US Press continues to proiferate unsubstainiated stories of Bahran anti-regime ‘intelligence contact’ with Iran and Hezbollah
Bahrain says uprising leaders had contact with Iran, Hezbollah
by Andrew Hammond – 4 September, 2012 – Reuters
(Reuters) – Leaders of a Bahraini uprising last year, whose prison sentences were upheld by a court on Tuesday, were in “intelligence contact” with Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, a public prosecution official said on Tuesday.
“It is established clearly to us from this verdict that some of the accused had relations and strived to have relations and intelligence contacts with a foreign organization, which is Hezbollah, which works in the interests of Iran,” Wael Boualai told a news conference, in comments carried by state media.
Six of the 20 men whose sentences were upheld were found guilty of “intelligence contacts with foreign bodies”. They were also jailed for offences including trying to overturn the system of government and violating the constitution. The 20 deny all charges against them, saying they wanted only democratic reform. …source
September 5, 2012 No Comments
PEN International calls for immediate and unconditional release of Bahrain detainees expression opinions
1 May, 2012 – PEN – BCHR
BAHRAIN: Re-trial ordered of jailed human rights defenders, writers and bloggers.
PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee reiterates its protest at the continued detention of academic, blogger and human rights activist Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, after an appeals court ordered a retrial of their case but ruled that they should remain in jail pending a new verdict. No date has yet been set for the re-trial, which will be heard in a civilian court.
PEN continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those currently detained in Bahrain for the peaceful exercise of their opinions, including Dr Al-Singace and Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, and urges a full and independent investigation into allegations that they were tortured in pre-trial detention. It reminds the Bahraini authorities of their obligations to protect the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a signatory.
According to PEN’s information, on 30 April 2012 the Court of Cassation ordered a retrial in the case of all twenty-one opposition activists, writers and bloggers convicted by a special security court on 22 June 2011 of ‘plotting to overthrow the government’ for their peaceful opposition activities. They include academic, blogger and human rights activist Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who were each sentenced to life imprisonment after calling for political reform and reporting on human rights abuses in the country. After the hearing the official Bahrain News Agency reported that the retrial will hear ‘testimony from prosecution and defense witnesses…once more as if it is a new trial…”. None of the defendants were present at the court hearing, and all fourteen detainees are expected to remain in custody for the duration of their appeal, except for Al Hurra Yousif Mohammed who was released after yesterdays’ hearing having served his sentence.
Seven of the defendants were convicted in absentia, including blogger Ali Abdul Imam of Bahrain Online, sentenced to fifteen years in prison. The appeal of the fourteen detainees was heard on 6 September 2011 by the military-run National Safety Court of Appeal, and all the sentences were upheld on appeal at a brief hearing on 28 September 2011. The trial did not meet with international standards of fairness, and there has been no independent investigation into allegations by some of the defendants, including Dr Al-Singace and Mr Al-Khawaja, that they were tortured in pre-trial detention, when they were held incommunicado. …more
May 1, 2012 No Comments
March 9, 2012 No Comments
Amnesty – 21 February, 2012
Scores of activists were arrested on 14 February 2012 at a protest to mark the first anniversary of the beginning of the unrest in Bahrain. Dozens remain in detention and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Several were badly beaten during their arrest.
Amin Jaffar Swar (22), Mutaher Saeed Taher Ahmed (18) and Mohammed Makky (22) were arrested on 14 February 2012 from their car, in the Seif district in Manama, Bahrain’s capital. They were driving towards the GCC roundabout (also known as Pearl Roundabout), the heart of the demonstration. According to witnesses, the three
men were beaten with batons by the police during their arrest, first inside and then outside their car. The police also smashed the windows of the car. A policeman reportedly kicked Amin Jaffar Swar several times while he was lying on the floor. The three men were taken to al-Ma’aridh police station in Manama where they are currently held. An official from the Public Prosecution Office questioned them on 15 February in the police station in presence of a lawyer. According to the lawyer, marks of beatings were visible on their faces and legs.
