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    Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman, prominent figure of the Human Rights movement in Bahrain, shared a statement on the current Human Rights situation in his country as part of a side event to the 37th session of the Human Rights Council:

    "Dear Moderator, panelists and respected audience.

    I was scheduled to join you on the panel but a medical emergency has forced me to cancel all my prior obligations and commitments.

    The use of  judicIary in Bahrain to target peaceful activists and human rights defenders has witnessed a clear increase in 2017.

    The Government of Bahrain continues to use judicial assaults against political activists and judicial harassments against human rights defenders. It has clearly failed in respecting its international obligation in upholding fair trials and providing equal protection of the law. Imprisoning hundreds of peaceful dissidents for doing no more than exercising their fundamental rights highlights the continuing abuse of the  justice system to repress all forms of peaceful dissent in Bahrain.

    In 2011, the Bahrain Independent Commission Inquiry report concluded that Bahraini courts had convicted hundreds of people on political charges relating to the exercise of the rights to free expression and peaceful assembly.

    BICI recommended that “all persons charged with offenses involving political expression, not consisting of advocacy of violence, have their convictions reviewed and sentences commuted or, as the case may be, outstanding charges against them dropped.”

    Even though, King Hamad accepted BICI’s recommendations in 2011 and stated that the government is committed to implement all the recommendations , 2017 witnessed the return of military courts. Human rights organizations have documented tens of cases where judges convict defendants of “crimes” based solely on the peaceful expression of political views or the exercise of the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly. The case of Nabeel Rajab represents a clear example that the judicial system of Bahrain has been employed to punish, silent and intimidate those who practice their fundamental right in freedom of expression.

    In my personnel experience in 2011, I was imprisoned for more than 6 months and denied the right to communicate or meet my lawyers in that period. I faced beatings, electric shocks, torture, and degrading insults as a retaliation for demanding to meet my lawyers.

    The first meeting with my lawyer was at the doorstep of my house on the day of my release after attending 5 hearings in military and civil courts.

    My worse experience was after attending a military court in May 2011. I informed the judge I was severely tortured, denied the right to speak to my lawyer, deprived from bathing and placed in a confined cell whilst being handcuffed with a black cloth mask on my face (24/7) for more than 30 days.

    Instead of upholding an investigation in my claims, I was dragged from the court room, beaten in the corridor and taken to the torture yard in Qiran prison for a torture meal. I recall standing in a row with fellow prisoners in-front of masked military men. They ordered us to crawl forward on our stomachs and to lay our hands on the ground. We heard their military steps advancing toward us, and we were lying on the ground. Once they arrived they hammered our fingers with iron bars.

    The assaults committed by military courts in 2011 are undoubtedly the worse in the history of Bahrain.

    The militarization of the justice system by the King of Bahrain in 2017 subjects citizens to massive human rights violations and is regarded as a knock down to BICI’s recommendations which clearly opposed trying civilians in military courts.

    The recent death sentences and unfair trials by military courts serve as further evidence of the failure of the judicial system in Bahrain to uphold its obligations to the Convention Against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic and Cultural Rights."

