, al-Manama

    Bahrain

    Fax: +973 1753 1284

    Email via website:

    http://www.moj.gov.bh/en/

    Twitter: @Khaled_Bin_Ali

    Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

    Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

     

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    Issue: 

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    A leading opposition figure in Bahrain was denied bail in a first court hearing attended by an Amnesty International delegation. He will remain in custody until 25 February. Amnesty International is calling for charges to be dropped and for his immediate release.

    The trial of Sheikh ‘Ali Salman, Secretary General of the main opposition group in Bahrain, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, started on 28 January before the High Criminal Court in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. An Amnesty International delegation attended Sheikh ‘Ali Salman’s first hearing, together with representatives of the UK and US embassies, amongst others. He pleaded not guilty. Requests by his lawyers to release him on bail were rejected and the court ruled he should remain in custody until the next hearing on 25 February.

    He was arrested on 28 December following interrogation at the Ministry of Interior’s Criminal Investigations Directorate in connection with statements made in speeches in 2012 and 2014. Sheikh ‘Ali Salman was charged with “incitement to promote the change of the political system by force, threats and other illegal means”, “public incitement to loathing and contempt of a sect of people which will result in disrupting public disorder”, “publicly inciting others to disobey the law” and “publicly insulting the Interior Ministry”.

    Some of these charges seem to stem from statements made during his speech at the party’s General Assembly meeting on 26 December when he referred to the refusal of the opposition in Bahrain to follow the approach of the Syrian opposition and turn the country into a military battleground. In the same speech, he spoke about the opposition’s continuing determination to reach power in Bahrain, to achieve the demands of the 2011 uprising through peaceful means and to hold those responsible for abuses to account. He also highlighted the need for equality for all Bahrainis, including with the ruling family.

    Please write immediately in English or Arabic:

    - Calling on the Bahraini authorities to release Sheikh ‘Ali Salman immediately and unconditionally and to drop the charges against him, as he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression;
    - Urging them to uphold the right to freedom of expression and repeal laws that criminalize the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. 

    PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 11 MARCH 2015 TO:

    King
    Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa Office of His Majesty the King P.O. Box 555
    Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama Bahrain
    Fax: +973 1766 4587
    Salutation: Your Majesty

    Minister of Interior

    Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa

    Ministry of Interior

    P.O. Box 13, al-Manama

    Bahrain

    Fax: +973 1723 2661

    Twitter: @moi_Bahrain

    Salutation: Your Excellency

    And copies to:
    Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs

    Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa

    Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs

    P. O. Box 450, al-Manama

    Bahrain

    Fax: +973 1753 1284

    Email via website:

    http://www.moj.gov.bh/en/

    Twitter: @Khaled_Bin_Ali

    Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

    Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

     

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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) express their concern about the judicial harassment against the human rights defender Husain Radhi, a member of the BCHR’s documentation team. He is being tried for charges of “illegal assembly” in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, and expecting a verdict on Sunday, 1 February 2015. He was previously arrested in Manama on 25 January 2013 in the same case, and kept in detention for 17 days, even though he was only monitoring the protests and documenting human rights violations as part of his work with the Bahrain Human Rights Society.

    Husain Radhi is only one of many human rights defenders who continuously face judicial harassment in Bahrain. This includes human rights defender Nader Abdulemam, who was recently released from four months in prison on charges related to a tweet. He is expecting a verdict in the same case as Hussain Radhi for “illegal assembly”. Earlier this month, leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, the President of the BCHR and founder of the GCHR, was sentenced to six months in prison for a tweet.

    The BCHR and the GCHR have, for many years, expressed their grave concern about the Bahraini government’s laws that prohibit the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and assembly. The two NGOs condemn the government’s consequent targeting and harassment of human rights defenders for their peaceful and legitimate human rights activities such as monitoring peaceful protests.

    The BCHR and the GCHR call on the United Kingdom, the United States, members of the European Union, and other national and international bodies to:

    • Publicly call on the government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against Husain Radhi and other human rights defenders facing similar charges;
    • Urge the Bahraini Government to repeal laws that infringe upon the internationally protected rights of freedom of expression and assembly.
    • Apply pressure on the Government of Bahrain to halt any further judicial harassment of human rights defenders in Bahrain;
    • Urge the Government of Bahrain to ensure that civil society organizations and human rights defenders in Bahrain may conduct their work without fear of retaliation or reprisal.

     

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    On 31 January 2015, the Bahrain Ministry of the Interior revoked the citizenship of 72 individuals, including journalists, doctors, political activists and a human rights activist, rendering most of them stateless. Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) condemn the continued use of citizenship revocation by the Government of Bahrain as a reprisal against human rights activists and pro-democracy campaigners.

    The Bahrain Ministry of Interior has published the names of 72 Bahraini citizens in a statement declaring the revocation of their citizenship for a number of “illegal acts” without any due process of law, and in effect, rendering many of them stateless. The Ministry invoked its newly given powers under a revision made to Article 10/c of the 1963 Bahraini Citizenship Act, with the approval of the Council of Ministers, which issued a decree to revoke the nationality of these individuals. The reference number of the decree was not mentioned. In absence of a reference to the decree number, chances for appeal against the decision can be highly restricted.

    The Ministry of Interior’s statement claimed that “each citizen of Bahrain has the responsibility to act in ways that do not harm the interests of the Kingdom.” Alongside spying, financing terrorism, participation in terrorist actions, the statement lists: “defaming the image of the regime, inciting against the regime and spreading false news to hinder the rules of the constitution,” “defaming brotherly countries” and “inciting and advocating regime change through illegal means” as justification for their decision.

    These justifications have been used to revoke the citizenship of human rights activists, political activists, journalists, academics and religious figures. Among the named are blogger Ali Abdulemam, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia because for running an online news forum; Dr. Ali Al-Dairi, founder of the online news site Bahrain Mirror; journalist Abbas Busafwan; university professor Masoud Jahromi; and former opposition MP Shaikh Hasan Sultan.

    The revocation of citizenship without any due process is a severe violation of international law, namely Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.”An arbitrary revocation of nationality may also lead to violations of other human rights conventions such as the right to a family life, the right of children to have a nationality under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Individuals that have been rendered stateless also face severe difficulties in enjoying social and economic rights and freedoms.

    “We are constantly told by the British government that Bahrain is on the path of reform," said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at BIRD. “At exactly the same time, the Bahraini government is trying to ruin the lives of its critics.” Alwadaei fled to the United Kingdom after his arrest and torture in 2011. He is one of the 72 listed in the Ministry of Interior’s statement and has been left stateless.

    Since November 2012, Bahrain has revoked the citizenship of around 124 persons either through direct statements by the Ministry of Interior or through court orders.

    Based on the above, the aforementioned groups call on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and all other close allies and concerned international institutions to exercise real pressure on the government of Bahrain to:

    ●    Restore citizenship to all citizens who were unfairly stripped of their citizenship without recourse to due process in law.

    ●  Halt the policy of citizenship revocation used as a punishment against critics and dissidents practicing their right to freedom of opinion and expression.

    ●     Join and adhere to the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

     

     
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    On 31 January 2015, the Bahrain Ministry of the Interior revoked the citizenship of 72 individuals, including journalists, doctors, political activists and a human rights activist, rendering most of them stateless. Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) condemn the continued use of citizenship revocation by the Government of Bahrain as a reprisal against human rights activists and pro-democracy campaigners.

