Bahrain Solidarity Campaign
About the campaign
The Bahrain Solidarity Campaign's formation through RAPAR was triggered when a number of Bahraini students studying in Manchester were threatened by the Bahraini government after participating in pro-democracy protests in Manchester. They had all funding and support removed, and the personal safety of they and their families was explicitly threatened. They and many other Bahrainis in the Greater Manchester area expressed the desire to launch a campaign to highlight and counteract this persecution along with innumerable other human rights abuses and atrocities perpetrated by the Al-Khalifa regime. Such a campaign is all the more necessary while the UK government continues to tacitly support this regime.
The campaign, which is ongoing, has so far been involved in securing alternative funding and support for some of the affected students, has delivered groundbreaking conferences on the subject, and has contributed to the general raising of awareness of, and critical opposition to, the actions of the Al-Khalifa regime. Manchester Metropolitan University Student Union (MMUnion) has been instrumental in all of this.
-Bahrain Hospitals, the new Bahraini battleground - VIDEO
- UK Human Rights boycotts are inconsistent, say MPs - BBC
-Bahrain Objects to Freedom House Criticism, Freedom House Rebuts - Vanessa Tucker
Louisa Loveluck in the Guardian: Bahrain's citizens pay the price for Britain's dealings with the kingdom
-David Rovics in Socialist Worker online: A specialist in brutality goes to Bahrain
-Alaa Shehabi in Jadaliyya e-zine: Bahrain's Independent Commission of Inquiry: A Path to Justice or a Political Shield?
-Jamie Doward and Philippa Stewart in the Guardian: UK training Saudi forces used to crush Arab spring
- Robert Fisk in the Independent: Why no outcry over these torturing tyrants?
- Patrick Cockburn in the Independent: Bahrain is trying to drown the protests in Shia blood
- BBC North West Tonight report on the Manchester Bahraini students who have had their lives threatened and all their funding removed by the Bahraini government after participating in protests against it in Manchester.
- Guardian Editorial - Bahrain: We must speak out about brutality in the Gulf
- Amnesty International - Bahrain urged to halt execution of protesters
- The pledge that Bahraini students have to sign in order to continue their studies
- Modern Slavery in Bahrain
- Civil Rights and the Political Crisis in Bahrain: Old solutions to recurrent problems
- REPORT ON BAR HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE HEARING OBSERVATION: BAHRAIN
- The Rule of Law in Bahrain: A crisis
17/06/2013 - BAHRAIN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS RELEASES REPORT DETAILING ATTACKS ON CHILDREN IN BAHRAIN
The BCHR has released a new report detailing the authorities' attacks on children, and violations of the Convention of the Rights of the Child. The Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed its concern "at the considerable delay since 2002 in the adoption of the Child Rights" and it called upon the state party 'to adopt, as a matter of urgency, the Child Rights" and other laws concerning the family and civil society. However, no progress has been made to date in this area.
Instead, there has been an increasing number of attacks reported on children, including torture, forced disappearances, beatings, psychological mistreatment, and attacks on schools. The report includes recommendations for how the government must reform its methods in order to comply with the international treaties to which it is a party.
Link to the report.
28/05/13 - POLICEMAN THAT MUDERED PROTESTOR HAS SENTENCE REDUCED FROM 7 YEARS TO 6 MONTHS
A Bahraini court reduced the sentence of a Bahraini police officer convicted of killing a protester from 7 years to six months. The officer was sentenced for killing Hani Abdul Aziz Juma during protests that broke out in March 2011. In a separate case, the court acquitted two other police officers charged with killing a protester in November 2011.
On the same day the court confirmed 19 protestors sentences of 5 years for allegedly attacking the police.
10/05/13 - AFTER 2 YEARS IN HIDING BAHRAIN BLOGGER ESCAPES TO THE UK
Founder of Bahrain Online, Ali Abdulemam has been in hiding for 2 years. He was convicted in absentia for 'plotting to overthrow the regime' and sentenced to 15 years in prison, being sentenced alongside the opposition leaders known as the 'Bahrain 13,' some of whom received life sentences. His escape reads like a spie novel, or as some have commented like the film Argo. As Human Rights activists campaigning on issues to do with Bahrain we are thrilled that he is now safe and able to continue with his work. Ali Abdulemam will be making his first public appearance speaking at the Oslo Freedom Forum on Wednesday. You can read details of his escape below.
ESCAPE FROM BAHRAIN - ALI ABDULEMAM IS FREE - THE ATLANTIC
BAHRAIN ONLINE FOUNDER ALI ABDULEMAM BREAKS SILENCE AFTER ESCAPE TO UK - THE GUARDIAN
24/04/13 - BAHRAIN TELLS UN TORTURE EXPERT TO POSTPONE VISIT... AGAIN
For the second consecutive time, the Bahraini government has told the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to delay his planned visit to Bahrain. A statement on the state-run news agency yesterday said that Bahrain’s Minister for Human Rights delivered an official letter to Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez “outlining reasons for the request to postpone the visit”, however those reasons have not yet been revealed to the public.
This is not the first time that the Special Rapporteur on Torture has had a planned trip to Bahrain cancelled by the government. Mendez had originally been scheduled to visit on March 8, 2012, however the on March 2, 2012, the Bahraini government told him to postpone the trip indefinitely.
This was eventually rescheduled for May 8, 2013, and as late as March 2013, Bahrain’s Minister for Human Rights said that the government welcomes Mendez’s visit, as it would “enable him to be informed [of] the tangible human rights achievements attained so far”. The state news agency boasted about Mendez’s praise for Bahrain’s approval of the scheduled May 2012 visit. Despite the fanfare, the government has now cancelled this visit, with no indication of when, or if, it will be rescheduled.
The denial of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture is just the latest in a long list of international researchers, journalists, activists, and NGO workers who have been denied entry to Bahrain by the government for seemingly political reasons. In our Access Deniedproject, launched in January, Bahrain Watch identified over 200 such cases since the start of Bahrain’s Arab Spring protests in February 2011. Just four days ago, an ITV News team visiting Bahrain was stopped by authorities while filming and deported from the country, despite holding valid visas.
As noted by Special Rapporteur Mendez himself in an interview in June 2012:
The focuses of greatest concern are those countries which do not invite me, or which do invite me and then cancel, like Bahrain.
Background on torture in Bahrain:
10/04/13 - SAY NO TO F1 IN BAHRAIN
Authorities have been rounding up activists in villages near to the race track and across Bahrain in an attempt to curtail protests during the event next weekend. Many protestors, including minors, have been arrested by plain clothed and masked security service personnel. There have been no warrants produced on arrest. Damon Hill recently expressed concern about the race going ahead, saying that he didnt want the race to make life harder for people in Bahrain. He was then attacked by the state controlled local media.
A number of NGOs (Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, in conjunction with the International Federation for Human Rights, Freedom House, Human Rights First, Just Foreign Policy, Physicians for Human Rights, and the Project on Middle East Democracy) have started a campaign asking F1 drivers to pledge their support for a free and just Bahrain by publicly condemning the ongoing human rights abuses. Drivers are encouraged to state their support during interviews at the Grand Prix, publish a statement on their website, express their solidarity via social media, or publicly dedicate their race to one of the many prisoners of conscience still imprisoned in Bahrain.
Four NGOs, including the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, the Bahrain Press Association, the Campaign Against Arms Trade, and the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights have submitted a series of letters to F1 race organisers, drivers, sponsors and broadcasters to ask them to reconsider their participation in the event that is scheduled for this Sunday, April 21st.
Anonymous have again promised to release the personal details of anyone attending the F1 in Bahrain, as they did last year.
01/04/13 - BAHRAIN: CLOUDS OF DEATH
01/04/13 - FATHER DIES AFTER REPORTEDLY HEARING HIS SON TORTURED IN POLICE STATION
Ahmed AbdulGhani AlRayyes (born in 1986) was arrested from his home in Duraz during a house raid today. His brother, Hussain, had recently been injured with pellets due to use of excessive force by security forces. He was shot in the abdomen approximately two months ago by security forces and left bleeding; he has so far needed two operations.
AbdulGhani AlRayyes (66 years old) went to Budaiya Police Station to ask about his son, reportedly heard him screaming inside and being beaten. He was not allowed to see Ahmed, and forced out of the police station. He fell unconscious and was moved to the International Hospital of Bahrain. The death certificate stated "dead on arrival" as the immediate cause of death without mentioning the fact that he has hypertension. Ahmed AlRayyes was shortly released after news of his fathers death. AbdulGhani AlRayyes’s daughter fainted after hearing news of her fathers death, and had to be moved to the hospital.
This is not the first time a family member dies due to the practices of security forces in Bahrain. In January 2012, Badriya Ali self immolated and died from her burns after she watched her son having his head beaten against the air conditioner several times the year before, and living in constant fear of security forces returning to her home.
29/03/13 - 16 PEOPLE, INCLUDING MINORS, JAILED FOR 15 YEARS IN SHAM TRIAL
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses grave concern over the detention and sentencing of 16 Bahraini citizens to 15 years imprisonment without clear evidence of the charges brought against them. The authorities in Bahrain have been arbitrarily arresting, detaining and sentencing citizens from protest areas in sham trials.
The Ministry of Interior claims that in July 2012 a police patrol was attacked in an attempt to kill policemen. A MOI vehicle was burned and no causalities or injuries were announced by the ministry. The event was followed by an arrest campaign in a nearby village and many were taken into custody.
On 21 March 2013, the higher criminal court sentenced 16, some of them minors, to 15 years' imprisonment and BD10,508 fine after charging them with attempted murder of policemen while on duty, arson of a vehicle owned by the MOI, illegal gathering and possession of Molotov cocktails.
The BCHR documentation and monitoring team met with some of the families of the 16 sentenced to document their cases:
Ahmed Yousif is only 16 years old. He was arrested after his house was raided early morning on 15 July 2012. Ahmed was reportedly beaten and tortured during arrest and interrogation in roundabout 17 - Hamad Town police station.
Hussain Mohammed, 17 years old, was kidnapped by a civilian car on 10 July 2012 when he was with his friend in their neighborhood. His family searched for him but did not hear from him until many hours later. According to his family, Hussain was tortured at the police station and in a prison visit he told them not to talk about the political situation because they record the conversations and whoever discusses such topics is then reportedly subjected to beatings and torture.