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    26 March 2018: The Bahraini Ministry of Interior said in an official statement yesterday that Bahrain is planning to introduce new significant restrictions to online speech and invasive surveillance of online activity and prosecutes critics under the guise of fighting extremism. Online dissidents can expect to face "severe measures" against them, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa said.
    “Once again the policy of the Governement is to deal with freedom of expression as a security threat and to further  block  channels  for peaceful  expression” said the Bahrain Center for Human Rights today, “this is very concerning that the same authorities who are pledging to tackle extremism by restricting internet freedom, are at home prosecuting people, in particular journalists and human rights activists, who were fighting intolerance and sectarianism online just like our President Nabeel Rajab”, added BCHR.
    Bahrain is the country with the highest Internet penetration rate in the MENA region, but also the one that has witnessed a steady and violent crackdown on dissent, often in the form of severe restrictions of the internationally sanctioned right to freedom of expression. In the last three years, the authorities began introducing new regulatory bodies, surveillance software, restrictive laws and regulations to limit the content published on social media about rights violations by the Bahraini authorities and violence, especially after the government succeeded in banning traditional journalism, by denying international journalists from entering Bahrain.
    Nabeel Rajab, the most renowned victim of this crackdown on dissent, has been sentenced on 21 February 2018 to five years imprisonment for comments he made on Twitter criticizing the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen, and documenting allegations of torture in the Jau Prison. 
    Social media and twitter in particular is, currently the last remaining ground for free expression seekers in Bahrain, and especially for Shia opposition, as well as secular and leftist dissents. Such further restrictions would disproportionnally affect  them and may result in a very high number of arrests, not only of human rights defenders and activists, but also of journalists and social media users, over online remarks and speeches.
    BCHR fear that new vaguely worded regulations could provide a new legal basis to prosecute and jail anyone who want to use information technology to criticize the authorities, report human rights violations or demand political reforms. 
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    April 4 2018: On the seventh anniversary of Abdulhadi Al Khawaja’s arrest, Activist Brian Dooley and Danish Parliamentarian Lars Aslan have been barred from visiting him.  
    They were travelling to Manama on Tuesday afternoon to visit him.  After landing their passport was taken away and they were held overnight at the airport before being told 
    that they will be deported for being considered as “security risk” according to Brian Dooley’s Twitter account. 
    The human rights situation in Bahrain has severely deteriorated in the last months. Torture and other ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detention, and grossly unfair trials before
    military courts are key features of Bahrain’s “counter-terrorism” campaign. The country's most prominent critical voices — including human rights defender Nabeel Rajab — 
    have been jailed and convicted on charges widely dismissed as trumped up and politically motivated. 
    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights believes that the deportation of Brian Dooley and Lars Aslan — if carried out — is unlawful and that Bahrain should immediately allow them 
    to access to diplomatic or other representatives of their country of nationality.
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    Seven years ago this month, renowned human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawajawas dragged from his home in Bahrain, tortured, tried in a military court, and sentenced to life in prison for his peaceful role in 2011 protests. Today, 05 April, on Al-Khawaja’s 57thbirthday, the undersigned human rights organisations call for his immediate release and for all human rights defenders jailed in Bahrain to be freed.

    On Monday 09 April, human rights organisations, friends, and supporters will join two of Al-Khawaja’s daughters, Zainab andMaryam Al-Khawaja, for two events in London:

    ●     Protest: Bahraini Embassy, 01pm
    Call on the Bahraini Government to release Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja
    30 Belgrave Square, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 8QB
    Front Line Defenders has been organising monthly protests at the Embassy since January 2018

    ●     Conversation with Zainab and Maryam Al-Khawaja, 6:30pm
    Hosted by Front Line Defenders and ARTICLE 19
    Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA

    Abdulhadi Al-Khawajais an internationally-known Bahraini-Danish human rights defender who is the founder and former President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), established in 2002, and a Founding Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), established in 2011. He was Middle East and North Africa Protection Coordinator for Front Line Defenders until February 2011, when he resigned during the popular movement in Bahrain.

    He was violently arrested on 09 April 2011 and charged in connection with his peaceful human rights activities. This was followed by brutal torture, resulting in a broken jaw and requiring several operations, then finally by an unfair trial grossly violating international standards for fair trials and due process. He undertook a number of hunger strikes to protest torture and poor prison conditions.

    Al-Khawaja is one of a group of 13 human rights defenders and political activists (the Bahrain 13) sentenced to lengthy prison terms solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. Following a grossly unfair trial, Al-Khawaja was sentenced by the National Safety court (a military court) on 22 June 2012 to life in prison, along with seven other members of the Bahrain 13. As the sentence was being pronounced, Al-Khawaja raised his fist saying: “We will continue on the path of peaceful resistance.”