    The Bahrain Ministry of Interior has published the names of 72 Bahraini citizens in a statement declaring the revocation of their citizenship for a number of “illegal acts” without any due process of law, and in effect, rendering many of them stateless. The Ministry invoked its newly given powers under a revision made to Article 10/c of the 1963 Bahraini Citizenship Act, with the approval of the Council of Ministers, which issued a decree to revoke the nationality of these individuals. The reference number of the decree was not mentioned. In absence of a reference to the decree number, chances for appeal against the decision can be highly restricted.

    The Ministry of Interior’s statement claimed that “each citizen of Bahrain has the responsibility to act in ways that do not harm the interests of the Kingdom.” Alongside spying, financing terrorism, participation in terrorist actions, the statement lists: “defaming the image of the regime, inciting against the regime and spreading false news to hinder the rules of the constitution,” “defaming brotherly countries” and “inciting and advocating regime change through illegal means” as justification for their decision.

    These justifications have been used to revoke the citizenship of human rights activists, political activists, journalists, academics and religious figures. Among the named are blogger Ali Abdulemam, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia because for running an online news forum; Dr. Ali Al-Dairi, founder of the online news site Bahrain Mirror; journalist Abbas Busafwan; university professor Masoud Jahromi; and former opposition MP Shaikh Hasan Sultan.

    The revocation of citizenship without any due process is a severe violation of international law, namely Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.”An arbitrary revocation of nationality may also lead to violations of other human rights conventions such as the right to a family life, the right of children to have a nationality under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Individuals that have been rendered stateless also face severe difficulties in enjoying social and economic rights and freedoms.

    “We are constantly told by the British government that Bahrain is on the path of reform," said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at BIRD. “At exactly the same time, the Bahraini government is trying to ruin the lives of its critics.” Alwadaei fled to the United Kingdom after his arrest and torture in 2011. He is one of the 72 listed in the Ministry of Interior’s statement and has been left stateless.

    Since November 2012, Bahrain has revoked the citizenship of around 124 persons either through direct statements by the Ministry of Interior or through court orders.

    Based on the above, the aforementioned groups call on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and all other close allies and concerned international institutions to exercise real pressure on the government of Bahrain to:

    ●    Restore citizenship to all citizens who were unfairly stripped of their citizenship without recourse to due process in law.

    ●  Halt the policy of citizenship revocation used as a punishment against critics and dissidents practicing their right to freedom of opinion and expression.

    ●     Join and adhere to the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

     

     
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    15 January 2015 – This week, 16 human rights organisations have written to 47 States to express grave concern ahead of a 20 January verdict in the trial of Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini human rights defender.

    Additionally, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, The Bahrain Center for Human Rights and The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy sent letters to United Nations officials and Members of Parliament in all 47 States urging them to publicly call on the Government of Bahrain to drop all charges against Rajab.

    On 1 October 2014, Rajab reported to the Cyber Crimes Unit of Bahrain’s General Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) after being summoned for questioning. Following hours of interrogation in relation to a tweet he published while abroad, Rajab was arrested. The tweet read: “Many #Bahrain men who joined #terrorism & #ISIS came from security institutions and those institutions were the first ideological incubator.”

    For this tweet, Rajab was charged with insulting the Ministries of Interior and Defense under article 216 of Bahrain’s penal code, which states that “A person shall be liable for imprisonment or payment of a fine if he offends by any method of expression the National Assembly, or other constitutional institutions, the army, law courts, authorities or government agencies.” Rajab was released on bail on 2 November, but was banned from traveling outside the country. If found guilty, he could face up to six years in prison.

    The charges leveled against Rajab are illegal under Bahrain’s commitments to the international community and international human rights law. Bahrain is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), having acceded to the covenant in 2006. Article 19 of the ICCPR provides everyone with the fundamental rights to opinion and expression. Further, international jus cogens norms protect against the arbitrary deprivation of liberty, especially in relation to acts related to free expression. By prosecuting Rajab for statements that he made over Twitter, the Bahraini government violates its own commitments to the international community.

    The ongoing suppression of basic human rights in Bahrain has drawn heavy criticism from the international community. In June 2014, 47 United Nations Member States signed a joint statement on Bahrain expressing concern “about the continued harassment and imprisonment of persons exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression, including human rights defenders.” The statement also called on Bahrain to “release all persons imprisoned solely for exercising human rights, including human rights defenders.” In 2014 a European Parliament resolution also called for “the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, political activists, journalists, human rights defenders and peaceful protesters, including Nabeel Rajab. ...”

    The undersigned NGOs close the letter by urging the international community to explicitly and publicly call for the Government of Bahrain to immediately drop all charges against Rajab and the many others currently facing charges or serving arbitrary jail sentences for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.

     

    NGO signatories:

    Amnesty International

    CIVICUS

    English Pen (Letter to the UK Foreign Office only)

    Freedom House

    Front Line Defenders

    Human Rights Watch

    Index on Censorship

    Pen International

    Project on Middle East Democracy

    Rafto Foundation for human rights (Letter to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs only)

    FIDH in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

    OMCT in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

    Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain

    Bahrain Center for Human Rights

    Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy

    Gulf Center for Human Rights

     

    Additional Background:

    Nabeel Rajab is the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and a member of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East Advisory Board.

    Bahraini authorities have previously prosecuted Rajab on politically motivated charges. They have never presented any credible evidence that Rajab has advocated, incited or engaged in violence.

    Rajab was detained from May 5 to May 28, 2012, for Twitter remarks criticizing the Interior Ministry for failing to investigate attacks carried out by what Rajab said were pro-government gangs against Shia residents. On 28 June 2012, a criminal court fined him 300 Bahraini Dinars (US$790) in that case.

    Authorities again detained Rajab on 6 June 2012, for another Twitter remark calling for Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa to step down. On 9 July 2012, a criminal court convicted and sentenced him to three months in prison on that charge. A court of appeal overturned that verdict, but in a separate case a criminal court sentenced him to three years in prison for organizing and participating in three unauthorized demonstrations between January and March 2012. An appeals court reduced the sentence to two years, which Rajab completed in May 2014.

    In September 2014, Rajab traveled to Europe to call for stronger international action on Bahrain. He met with representatives of various European governments and the EU, spoke to the media, and addressed UN fora.

    In the current case, Rajab was detained on 1 October 2014, within 24 hours of his return to Bahrain.

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    On Tuesday 20 January, Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment. He will appeal this decision on February 11, 2015. But, in the meantime, he was demanded to pay a bail sum of 200BD in order to avoid detention before a decision is made on his appeal. Below is coverage of the case by the media, NGOs and response from the international community.