Mohammed Jaffer, 17 years old, was arrested after his house was raided by masked civilians. He was reportedly severely beaten in front of his mother, then taken to an unknown destination. The public prosecution ordered his release, however, when he was taken to roundabout 17, Hamad town police station, he was charged in this case and taken back to custody. Mohammed was transferred to Jaw prison a day before his verdict session.
Ali Hussain Al Dubaisy, 21 years old, was in hiding for some time. On 23 July 2012, after leaving his family’s house, he was stopped by 3 civilian cars and kidnapped. His family heard about his disappearance from neighbors. His father called him several times and went to the police station asking about Ali but he was told that he is not in their custody. At midnight, the family received a call from Hamad town police station. Ali was reportedly subjected to torture. He underwent a surgical operation in his legs which wasn’t successful and requires another operation. The prison administration refuses to take him to the hospital for his second scheduled surgery.
Mohammed Ali Abdulhussain, 19 years old, was arrested by civilian cars on 10 July 2012. His family learned of his arrest from social media, went to the nearby police station to ask about their son but they denied having him. After 4 days, they were called by the police station to bring Mohammed’s identity card and clothes. He was taken to the public prosecution on the fifth day of his arrest then transferred to the dry dock prison. His house was raided several times and family members threatened.
Ali Mohammed Sultan, 20 years old, was arrested when his house was raided on 15 July 2012 by masked civilians. He was reportedly beaten and then taken to Hamad town – roundabout 17 police station. He was taken to the public prosecution after 2 days without a lawyer. His family says that they did not hear from him until their first visit when he told them that he was reportedly tortured and beaten, including hearing his brother, who was arrested previously then released, being tortured. He was then transferred to Jaw prison.
Ali Salman Laith, 21 years old, was arrested from a checkpoint in Karzakan. He was taken to criminal investigation where he was reportedly beaten and tortured.
Hasan Salman Laith, 29 years old, was arrested while leaving his in-law’s house. After 3 days his family received a call from the police station. According to his family, he was taken to Hamad Town police station where he was blindfolded for 3 days until he was taken to the public prosecution. He was reportedly subjected to physical and psychological torture and threatened to be electrocuted and sexually assaulted. Hasan told his family that officer Sultan A Qatam told him “we know that you are not involved in this case but you have participated in protests. And you have to confess that you participated in the case and sign on the names of the people involved or it will be the last day of your life”.
There have been many cases of a similar nature with charges of attacking police patrols, explosions and possession of explosive materials that the MOI has been announcing since 14 Feb 2011. Most of these cases have no causalities or even injuries reported, and the majority have no witnesses amongst citizens; however, they are followed by arbitrary arrest campaigns and sentencing to years of imprisonment without providing substantial evidence, such as Al Eker case where 17 were sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment last April, as well as the case of the 3 defendants in the case of possession of 5 tons explosive material who are reportedly subjected to severe ill-treatment and torture. (http://bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/5638)
24/03/13 - ABDULHADI AL-KHAWAJA AND ZAINAB AL-KHAWAJA ON DRY HUNGER STRIKE IN PRISON
In protest to the fact that they were denied visiting rights to their family, Abdulhadi and Zainab al-Khawaja have gone on a dry hunger strike. Both have rejected wearing the prison uniforms worn by criminals in Bahraini prisons, something that they have not been required to during detention over the past 2 years. They argue it is a matter of principle and that they are not criminals, they are prisoners of conscience. UPDATE: Zainab al-Khawaja has reportedly stopped her dry hunger strike, although there is still great concern for the deteriorating health of father and daughter.
01/03/13 - BODY OF MAN KILLED BY SECURITY SERVICES STILL RETAINED BY REGIME
From Bahrain Freedom Movement:The mutilated body of Martyr Mahmood Isa Al Jaziri, 20, from Daih Town, is still in the hands of his Alkhalifa killers, eight days after he died of his wounds. The martyr was shot at blank range on 14th February when he joined the peaceful protests marking the second anniversary of the Revolution. His killing was captured live on video camera, with the killer, one of the dictator’s policemen, shooting directly at the youth who immediately fell to the ground. The video also shows his friends rushing to carry him while blood was gushing from the side of his head. This is the best documented summary execution by Alkhalifa dictators. The features of his killer were clear and are easily identifiable. But in the culture of impunity created by the regime, no killer or torturer has yet been tried in a just and independent court. The Alkhalifa have refused to hand over the body, insisting that he be buried at Nabih Saleh island which can easily be sealed off and no mourners allowed. The family insist that it is their right to hold his funeral at Daih Town where he was shot and where the family has lived for a long time, and that he would be buried at Nabih Saleh island. For more than a week the Alkhalifa have detained the body refusing to hand it over to the family until they agree to their conditions. Mahmood Al Jaziri is the second martyr of 14th February anniversary protests. His brother, Ali, has started a hunger strike until the body has been handed to the family for burial. People are asking: Where is the world community? Where are those in Washington, London, Brussels and Geneva who are advocating human rights? Isn’t it time to impose sanctions, at least, against this rogue regime that uses dead mutilated bodies as bargaining cards for political purposes?
In one of the most outrageous sham trials, Mohammad bin Ali Al Khalifa (who is both the judge and the adversary) sentenced seven Bahrainis to ten years imprisonment each for protesting against the rule of the Alkhalifa. Bahrainis are outraged by the silence of international community towards this sham justice where the judge is the executioner. A member of the Alkhalifa enemy is passing sentences against those who speak out against his family’s hereditary dictatorship. This gross injustice is yet tolerated by some world leaders such as David Cameron, who receives Bahrain’s dictator regularly and grants him high status, knowing that his regime has been proven by its own commission of investigation of systematic torture, extra-judicial killing and destruction of places of worship.
Another court has re-imposed a prison sentence on Zainab Al Khawaja who had been acquitted by an Alkhalifa judge few weeks ago. She was re-arrested on Wednesday and taken to the torture dungeons, leaving behind her four years old daughter. More Bahrainis have been arrested and tortured in the past few days following peaceful protests calling for regime change.
The Bahraini people are planning to mark the second anniversary of the Saudi occupation of their country with protests and demonstrations all over the country. Bahraini exiles also plan to mark the event with calls to international bodies to take stands against the occupation and call for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal. The Saudi invasion took place on 14th March 2011, with Saudi troops crossing the causeway linking the two countries, and participated in the crushing of the Revolution. They were instrumental in the attack on Pearl Roundabout on 16th March where protesters were asleep. Scores were killed. They also took part in the destruction of more than forty mosques in one of most outrageous acts of sectarian revenge. The planned activities include protests, rallies, seminars and press conferences.
Under the title “Sandhurst should send back King Hamad's soiled donation” Crispin Black asked Sandhurst to reject the dictator’s offer. In “The Week” magazine, he wrote: “The officers currently running Sandhurst, by tradition the cream of their generation, surely must. Whatever the obstacles or difficulties, it is their duty to do the right thing - set an example to both past and future generations. As the current custodians of its 200-year-old good name, they should now reject King Hamad's soiled donation – whatever the consequences for their comfort or careers. ·
27/02/13 - PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION
Petition: "Full Embargo on British Arms Sales to Bahrain" Please sign the petition here
25/02/13 - CHEMICAL GASES USED BY BAHRAIN REGIME ARE 10 TIMES STRONGER THAN INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS ALLOW.
An international campaign against the use of lethal gas and shotguns by the Alkhalifa regime against people has been launched. An Irish University has established that the gas used by police against Bahraini demonstrators are ten times the acceptable international level of concentration. To mark the second anniversary of the February 14 Bahraini uprising, Prof Damian McCormack, Prof David Grayson and Tara O'Grady call for a ban on CS gas, 2-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile.
Also, Avaaz, the online campaign group has launched a petition calling on two companies who had supplied the Alkhalifa with these lethal gases to stop the process.
Experts say that Bahrain is using a poisonous form of tear gas against civilians that Bahrain wouldn’t even be permitted to use in a war against armed soldiers. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) report that in 100 years of tear gas being used against civilians, no country has ever abused it like Bahrain. Police “routinely violated every UN principle governing police use of force.” There is no excuse for using this brutality which claimed victims from a boy as young as 8 to an elderly man of 88. Activists are taking their campaign to Europe and America in order to achieve the required ban on the use of lethal gas and shotguns. More than 100 people have died as a direct result of the use of these two weapons.
From BAHRAIN FREEDOM MOVEMENT
25/02/13 - ALLEGED TORTURER PRINCE NASSER GETS THE ROYAL TREATMENT IN THE UK...AGAIN.
Shaikh Nasser AlKhalifa, the alleged torturer and son of Bahrain's King, is currently in London where he is receiving the royal treatment. On Wednesday, Nasser met with Sir Peter Wall, the Chief of Staff of the British Army. Nasser also met with the organisers of the Royal Windor Horse Show to plan a side event at the festival, to be held in May in Windor Castle's private grounds.(1)
Nasser is apparently being encouraged to support sporting events, despite the grave accusations against him for his role in the 2011 crackdown against pro-democracy protesters. Speaking to Bahrain Television at the time, he called for "a wall to fall on the head" of anyone who opposed his father's rule, saying that, "Today is the judgement day ... Bahrain is an island and there is nowhere to escape to."(2)
In June 2012, the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights submitted documents to Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague, which charge Nasser with having instigated:
"a punitive campaign to repress Bahraini athletes who had demonstrated their support (for) the peaceful pro-democracy movement. Following his directives more than 150 professional athletes, coaches and referees were subjected to arbitrary arrests, night raids, detention, abuse and torture by electric cables and other means."(3)
Nasser himself also stands accused of having particpated personally in acts of torture in 2011. Mohammed Hassan Jawad, a leading Bahraini human rights defender and current prisoner of conscience, has directly accused Nasser of being involved in his torture:
"Nasser bin Hamad grabbed our heads and snapped them together, he shouted: How dare you chant for the downfall of [King] Hamad and you are just a scum. He started abusing us, began to flog, beat and kicked us everywhere, until felt tired. He took a rest and drank water and then resumed the torture by pulling us from our hair and beards. No one else was involved in our torture and hence agony; they let him spill his rancor. He ordered the jailers to put our feet up to beat us. The torture continued for almost half a day until dawn." (4)
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) reports on other accusations made against Nasser by political prisoners:(5)
* Swedish citizen Mohammed Habib Al-Muqdad claims Nasser was present during his torture in the underground prison of the National Security Apparatus. Nasser reportedly "slapped Al-Muqdad who fell to the ground, then with the help of torturers beat him severely".
* Abdulla Isa Al-Mahroos says that he was "beaten by Nasser Bin hamad Alkhalifa, and that Nassar forced him to open his mouth then spat in his mouth."