    The current situation in Bahrain is dire. The vast majority of human rights defenders are in jail, in exile, under travel ban, or enduring severe threats and intimidation as a result of their peaceful work. Dozens have been abused and tortured. International NGOs and journalists have been prevented from visiting Bahrain to document the government’s ongoing human rights abuses. 

    At the same time, Bahrain continues to host events such as the Formula One 2018 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix from 06 to 08 April, during which time any protests are sure to be met with reprisals. 

    Just two days ahead of the Formula One, on 04 April 2018 at 02am, Lars Aslan Rasmussen, a Danish Member of Parliament, and Brian Dooley, GCHR Advisory Board member, arrivedin Bahrain in an attempt to visit Al-Khawaja in prison. They were refused entryon the basis that they posed a “security risk” and deported.

    We the undersigned call on the authorities in Bahrain to:

    1. Immediately and unconditionally free Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and all other human rights defenders from prison;
    2. Provide proper access to medical care and sanitary conditions in prison;
    3. Allow Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and all prisoners proper access to families;
    4. Allow international NGOs and journalists free access to Bahrain, including for the purposes of visiting detained human rights defenders; and
    5. Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

    Signed by:

    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)

    Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)

    Article 19

    Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)

    Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)

    English PEN

    European Center for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR)

    FIDH, under the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

    Front Line Defenders

    Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR)


    Index on Censorship

    PEN International

    World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), under the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

    Please join us on 09 April at the protest or by circulating a link to this appeal using the hashtag #FreeAbdulhadi

    Twitter Contacts:

    Minister of Interior

    Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa


    Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs

    Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa














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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) condemns the recent judicial verdicts issued by the Bahraini courts following a mass trial. On 15 May 2018, a Bahraini court sentenced a total of 115 citizens to imprisonment, 53 to life imprisonment and 62 to prison terms of 3 to 15 years. 23 were acquitted. These sentences came after an "unfair" mass trial of the defendants, the court relying on confessions obtained under conditions of torture. 

    The court has charged the defendants with terrorism-related charges and charges related to contact with third parties, charges that were only substantiated from confessions obtained under conditions of torture during the investigation. The details of the conditions under which the confessions have been obtained were not investigaed, in the same way as the accountability of those involved in the comission was not investigated. In this case of mass trial, defendants were subjected to many violations, including enforced disappearance, which lasted over 30 days. They were also beaten and threatened in order to force them to confess. BCHR also documented some of these violations.

    The official authorities also denied knowing the whereabouts of the accused while hiding, after reviewing their parents to these bodies several times.

    BCHR considers this trial to be an unfair trial, a "new judicial farce" and a futile trial because it lacked the most basic standards of justice and did not comply with international fair trial standards. These provisions also constitute a flagrant violation of international conventions, particularly the International Covention on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Bahrain, which criminalizes the subjection of any person to torture or degrading treatment and states that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.

    Based on the above, BCHR calls upon the Government of Bahrain to:

    • Repeal all judgments in this case;

    • Stop using nationality revocation as a tool of political suppression;

    • Investigate the details of the conditions of torture of the accused and the accountability of those involved in the commission.

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    The most recent constitution of Bahrain defines it as a constitutional monarchy. The King is responsible for appointing the Prime Minister – the current incumbent has been in the position since 1971. Citizens of Bahrain have no power to change the Prime Minister. The King also has power to appoint government ministers and 50% of the National Council, as well as the country’s judiciary. This situation led the people of Bahrain to take direct action in 2011, organizing a large sit-in around the Pearl Roundabout, with the aim of strengthening their rights. However, authorities used excessive force to end the sit-in, leading to several deaths and significant numbers of injuries. Since that time, and up until the point of writing, authorities have continued to violate the human rights of Bahraini citizens. 

    Over the course of 2017 (between January and December, to be precise), the number of politically-motivated detentions increased, as did reports of torture and ill treatment carried out in order to force confessions during interrogations. Moreover, political and social media activists continued to be targeted, both by the security forces and by the judiciary. Human rights defenders have also been targeted. Politically-motivated court cases were pursued in a manner falling far short of the minimum basic standards for fair trials as stipulated by international law. This is not to mention the fact that civilians have been tried in military courts. 