Hundreds of people were driving and marching along the highway to join the protest but the police fired large amounts of teargas at the crowd to break it up. Naji Fateel, a human rights activist working for the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, Hassen Jaber, a blogger and Abdullah Abdulkarim al-Fardan, another activist, were among those who were caught in the teargas and then arrested. Hassan Jaber and Abdullah Abdulkarim al-Fardan were taken to al-Nu’aim police station and questioned there by an official of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and charged with ‘illegal gathering’. They were later transferred to the Dry Dock Prison in Manama, where they are currently held. Naji Fateel was sent also to al-Nu’aim police station but then transferred to a clinic within the Ministry of Interior where he was questioned by a representative from the Public Prosecution Office. His lawyer was not present during the interrogation but another lawyer who was in the same clinic representing others agreed to attend his questioning. He was also charged with ‘illegal gathering’. According to his lawyer between his arrest and interrogation he was forced to stand up for many hours and deprived from sleep. He has been given a 15 day arrest order and his family has not been allowed to visit him. …more
February 23, 2012 No Comments
February 22, 2012 No Comments
Response to Independent Commission Should Include Investigating Officials
December 6, 2011 – HRW
The independent commission’s report gives Bahraini authorities an opportunity to remedy some of their gross abuses by releasing all persons convicted or held for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. It is crucial for Bahrain to send a strong message that there will be no impunity for the human rights crimes documented by the Bassiouni commission. Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch
(New York) – Bahraini authorities should quickly address the systematic and egregious rights violations documented by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, Human Rights Watch said today. As a first step, the government should immediately release hundreds of people wrongfully detained or convicted following unfair trials. And it should investigate high-level officials responsible for serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said.
Authorities should void all verdicts issued by the special military courts and drop all charges brought solely because people exercised their right to freely express political opinions and assemble peacefully. Authorities should only try civilians for legitimate criminal offenses, before a civilian court meeting international fair trial standards. These standards include the right of defendants to examine the evidence and witnesses against them, and the exclusion of all evidence obtained by torture or ill-treatment, Human Rights Watch said.
“The independent commission’s report gives Bahraini authorities an opportunity to remedy some of their gross abuses by releasing all persons convicted or held for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “It is crucial for Bahrain to send a strong message that there will be no impunity for the human rights crimes documented by the Bassiouni commission.”
The commission, headed by the Egyptian-American jurist Cherif Bassiouni, found a pattern of serious human rights violations that included the use of excessive force against peaceful protesters, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and ill-treatment of detainees, denial of fair trial guarantees, and a severe lack of accountability for serious rights abuses, creating a “culture of impunity,” particularly within the ranks of the security forces. …more
December 6, 2011 No Comments
October 4, 2011 No Comments
Amnesty International – 27 September 2011
A military court in Manama is due to hand down its verdict on 28 September on an appeal brought by a group of prominent opposition activists in Bahrain after they were jailed in one of the ongoing trials linked to pro-reform protests earlier this year.
The military-run National Safety Court of Appeal is expected to confirm or overturn the conviction of 14 people jailed for their alleged roles in mass demonstrations at the capital’s GCC Roundabout (formerly Pearl Roundabout) in February and March 2011.
Amnesty International has repeatedly criticized the unfair military trials at the National Safety Court of First Instance, which convicted and sentenced the 14 along with seven others who were tried in absentia. There has been no independent investigation into allegations by some of the defendants that they were tortured in pre-trial detention, when they were held incommunicado.
“These opposition leaders were tried and sentenced by a court that is neither independent nor impartial,” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
“We believe some or all of them may be prisoners of conscience, imprisoned possibly solely for their participation in peaceful protests.”
“It was quite wrong for the government to send civilians for trial before military courts to penalize them for their participation in anti-government protests.”
The defendants were previously sentenced to between two years and life imprisonment, on charges that included “setting up terror groups to topple the royal regime and change the constitution.” They all deny the charges.
The military prosecution is said to have failed to provide any substantive evidence to show that the accused used or advocated violence during the protests.
An Amnesty International observer attended the appeal hearing session for the group on 6 September, where defence lawyers asked the presiding judge to hear the defendants’ testimony about alleged abuses during their arrest and interrogation, including beatings and other ill-treatment.
“The detention and trials of these activists and others linked to pro-reform protests in Bahrain have been riddled with problems that tainted the legal proceedings,” said Malcolm Smart.