    Campaign Updates

    Coverage by Media, NGOs and the International Community’s Response and Statements

    Media Association

    Date

    Link to Coverage

    International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

    02.02.2015

    100 MEPs call for dropping the charges against Nabeel Rajab

    RT TV (RUS)

    23.01.2015

    Nabeel Rajab: We may criticize RT, but we should respect their freedom of expression

    Fairplanent (GER)

    22.01.2015

    BAHRAIN SHOWS ITS DISDAIN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

    Rafto

    22.01.2015

    “A Clear Violation of Nabeel Rajab’s Right to Freedom of Expression”

    United States

    22.01.2015

    U.S. 'disappointed' by Bahrain's sentencing of democracy activist

    United States

    22 .01.2015

    Daily Press Briefing

    Gulf times

    21.01.2015

    Bahrain activist gets jail term over tweets

    Euro News

    21.01.2015

    Bahrain court sentences prominent rights activist to six months in jail

    L’orient LE JOUR (FR)

    21.01.2015

    15 ans de prison pour 3 personnes accusées d'avoir mené une attaque - L'Orient-Le Jour

    DW (GER)

    21.01.2015

    Bahrain, die Menschenrechte und der "Islamische Staat"

    Euronews (GER)

    21.01.2015

    Bahrain: Menschenrechtler Radschab zu Haftstrafe verurteilt

    BBC News

    20.01.2015

    Nabeel Rajab: Bahrain’s Activist Sentenced for Tweets

    International Business Tines

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain Activist Nabeel Rajab Sentenced to Six Months in Prison for a Tweet

    Middle East Eye

    20.01.2015

    Bahraini human rights activist sentenced to six months over tweets

    The Times of Israel

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain activist gets 6 months in jail over tweets

    Fox News

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain activist Rajab jailed for 6 months over tweets, but can remain free pending appeal

    Reuters

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain sentences rights activist to six months in jail

    The Huffington Post

    20.01.2015

    Nabeel Rajab, Bahraini human rights activist, jailed for tweet

    UPI

    20.01.2015

    6-month prison sentence for activist’s tweets in Bahrain

    Blouin News

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain human rights activist sentenced for a tweet

    RT News

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain sentences leading activist Nabeel Rajab for tweet

    Press TV

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain Shia activist sentenced to 6 months in jail for tweets

    Le Monde (FR)

    20.01.2015

    un militant des droits de l'homme condamné à la prison pour des tweets

    L’Express (FR)

    20.01.2015

    un célèbre militant chiite condamné à la prison pour des tweets

    Itele (FR)

    20.01.2015

    Nabil Rajab, célèbre militant des droits de l'Homme, condamné à 6 mois de prison

    RTL info (FR)

    20.01.2015

    un célèbre militant chiite condamné à la prison pour des tweets - RTL Info

    Numerama (FR)

    20.01.2015

    6 mois de prison pour un tweet au Bahreïn. Mais que peut-on dire maintenant ?

    France24 (FR)

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain sentences Shiite activist to jail over tweets

    DW (GER)

    20.01.2015

     Sechs Monate Haft für einen Tweet

    TT (GER)

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain verurteilte schiitischen Aktivisten zu sechs Monaten Haft

    Rtl (GER)

    20.01.2015

    Bahrein: Sechs Monate Haft für Menschenrechtsaktivist

    Amnesty International

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain: Six Months Sentence for Nabeel Rajab Blow to Freedom of Expression

    Index on Censorship

    20.01.2015

    Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab Sentenced for a Tweet

    Human Rights Watch

    16.01.2015

    Bahrain: Drop Twitter Charges Against Rights Advocate

    World Organization Against Torture (OMCT)

    16.01.2015

    Bahrain: Press Release: Court Should Drop Spurious Charges Against Nabeel Rajab on 20 January

    Index on Censorship

    15.01.2014

    Tell Bahrain to Drop Charges Against Activist over Tweet, Demand Human Rights Organizations

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    Bahrain
    In 2014, the main opposition party continued to refuse to participate in the national
    dialogue process to protest authorities prosecuting some of its senior
    members and, with other opposition parties, boycotted November’s elections in
    protest at an unfair electoral system.
    Bahrain’s courts convicted and imprisoned peaceful dissenters and failed to
    hold officials accountable for torture and other serious rights violations. The
    high rate of successful prosecutions on vague terrorism charges, imposition of
    long prison sentences, and failure to address the security forces’ use of lethal
    and apparently disproportionate force all reflected the weakness of the justice
    system and its lack of independence.
    Human rights activists and members of the political opposition continued to
    face arrest and prosecution, and the government invested itself with further
    powers to arbitrarily strip critics of their citizenship and the rights that attach to
    it.

    Judicial System
    Bahraini courts sentenced more than 200 defendants to long prison sentences,
    including at least 70 for life, on terrorism or national security charges.
    The number of prosecutions, the often vague nature of the charges, the high
    rate of convictions, and the length of the sentences imposed raised serious
    due process concerns. Bahrain’s civilian criminal courts failed to provide impartial
    justice and frequently convicted defendants on terrorism charges for acts
    that amount to legitimate exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and
    association.
    In 2013, for example, an appeals court concluded that a lower court had been
    right to convict Abdul Wahab Hussain, an opposition leader, on terrorism
    charges and sentence him to life imprisonment because he had founded a group
    dedicated to establishing a republic in Bahrain. The same appeals court also upheld
    the terrorism convictions and life sentences for Hassan Mushaima and
    Abdul Jalil al-Singace, members of the unlicensed opposition group Al Haq, because
    they had participated in meetings of the group that Hussain founded and
    Page/86

    possessed “publications advocating for the group.” The court declared that
    while unlawful means, such as the use of force, are required for an act to qualify
    as terrorism, such force “need not necessarily be military [askari],” because
    “moral pressure” could result in terrorism.
    Fifty individuals were convicted on charges of establishing and joining a group
    known as the February 14 Coalition with the aim of “sowing chaos in the country,
    committing crimes of violence and sedition, attacking public and private property,
    intimidating citizens and harming national unity.” The court found that only
    one of the 50 defendants had committed an identifiable act of violence—assaulting
    a policeman during his arrest at his home, causing “cut and scratch injuries”
    to the officer. The defendants received sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years in
    prison.

    Excessive Use of Force and Lack of Accountability
    Security forces fatally shot at least three people in circumstances indicating that
    they used excessive force. Bahraini authorities and courts have rarely held members
    of the security forces accountable for unlawfully using force against protestors
    and detainees.
    In January, security forces shot and killed Fadhel Abbas Muslim Marhoon. Authorities
    said police officers shot him in self-defense as he drove an “oncoming
    car” towards them, but photographs of his body appeared to contradict this version
    and show that he had sustained a gunshot wound to the back of his head.
    In February, security forces shot Abdulaziz al-Abar at a funeral procession; surgeons
    removed shotgun pellets from his brain, but he died on May 18.
    In May, security forces shot and killed Sayed Mahmood, 14, after police dispersed
    a funeral protest. A hospital death certificate, three witness accounts, images
    of the wound, and a forensic pathologist’s opinion indicated that his death
    had resulted from unlawful use of lethal force by security forces, to whom he had
    posed no threat when he was shot.
    In 2011, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), appointed to investigate
    official conduct during anti-government protests that year, concluded
    that “police units used force against civilians in a manner that was both unnecessary
    and disproportionate.”
    page/87