    Authorities have also employed anti-terror laws against opposition activists and peaceful protesters. The UN and a host of other international organizations have called for these laws to be revised, since their broad-based and vague clauses violate standards of human rights and fair trial. There have been widespread restrictions on civil, religious and political freedoms, and violations on the right to privacy. What’s more, a number of opposition activists and Shia religious clerics have had their citizenship revoked, with several subsequently being deported. 

    The report that follows is a summary of the human rights violations documented by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights over the course of 2017. A number of other violations were reported, but it has not been possible to verify them due to fear on the part of victims, who have been unwilling to share their testimonies. The volume of violations reported during 2017 also meant that it was beyond the capacity of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights to investigate all of them. 

    Click here to read full report. 

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    (Paris, 6 June 2018) Today, the Council of Paris has unanimously awarded honorary citizenship to activist Nabeel Rajab, in recognition of his fight for freedom, democracy and human rights. Yesterday, the Bahrain High Criminal Court of Appeal upheld Nabeel’s five-year jail term for Tweets condemning the use of torture in Jaw Prison and the bombings of the Saudi coalition in Yemen. Sentenced to a total of seven years imprisonment resulting from trials that made a mockery of justice, his health has steadily deteriorated. FIDH and Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) welcome the award of this prestigious distinction, and reiterate their demand for his immediate release.

    Read more.

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    We the undersigned call on Bahraini authorities to drop all charges and ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Ali Salman, Secretary-General of Bahrain's largest political opposition society, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, who has been serving a four-year prison sentence for charges in response to political speeches he delivered in 2014, and who is now facing a potential death sentence in a groundless new trial on politically motivated charges. 

    Since his incarceration in 2014, several international bodies have spoken out against the imprisonment of Sheikh Ali Salman. On 30 December 2014, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spokesperson urged Bahrain to immediately release Sheikh Ali Salman as well as all other persons convicted or detained for “merely exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly.” In addition, the European Union expressed concern about the sentence issued against Sheikh Ali Salman, and the United States Ambassador to the United Nations called the sentence against Sheikh Ali Salman a blow to freedom of expression.  

    However, despite the growing concern over the silencing of Sheikh Ali Salman and the subsequent 2017 dissolution of the political opposition society al-Wefaq, Bahraini authorities announced on 27 November 2017 the start of a new trial against him on charges of spying for Qatar. 

    The latest trial against Sheikh Ali Salman reinforces the closing of democratic space in the country; as the 2018 elections for Bahrain's lower house of parliament approach, the government has forcibly dissolved Wa'ad, the largest secular leftist society, and indefinitely suspended Bahrain's only independent newspaper Al-Wasat, in addition to upholding its arbitrary decision in 2017 to dissolve the political opposition society al-Wefaq. 

    On 24 April 2018, the High Criminal Court adjourned the new trial against Sheikh Ali Salman until 21 June, when it is expected to issue a verdict in the case. The Public Prosecution Office has called on the High Criminal Court to hand down the “maximum penalty” – which in this case could be a death sentence. 

    NGOs have decried this use of the judiciary to punish opposition activists for publicly expressing views that oppose the Bahraini government. The trial is in violation of Sheikh Ali Salman's rights to liberty, fair trial, free expression, and free association. 

    We, the undersigned, call on Bahraini authorities to: 
    1. Drop all charges and ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Ali Salman and the cancellation of the sentence issued against him in the previous case; 
    2. Stop prosecution of political dissidents and human rights activists for reasons related to freedom of expression; 
    3. Stop the arbitrary use of domestic legislation, including some articles of the Penal Code and the Law on the Protection of Society from Terrorist Acts, to criminalize the peaceful practice of freedom of opinion and expression; 
    4. Release all detainees who have been arrested for reasons related to exercising their fundamental rights to expression, organisation and peaceful assembly guaranteed by international laws. 