“Bahrain’s authorities must carry out a thorough and independent investigation into allegations that detainees were tortured and otherwise abused in custody, and bring to justice those responsible.”
Hundreds of Bahrainis have been arrested since pro-reform demonstrations began in central Manama in February and March, and scores of health workers, activists, teachers and others have faced military trials that have failed to meet international fair trial standards.
On 25 September, another military court sentenced the former president and vice-president of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association to 10 and three years in prison, respectively, after convicting them on protest-related charges that they deny. …more
September 27, 2011 No Comments
Trials, appeals and hopes for freedom continue September 25th – Free al-Khawaja! Free the wrongfully detained and prisoners of conscience!
Trials in Bahrain will continue on September 25. Please take action now!
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his wife Khadija
By Khadija al-Mousawi, wife of imprisoned human rights defender ‘Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.
It was on a Friday when we gathered in my daughter Fatima’s flat as a family – eating together, talking about politics and human rights or joking and laughing.
Suddenly we heard a very loud noise. In a matter of seconds the flat door was broken in and burly, masked men burst into the room. I cannot explain how I felt at that moment, because no word in the dictionary, or in any language, can explain it.
My husband had always said “whenever they come to take me, please do not interfere and I will just go with them”. But he was not allowed to go peacefully. One of them grabbed him by the neck and then pulled him down the stairs by his legs. He was brutally beaten – punched and kicked in front of me and my daughters. When my eldest daughter interfered, they responded with insults and tried to arrest her too. I was torn between begging them not to take her and looking at my husband on the stairs where they were still kicking him and praying that he was ok. As if that was not enough, I suddenly noticed three masked men holding my three sons-in-law by their necks and taking them downstairs. At that point I was furious, sad and helpless.
My husband was gone, but I could not show how sad I felt because my daughters were suffering after watching the arrest of their husbands and father.
From that night on, our lifestyle changed. We would stay up all night, just in case the masked men decided to come back, and sleep after sunrise. We always slept fully clothed, just in case. Every sound made me jump and check the apartment was safe.
Days went by and we were waiting for news – any news. We asked a lawyer to try to get any information about their condition or whereabouts. He told us that that would be fruitless since lawyers weren’t being told anything about detainees. I was praying to God, “Please just keep them alive!” – because after seeing how ‘Abdulhadi was beaten, I was not sure that he had survived. My daughter decided to go on hunger strike. She was getting weaker and weaker every day. …more
September 19, 2011 No Comments
Front Line Defenders welcomes news that the 12 health professionals who have been on hunger strike in Bahrain
Posted on 2011/09/07
Front Line Defenders welcomes news that the 12 health professionals who have been on hunger strike in Bahrain for almost two weeks will be released tonight. “Not before Time” says Front Line Executive Director Mary Lawlor.
NEWS FLASH FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DUBLIN -O7- 09- 2011
Welcoming the release of the doctors Front Line Executive Director Mary Lawlor said “ Not before time – It is a travesty of justice that health professionals who had simply honoured their hippocratic oath by providing emergency medical treatment to injured demonstrators should be arrested, tortured and tried before a military court. Their release offers some hope that the Government of Bahrain may at last be willing to address the many legitimate concerns raised by human rights defenders in Bahrain”
As the hunger strike entered its second week concern had mounted that the health of several of the doctors had reached a critical stage.
Three of the 12, Dr Ali Al Ekri, Dr Ghassan Daif and Dr Basim Daif studied at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin
The doctors launched a hunger strike last week in protest at their conditions of detention and the outrageous charges against them. All three were arbitrarily detained, held in incommunicado detention, reportedly tortured, denied access to their families for 2 months and forced to confess under duress. These “confessions” were videotaped while they were blindfolded and are being used in evidence against them. Additionally, Dr Ghassan’s wife Dr Zahra Alsammak, who also studied in Dublin, was detained for 25 days and is also facing charges.
The arrests of the medics took place as part of the violent government response to the demonstrations for political reform which took place in February and March and during which health professionals who had provided medical care to injured demonstrators were arrested and charged with attempts to undermine the authority of the King and the government.