Also, an unnamed bus driver told BCHR that Nasser was present at a military checkpoint, where he was stopped at gunpoint. Nasser allegedly "kicked him, in sensitive areas, in his head and chest, and mostly on his face until he started bleeding".
Despite all of this, Nasser has been a frequent visitor to the UK since February 2011, enjoying meetings with the Mayor of London and others. During the Olympics, he was given VIP treatment as the head of the Bahrain regime's Olympic Committee.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office claim that: "Where there is independent, reliable and credible evidence that an individual has committed human rights abuses, the individual will not normally be permitted to enter the United Kingdom."(6)
Why is Nasser an exception to this rule?
(1) http://bna.bh/portal/en/news/547386, http://bna.bh/portal/en/news/547424
(6) http://fcohrdreport.readandcomment.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Cm-8339.pdf (p53)
22/02/13 - MAHMOOD AL-JAZIRI DIES AFTER BEING SHOT IN THE HEAD WITH TEAR GAS CANISTER
During the protests that occured on the 2nd anniversary of the Feb 14 revolution in Bahrain, THIS VIDEO, shows Mahmood Al-Jaziri being hit directly in the head by a tear gas canister fired by a Bahraini policeman. Mahmood was taken to an underground clinic as he feared he would be arrested if taken to one of the militarised hospitals on the island. His family realised that his injuries were too serious and decided to take him to hospital even if he was arrested. Mahmood spent a week in ICU in a comma. He died this morning.
14/02/13 - 2ND ANNIVERSARY OF PROTESTS SEES DEFACTO MARTIAL LAW AND 16 YEAR OLD BOY KILLED
The Bahraini security services escalted its oppression of the Bahraini protestors in advance of the 2nd anniversary of the protests, once again increasing the amount of checkpoints and amoured vehicles patrolling the country. Villages were locked down in an attempt to stop protestors from being able to congregate in large numbers. 16 year old protestor Hussain Ali Al-Jazeeri died from a gunshot (Birdshot) wound to his abdomen, fired from close range. Birdshot is still being used routinely against protestors, fired from close range and often to the abdomen or head. There were reports of many injuries during the protests on the anniversary of the forgotten revolution, including shotgun pellet wounds, tear gas suffocation, and fractures. Protestors are still on the whole an able or unwilling to seek medical attention due to the militarisation of the hospitals in Bahrain.
11/02/13 - BAHRAIN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS RELEASES REPORT ON DEATHS AND DETENTIONS TO MARK 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF PROTESTS
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) publishes their Second Anniversary Report Two Years of Deaths and Detentions, Documenting Human Right Abuses During the Pro-Democracy Movement in Bahrain. It is a quarterly edition of the continuing documentation of human rights violations in Bahrain following the start of the pro-democracy movement on February 14th, 2011.
This report aims to document the nature of King Hamid bin Al-Khalifa’s reaction to the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is committed to documenting the ongoing human rights violations, and to provide a clear record of the violent and repressive conditions that characterize life for many of the people in Bahrain. According to this report, there remain to be no meaningful improvements made to the human rights situation in Bahrain. The findings in this report even show that on many levels the situation has become more serious.
In the two years that the pro-democracy movement has been ongoing, 87 individuals have died as a direct result of the excessive use of force applied by the King’s brutal security forces, including 13 children under the age of 18. As this report details the deaths and detentions that dominate the government’s appalling repression of democracy, the BCHR asks how long will the West continue to support these atrocities?
08/02/13 - IMPRISONED ACTIVISTS ON HUNGER STRIKE
Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Abduljalil Al Singace, both serving life prison terms for their part in the political protests in Bahrain, Abdulhadi Al-Mukhodher who is serving a 15 year prison term for similar reasons, and Hussain Al-Aali who was convicted for being involved in a disputed case about an explosives cache, have all begun hunger strikes to protest about the conditions that they are being held in. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja went on a 110 day hunger strike last year to protest his and his colleagues continued detention, he was force fed by the Bahrain regime.
27/01/13 - AN 8 YEAR OLD BOY AND AN 87 YEAR OLD MAN; TWO VICTIMS IN ONE MONTH OF THE TEAR GAS COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT
FROM BAHRAIN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS:
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its grave concern over the death of two Bahraini citizens due to the collective punishment tear gas assaults that the Bahraini authorities have indiscriminately applied to crowded villages.
According to his family, Habeeb Ebrahim (87 years old), was subjected to extensive amount of teargas on the 27th of September 2012, which caused him to faint and disrupted his breathing. He then was taken to Al-Kuwait local health center and was managed there for the acute deterioration from teargas inhalation and was discharged to his home. On the 14th of October 2012, he was admitted to Salmaniya Medical Hospital after suffering another teargas suffocation after an excessive use of teargas inside a residential area, which included his home. For the third time, Habeeb was hospitalized on the 30th of November 2012 at Salmaniya Hospital after the Bahraini authorities attacked a protest in his village and a high volume of teargas was thrown near his house. His health collapsed and deteriorated until he passed away on the 12th of January 2013.
Habeeb Ebrahim was suffering from an underlying respiratory disease, which made him vulnerable to suffocation and collapse after any attack of teargas used excessively and deliberately by the riot police in Bahrain. A price several other citizens had to pay because of the international impunity given to the Bahrain government and continuous arm-sales by Western countries and allies
Qassim Habib, 8 years old, is the second victim to die from complications resulting from teargas inhalation in less than two weeks; he died on the 26th January 2013. Said Yousif Al-Muhafdha, BCHR’s Acting Vice President and Head of Monitoring met with the family of the victim. The family stated that their village, Karbabad, was attacked extensively with teargas on the 17th of January 2013 and as Qassim suffers from asthma, it is believed by the family that this attack made him vulnerable to teargas and lead to his death.
Qassim was suffering from a severe form of asthma. He was following up with doctors in Bahrain and the family was strongly advised to take extra care of him during changes in the weather or any other stimulant that may precipitate a lethal deterioration of his health.
He was admitted to the pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Salmaniya Medical Complex in Bahrain where he died later due to respiratory failure from the severity of the asthma attack and worsening general condition.
Furthermore, many mourners have marched at the funeral which was severely attacked by Bahrain security forces causing a number of injuries and suffocation of teargas. Said Yousif Al-Muhadha was rushed to the hospital after inhaling teargas while he was monitoring and reporting on human rights violations during the funeral.
The use of extensive teargas by the Bahraini authorities is alarming, the BCHR received and documented a number of cases of death and as per BCHR Report "The BICI Reforms: Promises of Progress, a Worsening Reality" dated 19th November 2012:
“According to the statistics confirmed by the BCHR, the number one cause of death by the Bahrain authorities is the extensive use of teargas of 31% of total number of deaths”
11/12/13 - MARYAM AL-KHAWAJA RETURNS TO BAHRAIN TODAY AFTER 2 YEARS IN EXILE
Maryam Al-Khawaja, acting President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and Deputy Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, returns to Bahrain today after 2 years in self imposed exile. She will enter the country to visit her father and uncle in prison. Her father, renowned human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja is currently serving life in prison. She will also try to visit her Bahrain Centre for Human Rights colleagues Nabeel Rajab and Sayed Yousef AlMuhafdhah who are also both in prison. Maryam has dual citizenship and will travel to Bahrain on her Danish passport as her Bahraini passport has expired. She arrives in Bahrain at 8pm local time.
07/01/13 - 13 BAHRAIN OPPOSITION LEADERS SENTENCES UPHELD ON FINAL APPEAL
The highest court in Bahrain today upheld the sentences of the 13 opposition leaders. The sentences range from 5 years to life imprisonment. Originally the sentences were passed down by a military court in June 2011, a move that provoked widespread condemnation from rights groups and governments worldwide. As part of the supposed 'reforms' in the country the group were retried by a civilian court, where the sentences were upheld. The thirteen appealed, and after months of delays today the sentences were again upheld. Lawyer Mohammed Al-Jishi remarked, 'the verdict is final, there are no more appeals possible, it is the last stage of litigation.' The group includes renowned human rights defender Mr Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who has been sentenced to life in prison. As documented in the BICI report, Mr Al-Khawaja and all of the other detainees were subjected to horrific torture whilst in prison, and Hassan Mushaima, also sentenced to life in prison, is currently being denied treatment for cancer which has recurred whilst he has been in detention.
02/01/13 - BAHRAIN PRESS ASSOCIATION: INTIMIDATION OF JOURNALISTS ON THE RISE IN THE KINGDOM OF FEAR
The Bahraini Authorities to be Held Accountable for the Safety of Photojournalist Mr. Ahmed Humaidan
LONDON, January 2, 2013 – Bahrain Press Association ("BPA"), the London-based association concerned with defending and addressing issues related to Bahraini media and press people, is condemning the kidnapping of Photojournalist Mr. Ahmed Humaidan by security forces in civilian clothes in a shopping mall located at the heart of the capital city of Manama Friday night, December 28, 2012.
The BPA is highly concerned about the security forces denial of Mr. Humaidan being held in their custody despite the fact that he phoned his family informing them about his arrest. The BPA is hereby calling upon the ministry of interior to immediately set Mr. Humaidan free.
The BPA's correspondent in Manama said the authorities are planning to accuse Mr. Humaidan of four trumped-up charges. Mr. Humidan is widely known of his continuous participation in all kinds of demos and protests sparring no effort in documenting the clashes and the daily confrontations by the Bahraini security squads and protesters.
Mr. Humaidan is a professional photographer who has won more than 145 international awards in still photography. He is also a member of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) and the Photographic Society of America (PSA). Mr. Humidan's family said that their house was raided for five times along with some of their relatives' houses in search of Ahmed.
The BPA believes the series of intimidation against media professionals and photojournalists is on-going in Bahrain making it clear that the tiny island is being set to be the kingdom of fear at the heart of the Gulf despite the several international pledges undertaken by the ruling institution; pledges of which are just ink on paper if compared to what is happening on ground.
On another note, the BPA sees the sentences passed recently against two employees of the national security division with imprisonment of seven years and the acquittal of two othes in the torture-leading-to-death case of Publisher Kareem Fakhrawi, the adjournment of the trial against the torturer of France 24 Correspondent Nazeeha Saeed, and the adjournment of the trial of Blogger Zakariya Al Asheeri who was murdered under torture are but catalyst to the culture of impunity being practiced in Bahrain. It is also another testimony to the regime's failure to fulfill the pledges it undertook in front of the international community, whether it be Bassiouni's recommendations or the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review on Bahrain in the Human Rights Council.