    Bahrain Center for Human Rights
    Adil Soz - International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech
    Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC)
    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
    Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
    Bytes for All (B4A)
    Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI)
    Center for Media Studies & Peace Building (CEMESP)
    Freedom Forum
    Independent Journalism Center (IJC)
    Index on Censorship
    Initiative for Freedom of Expression - Turkey
    Maharat Foundation
    Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
    Media Watch
    National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)
    Norwegian PEN
    Pakistan Press Foundation
    PEN American Center
    PEN Canada
    Social Media Exchange (SMEX)
    South East Europe Media Organisation 
    Vigilance for Democracy and the Civic State
    World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)

    Bahrain Interfaith 
    Global Human Rights Geneva 
    MENA Monitoring Group 
    No Peace Without Justice 
    Vivarta Limited

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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights issued a statement welcoming  that the Secretary-General of Bahrain's Al-Wefaq sheikh Ali Salman was acquitted  (but still has years ahead in prison for various other  charges)with fear of an appeal for a trial that lacked the basic principles of justice and the failed to guarantee the independence of the judiciary system. 

    Sheikh MaythamAl  Salman advisor of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) confirmed that the trial was groundless and comes in the context of the PA's attempts to quell voices calling for political reforms, dialogue and national reconciliation.

    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights issued a statement stating that the trial lacked principles of justice and failed to guarantee the independence of the judiciary. 

    The proceedings revealed numerous violations of the right of defense and non-response to lawyers' requests.

    "The center said": that this trial was clearly based on a telephone that was tampered with, as revealed by technical reports of criminal justice professionals, and that the telephone call was in response to a US/Gulf mediation attempt to begin dialogue and reconciliation in 2011.

    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) stated that Salman was a positive in corresponding  to a proposed initiative by the US administration mentioned in the memoirs of Hillary Clinton and in the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.

    The Center ended its statement by demanding that the Government of Bahrain immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against  the Secretary-General of the Al-Wefaq Society Ali Salman


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    Various sources have confirmed to Bahrain Center for Human Rights that Sheikh Isa Qassim was transferred to the hospital at 9:35 pm Bahrain time after being delayed for Several hours.

    Sheikh Isa Qasim has been under house arrest for almost 400 days and denied the right to medical care without  the governments permission. His hospital visits are usually under strict security measures.

    Sheikh Qassim was transferred to the hospital after the deterioration  of his health status. While the reasons for his health deterioration have not been revealed yet, he has lost his ability to move and walk recently due to and the problem severe pain in his hips and pelvic area, according to the initial diagnosis.

    The residents living close to his house have also confirmed the arrest of his son and son-in law by security officers during  accompanying Sheikh Isa in the ambulance cars . They are still being held at the police station.


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    The «War on Terrorism» is a modern term that has emerged after the events of September 11, 2001, which claimed the lives of nearly 3000 civilians of different nationalities. This terrorist act also resulted in thousands ofcasualties and nancial losses in billions.Following this terrorist incident, the United States adopted war on terror by various means including legal legislation. Later, it was followed by many countries both democratic and authoritarian, creating excellent opportunity for the latter to legislate laws that are outwardly anti-terrorism and within the context of international cooperation inthe ght against terrorism, while they wererepressive against peaceful dissidents and carrying within a hidden agenda against human rights activists, politicians and civil society organisations. How? This is what we are going to explain substantively and systematically in this report.

    In this report, we will apply the analytical methodology on the Bahraini law and study some of judicial applications of the law as available. We will also do a brief comparative study of the relevant local and international anti-terror legislation, and the extent to which it is in line with the international law, international conventions and human rights treaties. The study will try to determine the impact of Bahraini laws on Bahrain civil society and the judicial decisions against citizens and human rights activists.

    Read full report.