Despite this good news Front Line Defenders remains concerned that the charges against them still stand and that the trials will continue before a military court in which the defendants are denied the opportunity to present witnesses for the defence or to question witnesses for the prosecution. The organisation is continuing to press for the release of all human rights defenders currently in detention, including Front Line’s former Protection Coordinator for the Middle East Abdulhadi Al Khawaja who was sentenced to life imprisonment. Front Line is also calling for all charges to be dropped against blogger Ali Abduleman who was sentened to 15 years imprisonment in absentia. …source
September 7, 2011 No Comments
As reinitiated Military Courts prepare to convene, review of some of the charged and convicted awating upcoming appeals and trials
The military court in Bahrain issued harsh sentences against 21 opposition leaders and figures, including Abdul Hadi Al Khawajah, the prominent human rights activist.
The lack of international standards for trials and having civilians tried before a military court are blatant violations of their rights and a sign of the invalidity of the sentences issued.
Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) considers the detainees prisoners of conscience with no material evidence of their involvement in violence or the incitement of violence. The BCHR condemns their torture during interrogation and trial.
5 June, 2011
On the dawn of 16th March 2011, Bahrain security forces backed by the military crushed the popular pro-democracy movement in Bahrain by clearing the Pearl Roundabout in the capital Manama from protesters after declaring the state of “National Safety” (Martial Law) and the intervention of GCC security and military forces in Bahrain under the cover of the “Peninsula Shield”. Saudi troops formed the majority among those forces which was led by Major General Mutlaq Bin Salem – the head of the Peninsula Shield forces. Local authorities launched a wide campaign of arbitrary detentions against all those involved in or supported – in any way – the pro-democracy movement during the period from 14th February until 17th March 2011. According to initial estimates, the number of detainees exceeded 2000 including 21 opposition leaders and human rights activists – 7 of whom were tried in absentia for not being able to arrest them. They were tried before a military court known as “The Court of National Safety” which was held at the Military Courts headquarters of the Bahrain Defense Force (the army). The following report presents a summary of the abuses they were subjected to before and after the trials which ended on 22nd June 2011 (case No. 124/2011). The sentences ranged from two years to life imprisonment  (attached a list of names and sentences).
In the aforementioned sentence, the court relied on reports and testimonies of the National Security Apparatus (the intelligence services) which claimed that members of this group (21 in total, 7 of whom were considered escaped) had formed an organization calling for a democratic republic instead of the current monarchy and that they had participated in managing the popular protest movement, inciting hatred against the regime and its symbols, planning for the overthrow of the regime by force, calling for civil disobedience, spreading false news about the situation in Bahrain and collaborating with a foreign power. These charges were denied by all the defendants and their lawyers who have considered them malicious as a punishment to these activists, who were annoying the authorities with their peaceful activities in the previous period, by imposing the most severe penalties under the two laws of “Terrorism” and the “State Security” law in the penal code which is condemned internationally.
All the defendants insisted that what they have done was only practicing their legitimate right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly calling for civil, political, economic and social rights to all the people. Moreover, all their activities did not go beyond the frame of peaceful actions.
This brief report outlines some of what these activists have suffered with torture and human rights violations since their arrest until the time of writing of this report. It includes the following:
I. Violations during the arrest and detention.
II. Torture at the National Security Apparatus (Al Qal’ah).
III. Physical and psychological torture at the military prison (Al Grain).
IV. Violations related to the interrogations done by the National Security Apparatus and the Military Prosecution.
V. Violations related to trials before the Military Court.
VI. Vengeance on relatives of the detainees.
I. Violations during the arrest and detention:
All fourteen detainees in this case said that their arrests took place by raiding their houses or houses of their relatives after midnight. They had not been summoned or informed that they are wanted by any authority. No documents of a judicial warrant for their arrest or search were presented. The following are some examples of detainees’ testimonies about the detention process: HERE
September 6, 2011 No Comments
As King Hamad’s “Royal Invesitgation” placates pretentous West, Hamad’s victims bear witness to torture and abuse
by Zoi Constantine – Sep 1, 2011 – The National
MANAMA- Bahrain’s king this week dismissed charges against some people detained during crackdowns against pro-democracy protests and allowed compensation to prisoners abused by security forces.