    In response to one of the BICI’s recommendations, the government established
    the Office of the Ombudsman within the Interior Ministry “to ensure compliance
    with professional standards of policing set forth in the Code of Conduct for the
    Police” and to report misconduct to the ministry and any criminal acts to the
    public prosecutor. The government created a Special Investigations Unit within
    the Public Prosecution Office as well.
    The Office of the Ombudsman issued its first annual report in May, which listed
    11 deaths under investigation, including that of Fadhel Marhoon, whom police
    shot and fatally wounded on January 8. The Ombudsman’s Office told Human
    Rights Watch that it had forwarded details of the deaths of al-Abar and Mahmood
    to the Special Investigations Unit for investigation.
    The BICI also found that Bahrain’s security forces had killed at least 18 demonstrators
    and detainees without justification and recommended that the authorities
    investigate the deaths “with a view to bringing legal and disciplinary action
    against such individuals, including those in the chain of command, military and
    civilian, who are found to be responsible under international standards of ‘superior
    responsibility.’”
    An analysis of court documents conducted by Human Rights Watch showed that
    the justice system has failed to hold members of the security forces accountable
    for serious rights violations, including in cases where their use of excessive and
    unlawful force proved fatal. The authorities have prosecuted only a few of the security
    personnel implicated in the serious and widespread abuses that the BICI
    documented, focusing almost exclusively on low-ranking officers who, in most
    cases, have been acquitted or punished with disproportionately lenient sentences.
    For example, a court convicted a police officer only of assault, although it accepted
    that he had shot and fatally wounded a man from a distance of one meter
    because it concluded that the officer did not open fire with an intent to kill. The
    court imposed a seven-year prison term in this case, which an appellate court
    later reduced to six months. In another case, an appeals court slashed to two
    years the ten-year prison terms that a lower court imposed on two police officers
    convicted of beating a detainee to death. The appeals court said that the two defendants
    deserved “clemency” on the absurd grounds that they had been “preserving
    the life of detainees, among them the victim.” These and similar
    page/88

    decisions by courts threaten to undermine the ability of the Ombudsman’s Office
    to carry out its responsibility to ensure that police and other security forces comply
    with the law.

    Human Rights Defenders
    On August 30, Bahrain’s public prosecutor charged human rights activist
    Maryam al-Khawaja with assaulting a police officer at Manama airport when she
    arrived from abroad to visit her father, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who is serving a
    sentence of life imprisonment for his political activities. Authorities released her
    on bail on September 18.
    Bahrain authorities arrested a prominent rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, on October
    1. At time of writing he faced a three-year prison sentence on charges that he
    “offended national institutions” due to comments he made on social media.
    Rajab, who was released from prison on May 24 after serving two years for organizing
    and participating in demonstrations, criticized the government for
    using counterterrorism laws to prosecute human rights defenders and accused
    Bahraini security forces of fostering violent beliefs akin to those of the extremist
    group Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
    Rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja spent five weeks in prison after her arrest on
    October 15 on charges that she insulted the king after she ripped up a photo of
    King Hamad during a court hearing. At time of writing, she faced six outstanding
    charges, five of which, according to information provided by her lawyer, clearly
    violate her right to free expression. She had been released in February 2014 after
    serving a one-year prison term for illegal assembly and insulting the police.
    German authorities granted political asylum to a senior staff member of the
    Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Sayed Yousif Almuhafdah, in March. Almuhafdah
    had been the subject of death threats on social media after the BCHR
    launched a campaign that accused senior members of the ruling Al-Khalifa family
    of responsibility for serious rights abuses and called for their criminal prosecution.
    Almuhafdah sought asylum after he and his wife received summonses to
    appear before Bahrain’s public prosecutor.
    Page/89

    Freedom of Expression and Association
    In April, King Hamad ratified Law 1/2014, which amends article 214 of the penal
    code to provide for a maximum jail term of seven years and a fine of up to 10,000
    Bahraini dinars (US$26,500) for offending the king, Bahrain’s flag, or the national
    emblem.
    On July 10, the public prosecutor charged Sheikh Ali Salman and Khalil al-Marzooq,
    respectively leader and deputy leader of Al Wifaq, Bahrain’s main Shia opposition
    party, with violating the law on political associations. This occurred
    after they met the visiting United States assistant secretary of state for democracy,
    human rights and labor, Tom Malinowski, without the government’s permission.
    On July 7, the authorities declared Malinowski persona non grata and
    ordered him to leave Bahrain.
    The year 2014 saw four award-winning Bahraini photographers either in jail or
    facing criminal charges, some or all of whom were apparently targeted by the authorities
    on account of their peaceful exercise of their profession. They included
    Hussain Hubail, sentenced by a court to a five-year prison term on April 28 on
    charges that included using social media networks to “incite hatred of the
    regime,” calling on people to ignore the law, and calling for illegal demonstrations.
    His family and that of Ahmed Humaidan, another photographer whose 10-
    year sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in August, alleged that
    authorities mistreated the men in pretrial detention.
    Citizenship
    The government published amendments to the 1963 Citizenship Law in the Official
    Gazette on July 24. Article 10 now permits the Interior Ministry, with cabinet
    approval, to revoke the citizenship of any Bahraini who “aids or is involved in
    the service of a hostile state” or who “causes harm to the interests of the Kingdom
    or acts in a way that contravenes his duty of loyalty to it.”
    Authorities either obstructed the right of appeal or refused to justify their 2012
    decision to arbitrarily revoke the citizenship of 31 Bahrainis, including 9 men
    and 1 woman who remain in Bahrain, for allegedly “damaging the security of the
    state.” Only 1 of the 31 was able to appeal against the Ministry of Interior decision
    to revoke his citizenship, but a court upheld the minister’s decision on April
    Page/90

    29 and asserted, without citing evidence, that it was “intimately related to national
    security.” The court noted that the Interior Ministry was not obliged to justify
    its decision and that the ministry’s actions were “not subject to judicial
    oversight as long as its decisions are free from abuse of authority.”

    Women’s Rights
    Law no. 19 of 2009 on the Promulgation of the Law of Family Rulings regulates
    matters of personal status in Bahrain’s Sunni courts. It does not apply in the
    country’s Shia courts, with the consequence that Shia women, who comprise the
    majority of women in Bahrain, are not covered by a codified personal status law.
    Domestic violence is not specifically addressed in the penal code and marital
    rape is not considered a crime.

    Migrant Workers
    Approximately 460,000 migrant workers, mostly from Asia, make up 77 percent
    of Bahrain’s private workforce. Due to shortcomings in Bahrain’s legal and regulatory
    framework and the authorities’ failure to enforce relevant labor laws, they
    endure serious abuses, such as unpaid wages, passport confiscation, unsafe
    housing, excessive work hours, physical abuse, and forced labor. Conditions for
    female domestic workers are of particular concern. A regional Gulf Cooperation
    Council unified contract for domestic workers has yet to be approved, but early
    drafts fall short of the minimum standards outlined in the Domestic Workers
    Convention that the International Labour Organization adopted in 2011.

    Key International Actors
    Forty-seven states, including the US and the United Kingdom, signed a joint
    statement criticizing Bahrain and calling for the release of political prisoners at
    the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva in June. However, despite
    ongoing rights abuses and the expulsion of a senior US diplomat in July,
    Bahrain’s key allies—the UK, the US, and the European Union—failed to make
    explicit calls for the immediate and unconditional release of 13 high-profile activists
    serving long-term sentences in Bahrain.
    Page/91

    In February, the European Parliament did, however, adopt a strong resolution
    condemning human rights violations in Bahrain and calling on the EU high representative
    and EU member states to develop a clear strategy setting out how the
    EU will, both publicly and privately, actively push for the release of imprisoned
    activists. No such strategy emerged.
    Bahrain, along with its closest regional ally and benefactor, Saudi Arabia, and
    other Gulf states, participated in US-led air strikes against Islamic militant
    groups in Iraq and Syria.
    Page/92

    Courtesy: Human Rights Watch - WORLD REPORT 2015: Events of 2014 - Bahrain

    Click here to view the full report

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    Regional Trends
    The negative pattern in 2014 held true across
    geographical regions, with more declines than
    gains in the Middle East and North Africa,
    Eurasia, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and the
    Americas, and an even split in Asia-Pacific.