In this regards, the BPA announces that it will soon release its conclusive annual report that is detailed and rich in information pertaining to the reality of media and journalism freedoms in Bahrain. The report will also shed light on the freedom of expression in the country that is experiencing its worst times since independence.
17/12/12 - BAHRAIN 'MARTYR'S DAY: 27 ARRESTED INCLUDING ACTING PRESIDENT OF BAHRAIN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS SAID YOUSIF
Protestors took to the streets of the capital Manama to mark Bahrain Martyr's Day. The day is used to remember two Bahraini's killed by the regime during the uprising in the 90s. Acting president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights was amongst those arrested and will be detained for 7 days in prison pending investigation into accusations of 'spreading false information through Twitter.' Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights is serving a 2 year prison sentence for inciting peaceful protests on Twitter. Another leading activist Zainab Al-Khawaja, daughter for Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and who is serving life in prison, was also recently arrested again for demanding the right to freedom of expression. The targeting of Human Rights Defenders in the country must stop.
New York Times reported Nick Kristoff was also detained at Bahrain airport yesterday and refused entry. He was deported this morning. This comes two weeks after the Kingdom welcomed Kim Kardashian to open a chain of milkshake outlets in an attempt to project an image of normality in the country.
MORE INFO FROM BAHRAIN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
03/12/12 - TRIAL OF 13 OPPOSITION LEADERS POSTPONED
The last available appeal to 13 imprisoned opposition leaders was postponed today until January 7th. The imprisonment of the opposition leaders has been roundly criticised by the International community, and their release is one of the recommendations of the BICI report that was published in 2011.
21/11/12 - AMNESTY REPORT ONE YEAR AFTER THE BICI REPORT: REFORM SHELVED, REPRESSION UNLEASHED
On the first anniversary of the BICI report, Amnesty International continues to call for true justice and accountability in Bahrain. The Bahraini government must immediately release all prisoners of conscience; conduct independent, effective and transparent investigations into allegations of torture; bring to justice anyone at any level of the chain of command who committed or gave the orders to commit abuses; and refrain from further use of unnecessary or excessive force against protesters. The international community should immediately condemn human rights violations and match their condemnation with action.
LINK TO REPORT
08/11/12 - 31 OPPOSITION FIGURES STRIPPED OF THEIR NATIONALITY
The Ministry of Interior released a statement claiming that the 31 now ex-citizens had 'caused damage to state security.' The group included politicians, activists and religious figures. Those without dual nationality are now considered stateless, which is prohibited under international law. Ex Al Wefaq MPs, brothers Jalal and Jawad Fairouz described their shock at the announcement whilst they were on a trip to the UK. Bahraini exiles living in London, Saeed al Shehabi, who was present at RAPARs Bahrain conference, and Ali Mushaima, son of opposition leader Hassan Mushaima who is currently serving life imprisonment, were also amongst those that have lost their citizenship.
30/10/12 - BAHRAIN BANS ALL PROTESTS IN NEW CRACKDOWN
In a move that equates to an unofficial return to martial law, the Interior Minster said, 'It has been decided to stop all gatherings and marches and not to allow any activity before being reassured about security and achieving the required stability in order to preserve national unity.' The Bahraini regime allowed a limited number of 'authorised gatherings' previously, these were usually for the al-Wefaq opposition political society. These were always well attended and peaceful. Other marches have never sought authorisation from the regime, and its is here that confrontations with the security forces occur. This is an attempt by authorities to quash all remaining public dissent, and imprison the remaining opposition leaders. Al-Wefaq has planned a rally for this Friday in defiance of the ban.
25/10/12 - VIDEO - ALI ALASWAD, RESIGNED MP ON 'TORTURE IN BAHRAIN'
Resigned Bahraini MP, Ali Alaswad, speaks at University of Essex on 24th October 2012 on torture in the struggle for democracy in Bahrain.
22/10/12 - OUTCRY AT VERDICTS IN TRIALS OF TEACHERS' LEADERS
Mahdi Abu Deeb, president of the Bahraini Teachers' Association was sentenced to 5 years in prison on 21 October, while BTA vice-president Jalila al-Salman faces a jail term of six months. They were arrested for supporting protests and strikes in February 2011 calling for democratic reform in Bahrain, and tortured into confessions. Amnesty International called the sentences 'outrageous', and global teachers' unions have been leading a campaign for the charges to be dropped. Mahdi has already spent nearly two years in jail in appalling conditions.
Mahdi Abu-Deeb's daughter, Maryam, was in court to hear her father's sentence. She wrote on Twitter "Mama's tears are heartbreaking ... 563 days were hard ... 5 years are a nightmare". She was prevented from hugging her father, who was handcuffed and dragged out of court after the verdict was announced.
What you can do:
18/10/12 - BAHRAIN FREEDOM MOVEMENT PRESS RELEASE
Two martyrs as UK Government is criticised for pro-Alkhalifa stands
Two martyrs fell during the week. First was Huda, an eleven year old infant who was suffocated by chemical gases that has become the main tool of repression against the people. She developed breathing difficulties leading to the deterioration of her health until she succumbed to painful death. The second was Hajji Mahdi Ali Al Marhoon, 60. Few months ago he was subjected to intense inhalation of chemical gases deployed by regime’s forces against the people of Ma’amir Town. He was hospitalised but his condition deteriorated until he passed away on Wednesday 17th October. His funeral yesterday was attended by thousands of people who chanted anti-regime slogans calling for an end to the Alkhalifa hereditary dictatorship.
The repression has continued unabated. The security apparatus, commanded by John Timoney and John Yates has intensified its attempts to suppress dissenting voices or anyone attempting to uncover the truth. It is now illegal to tweet anti-Alkhalifa news. Anyone who criticises the dictatorship or its human rights abuses is liable for arrest, torture and imprisonment. Four people have now been targeted for tweeting anti-regime news. The situation has now deteriorated to levels far worse than in previous times. Instead of opening up freedoms, the Alkhalifa, encouraged by the Saudi occupation, Anglo-American military and security support, has become notorious for its human rights violations. It has made mockery of the recommendations by the Bissioni Commission and the Human Rights Council.
While Nabeel Rajab’s trial earlier this week was postponed other human rights activists have been targeted and warned of severe consequences if they continued criticism of the Alkhalifa bleak record of human rights. Mohammad Al Masqati, the President of Bahrain Youth for Human Rights was arrested, threatened and ill-treated for criticising the Alkhalifa. No word of condemnation has come from the UN bodies responsible for protection of human rights defenders. Nabeel Rajab’s ill-treatment has stained the human rights world which has failed to protect the most prominent human rights activist in the Gulf region from arbitrary arrest, torture and imprisonment. Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Rajab. AI has confirmed that at least one international observer was denied entry to Bahrain to observe the appeal against Mr Rajab’s conviction. Since John Timoney and John Yates were seconded by USA and UK to support the the Alkhalifa criminal regime last year international human rights activists were banned from entering the country. The Alkhalifa have kept an iron-fist policy against Bahrainis with tight grip on police, intelligence, army, judiciary and media.
Amnesty International has issued a web petition on behalf of Jalila al-Salman and Mahdi 'Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb, ahead of their final verdict on Sunday 21 October. They were sentenced in September 2011 by a military court to three and 10 years’ imprisonment respectively. Mahdi is still in prison, he is a prisoner of conscience and Jalila may be arrested to serve her 3 years if their sentences are upheld. If imprisoned she will also be a prisoner of conscience. The link to the document is: http://amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/JalilaAndMahdi A video message from Jalila al-Salman is also available on our web page at the following link: http://amnesty.org/ .
These are the links to tweet the web petition and the video which are now both live:
Here's the video: http://bit.ly/TcXm3s
Here's the petition: http://bit.ly/Q6o90o
The Foreign Affairs Committee at the House of Parliament has criticised the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for not designating Bahrain as a “country of concern”. It said: “The case of Bahrain illustrates many of our misgivings about the system for designating "countries of concern". In our report last year on the FCO's human rights work, we criticised the FCO for not designating Bahrain as a "country of concern" in its 2010 report, published in April 2011. Our criticism was made in the light of the brutal repression by the authorities of demonstrations against the regime in February and March 2011, in which at least 35 people are known to have died and some 2,000 people were arrested. Military courts were used to try civilians, and medical staff who treated the injured were brought to trial and sentenced to long periods of imprisonment.” Soon after this report, Saudi Arabia issued a warning to UK that it would punish UK if Parliament took such stands regarding the situation in GCC countries. It remains for UK to rebuke the Saudi regime, which is the most repressive and reactionary regime in the world, for making this threat which is effectively a cheap and blatant blackmail.
17/10/12 - UK GOVERNMENT CRITICISED FOR DOUBLE STANDARDS WHEN BOYCOTTING SPORTS EVENTS
The Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Select Committee released a report this week criticising the governments inconsistent approach to the boycotting of sporting events due to human rights abuses by the hosts. This summer UK ministers boycotted Euro 2012 in the Ukraine after the imprisonment of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. This contrasts to the total lack of support for calls to boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix in April of this year, where ALL of the opposition are in prison, with the opposition leaders having been given life.
16/10/12 - CONTINUED TARGETING OF HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IN BAHRAIN
Prominent human rights activist Mohamed Al Masqati, President of the Bahrain Youth Society of Human Rights was arrested this week. He is charged with 'participating in illegal protests.' He has been increasingly targeted and has received many death threats since delivering a speech in Geneva at the UN Human Rights Council.
Nabeel Rajab appeared in court yesterday, appealing against his sentence of 3 years for 'participating in illegal gatherings.' The court case was adjourned until November 8th. A representative from the International Federation of Human Rights, Stephanie David, who was due to testify in support of Mr Rajab, was denied entrance to into the country.
MORE INFORMATION FROM BAHRAIN RIGHTS
01/10/12 - BAHRAIN APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS SENTENCES OF 9 MEDICS
The sentences range from one month to 5 years. In court Dr Alekri (sentenced to 5 years and arrested whilst performing surgery) remarked that medics gave 15 names of those who they accuse of abuse and torture during their detention and that not one was noted in the Public Prosecution's report. He spoke of how 2 senior police officers and various from lower ranks tortured and humiliated the medics, and that the court should at the very least suspend them from their duties.