But as more Bahrainis have been released from prison in recent weeks, a clearer picture has emerged about the conditions in which they were held and the treatment handed out by members of the security forces. One piece of grainy video footage posted on YouTube shows two men scrambling to get away, as several police jeeps follow them along a dusty Bahraini village street.
Policemen can be seen hanging out of the vehicles, weapons pointed towards the fleeing men as shots ring out and both fall to the ground, before the jeeps drive off.
The scene is just one of many posted online from the height of the government’s security operation in March. Like many of those wounded during the violence that ensued, one of the young men seen on the video was treated in hospital for serious injuries after he was hit at close range with birdshot.
Several days after Bahraini security forces took over the hospital where he was being treated, he disappeared, leaving his family fearing the worst.
That man was Mohammed, the only name he was prepared to give when The National tracked him down. After he was shot, he says, he was taken to a military hospital, where he was beaten as he lay blindfolded and tethered by his hands and feet to a hospital bed for more than three weeks.
Mohammed, in his twenties, remained in detention for the next four months, moving between hospitals and prison medical and detention facilities.
The National Blogs
He is just one of many who speak of arbitrary detention, physical mistreatment and lack of access to legal representation or their families. Others say the screams of other prisoners or threats were as close as they came to torture. There have also been reports that jail conditions improved recently.
The Bahraini government has released scores of prisoners in the past month, including some high-profile figures such as Matar Matar, a former MP and senior figure within Al Wefaq, the country’s main opposition group. Also among those released was Ayat Al Gormezi, 20, who was arrested after she read an anti-regime poem at a rally in March. Ms Al Gormezi has said she was severely beaten during her time in prison.
In a speech on Sunday, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa said that Bahrain’s Supreme Court would oversee compensation payments for victims of abuse or for families of those killed during unrest, including security forces.
The recently set-up Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry – a fact-finding body charged with investigating human-rights violations since the crisis in Bahrain broke out in February – has so far facilitated the release of at least 157 detainees.
However, it is still not clear exactly how many people linked to the protest movement remain in jail. The Bahraini government has not responded to queries on the issue, but local human-rights activists estimate that there are still between 500 and 600 people tied to the protests in jail.
On Tuesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called for the release of all prisoners detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression. The rights body also called on the Bahraini government to release the names of all of those arrested since March 15.
For those who have been released, the commission is in the process of investigating reports of mistreatment and torture, with forensic medical experts expected to help with the inquiry.
Mohammed’s family says he has already submitted to investigators his account of what happened to him after he was shot by police in March.
Speaking recently to The National, Mohammed recalled how he left his house to go to the supermarket, when he was caught up in a large gathering that turned into a confrontation with security forces.
Lifting his T-shirt, he showed that his back was still dotted with scars left by the birdshot. Around 150 of the small metal pellets remain lodged in his body. A long scar where he had emergency surgery has left his stomach distended and misshapen. He said he was even hit on his wound while in hospital. …more
September 3, 2011 No Comments
Bassiouni seizes arranged photo opportunity and staged meeting with political prisoners on behalf of al Khalifa’s charades
By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief – August 26, 2011
Head of commission discusses arrest, trials and allegations of torture with detainees held under National Safety Law
Manama: Bahrain’s probe commission chief has reviewed with prisoners held under the National Safety Law their legal status and detention conditions, the commission has said.
“Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, the chairman of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), visited Al Qurain prison where he met all the prisoners indicted under the National Safety Law,” the BICI said on Wednesday.
“Among those were the 14 political prisoners, convicted of collaboration in an attempt to overthrow the Bahrain regime and government. The prisoners were Ebrahim Sharif, Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja, Hussain Mushaima, Abdul Wahab Hussain, Jalil Singace, Mohammad Al Saffaf, Saeed Ahmad, Abdul Jalil Al Moqdad, Salah Al Khawaja, Mohammad Jawad, Abdul Hadi Hassan, Al Hurr Mohammad, Abdullah Al Mahroos and Mohammad Esmail.”
Bassiouni discussed the facility conditions, the personal circumstances of their arrest and their trials, allegations of torture and the status of the legal proceedings against them, BICI said.
