The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses grave concern over escalating attacks on human rights defenders as yet another defender is arrested.
At dawn on 15 December 2013, the home of environmental activist Mohamed Jawad was raided by masked security men, and he was arrested without a warrant. Jawad is known for his activism in defending the environment against pollution and exposing the consequences of pollution in his area of residence; Maameer, which is close to an industrial area. For years, he has participated locally and internationally in events to raise awareness about the deteriorating health conditions of the people living in and around Maameer, and to call for better environment conditions (for more information on this subject, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RunfnIeRdjU). Jawad has also expressed support for the Bahraini people’s struggle for freedom and democracy.
The authorities did not provide any information on his whereabouts or wellbeing, despite inquiries made by his family at the police station.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights believes that Mohamed Jawad has been targeted solely for his peaceful activism in defending the environment.
The BCHR therefore calls on the US administration and other allies of Bahrain including the UK government, the EU and the leading human rights organizations to:
- Call for the immediate release of activist Mohamed Jawad as well as all other detained human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.
- End the practice of intimidation, slander and harassment of activists and human rights defenders.
- Increase the pressure on the Government of Bahrain to end the on-going daily human rights violations and the escalating attacks against human rights defenders and activists.
- To put pressure on the Government of Bahrain to guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders and activists in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.