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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), in cooperation with Amnesty International, Peace Media, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, Maharat and the Gulf Center for Human Rights, organized a solidarity stand with prisoners in Bahrain and human rights defenders Nabeel Rajab and Abdulhadi Al Khawaja.

    The conference was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the presence of a number of journalists from various Arab and foreign stations, as well as jurists from several organizations.

    The Bahraini Human Rights hustler, Mr. Ibrahim Sarhan, opened with a talk about the tragic situation of the detainees in Jaw prison. He referred to the denial of the most basic human rights, calling the prison "cemetery of the living." He added that the government in Bahrain must abide by the laws accurately, because laws without rights are considered as nothing. He also called for the urgent need for the immediate release of Abdul Hadi Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab and all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain

    It was followed by a speech of the representative of the Gulf Center for Human Rights, Mrs. Sabah Afour, which she called for pressure on the authorities to release the detainees and to ensure that all prisoners are able to receive appropriate treatment and get all their rights. It also stressed the importance and the need to end all forms of retaliation against jurists and to allow human rights organizations to operate freely from all forms of harassment.

    The representative of the Maharat Society Mr. Hussein Al-Sharif, spoke about their cooperation with other organizations in order to release the detainees. Al-Sharif says that Bahrain is not alone in suffering from the suppression of freedoms, but there are other forms in most Arab countries such as Egypt and Lebanon.

    Also a speech was made by Amnesty International representative Devin Kenny, who reiterated that prisoners of conscience should be released, saying that the expression of opinion is not a crime.

    In addition, a statement by CPJ delegate Ignadio Delgado confirmed that the press in Bahrain suffers from repression of freedoms and public opinion, and this is professionally rejected.

    Theconference ended with the Chairperson of the Peace Information Organization, Mrs. Vanessa Basil, who returned and confirmed the main objective of this stand, wich is the release of Abdul Hadi Khawaja, Nabeel Rajab and all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.

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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights issued a statement on the occasion of “Nelson Mandela International Day” which is celebrated every year on the 18th of July. The “Center” took the opportunity to renew the call for improving the conditions of prisoners and detainees in Bahrain according to the Nelson Mandela Rules. Mandela was kept in prison for 27 years before serving as President of South Africa and was deprived of the minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners during his incarceration.

    The “Center” also called attention to its launching of a special report on that occasion on the conditions of prisoners and prisons in Bahrain entitled “Bahraini Prisons: A Cemetery for the Living”, in which it reviewed Bahrain’s laws and legislation, as well as the extent of violations that are committed against prisoners.

    The “Center” added that laws and legislation are not enough to improve the situations of prisoners and prisons in Bahrain amid ongoing violations against prisoners and detainees. The Government of Bahrain must therefore apply local laws and international rules regarding the treatment of prisoners.

    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights concluded its statement by calling upon the Government of Bahrain to allow human rights and humanitarian organizations to inspect the conditions of prisons and implement international procedures through special rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council and related task forces.


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    Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the main source of international norms in the treatment of prisoners, and since the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners is the detailed source for the application of the rules in the treatment of prisoners, and since the basic principles of the treatment of prisoners are a guiding source for Member States of the United Nations to harmonize their legislation with these principles, and since the decision of the General Assembly of the United Nations (A/RES/70175/) to adopt the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the Nelson Mandela Rules.

    We, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, publish this report concerning the prison conditions in Bahrain on the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day, in which we shed the light once more on the conditions of prisoners and prisons in Bahrain that are crowded with political prisoners and jurists.

    Read report

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    Since the beginning of the popular outbreak uprising on February 14 2011, human rights violations in Bahrain continued. These violations included the arrest of many people of different age groups and practitioners in various fields. Jurists, journalists, doctors, teachers, academics and students were arrested. The arrests also included children, women, men and the elderly (over 60), through which most of those arrested were subjected to harsh conditions of detention. According to statistics released by the State Department recently, the number of arrestees reached 4,780 of detainees and prisoners.

    Read full report.