    Middle East and North Africa:  Tunisia a bright spot in troubled region
    Although Tunisia became the Arab world’s only Free
    country after holding democratic elections under
    a new constitution, the rest of the Middle East
    and North Africa was racked by negative and often
    tragic events. The Syrian civil war ground on, the
    Islamic State and other extremist militant factions
    dramatically extended their reach, and Libya’s tentative
    improvements following the downfall of Mu’ammar
    al-Qadhafi rapidly disintegrated as the country fell
    into a new internal conflict. Rival armed groups also
    overran a fragile political process in Yemen, and the
    effects of the Syrian war paralyzed elected institutions
    in Lebanon. Egypt continued its rollback of post-
    Mubarak reforms and solidified its return to autocracy
    with sham elections and a crackdown on all forms of
    dissent.
    Following high-profile killings of Israeli and Palestinian
    civilians and a campaign of rocket attacks on Israel
    by Gaza-based militants, the Israel Defense Forces
    launched a 50-day air and ground offensive in Gaza
    over the summer. More than 2,200 people died, mostly
    Gazan civilians, and tens of thousands of homes in
    Gaza were damaged or destroyed. Israel was criticized
    for responding to attacks by Hamas militants in a
    disproportionate way, while Hamas was criticized for
    entrenching rocket launchers and fighters in civilian
    neighborhoods.
     

    Notable gains or declines:
    BAHRAIN'Spolitical rights rating declined from 6 to 7
    due to grave flaws in the 2014 legislative elections
    and the government’s unwillingness to address
    long-standing grievances among the majority Shiite
    community about the drawing of electoral districts and
    the possibility of fair representation.

     

    Egypt received a downward trend arrow due to the
    complete marginalization of the opposition, state
    surveillance of electronic communications, public
    exhortations to report critics of the government to
    the authorities, and the mass trials and unjustified
    imprisonment of members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Iraq’s political rights rating declined from 5 to 6 due to
    the Islamic State’s attempts to destroy Christian, Shiite,
    Yazidi, and other communities under its control, as well
    as attacks on Sunnis by state-sponsored Shiite militias.

    Lebanon received a downward trend arrow due to the
    parliament’s repeated failure to elect a president and
    its postponement of overdue legislative elections for
    another two and a half years, which left the country
    with a presidential void and a National Assembly
    whose mandate expired in 2013.

    Libya’s political rights rating declined from 4 to 6,
    its civil liberties rating declined from 5 to 6, and its
    status declined from Partly Free to Not Free due to the
    country’s descent into a civil war, which contributed to
    a humanitarian crisis as citizens fled embattled cities,
    and led to pressure on civil society and media outlets
    amid the increased political polarization.

    Syria received a downward trend arrow due to
    worsening religious persecution, weakening of civil
    society groups and rule of law, and the large-scale
    starvation and torture of civilians and detainees.

    Tunisia’s political rights rating improved from 3 to
    1 and its status improved from Partly Free to Free
    due to the adoption of a progressive constitution,
    governance improvements under a consensus-based
    caretaker administration, and the holding of free and
    fair parliamentary and presidential elections, all with a
    high degree of transparency.

    Yemen received a downward trend arrow due to the
    Houthi militant group’s seizure and occupation of the
    capital city, its forced reconfiguration of the cabinet,
    and its other demands on the president, which
    paralyzed Yemen’s formal political process.

    Courtesy: Freedom House - Freedom in the World 2015: Regional Trends - Middle East and North Africa/ Bahrain

    Click here to view the full report

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    Feb 2 (Reuters) - Bahraini authorities have suspended a television channel owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one day after its launch, following an interview it broadcast with an aide to a Bahraini opposition leader.

    Alarab channel blamed technical and administrative reasons for Monday's halt, without giving details. But a Bahraini newspaper and a source familiar with the matter said the channel had been suspended for violating media neutrality.

    The website of privately-owned Akhbar al-Khaleej newspaper said the suspension was "related to the failure of those in charge to abide by the prevailing norms in the Gulf, including the neutrality of media positions and staying away from anything that could negatively impact the spirit of Gulf unity".

    That appeared to refer to the interview with Marzouq, an aide to Sheikh Ali Salman, the detained Secretary-General of Bahrain's main Shi'ite opposition movement. It was broadcast after the channel officially went on the air on Sunday.

    A source familiar with the affairs of the news channel said Bahraini officials had delivered the suspension order on a visit to the station over issues of "journalistic neutrality".

    A Bahraini official said the suspension had "nothing to do with the Marzouq interview". The official noted that Alarab had also broadcast an interview with Information Minister Isa Abdulrahman later in the day.

    Salman, whose arrest provoked a wave of protests in Bahrain and criticism from the United States, is on trial on charges of promoting regime change by force, a charge he denies.

    A spokesman from the news channel was not available to comment. But in a brief statement on its Twitter account, Alarab said: "The channel stopped broadcasting for technical and administrative reasons. We will come back soon, God willing."

    Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority confirmed that it was working with the Alarab's "management team in order to swiftly resolve the matter, which is expected to see broadcasting resume shortly".

    Speaking in 2012 in the wake of the Arab Spring revolts against autocratic rulers in some Arab countries, Prince Alwaleed told U.S. news network CNN the planned channel was an attempt to fill "an opening for a more pragmatic and logical channel that really takes the centre's point of view".

    Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based, faced protests in 2011 led by mainly Shi'ite Muslim citizens demanding reforms and more of a share in the Sunni-led government.

    Authorities have quelled the protests but the island kingdom continues to face protests and attacks using home-made explosives from time to time. (Reporting by Farishta Saeed, writing by Sami Aboudi, editing by William Maclean and Dominic Evans)

    Document Type: 
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    When we see Zahra on a T-shirt?

    The lump in my stomach grows when I say goodbye to Zahra (29) from Bahrain. Is it just a matter of time before she gets arrested?

    The background image of Zahra's mobile is Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, where Zahra works. But their meetings are no longer conducted in Nabeel's office. Human rights advocate is sentenced to two years in prison for encouraging "illegal gatherings" and Amnesty describes it as an "affront to freedom of expression" that Nabeel still sitting behind bars.

    - I have worked with Nabeel since 2007. I miss him so much, exclaimed Zahra, and looking down on her screenpage1image9560

    - I have him with me everywhere.

    Zahra and I meet in Rabat, capital of Morocco. Under the auspices of Amnesty are a number of young activists from the Middle East and North Africa gathered to share experiences and learn how they can better fight for human rights in their countries. But Zahra (29) is already excessive in the game. Her job at the Human Rights Center in Bahrain is to document and follow up on cases of torture and violations of freedom of expression. In addition, she is arranging for training activists on using human expression terminologies. This is necessary for them to express themselves correctly when reporting on events, such as on Twitter.

    This is not innocuous tasks in the small island state of Bahrain, where serious human rights violations sadly commonplace and government turn bones down hard on any kind of criticism. When I talk with Zahra, she says that five out of almost ten members at the center are currently in prison. Former head of the Bahrain Human Rights Centre, Danish-Bahraini Abdulhadi al- Khawaja, is serving a life sentence. Health conditions are poor. He went on hunger strike over extended periods, and has not get medical care. Amnesty works for both Rajaab and Al-Khawaja to be released immediately. Currently, there are al-Khawaja's daughter Maryam who heads the human rights center, and she fights a continuous battle to get set free from danger.