29/09/12 - 17 YEAR OLD SHOT AND KILLED BY BAHRAIN SECURITY FORCES
Ali Hussein Niema was shot in the back at close range with bird shot. State media reported that the boy died as a result of being 'taken to a home in the village where he was "treated" by amateur medics.' Ad hoc clinics have been set up by protestors after the militarisation of hospitals in the country. If people present to hospitals with injuries linked to protesting then they are arrested.
28/09/12 - BAHRAIN FREEDOM MOVEMENT PRESS RELEASE
Bahrain: HRW’s Targets of Retribution focuses on Alkhalifa crimes
The Washington-based Human Rights Watch has published a 56-pages report titled “Targets of Retribution, Attacks against Medics, Injured Protesters, and Health Facilities”. This report documents the key elements of what appears to be a systematic campaign by the Bahraini government aimed punishing and intimidating medical professionals suspected of sympathies with protesters and hindering access to health care facilities for persons wounded by security forces. This is yet another addition to the countless reports of documented abuses committed by the Alkhalifa junta against Bahrainis who are subjected to dual and brutal occupation by the Al Khalifa and Al Saud clans.
On Wednesday 26th September the Alkhalifa clan decided to add two months prison sentence to a prominent human rights activist. Zainab Al Khawaja, who has been in jail for two months has been jailed for two more months with more sentences expected in the coming weeks. Bahrain’s judiciary has become another tool of repression in the hands of the repressive ruling family.
Yesterday Nabeel Rajab who has been in the torture dungeons for the past three months was brought to the court handcuffed for taking part in a peaceful demonstration. His case, as usual, has been adjourned until 16th October. In contrast a policeman who had shot Martyr Hani Abdul Aziz from a close range came to the court on his own, without even being detained. He was sentenced to seven years and is expected to be “pardoned” by the dictator within a shorter period. The killers of Ali Al Mo’men and Ali Mushaima was set free, while the most prominent human rights activist is languishing behind bars for peaceful expression of opinion.
Bahraini people were shocked yesterday by the news that two young men were killed by the Saudi forces at the town of Awwamiya. Khalid Abdul Karim Al Labbad, 25, was shot dead by the Saudi special forces who are trained to shoot-to-kill and liquidate enemies of the regime. Another younger boy, Mohammad Habib Al Manasef, 16, was also executed in the street by those evil forces. The Saudi regime claims that Martyr Al Labbad is on the wanted list that it had issued containing the names of 23 people it considered responsible for the massive protests that have wrecked the Eastern peninsula for more than a year. So far 17 people have been killed by the regime forces which are known for their total disregard to human rights or compassion. A day earlier a senior cleric was arrested for speaking against the Al Saud dictatorship. Sheikh Hussain Al Radhi was abducted and taken to unknown location. His whereabouts are unknown.
While the Shiite Eastern Province is being subjected to murderous attacks by the Saudi forces, hundreds of Sunni families in Riyadh, Al Jawf, Alqassim, Medina and Jedda have been protesting outside prisons and other offices of the interior ministry. These are the relatives of more than 10,000 political prisoners who have languished in torture cells for the good part of the past decade. None of them has been charged or tried. Few family visits are permitted under strict supervision. The lives of those families have been devastated as they parted with their loved ones who spend their youth behind bars. The Saudis and Alkhalifa are emboldened by American support under the unfounded claim of fighting terrorism. It is these repressive policies that nurture violence and cause polarisation of the situation.
On Tuesday 25th September two opposition members were in Rome for a meeting with the Italian Senate's human rights commission. Sayed Hadi Al mousawi and Dr Jassim Hussain said they are inspired by Gandhi, the late leader of the Indian independence movement. 'In Bahrain we have learnt very well the lesson of Mahatma Gandhi', said Jasim Hussein. 'Our protest is peaceful', said Hussein and Almossawi, who were invited to talk by Senator Marco Perduca. 'Our movement can be compared to the non-violent one of Gandhi. But the state has chosen since the beginning to respond with unprecedented violence'.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
28th September 2012
04/09/12 - BAHRAIN COURT UPHOLDS SENTENCES OF OPPOSITION LEADERS
The leaders of the opposition chose not to attend the appeal session as they felt that the verdicts were inevitable. The sentences for the 20 were upheld including 8 of life imprisonment. Zainab Al Khawaja's case has been adjourned until 10/09/12 with her continued detention.
03/09/12 - COURT VERDICTS EXPECTED IN CASES AGAINST OPPOSITION LEADERS, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS AND MEDICS
Tuesday 4th September is a big day for the opposition in Bahrain. The leaders of the opposition will appeal their sentences, with some facing life in prison. The group includes leading human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, Abdulhadi al-Mukhodher, Abduljalil al-Miqdad, Abduljalil al-Singace, Abdulla al-Mahroos, Abdulwahab Hussain, Hassan Mushaima, Ibrahim Sharif, Mohamed Habib al-Miqdad, Mohamed Hasan Jawad, Mohamed Ismail, Sa’eed al-Nuri and Salah al-Khawaja. The two main charges against the group are: 'setting up terror groups to topple the royal regime and change the constitution,' and, 'collaborating with a foreign state,' a reference to Iran. The evidence being used against the group is acknowledged by the King appointed BICI report, to have been extracted under torture. The men are prisoners of conscience and we demand their immediate release, as did President Obama in his Arab Spring speech in May 2011, 15 months ago, the last time he mentioned Bahrain in public.
28 medical professionals also await verdicts on Tuesday 4 September, on charges such as 'inciting hatred against the regime' and 'participating in illegal gatherings.' The nurses, consultants, surgeons, and ambulance drivers on trial deny the charges, and again are documented to have been tortured for confessions whilst in detention.
Leading Human Rights campaigner Zainab al-Khawaja (@angryarabiya), daughter of the aforementioned Abdulhadi al-Khawaja who is serving life in prison, is also in court on Tuesday 4th September. She is currently in prison for 'destruction of government property,' after allegedly ripping down a picture of the King in a police station after she was detained for protesting peacefully. The next day Zainab is in court again for the first session on another charge of 'participating in an illegal protest and entering a restricted area.' The resitricted area was the highly militarised area around the pearl rounabout, the monument which was the symbol of the Bahrain revolution and the focal point of the protests. The Bahraini regime demolished the monument after crushing the protests in March 2011, but the area has been closed off and surrounded by the military ever since.
We demand the immediate release of these 42 prisoners of conscience, as well as the hundreds of others currently being detained in the prisons of Bahrain.
24/08/12 - BAHRAIN: UNREFORMABLE REGIME EMBOLDENED BY WESTERN SILENCE
This was the title of an event hosted at the House of Lords by Lord Avebury yesterday. Exiles joined activist Said Yousif and human rights lawyer Mohammad Al Tajir, outlining the continuing atrocities being committed by the Bahrain regime on a daily basis. The despicable case of 16 year old Hussam Al Haddad, who was shot in the back and killed by Bahraini security forces last week, was highlighted to attendees. As well as the 10 mourners that were arrested and tortured on the spot at his funeral. Said Yousif recounted the beating he received by security services in front of his daughters, and explained that Nabeel Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, had shouted in court that he had been subject to physical and psychological torture whilst in prison. He is currently serving 3 years for 'participating in illegal gatherings.'
This all occurred as David Cameron for the third time welcomed the King of Bahrain, Hamad Al-Khalifa, into Downing Street. The UK regime has barely uttered a word in public about the human rights violations that are being committed on the island of its strategic ally. This has led human rights activists and organisations across the globe lamenting the double standards of Western foreign policy.
Another event was held yesterday at The Frontline Club in London. Organised by Ala'a Shehabi, a Bahraini activist, the conference was chaired by the Guardians Brian Whittaker. The panel included lawyer Mohammad Al Tajir; Marc Owen Jones, a researcher at Durham University; and Carla Ferstman of Redress. Many aspects of the Bahrain Revolution were discussed and Bahrain PR Watch was launched, an initiative to monitor the Western PR companied being employed to repair the Regimes image in the eyes of the international community. A full video of the event is below.
Bahrain: The abandoned revolution
16 AUGUST 2012
The Manchester based Bahrain Solidarity Campaign has strongly condemned the imprisonment of Nabeel Rajab, internationally renowned Human Rights defender and President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCRH). Rajab was sentenced today to 3 years in prison for, ‘participating in illegal gatherings.’
Last week 19 members of the US Congress sent an open letter to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, urging him to release the imprisoned Human Rights activist.
Rajab was already serving a prison sentence of 3 months for sending tweets that called for Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa, the hardliner within the ruling family and the King’s uncle, to step down. His twitter account @NabeelRajab has nearly 170,000 followers.
Rajab and his family have been the subject of a sustained campaign of harassment by the Bahraini security forces since the country erupted in protests, sparked by the ‘Arab Spring’ in February 2011. He was first detained on May 5 after being interviewed by Julian Assange on ‘The World Tomorrow’. The program was aired on May 8, and is widely believed to have been the catalyst for his arrest.
Nabeel Rajab was released on bail on May 20, but was re-arrested on June 6 (and later sentenced) on separate charges of defamation related to a tweet. He has previously been briefly detained a number of times, and his family home has been attacked by security forces on several of occasions. His BCHR colleague Said Yousif was yesterday stopped at a checkpoint and beaten in front of his children for refusing to call Rajab a ‘whore.’
The Bahrain Solidarity Campaign calls for the immediate release of Nabeel Rajab, the release of the opposition leaders whose appeal was adjourned again yesterday, and the release of the hundreds of other Bahrainis that are prisoners of conscience at present in Bahrain.
For more information contact Kath Grant - firstname.lastname@example.org
15/08/12 - LOTTERY OF POLITICAL VERDICTS IN BAHRAIN. TRIAL FOR OPPOSITION LEADERS POSTPONED
Yesterday, on Bahrain's Independence Day, the courts issued its verdicts on several cases against over 56 persons, of which 42 were already in detainion. The original sentences handed down, by a military court, for six main cases involving 42 detainees, totalled 845 years. The appeal of the opposition leaders was postponed until 4th September. The verdicts were correctly described as a 'lottery' with some having their sentences commuted, whilst others had them confirmed. The evidence gained under torture was still allowed to be admitted into testimony.
ALL VERDICTS DOCUMENTED HERE
09/08/12 - ***URGENT ACTION*** VERDICT EXPECTED ON 14TH AUGUST FOR THE 13 OPPOSITION LEADERS
VERDICT EXPECTED FOR 13 OPPOSITION ACTIVISTS
The final verdict in the trial of 13 opposition activists will be announced on 14 August. Defence witnesses have not had the chance to give their statements yet. Amnesty International considers all 13 to be prisoners of conscience and is calling for their immediate and unconditional release.