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    Bahrain Center for Human Rights presented information to the UN Human rights Committee that has  published its report on 26 July .The report mentioned the results concerning the civil and political rights record of countries it examined during its latest session in 3rd and 4th of July. The study included Bahrain file taking into consideration the Government opinion on the first hand and organization and associations on the second one.

    Bahrain acceded to the ICCPR in 2006, the only Arab Gulf monarchy to do so (however, Kuwait ratified in 1996). In acceding to the Convention, Bahrain agreed to be bound by the provisions of the ICCPR without the need for an act of signature. In accordance to Article 40 of the ICCPR, Bahrain was required to submit a periodic treaty report to the HRC on the measures adopted within one year of ratifying the convention and maintains an affirmative obligation to submit follow-up reports every four years thereafter. Bahrain has yet to submit either the initial report or any follow-up reports to the HRC.

    The head of the delegation of the Kingdom of Bahrain mentioned in his speech in front of the UN Human Rights Committee that Bahrain abide the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This was based on provisions of the Constitution claiming that it is being applied.  He also noted to the initiatives taken on the events of February 2011. Saying that this happened to solve conflicts by applying the Law.

    The report presented by the BCHR noted several irregularities of the Law and violations for freedom and human rights since 2011 till now were presented.

     Bahrain has seen significant regression in its respect for important civil and political freedoms and has developed an unfair justice and penitentiary system to punish political and human rights activists alike

    The report mentioned many violations such as:

    • Freedom of Expression, Assembly, Association and Religion
    • Arbitrary Detention and Torture
    • Prison Conditions

    The BCHR supported the conclusions and recommendations reached by the Commission in the following report.



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    Transparency International UK published a report, “In Whose Interest? “ , that talks about corruption and repression in the government of 3 different countries (Azerbaijan, Russia and Bahrain) and how this corruption is affecting the whole country, in addition to measuring the legitimacy of these acts with UK parliamentarians. Mainly when talking about Bahrain, the report included the strong relation between the UK and Bahrain that goes long back to the nineteenth century.

    The report mentioned that although Bahrain has a partly-elected National Assembly, the king of Bahrain rules by monarchy. It also showed how the peaceful protests started in 2011 to demand the political, social and economic human rights. The report showed that the Bahraini government responded to these protests with violence since it suppressed the demonstrations and imprisoned the protestors with the help of Saudi Arabia and United Emirates military forces where 30 persons were killed, hundreds were imprisoned and independent newspapers were shut down.

    The report mentioned that in 2017, the Bahraini government was continuing the suppression against the protestors and other acts that showed how bad the corruption became and how severe the violence was rising. Since the 90s, the budget of Bahrain was poor, and quarters of the countries revenues were transferred to the royal family where there was no audit to record the monetary transactions. When the government receives the funds, a proportion of the money is spent on defense and security expenditures where the exact amounts and information are not available to the public. According to an audit in 2015, Bahrain reached its highest stage of corruption by spending money on such forces. In addition, land ownership in Bahrain is mainly controlled by the royal family that owns billion-worth pieces of real estate; so the kingdom is spending around 28 billion pounds on real estate when Bahraini citizens are deprived from their rights to housing. After the protests, King Hamad appointed a panel of human rights experts to oversee the condition in Bahrain, and the result was 26 recommendations that the kingdom should adopt, yet only two were temporary applied and then were reversed.

    The source added that UK parliamentarians were engaged with Bahrain by the Manama dialog, that observes the corruption and human rights abuses in a country, it was later realized that the Bahraini government was paying secretly for the event and that the government was paying for the trips of 19 parliamentarians since 2007. Alongside with the visits, some of the parliamentarians have provided advisory services directly to the King of Bahrain for almost 14 years.