    Zahra has not yet been arrested herself. But police have raided her home and keep it under surveillance when demonstrations take place nearby. Zahra just smiles when I ask her to take care of herself.

    - My friends have said that "we will not see your face on a T-shirt!" Laughs 29-year-old. She knows it's dangerous to be a human rights activist in Bahrain, but she does not have any other option but to continue working for basic rights. As the freedom to send a Twitter message without fear.

    - I'm not scared, says Zahra quiet, and adds: - No one in Bahrain is safe. But where does she discourage?

    - We have rights, she says simply. Finished it. And then she smiles a little wryly, when she sees her new Amnesty friends have tears in her eyes, and not altogether will drop ceiling a farewell clip.

    The day after Zahra went home to Bahrain, I got e-mail from her with the following conclusion: "Second, I would like to confirm that I am in my office I have not been jailed yet."

    I hope it continues that way. 

    https://twitter.com/ChristensenLene/status/287602264456187904

     

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    4 February 2015 – A group of United Nations human rights experts are urging the Government of Bahrain to release opposition politician and religious figure Sheikh Ali Salman who was arrested in December 2014 on charges that include inciting change of regime by non-peaceful means.

    “The charges appear to stem from the Government's dissatisfaction with opinions that Sheikh Salman expressed in public speeches and televised interviews, in which he called for the establishment of a democratic regime and for Government accountability,” the human rights experts said in a press release issued earlier today.

    “If this is indeed the case, his arrest and prosecution would amount to a breach of his fundamental human rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religion or belief,” they continued. “We have asked the Government of Bahrain to clarify the situation and to provide more information on these allegations.”

    Sheikh Salman's arrest came only two days after his re-election for a fourth term as the Secretary General of Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, Bahrain's main opposition political party. The UN experts voiced further concern at allegations that his hearing on January 28, when he was denied bail, did not take place in accordance with due process standards as his legal representative was allegedly not allowed to examine the evidence to prepare for his defence.

    The experts commenting on the matter include Mads Andenas, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; and Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

    On a number of occasions, UN experts have expressed grave concerns to the Bahraini Government concerning the harassment and arrest of human rights defenders, including the sisters Maryam Al-Khawaja and Zainab Al-Khawaja, and Ghada Jamsheer – three women human rights activists exercising their rights to free expression and free association.

    In addition, the Organization's human rights experts have repeatedly urged the authorities to review Bahraini laws and practices to be compliant with the country's obligations under human rights law, especially the freedoms of expression and association and the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of liberty.

    Meanwhile, in their press release today, the UN experts said indications that peaceful demonstrations in support of Sheikh Salman had been disbanded by the authorities through the use of force were “particularly worrying,” citing reports that at least 150 people were arrested and around 90 were injured during the protests and in clashes with the police. At the same time, another 72 people had their Bahraini citizenship revoked in what the experts said was “yet another attempt by the Government of Bahrain to clamp down on opponents.”

    “We urge the Government of Bahrain to promptly release all those who have been detained for peaceful expression of their views,” the UN experts declared.

    UN human rights experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. They are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

     

     

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    04 February 2015

    Amnesty International is seriously concerned about the Bahraini authorities’ increasing resort to revocation of nationality as a means to punish critical voices, as the authorities stripped 72 individuals of their Bahraini nationality, rendering many of them stateless. The organization urges the authorities to rescind this decision and stop targeting dissidents. 

    On 31 January, the Ministry of Interior issued a statement that it had withdrawn the Bahraini nationality of 72 individuals involved in “illegal acts”. They included former MPs, doctors, human rights activists and political opponents who have been forced to live abroad because of their anti-government activities. The list also comprised a number of individuals who have allegedly been fighting for the armed group calling itself the “Islamic State” (IS).

    The Ministry’s statement cited as “illegal acts” a number of terrorism-related offences. However, it also included acts such as “inciting and advocating regime change through illegal means”, “defaming brotherly countries” and “defaming the image of the regime, inciting against the regime and spreading false news to hinder the rules of the constitution”.

    While some of the alleged acts may – if proven - constitute crimes, some are acts the punishment of which is contrary to international human rights law, and the vagueness of the charges themselves makes it difficult to distinguish between a criminal act and exercising one’s right to freedom of expression. Even when people are investigated or prosecuted on suspicion of criminal conduct, the authorities must ensure due process is fully respected. If charged, they must be given a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty. Deprivation of nationality is permitted only under narrow circumstances under international law, and must be accompanied by sufficient due process protections and a right to appeal.

    In contrast to this, many of those on the list first heard about the decision to revoke their nationality on the news and have received no prior notice. Stripping citizens of their nationality on the basis of vague allegations without due process protections is arbitrary and in violation of Bahrain’s international human rights obligations.

    In a worrying move, the authorities have put the names of a number of known Bahraini human rights and political activists on the same list as other Bahrainis who have been alleged IS fighters. Over the past years, the Bahraini authorities have increasingly used vague wordings to imprison individuals for peacefully expressing their views or for calling for regime change in an attempt to tighten the screw on activists. Many of the activists on the Ministry of Interior’s list were forced out of the country as a result of judicial harassment or for fear of prosecution.

    The Ministry’s decision effectively means that those on the list who only hold Bahraini nationality find themselves stateless. The right to a nationality, which must not be deprived arbitrarily, is enshrined in Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 7 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness also prohibits, with very few specific exceptions, any loss of nationality which results in statelessness. Subsequently, the obligation to avoid statelessness has been recognized as a norm of customary international law. 

    In addition to decisions by the Ministry of Interior to revoke nationality, Bahraini court judges have in recent months handed down sentences that included the revocation of nationality. At least 21 received court orders stripping them of their nationality. Nine of them had this order overturned by an appeal court on 27 January 2015.

    New amendments to a number of Bahraini laws have broadened the reasons for which an individual could have his or her nationality revoked. On 24 July, a new decree (21 of 2014) was issued amending the 1963 Citizenship Law. Article 10 (Paragraph C) which was used to revoke the nationality of the 31 was expanded to also include “anyone whose acts contravene his duty of loyalty to the Kingdom”. The new amendments also empower the Minister of Interior to revoke the nationality of any Bahraini citizen who takes up another nationality (except that of a GCC country) without prior permission from the Ministry. Also, in July 2013, amendments were made to the 2006 anti-terrorism law giving courts powers to hand down rulings stripping defendants of their nationality when they are convicted with vaguely-worded terrorism offences. 

    Mixing human rights and political activists with alleged IS fighters in the same list is clearly meant to tarnish the image of those seeking to expose human rights violations in Bahrain or call for reform. It is also a clear sign of the Bahraini authorities’ growing use of security solutions to clamp down on dissent.

    On 28 October 2014 a lower court in the capital, Manama, ordered the deportation of 10 of 31 people whose Bahraini nationality was arbitrarily revoked on 7 November 2012 and fined them 100 Bahraini Dinars (approximately US$ 250). The 10 live in Bahrain and the rest of the 31 abroad. They include two former MPs, as well as activists and clerics. 

    The nine men and one woman only have Bahraini nationality and have therefore been rendered stateless. The day after the verdict, their lawyers lodged an appeal and their case was transferred to an appeal court. A hearing is scheduled for 14 April 2015. The deportation order has been halted until the court issues its verdict.