The final verdict in the trial of 13 prominent opposition activists in Bahrain, originally sentenced in 2011 by a military court to between two years and life in prison will be announced on 14 August. The verdict relates to appeal hearings after the Court of Cassation decided in April 2012 to refer the case to a civilian court for a further appeal. This appeal before the Criminal Court of Appeal started on 22 May 2012. After a judge’s recent decision to move all future hearings of the 13 men behind closed doors, where they would be filmed, the defendants responded by asking their lawyers not to represent them in court any longer. The court appointed them new lawyers and in the last hearing on 24 July the judge announced he would pronounce his final verdict even if the defendants kept on refusing to attend the hearings.
The verdict is now due to be announced in public on14 August, even though the new defence lawyers appointed by the court have not had a chance to bring in defence witnesses to testify in court or to submit their final arguments to the court.
Several of the defendants have spoken out in previous court hearings to describe their alleged torture and other ill-treatment in detention, which included sexual assault and other acts of torture to coerce “confessions”. Amnesty International is unaware of any independent investigation of these allegations, or of anyone having been brought to justice for alleged abuses.
Please write immediately in English or Arabic:
Urge the Bahraini authorities to release all 13 opposition activists immediately and unconditionally, since they are prisoners of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly;
Urge them to quash the 13 men’s convictions and sentences;
Urge them to order an immediate and independent investigation into their allegations of torture, publish the methods and findings and bring anyone responsible for abuses to justice.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 SEPTEMBER 2012 TO:
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
Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
Office of the Prime Minister
P.O. Box 1000, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1753 3033
+973 1753 2839
Salutation: Your Highness
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/default76a7.html?action=category&ID=159
Salutation: Your Excellency
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
01/08/12 - WEAPONIZING TEAR GAS: BAHRAIN'S UNPRECEDENTED USE OF TOXIC CHEMICAL AGENTS AGAINST CITIZENS
Physicians for Human Rights have released this detailed report on the Bahrain Regime's security services' massive overuse of tear gas in the country. Tear Gas is being used as a weapon and a method of collective punishment.
PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
01/08/12 - BAHRAIN OPPOSITION'S 'DARKNESS GANGS' CAMPAIGN TO HIGHLIGHT CONTINUED ABUSES BY SECURITY FORCES
The Bahrain Opposition has begun a campaign to highlight the ongoing atrocities committed by the security forces against the Bahraini people. Follow the hashtag #DarknessGangs on Twitter for thousands of examples of violations of Human Rights by the Regime's security forces. This comes at at time when the Regime is claiming successes with regards to reform within the security services.
30/07/12 PRINCE NASSER AL KHALIFA AT THE LONDON 2012 OPENING CEREMONY
This is a picture of Prince Nasser Al Khalifa, son of King Hamad Al Khalifa, at the Olympic opening ceremony. Next to him is Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid Al Khalifa. As detailed previously Prince Nasser, the Head of the Bahrain Olympic committee is alleged to have personally tortured Bahraini athletes that protested against the regime. Over 20 athletes remain in Bahrain prisons.
ESPN VIDEO OF ATHLETE'S TESTIMONY
GLOBAL VOICES ARTICLE
25/07/12 - ARE BAHRAINI AUTHORITIES USING A UK FIRM'S TECHNOLOGY TO SPY ON PRO DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS?
It has been alleged that the Bahraini Authorities have been using software made by UK firm Gamma International called FinFisher Suite, described as, 'Governmental IT Intrusion and Remote Monitoring Solution.' The blog CitizenLab.org makes a compelling case:
09/07/12 - NABEEL RAJAB, PRESIDENT OF THE BAHRAIN CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS SENTENCED TO 3 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR COMMENTS MADE ON TWITTER
Masked police took Nabeel Rajab (@NABEELRAJAB) to prison today, after he was found guilty and sentenced to 3 months in prison by a Bahraini court for comments made on Twitter . This is the third time the Human Rights Defender has been imprisoned in as many months.
Human Rights activists Said Yousif (@SAIDYOUSIF) and Zainab Al Khawaja (@AngryArabiya) were at Nabeel Rajab's home when he was arrested and tweeted a number of pictures and videos:
PICTURE OF MASKED POLICE
PICTURE OF THE ARREST
VIDEO OF THE ARREST
02/07/12 - BAHRAIN 'EYES FOR FREEDOM' CAMPAIGN
This campaign is in response to the many protestors that have lost their eyesight as a result of the weapons that the security forces have been using. Security forces regularly use buckshot as a crowd control tool, and fire tear gas canisters directly at protestors. This website documents many of the eye injuries that have been received by the pro democracy movement.
28/06/12 - BAHRAIN'S REGIME GOES ON PR OFFENSIVE WHILST ATTACKING HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Nabeel Rajab was released from his second stint in prison in 2 months yesterday. He was imprisoned for comments made on the social networking site twitter where he has over 150k followers.
At the same time it was announced that 3 policemen would be put on trial for murder, originally they were being tried for manslaughter. The charges are related to three separate shootings in February and March 2011. So far no charges have been brought against higher ranking officials in the regime.
In accordance with the recommendations of the BICI report the regime has also announced payment of $2.6m to the families of 17 protestors murdered by their security forces, in the crackdown following the protests in February and March 2011.
Whilst these concessions were being unveiled to the media, protests were still occurring across the island as they have done on a near daily basis since the crackdown on the protest movement. Prominent human rights activist Zainab Al-Khawaja (@angryarabiya), daughter of Abduhadi Al Khawaja who has been sentenced to life in prison, was shot by security forces at point blank range in the village of Buri, whilst attending a peaceful protest. Her injuries were not life threatening and it is important to note that this occurs to Bahrainis on a daily basis.
NABEEL RAJAB RELEASED
BAHRAIN POLICE FACE MURDER TRIAL
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST SHOT
14/06/12 - 9 MEDICS RECEIVE PRISON SENTENCES AT APPEAL HEARING
9 Medics were given prison sentences today, the longest of which is to Dr. Ali Alekri who was given 5 years (reduced from 15). The medics were arrested and tortured whilst in custody, their confessions were solicited under torture. Medics were arrested due to the fact that they were eye witnesses to the atrocities committed by the regime, and that they spoke to the international media about these atrocities. Many lies were fabricated about the medics. The Minister for Human Rights Fatima Al Balooshi told us upon their original arrest, that a weapons cache had been found in Salmaniya Hospital. They claimed that the medics fabricated protestors injuries and doused people in fake blood, that they 'occupied' the hospital. After international uproar all but 4 of the medics were released from prison, and were granted an appeal in a civillian court (the original sentences were handed down by a military court.) This was an opportunity for the Bahrain regime to show that they were serious about dialogue and reform, instead they have tried to appease the international community and the regime hardliners, by commuting the sentences of the female medics whilst not backing down and still sentencing some to prison terms.
You can read testimonies from some of the medics here:
DOCTORS IN CHAINS
13/06/12 - 4 YEAR OLD BOY AND HIS FATHER SHOT BY SECURITY SERVICES
A 4 year old boy and his father were shot by Bahraini security services, the 4 year old getting buckshot pellets in his eye.
Testimony from Zainab Al Khawaja (@angryarabiya)Riot police shot birdshot gun at 4 yr old Ahmed, he now has two pellets in his left eye.
Police now not allowing activists and even some family members to see the injured child.
The 51 yr old fathers body is filled with pellets, they are in his thigh, stomach and arms.
"They told me to go away or they'll shoot, I turned around to carry my 4 year old. Before I got to him they shot" says the father.
The father, still in shock, says "I didn't think they would shoot at an old man and a child, we were just selling fish."
While we wait to see if 17 yr old Ahmed Aoun will see from his eye.. Now a family of a 4 yr old fear their son might lose his.
The father with his blood covering his sandals & hospital floor, looks so frightened for his son, who lies unconscious.
PICTURE 1PICTURE 2
10/06/12 - 11 YEAR OLD BOY RELEASED FROM PRISON BUT STILL FACES CHARGES OF 'JOINING AN ILLEGAL GATHERING'
The child was detained on May 13th by plain clothed police officers, and was in prison for a total of 4 weeks. He was made to complete his school exams whilst in detention. There was an outcry early this week as it was reported on social media that he told his mother that he 'just wanted to go home' whilst she was visiting him in prison. The 11 year old is due back in court on June 20th on charges of 'joining an illegal gathering.'
DAILY MAIL: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2156722/11-year-old-boy-accused-taking-anti-government-protests-stand-trial-Bahrain.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
AL JAZEERA: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/06/20126119752562267.html
08/06/12 - TENS OF THOUSANDS TAKE TO THE STREETS IN BAHRAIN
Massive protests took place again on Friday in solidarity with Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, who is still being detained by the Bahraini security services. Nabeel Rajab was rearrested 9 days after being released from prison for comments made on Twitter about the Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
07/06/12 - 50 BAHRAINI PRISONERS GO ON HUNGER STRIKE IN SOLIDARITY WITH 17 YEAR OLD AHMED AOUN
Ahmed Aoun was shot at by Bahraini Security Forces whilst participating in a pro -democracy demonstration. A shotgun pellet lodged in his eye and he was arrested from his hospital bed before the surgery to take the pellet out was completed. He has currently been in prison for 3 weeks and is in urgent need of medical treatment. 50 prisoners have gone on hunger strike in solidarity with Ahmed, demanding that he receive treatment. Many men, women and children have lost their sight as a result of shotgun pellets fired by the regime's security forces. Follow #EyeForFreedom on Twitter for more information.
06/06/12 - LETTER FROM HEAD OF BAHRAIN TEACHERS ASSOCIATION TO KING SMUGGLED OUT OF PRISON
Mahdi Abu Deeb, President of the Bahrain Teachers Association, wrote this letter to the King of Bahrain, urging him to take a path of political reform. Abu Deeb has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, where he has been tortured. Jalila Al Salaman, Vice President of the Bahrain Teachers Association, and also tortured and sentenced to 3 years in prison spoke at the Bahrain Revolution Conference in part organised by RAPAR in December 2011.
“Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory.” Surat Al-Haj (39)
I write this letter to King Hamad bin Isa to advise you as our religion teaches us to do so. All I want from this is reform, real reform and not just those promises you gave the people without actually making them happen. Real reform is what helps our country avoid injustice, tyranny, discrimination and stealing wealth. I demand from you the constitutional monarchy you said you wanted, now only you have the monarchy but the people did not get the constitutional power.