The head of the five-member commission also visited the military public prosecutor and discussed the status of all cases under the National Security Law.
The meetings were part of a series of visits conducted by the BICI within the mandate of its investigation of the events of February and March 2011 and their consequences.
BICI staff have met a range of political and civic organisations as well as prisoners and detainees, health workers, trade union activists and representatives of large commercial organisations.
The commission has also issued two strong denials that at least one of its members had resigned and shut down its offices for three days following verbal abuses and aggressions. However, the commission said that it would continue its work. …source
August 27, 2011 No Comments
HRC: Action Alert: Bahrain – Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and Co-Defendants Face Uncertain Future
23 AUGUST 2011 – IHRC
Concerns are raised over the future of Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and his co-defendants in run up to appeal.
Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace, a Bahraini human rights activist, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a military court on 22 June with 20 other activists calling for justice. He is currently appealing against this conviction along with his co-defendants, who were also handed heavy sentences.
Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace and many of his co-defendants were sentenced on 22 June to life imprisonment for their political activism during the course of widespread protests in the country in the spring. Their trial was conducted in an ‘emergency’ military court, despite martial law having ended on 1 June. The co-defendants received sentences ranging from 2-15 years imprisonment.
Reports have indicated that immediately after the verdict, many of them were beaten and tortured in an effort to extract a confession from them.
The UN High Commissioner has condemned these proceedings and the lengthy prison sentences as being part of a campaign of political repression being perpetrated by the Bahraini regime on its people.
These men were clearly not given the rights expected in a fair trial, and for this reason are appealing against their conviction.
Al-Singace and many of his co-defendants are currently being held at the notorious Qrain prison, which is famed for its frequent use of torture and widespread human rights violations.
If enough attention can be brought to their appeal, there remains a strong chance that the Bahraini regime will be forced to release Al-Singace and his co-defendants. We must not let the injustices which permeated the first trial to spill over into their appeal, which would force these men to suffer life sentences for bravely speaking out against government brutality.
A list of those convicted in June who will be appealing, along with their sentences, is as follows:
Abdulwahab Hussain Ali (life), Hassan Ali Mushaima (life), Mohammed Habib Al Safaf (life), Ebrahim Sharif Abdulraheem Mossa (5 years), Abduljalil Mansoor Makk (life), Abduljalil Abdullah Al Singace (life), Saeed Mirza Ahmed (life), Abdul Hadi Abdullah Mahdi Hassan (15 years), Abdullah Isa Al Mahroos (15 years), Abdulhadi Al Khawaja (life), Salah Hubail Al Khawaj (5 years), Mohammed Hassan Jawad (15 years), Mohammed Ali Ismael (15 years), Al Hurr Yousif Mohammed (2 years), Akeel Ahmed Al Mafoodh (15 years), Ali Hassan Abdullah (15 years), Abdulghani Ali Khanjar (15 years), Saeed Abdulnabi Shehab (life), Abdulraoof Al Shayeb (15 years), Abbas Al Omran (15 years), Ali Hassan Mushaima (15 years). …more at BCHR
August 26, 2011 No Comments
Al Khalifa free those you have so harshly detained, these men and the thousand who will follow are Bahrain’s free and peaceful future
August 24th, 2011 – BYSHR
Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) is deeply concerned about the appeal hearing of the 21 prominent activist before a military court.
The BYSHR lawyer said that “the hearing for the final pleading.”