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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is gravely concerned about the Bahraini authorities’ use of disproportionate force against peaceful protesters. Mohammed al-Sawad, a 14-year-old boy, was seriously injured after security forces fired shotgun pellets at him which caused severe injuries. There is fear that Mohammed might lose his eye sight.

    On 30 January 2015 at 1 PM, Mohammed participated in a peaceful protest in Duraz after Friday prayers calling for the release of Shaikh Ali Salman, the General-Secretary of Al-Wefaq’s Society, when security forces dispersed the protest using tear gas and shotgun pellets. Security forces fired shotgun pellets directly at Mohammed from an armored vehicle at a distance of approximately 3 meters. Mohammed tried to escape; however, he fell unconscious and was taken by some individuals at the scene to Bahrain International Hospital. The hospital refused to receive and treat him so he was transported by ambulance to Salmaniya hospital.

    Mohammed was admitted to the ICU. He suffers from injuries in the face, mouth, head, chest, abdomen and lungs. His condition deteriorated, which worsened his internal bleeding in the lung. Currently, Mohammed’s health is stabilized; however, fear remains that he might lose his eye sight if he did not receive adequate treatment.

    Recently, many cases were documented of severe injuries caused by extensive use of disproportionate force by security forces in Bahrain, which has resulted in severe injuries. Security forces shot another 14-year-old boy, Mohammed al-Hawi. Al-Hawi was leaving his house, when security forces shot him with a tear gas canister at the head. As a result, al-Hawi suffered concussion and brain bleeding for which he is being treated.

    The Bahraini authorities have been forcefully suppressing protests and freedom of assembly. The number of peaceful protests staged recently has considerably increased and the use of force by the authorities has escalated.

    Based on the above, BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, all other close allies and concerned international institutions to exercise real pressure on the government of Bahrain to:

    > Put an end to the systematic repression on peaceful protesters and respect their protected freedom of expression and assembly;

    > To respect its international obligations for the safeguarding of all rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the subsequent UN Conventions.

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    More than four years since the Bahrain government’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protestors, arbitrary arrests, injuries to protestors and politically motivated prison sentences continue.  Numerous Bahrainis remain behind bars today, including hundreds of prisoners of conscience. 

    Every month, ADHRB, BIRD and BCHR ask all defenders of human rights to take part in highlighting each of these prisoners as a Champion for Justice by tweeting about them under the hashtag #BahrainPrisoner and changing their Facebook profile picture to a picture of the featured person. We also ask that you write to your Member of Congress about these prisoners.

    Below is a summary and update on all of the Bahraini prisoners we have featured in the Champions for Justice campaign over the past year.

    Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace is a mechanical engineer, prominent blogger, and human rights activist who has promoted human rights as a member and leader of multiple political societies. Dr. Singace was arrested in 2011 for his participation in the peaceful protest movement. During his initial detention, Dr. Singace was subjected to torture and ill-treatment, including forced standing, verbal and sexual assault, beatings, and prolonged solitary confinement. He was tried in the National Safety Court in June 2011 and sentenced to life in prison for allegedly plotting to topple the government. Dr. Singace continues to face deteriorating health conditions as a result of torture in addition to his previous medical aliments that have only worsened under the minimal care provided whilst he remains in prison.

     

    Description: C:\Users\AmericansforDemocrac\Pictures\nabeel_rajab fb.jpgNabeel Rajab has been the subject of persecution by Bahraini security forces for his activism for years prior to the breakout of major protests in the country in 2011. Since that time, Mr. Rajab has been targeted by government smear campaigns, subjected to tear gas attacks at his residence, and arbitrarily arrested. Like many Bahraini detainees, Nabeel has been subjected to torture and other cruel treatment throughout his time in jail. Seven months after completing a two-year prison sentence, Mr. Rajab was arrested again because of a Tweet deemed “insulting” to the Ministry of Interior and Bahrain’s security forces. Several organizations and members of the European Parliament have urged the Bahraini government to drop the charges and release Mr. Rajab unconditionally. Nabeel Rajab is currently out on bail, awaiting his appeal on February 11th, 2015.

     

    Abdulhadi al-Khawaja played a prominent role in the most recent peaceful protests in 2011, leading demonstrators in their opposition to government repression. In April 2011, government forces stormed his daughter’s apartment, severely beat him and arrested him. Al-Khawaja was sentenced by a military court to life in prison based on confessions obtained under torture. Since his arrest, Al-Khawaja has been subject to many instances of abuse from his captors. The Government of Bahrain has refused to investigate these allegations and al-Khawaja has been denied adequate medical care since his detention.

     

    Abdulwahab Hussain joined many human rights defenders in organizing the 2011 protest movement against the Bahrain government and was subsequently arrested on March 17, 2011. He and his daughter were both beaten during the arrest and Hussain was subjected to torture and mistreatment during his incarceration. Hussain has been consistently denied access to medical care while in prison, despite his suffering from a chronic neurological disorder.

     

    Description: \\ADHRB3\Users\Public\Documents\ADHRB\Advocacy\Campaigns\2013\Prisoners of Conscience\5. Hassan Mushaima\HASAN_MUSHAIMA PICHassan Mushaima is a Bahraini political activist, teacher and Secretary General of the al-Haq Movement. Mushaima has previously been targeted by the Bahraini government, and his most recent arrest and subsequent life sentence was for his involvement in the peaceful Bahrain protest movement in 2011. In 2010, Mushaima was diagnosed and treated for stage four follicular lymphoma in London and has since been on regular medication to prevent relapse of the disease. In April 2014, Mushaima’s family announced that he was cancer-free, though he still continues to serve his life sentence in prison.

     

    Mahdi Abu Deeb is the founder and president of the Bahraini Teachers’ Association, and was arrested in 2011 for organizing peaceful protests. Despite demands for his release, from organizations such as al-Wefaq’s Education Department, Mahdi Abu Deeb remains in prison serving a five year sentence. Mr. Abu Deeb has been subjected to torture, even after delivering a forced confession, causing considerable pain in his neck, lower back, and knees. Having been sentenced in 2011, Mr. Abu Deeb should be eligible for early release.

     

    Teenager and American citizen Abdulla Jaffar was arrested in March 2014, and accused of attending an illegal protest. During the course of his arrest, he was assaulted by security officers and tortured into giving a false confession. He was released on bail in June 2014 after he was no longer able to take his final exams and subsequently missed a year of schooling. His trial was postponed multiple times because the alleged eyewitness was not present in the court. Finally in January 2015, the judge rescheduled the trial for February 17th, 2015, declaring that he will deliver the verdict without hearing the witness’ testimony.

     

    Award winning photographer Hussain Hubail was arrested in July 2013, and forced to confess to multiple crimes he did not commit. Before Mr. Hubail’s appeals trial, his lawyer tried to arrange bail on the basis of worsening health conditions caused by the lack of proper health care within the prison. However, these requests were consistently denied. His family has attempted to garner support from the media when dealing directly with Bahraini authorities proved ineffective. Mr. Hubail suffers from a heart condition and requires a routine supply of medicine, but it is uncertain whether the prison is regularly distributing Mr. Hubail’s much needed medication.  On September 21 2014, the High Court of Appeals upheld Hussain Hubail’s five year prison sentence on charges including “using social media networks to incite hatred of the regime”, “calling on people to ignore the law”, and “calling for illegal demonstrations.”