We, the people, grew tired with the deteriorating living circumstances, constitutional rights and political freedom. That is why we went out to demand real reform and dedicated ourselves to peacefulness and good behavior. But what did you do? You betrayed your own people; do you even consider us your people?
You declared the state of “National Safety”, which was a regretful period where people’s rights and well-beings were abused, blood spilled, mosques demolished and Ma’tams damaged right in front of you and with your blessings. Some were killed, others injured and many imprisoned, you didn’t spare infants, old men, women or young men. If you claim to not be responsible for this, you certainly cannot deny that you knew about it, so what did you do to prevent the abuse of the people? No matter what, you are responsible for this and you will stand before Allah to be judged on what happened and still happens in your Kingdom, aren’t you the one responsible for your people?
You wanted to clear your name after the whole world criticized you, so you made the “National Dialogue” parade. It was so silly and resulted in so little that I wouldn’t even bother to discuss it.
Furthermore, you started what was called the “Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry” to avoid having the UN send its own commissions and expose the abuses suffered by the people during the state of “National Safety”. You chose the members of the commission and it started its work accompanied with a lot of doubt, withdrawals and problems. Regardless, it still managed to expose your abuses and highlight a lot of the injustice suffered by the people. The report had some compliments but that could not take the heat off the abuses committed by your army and Ministry of Interior. But what did you do? You formed a committee to follow up with the BICI recommendation and the whole world agreed that they have not done anything yet while your media announced the success of implementing them.
I have said several times before that we are “hostages”. We are not imprisoned because we are criminals and we won’t be released because your judges suddenly find out we’re innocent! We will stay in prison as long as you need us so you can leverage us while talking to the opposition and the people, you will only release us when you reach a settlement that pleases you. We will not let anyone mess with the demands of our people. Every moment longer we stay in prison means you have to stand before Allah and explain your actions even more, choose as you wish.
If our only crime is demanding our rights and wanting to live an honorable free life then I declare that we are all “guilty”. If our crime is demanding to be equal in our country without any discrimination on ethnic, religious, sectarian, tribal or society classes levels then we are all “guilty”. If our crime is demanding justice and equality then we are “guilty”. If our crime is demanding reform in our country, religion and world by stopping the waste of wealth and holding accountable those who steal, kill and oppress then we are “guilty”. If our crime is demanding security for ourselves, our children, houses, mosques, Ma’tams, towns and village then we “guilty”. If your laws limits the freedom of expression than say it out loud and don’t be embarrassed to tell it to the whole world because you cannot really hide it anymore.
Instead, you accuse us of things we have not done, you try to lie about crimes that you and everyone around you know are not true. That will not solve the problem, it will not end the crisis which you have the power to solve and avoid prolonging. Only then you will be able to stop the bloodshed and waste of money that is increasing day by day.
You have declared in the past a so-called ”National Reconciliation” but we haven’t seen it happen. You also announced forgiveness and we still haven’t seen any. You still to this day say you are committed to dialogue and reform yet our town and villages are abused and robbed, the investors are going away and the calls of war are on the tongues of Religious figures, MPs, advisors and ministers. All that and the killings, bloodshed and imprisoning the innocent is still happening and even increasing. So where is the dialogue and reform? Where is the forgiveness and reconciliation? When will the ruling chairs be more important that the land? When will those in power be more important than citizens?
I sincerely call on you to quickly take responsibility in front of Allah, the land, the people and history to solve the crisis as soon as possible. What we have lost is enough and every minute that passes makes it harder to find a solution for this crisis that stormed our country, harmed everyone and created deep divides between the fragments of the society that won’t be reconnected easily. Seeking foreign powers’ help won’t benefit you nor will pitting one sect against another, nor even using mercenaries. Try to open up to our great creative nation that any just authority around the world would want to have. Try to be a part of it, try to respond to its fair demands, try to understand it and walk with it, not fight against it. If you do that you should know that is in your best interest. This is the time of people and not rulers, this is the time of change not stagnation. What was right in the 80s and 90s has no place today – societies move and the clock always turns the same way.
Choose between being the ruler that “won for his people” or the ruler that “won over his people” before you become the ruler “who lost to his people”.
“[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoying what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.” Surat Al-Haj (41)
05/06/12 - 9 DAYS AFTER NABEEL RAJAB (PRESIDENT OF THE BAHRAIN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS) IS RELEASED FROM PRISON, HE IS IMPRISONED ONCE MORE
Once again related to comments made on twitter, Nabeel Rajab was re-imprisoned 2 days after appearing on Al-Jazeera programme 'The Stream'
WASHINGTON POST: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/lawyer-bahrain-rights-activist-arrested-again-after-new-charges-over-social-media-postings/2012/06/06/gJQAlCdYIV_story.html
31/05/12 - PREVENT SHEIKH NASSER BIN HAMAD AL KHALIFA FROM ATTENDING LONDON OLYMPICS 2012
Prevent Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa of Bahrain from attending the London Olympics 2012
In last year's "Arab Spring" protests in Bahrain he publicly called on TV for "a wall to fall on the heads" of all those who demonstrated against the Government, including athletes and went on to head a committee that targeted 150 sportsmen and sports officials, including a disabled athlete.
They were arrested, imprisoned and many were tortured. Some prisoners claim that they were personally beaten or tortured by Sheikh Nasser himself. Their crime? Peacefully demonstrating and calling for the downfall of the Al Khalifa ruling monarchy of which Sheikh Nasser is a leading member and the King's son.
PLEASE SIGN THE AVAAZ PETITION:
31/05/12 - BAHRAIN UPDATE
Promintent Human Rights Defender Abdulhadi Al Khawaja ended a 110 day hunger strike after he was force fed by military doctors.
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/middleeast/bahrain-activist-to-end-110-day-hunger-strike.html
27/05/12 - BAHRAIN UPDATE
8 People sentenced for upto 15 years in prison for 'belonging to an Iranian terror cell.' This includes British resident Ali Mushaima who was tried in absentia. He is the son of opposition leader Hassan Mushaima, who has been sentenced to life in prison.
The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-resident-sentenced-in-absentia-by-bahrain-court-for-trying-to-overthrow-government-7792509.html
_2709/01/12 - Bahrain Revolution Conference Report
Held in Manchester on 17th December 2011, organised by the Bahrain Solidarity Campaign and the Human Rights Organistaion RAPAR
'Those of us who are free to speak, we must raise our voices.'
We need to 'show solidarity with the people of Bahrain', said Tony Lloyd, MP, opening the Bahrain Revolution Conference, held in Manchester, in December 2011. Tony is chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party in the British parliament.
'It is one year on since the flame of revolution was ignited' by the actions of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia. 'The Arab Spring has changed everything,' explained , Dr Saeed Al Shehabi, opposition leader of the Bahrain Freedom Movement.
'We ask for no more support than what is asked by the Egyptian people,' in their revolution, said Roof Al Shayeb, an official spokesperson for the 14th February Coalition, formed from the day the revolution started in Bahrain.
Tony Lloyd gave support to the protesters who 'have shown amazing courage standing up in the face of repression from the government and from Suadi Troops.'
Tony agreed to speak to the British Foreign Secretary Alister Birt and urge him 'to say directly to the King' of Bahrain 'and those around him' that the recent report shows abuse and torture did happen, 'it is very clear and he should back the process of reform.' Tony also called for the release of the imprisoned medics as well as 'all political prisoners.'
The vice president of the Bahraini Teachers Association is one of many such political prisoners. In a special video message screened at the conference Jaleela Al Salaman told of how "on 28th March fifty men raided my home, all armed, they pointed a gun to my head and said 'don't worry I am police.' They broke my home, they scared my kids. They took me away and I was kept for ten days in solitary confinement." She told of how she was beaten and had to endure 13 hour interrogation sessions. 'The Bahraini Teachers Association has done nothing wrong. Teachers are being punished for exercising their rights. Teachers are arrested inside school. Students are made to beat their teachers in public. Over 4,000 have been taken for interrogation. Many have been suspended.'
Abdul Shameed Al Markhi was a specialist nurse working at the Salmaniya Medical Complex when it was attacked by government soldiers in March. He witnessed many atrocities. 'They target the us because we saw what happened. They want to silence us.' Abdul is now living in Britain after winning his claim for asylum.
The President of the Bahrain Nursing Society, Mrs Al Saffar, speaking via video from Bahrain confirmed that the imprisonment and repression against health workers still continues. She said that medics in Bahrain were 'delighted' of the support from those like the health section of the British Trades Union UNISON who have pledged support for the imprisoned medics through the MENA Solidarity Network.
Dr. Zahra Al Sammak , also recorded a speech for the Conference in Support Of the Bahrain Revolution
In early December, on the very day that top level diplomats from the US and the UK visited Bahrain, 'tear gas and chemical gas were used,' against innocent people, explained Saeed. 'A six day old baby was killed' because of the gas. 'Why is the British government quiet?' he asked.
'The Bahraini people face the regime - and they face the Gulf Co-operation Council,' who sent in their troops to help repress the people, explained Hussein Abdulla, Director of Human Rights Bahrain. 'The US has just agreed another £53 million arms deal to Bahrain.' The US Navy's Fifth Fleet is stationed in Bahrain.
'We have one demand for the revolution in Bahrain. Get rid and overthrow this government. No one has ever seen a despot become a democrat. We have no other choices,' said Raoof.
Mark Krantz, an activist with the MENA Solidarity Network said, 'the future of the region will not be one in which Kings and despots rule. The future is now being shaped by the continuing revolutionary movements, from Egypt to Bahrain and beyond. We must continue to support those movements for revolutionary change.'
Key demands of the conference were expressed by A Al Shayeb, Opposition leader and Official spokesperson of 14 February 2011
26/11/11 - BAHRAIN UPDATE
Bahrain's most prominent Human Rights Activist is beaten by police. The Ministry of interior release a statement saying 'they found him on the ground and took him to hospital'.