    Read Report

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    Four Bahraini Human Rights Organizations hold the Bahraini authorities responsible for the deterioration of the health situation of opposition leader Hassan Mushaima

    The human rights organizations that signed this statement express their condemnation of the violation of the rights of Hassan Mushaima, 70 years old, whose deprived from receiving medical treatment and proper care in Jau central prison. These organizations hold the Bahraini authorities responsible for Mushaima's health deterioration for its lack of commitment to the law; Mushaima suffers from chronic diseases.

    The statements says: According to our information, Mushaima needs treatment of several chronic diseases in specialized hospitals and that he has previously undergone several operations for these diseases, but the prison administration has not completed the treatment and prevent the medicine.

    According to previous information received in recent years, despite the high numbers of detainees, specifically in Jau central prison and the dry dock prison, only one doctor is available for one seizure per prison; As a result of this pressure on the doctor, testimonies from the detainees and their relatives says the doctor does not perform medical examinations in all cases, but only give painkillers. The doctor delays the transfer of detainees to hospitals and outpatient clinics, while some detainees are prevented from being transferred to these clinics as a result of the prison administration failing to take them to the medical appointments set by the external health center after the transfer of the prison doctor.

    Also, convicted prisoners who wish to receive treatment at private health centers - at their expense - are not enabled to do so. Despite the powers of the prison administration to release prisoners whose life in prison poses a threat to their lives, it often does not work with these powers, except for limited cases of insurmountable diseases. It is clear that the prison authorities in Bahrain are failing to meet the minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners. Where Mushaima and his fellow imprisoned opposition leaders were recently subjected to humiliating inspection of and their personal items, such as books, notes, papers and pens, were arbitrarily confiscated.

    The statement pointed out that the family of the political prisoner, Hassan Mushaima has called on the competent authorities and the prison administration to take into account his health status, but no response was ever recieved! It is a matter of concern that this act is deliberate and premeditated and is of acts of revenge. Mushaima has not accepted the family visit since February 2017 because of his refusal to place iron chains linking both his hands and feet which severely restricts his movement. Human rights activists considered this procedure to be humiliating, making prisoners refuse to go to the hospital and refuse to go to the visiting room.

    The human rights organizations called upon the concerned authorities to take quick and urgent steps to end the suffering of Mushaima and to allow him to receive the necessary and appropriate treatment. They also urge the authorities to release all prisoners of conscience, especially those suffering from chronic diseases and persons with special needs.

    The signatory human rights organizations are: Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights

    Thursday 2nd August 2018

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    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights stated that the stalling conducted by the government of Bahrain in depriving the political prisoner, Hasan Mushaima, of his right to medical treatment and health care violates the rules of Nelson Mandela in addition to local and international laws, and expresses disregard for the lives of prisoners. This validates the content of the report "Bahrain Prisons: Cemetery of the Livings" which was published last month by BCHR.
    BCHR explained that Mushaima, which is over 70 years old, suffers from chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and gout; these diseases require continuous health care and periodic regular checkups.
    BCHR reported that the prison's administration prevented the treatment of Mushaima for more than 152 days, this act and behavior cannot be explained or justified, which causes concern over the life of Mushaima. This will lead to serious repercussions of the diseases suffered by Mushaima.
    BCHR added that Hassan Mushaima has been deprived of visits for more than 527 days and his family has not been able to see him since. This contradicts the laws governing the rights of prisoners, especially regarding contacting the outside world.
    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights called on the Government of Bahrain to provide the necessary and appropriate health care regarding the medical condition of Mushaima in a quick and urgent manner. The Center states that any complications regarding his health condition fall under the responsibility of the Bahraini government.
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    The UN panel published on the 13th of August the advanced edited version of opinions adopted by the working group on arbitrary detention, concerning Nabeel Rajab, at its eighty-first session.

    The panel called the release of Nabeel Rajab immediately and to “accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law.”

    The UN panel couldn’t but notice that Nabeel Rajab ”has been the target of persecution, including deprivation of liberty, for many years and there is no other explanation for this except that he is exercising his right to express such views and convictions” considering that the Bahraini government's attitude could "only be characterized as discriminatory".

     Read full UN release here.

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