     

    Description: http://adhrb.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Dr.-Samahiji-pic-e1406920063479-214x225.jpgDr. Saeed al-Samahiji is an ophthalmologist and human rights activist who extended his medical expertise to help injured pro-democracy protesters in 2011. Al-Samahiji was arrested for treating protesters along with dozens of other doctors and medical professionals, and served one year in prison. Within months of his release after serving his sentence, he was arrested in 2013 for insulting the King at the funeral of a slain protester and was sentenced to another year in prison. Despite calls for Dr. Saeed al-Samahiji’s release, there have been no signs of change in his scheduled release date of July 2015.

     

    Detailed profiles of each prisoner, template letters, and image files are available on our website: www.adhrb.org.

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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is appalled over the ongoing arbitrary arrests and detention of children under the age of 18 in blatant disregard to the international laws and conventions.

    On 10 February 2015, at 2 am, security forces arrested Hussain Ghazi Alhalwachi from his  family home for accusations related to him of throwing stone at a picture of the Prime Minister of Bahrain. Hussain was told that if he admitted the former, they would restrain from arresting him which, by fear, he did. However, even though they had informed his family that they would follow normal procedures i.e. that Hussain would be taken to the police station in Hoora for formalities but then released, he was severely beaten and harassed by security officers, being forced to repeat that the Prime MInister is the reason he has a roof over his head and food on his table. Moreover, when Hussain’s father went to the police station in Hoora, they denied knowing anything about him or his whereabouts. This is not the first time that Hussain was arrested, he was previously arrested when he was 14 years-old.

    Unfortunately, Hussain Ghazi Alhalwachi is not the only child that has been arrested and has been subjected to enforced disappearance; Sayed Ali Mostafa Hussein Sayed Shebr, 16, Qasem Mohammad Ameen Hussein, 17, Qasem Abdunabi Imran Khudayr, 17 and Yousef Ahmed Imran Khodhair, 17, have been arrested on 25 January 2015 and have been subjected to enforced disappearance for more than two weeks before they were allowed to contact their families.

    Currently, there are approximately 400 children in Bahraini prisons being held over politically motivated charges. The BCHR believes that Bahrain continuously violates the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) which guarantees in Article 37 that no child “shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and “deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily.”

    The BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the UN, UNICEF,  and all other allies and international institutions to put pressure on the Government of Bahrain to immediately:

    • Release 17 years old Hussain Ghazi Alhalwachi and other children

    • Stop violating children's rights and stop the targeting of children with arrest, detention and ill-treatment

    • To abide by the laws of the International Convention for the Rights of the Child.

     

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    12 February 2015 – On 14 February 2011, more than 200,000 people from all walks of life flooded the streets of Bahrain to protest corruption, government oppression, sectarian discrimination and a lack of self-representation. On the fourth anniversary of the uprising in Bahrain, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) commend the brave men and women who continue to stand in the face of violence and tyranny to demand Justice, equality and democracy, and honor those who have been targeted for demanding their basic rights. The aforementioned groups continue to call on the Government of Bahrain to immediately release all detained political prisoners and human rights defenders and for all in Bahrain to unequivocally reject violence.

    Since protests began in February 2011, the government of Bahrain has responded with excessive force to suppress protests calling for rights and democracy. As a result, more than 3,000 prisoners are in jail, roughly 1 in 5 Bahrainis have been subjected to enforced disappearances, and dozens have been killed at the hands of their government, which has committed these violations without impunity. Just as protests have not stopped, the excessive use of tear gas and birdshot pellets continue to cause serious injuries to individuals, including children. The ruling family continues to employ policies that fuel sectarian divisions and marginalize peaceful opposition. The government has issued legislation to allow for harsher penalties to be used to silence dissent. Misuse of anti-terrorism legislation in recent months has led to the revocation of citizenship of 91 individuals without due process and the arrest of prominent opposition leader like Sheikh Ali Salman. Human rights defenders and activists have faced ongoing judicial harassment, with the majority of them currently imprisoned or awaiting trial, including BCHR President Nabeel Rajab who is currently appealing a 6 month sentence for a tweet.

    "The Government of Bahrain must immediately stop employing violence and oppression in response to the legitimate demands of the Bahraini people for rights and democracy,” said BCHR President Nabeel Rajab. “Instead, the international community must ensure that the Bahrain adopts a political solution that address these demands and meet its obligations to international human rights treaties."

    The aforementioned organizations call on the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States and other national and international bodies to:

    • Apply pressure on the Government of Bahrain to release all human rights defenders and political activists imprisoned for exercising their basic rights;

    • Apply pressure on the Government of Bahrain to halt all judicial harassment of human rights defenders and political opposition members;

    • Apply pressure on the Government of Bahrain to drop all charges against those sentenced for exercising their internationally protected right to freedom of expression

    • Urge the Bahraini government to repeal laws that infringe upon internationally protect rights;

    • Urge the Bahraini government to start an inclusive political dialogue that leads to a

      comprehensive solution to the political crisis;

    • Urge the Government of Bahrain to ensure that civil society organizations and human rights

      defenders in Bahrain may conduct their work without fear of retaliation or reprisal. 

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    On 14 February 2011, a pro-democracy movement started in Bahrain, where tens of thousands of Bahraini citizens took to the streets demanding political reforms and a constitutional monarchy defending their basic human rights including the right of freedom of speech. The authorities consider participation in human rights activities as an act of disloyalty and such individuals are arbitrarily arrested and punished.

    The 14 February this year marks the fourth anniversary of the launch of the movement demands that had been taken from the Pearl Roundabout based before being brutally attacked, leaving many victims, including injuries and deaths in addition to the detainees.

    Peaceful marches and events have been out since Thursday 12 February 2015 and were majorlyattacked. A number of violations bythe Bahraini authorities have been documented in the past few days:

    Arbitrary arrests:

    In the period between 12 and 14 February 2015, 69 cases of arbitrary arrests have been documented by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), including more than 20 children of less than 18 years old. Only 11 people out of the 69 were released at a later time, one of them is Mahdi Mansoor Mirza who was released under the condition of presenting at the Public Prosecution for minors today, Monday 16 February 2015.

    Illegal houseraids: 

    In the same period, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) has documented 21 cases of house raids with no search warrant presented by the police forces in civilian clothing as can be seen on the following picture. 

     

    Excessive violence in confronting peaceful protests: 

    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) has also documented more than 120 peaceful protests [1] encountered by authorities using excessive forms of violence leaving more than 100 citizens injured [2], ranging from direct injuries due to tear gas canisters to injuries related to the lead pellets fired from a shotgun [3].

    Excessive repression, especially in residential neighberhoods

    Injuries caused by excessive use of force and the repression of peaceful demonstrations
     
    Excessive use of tear gas canisters
     
    Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), commented on the size of the number of participants in the marches and protests demanding basic human rights and democracy: “The size of the popular demonstration on February 14 stroke me in that it was bigger, more widespread and accepted among the people, even more than it was before I was imprisoned in 2012.”
     

    Nabeel Rajab with a teddy bear  which was placed in the street by protestors to prevent the police from entering

    As documented above, the Bahraini regime is in clear violation of fundamental human rights, especially the right to freedom of expression defended in international conventions and more specifically stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression which includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers."

    Based on the above, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and all other relevant international institutions and human rights organizations to put pressure on the government of Bahrain to:

    - Put an immediate end to human rights violations, particularly the right to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly

    - Hold accountable all those responsible for human rights violations, especially those who hold high positions in government

    -  Fairly compensate the victims according to the size of their injuries

     

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