US State Department expresses concern:
New York Times: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/bahrain-rights-activist-says-he-was-beaten-after-attack-on-protest/?src=tp
Statment by Navi Pillay, UN Commissioner for Human Rights. Pillay: Bahrain Government must take immediate confidence-building measures, release political prisoners
New York times reporter is gased with civilians in a coffee shop (video):
Washington Post: Arab Spring yields different outcomes in Bahrain, Egypt and Libya
Bahrain Police throwing petrol bombs at protestors:
21/11/11 - Videos from Manchester Conference in Solidarity with the Bahrain Revolution
Tony Lloyd MP (Chair of the Labour Party) speech at Conference in Support Of the Bahrain Revolution http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjf6jGpd7P4&feature=youtu.be
Dr. Zahra Al Sammak , speech in Conference in Support Of the Bahrain Revolution
17-12-2-2011 -In Manchester http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pksuZuHUj3w
Dr. Rula Al Saffar , speech in Conference in Support Of the Bahrain Revolution
17-12-2-2011 -In Manchester http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn1Qlh9WSYI
Fahad Desmukh, speech in Conference in Support Of the Bahrain Revolution
17-12-2-2011 -In Manchester http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zdX5saktqU
Vice President of Bahrain Teachers Association in Manchester Conference in Solidarity with Bahrain on 17 December 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7pJ3ytltR0
19/12/11- Bahrain Update
Nick Kristof (New York Times): 14 Year Old boy is killed
Protestor being treated in a house as unable to present to a hopital:
Picutes showing police assualting a woman:
Police supressing a funeral procession:
Police Beating a protestor:
5 min Documentary by Lamees Daif about Zainab Al-Khawaja and the Bahrain Revolution.
Blog - Police Brutality from 5 different angles:
Massacres in Bahrain whilst UN visit (Short video)
18/12/11 - from Justice for Bahrain
About the arrest, physical violence and ill-treatment practiced against human rights defender Zainab AlKhawaj... We are deeply concerned about her safety after seeing the violence that she was subject to during arrest.
Zainab Al-Khawaja is a 28-years-old member of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, famous human rights blogger as @angryarabia and a mother of 2-years-old girl from Bahrain.
On 15 December 2011, Zainab was arrested by Bahraini security forces from a roundabout on Budaiya highway, west of capital city Manama where she was taking part in a peaceful-sit-in-protest. The security forces responded with firing tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protest, while Zainab continued the sit-in before the police moved in to rough her up. She was arrested, handcuffed, assaulted and punched in her back by the police officer as she was forcibly dragged off into custody. She, as well as another woman Masooma Al-Sayed were then taken to the police station. Zainab is a mother of a two-year-old child, whose husband Wafi Al-Majed is in prison along with her father, Bahrain’s most prominent political activist and human rights defender, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja who was imprisoned for life in June by special military court. Zainab faces grave danger and is at risk of being tortured, as the regime has systematically attacked human rights defenders, health workers and professionals who are speaking up against the repression and human rights abuses. We condemn ill-treatment of Zainab Al-Khawaja in public in the strongest possible terms, and arbitrary detention and demand the authorities to release her and Masooma Al-Sayed immediately and unconditionally. We ask all concerned people to take immediate and urgent action in support of Zainab Al-Khawaja and Masooma Al-Sayed.
Zainab Al-Khawaja and Masooma AlSayed are to be detained for seven days. According to lawyer:
Masooma Alsayed was kicked in her leg and is now limping, was not seen by doctor
Zainab when arrested had something sprayed in her eyes and was unable to see for approx an hour
Zainab in police station was beaten on head, arms and legs, as she was unable to see
Zainab recognized the voice of the policewoman who beat her, prosecutor refused to write it down
Lawyer attempted to show prosecutor video of the arrest, he refused to see it Policewoman came in with bandaged arm claiming Masooma and Zainab hit her
Zainab refused to sign statement unless policewoman's name was taken who hit her Prosecutor got angry and made everyone leave the room, awaiting decision
The moment Zainab was arrested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Zdk98x9TM
More about Zainab AlKhawaja
Zainab has been very active on twitter during the Feb-March protests under the name of @angryarabiya as she was posting news and reporters directly from the ground to her twitter page. After the crackdown on protesters last March, multiple members of her family were arrested, including her husband, uncle, brother-in-law and her Father Abdulhadi Alkhawaja on 9 April , who is a prominent Human Right defender in Bahrain, a former Regional Protection coordinator for the Middle East with Front Line and former President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).
Zainab, as a witness on the brutal arrest of her family members has exposed to international media how her father was aggressively beaten:
She has also sent an open letter to Obama and started a hunger Strike that lasted for 10 days and gained international awareness and was the first of a long chin of hunger strikes in support to the Bahraini people.
In other news:
Bahraini police use tear gas, stun grenades to disperse protesters on highway outside capital
Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Expression continue to be targeted by Bahraini regime during UN commission visit. Occupy Budaiya street is an initiative by protesters in Bahrain, have been announced and organized for through social media (twitter and facebook), to stage a sit-in on sidewalks of one of Bahrain’s street. Organizers and participants emphasized on the peacefulness of the event. (#occupybudaiyaST)
Like all peaceful protests in Bahrain, hundreds of peacful protesters were violently attacked by riot police. Teargas, rubber bullets and sound grenade were used to suppress the protesters . Many injuries have been reported, majority of cases are due to suffocation by excessive use of teargas.
Teargas thrown at protesters Photo1 Photo2
Injuries in chest and head reported.
Cases of suffocation and fainting of customers (not-protesters) inside the shopping mall close to the area were reported due to throwing tear gas canisters very close to the open coffee shop area as well as inside the mall parking .
There are many reports of arrests among protesters. including Human Rights Activists Zainab Al Khawaja, and Masooma AlSayed. According to an eyewitness, Masooma was beaten at time of arrest. Another 17 years old girl Maryam Alsarraj was detained for few hours then released from the police station. She said the officer "slapped me so bad and he kicked me from back which made me to to hit the floor with my face and chest" https://twitter.com/#!/MariamAlSarraj/status/147428630778220544
A tweep was arrested for taking videos of the protest. he was detained for two hours , had his phones confsicated then released after signing a pledge to go the next day. https://twitter.com/#!/alhojairy/status/147408697562382336
Another protestor in Noaim was detained for few hours, beaten severely, then released https://twitter.com/#!/SAIDYOUSIF/status/147433872949379073/photo/1
Three boys were arrested and beaten - video http://t.co/5Zo85FOy
A case of death was reported of Ali Ahmed Al Qassab (21 years old), who was chased by police, leading him to run into the road and was hit with a car. His friend who was with him was arrested. Photo https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s320x320/381331_10150534173233072_203200448071_10567136_1774055970_n.jpg
Attacks on Journalists
Reporters at the scene Mazen Mahdi (EPA/DPA) and Hamad Moahmed (Reuters) were attacked and their cars were damaged : http://t.co/MAMcEZEG http://t.co/hcwHkRcO http://t.co/DaYtQJfw both were clearly identified as press.
Adam Ellick and Lauren Bohn (NY Times) were directly shot at with teargas outside of Country Mall. Another 15 customers of the coffee shop at the mall were also teargassed
Reuters: Bahrain protesters confront police outside capital
Washington Post: Bahraini activist ‘Angry Arabiya’ arrested
Justice for Bahrain: http://justiceforbahrain.com/?p=700
Mohammed Sadiq - Director: Justice for Bahrain. 0044 7766500524
17/12/11 - THE BAHRAIN REVOLUTION CONFERENCE HAS BEGUN IN MANCHESTER ..... KEY DEMANDS OF THE CONFERENCE AS EXPRESSED BY A Al Shayeb, Opposition leader and Official spokesperson of 14 February 2011
15/12/11 - Bahraini police use tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters on highway outside capital
12/12/11 - AGENDA ANNOUNCED for Sat 17th Dec conference. Click here to see the full agenda online (not a download).
07/12/11 - David Rovics in Socialist Worker online - A specialist in brutality goes to Bahrain
29/11/11 - Upcoming conference on Bahrain to be opened by Chair of the Labour Party - MP Tony Lloyd will open the conference in support of the Bahraini revolution - see flyer below
23/11/11 - Bahrain's Independent Commission of Inquiry submitting its report today - see this article from Alaa Shehabi in the Jadaliyya e-zine: Bahrain's Independent Commission of Inquiry: A Path to Justice or a Political Shield?
22/11/11 - Upcoming conference - Sat 17th Dec, 10am-5pm - see details in 12/12/11 post.
21/11/11 - Bahrain's Freedom Poet honoured at 'Freedom To Create' international awards - Ayat Al-Gormezi, the 20-year-old poet who has become a central figure in Bahrain's opposition movement in the fight against the brutal Al-Khalifa regime, has been recognized in the Freedom To Create awards 2011.
"First runner-up of the Main Prize was Ayat Al-Gormezi, a 20 year old poet and student at the Faculty of Teachers in Bahrain, who was put on trial for merely expressing her opinion peacefully and openly. Her bravery and willingness to take a risk in the struggle for justice and equal rights for all, has raised awareness of the numerous women imprisoned in Bahrain."
See Ayat's blog here.
09/11/11 - Jaffer Al Alawi arrested - Journalist and blogger Jaffer Al Alawi was arrested yesterday, as the intimidation of Bahraini media professionals continues. We have just learned that Mr Al Alawi has been released, after over 24 hours of detention, and is currently waiting to hear details of charges he may be facing. See Bahrain Press Association press release here (English translation here) and an update here.
13/10/11 - Manchester protest and Bahraini poet nominated for international award - A protest, jointly organised by RAPAR's Bahrain Solidarity Campaign and the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) Solidarity Network, took place today at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall. The protest called on members of Manchester's Chamber of Commerce, who were meeting with Bahraini royal Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa al-Khalifa and other Bahraini businessmen, to refrain from supporting a bloody regime which - as is common knowledge - brutally represses its own people's calls for political and social justice. See video of the protest below, photos here, listen to BBC Radio coverage here, see MENA Solidarity Network's website here, and read the write-up in the Socialist Worker Online here.
Serving as a reminder of what is at stake, Ayat al-Gormezi, a 20-year-old Bahraini poet and student, has been nominated for an international arts award highlighting creative work which promotes social justice and inspires change, the Freedom to Create prize. After reciting a now-famous poem of hers, criticizing the regime, in Pearl Square, Manama in February 2011, Ayat was arrested, put on trial, sentenced and imprisoned, being subjected to harassment, defamation, intimidation and threats of rape and murder while in prison. Since this time she has come to be a symbol and inspiration for the fight against the regime. See Ayat's blog here. The winners of the prize will be revealed at the awards festival in Cape Town in November 2011.
Bahrain & The Arab Spring conference - Sat June 18th 2011
This event, organised through RAPAR in partnership with MMUnion and Manchester Trades Union Congress, was the first conference in Europe discussing the relationship between the current situation in Bahrain and the 'Arab Spring'. It featured a number of high profile speakers and a series of workshops. See poster below and press release here.