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Front Line Defenders: Bahrain: Government Abandons even the Rhetoric of Reform

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As the Government of Bahrain prepares to implement a new series of draconian security measures, human rights defenders and political activists are preparing to use the 14th August anniversary of Bahrain's independence from England to challenge the ongoing security clampdown.

“The credibility of the Government of Bahrain is seriously damaged by its consistent refusal to address serious and deep rooted human rights problems in the country and for its persuit of a hardline security policy targeting human rights defenders and political activists” said Front Line Defenders, Executive Director, Mary Lawlor in Dublin today.

“We have seen an ongoing pattern of threats, intimidation and arrests of human rights defenders accompanied by numerous serious and credible allegations of torture while in incommunicado detention and which the government has signally failed to fully investigate” she added.

Blogger and human rights defender Mohamed Hassan was arrested on 31 July 2013 and initially held for a week in incommunicado detention. When his lawyer Abdul Aziz Moussa visited him he saw evidence of torture on his arms. After he went public with this information he was himself arrested.

The current detention of Mohamed Hassan is part of an alarming wave of suppressive actions targeting human rights defenders and peaceful protesters. The clampdown has intensified in recent days, particularly targeting individuals perceived as sympathetic to the 'tamarrod' movement, which calls for a nation-wide protest on 14 August 2013.

On 09 August Prominent human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja was prevented from boarding a flight to Bahrain having been told that she has been banned from entering the country by the Bahraini authorities. Meanwhile human rights defenders such as Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, Nabeel Rajab and Zainab Al-Khawaja continue to serve lengthy prison terms handed down after unfair trials.

Front Line Defenders calls upon the Government of Bahrain to immediately release all human rights currently in detention and to ensure respect for the peaceful and legitimate work of human rights defenders.

- See more at: http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/23519#sthash.J6TEi8u1.dpuf 

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