On the 22th of June 2011, Military Court judge issued a sentence on 21 defendants:
1-Abdulwahab Hussain Ali ( life sentence imprisonment)
2-Ibrahim Sharif Abdulraheem Mossa ( 5 Years imprisonment)
3-Hassan Ali Mushaima.( life sentence imprisonment)
4-Abdulhadi Al Khawaja ( life sentence imprisonment)
5-Abduljalil Abdullah Al Singace.( life sentence imprisonment)
6-Mohammed Habib Al Safaf. ( Mohammed Habib Miqdad) ( life sentence imprisonment)
7-Saeed Mirza Ahmed. ( Saeed AlNouri) ( life sentence imprisonment)
8-Abduljalil Mansoor Makk. (Abdul Jalil Miqdad) ( life sentence imprisonment)
9-Al Hurra Yousif Mohammed.( 2 Years imprisonment)
10-Abdullah Isa Al Mahroos.( 5 years imprisonment)
11-Salah Hubail Al Khawaj.( 5 years imprisonment)
12-Mohammed Hassan Jawad.( 15 years imprisonment)
13-Mohammed Ali Ismael. ( 15 years imprisonment))
14-Abdul Hadi Abdullah Mahdi Hassan ( Abdulhadi AlMukhodher) ( 15 years imprisonment)
Defendants ( not being arrested yet) :
15-Akeel Ahmed Al Mafoodh.( 15 years imprisonment)
16-Ali Hassan Abdullah.( Ali Abdulemam) ( 15 years imprisonment)
17-Abdulghani Ali Khanjar.( 15 years imprisonment)
18-Saeed Abdulnabi Shehab.( life sentence imprisonment)
19-Abdulraoof Al Shayeb.( 15 years imprisonment)
20-Abbas Al Omran.( 15 years imprisonment)
21-Ali Hassan Mushaima.( 15 years imprisonment)
Attached information about the Defendants – Click Here
August 24, 2011 No Comments
Two prominent women activists, Roula al-Saffar, head of the Bahrain Nursing Society, and Jalila al-Salman, released after imprisonment for several months to be tried in bogus military courts
Amnesty – 22 August 2011
The Bahraini authorities’ decision to try two prominent women activists in a military court is a backward step and raises concerns that they will not receive a fair trial, Amnesty International said today.
Roula al-Saffar, head of the Bahrain Nursing Society, and Jalila al-Salman, vice-president of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association (BTA), have been released on bail after being detained for several months for their involvement in pro-reform protests.
Roula al-Saffar will be tried next Sunday together with 13 other medical workers before the National Safety Court, a military court, although she and Jalila al-Salman, who will be tried by the same court the following day, are both civilians.
“While we welcome the belated release of Jalila al-Salman and Roula al-Saffar, it is deeply disturbing that they are to stand trial before a military court and so are at risk of being imprisoned again next week,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Civilians should never be tried before military courts. The National Safety Court has been a parody of justice and a stain on the Bahraini authorities’ claim to uphold the rule of law,” he said.
The two activists were released on bail on Sunday after the Chairman of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), Professor Cherif Bassiouni, visited them in prison on Saturday.
Roula al-Saffar was among a group of health professionals accused of committing felonies, including theft of medicines, during the protests that began in February. They strongly deny the allegations.
Jalila al-Salman faces trial on charges that include “inciting hatred against the regime” and calling to overthrow and change the regime by force”.
She appeared before the National Safety Court several times in June before her case was transferred to a civilian court and postponed until further notice.
Later the same month, the King of Bahrain announced that all military court trials connected with the February-March protests would be moved to civilian courts.
He then backtracked on 18 August, issuing a decree which makes it clear that the new measures do not apply to all arrested protesters.
The decree requires that those charged with a felony are to be tried by the National Safety Court if their cases had already been referred to that court, which was set up when the King declared a state of emergency at the height of the protests in March.
The new law means that scores of people detained during the protests are now liable to be tried in the military court.
“This is a complete U-turn by the Bahraini authorities. After they indicated that military courts were a thing of the past, it now seems that these courts are being resurrected to do the government’s bidding ,” Malcolm Smart said.
“Anyone charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence must be promptly given a fair trial in a civilian court.”
According to local human rights organizations, many teachers and members of the BTA were detained, harassed and tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention for their participation in protests earlier this year.
At least 500 people have been detained in Bahrain since pro-reform protests began in February and four have died in custody on suspicious circumstances. More than 2,500 people have been dismissed or suspended from work.
BICI’s five-member investigation panel is expected to report on its findings in October. …more
August 22, 2011 No Comments
August 21, 2011 No Comments
shiapost – August 15, 2011
Bahraini demonstrators have once again held rallies in several villages to demand the release of political prisoners and the pullout of the Saudi forces from their country.
Despite the government crackdown on protests, peaceful Bahraini demonstrators took to the streets on Monday to continue voicing their demands.
Thousands of protesters poured into the streets in the villages of Sitra, A’ali, Sanabis and several other locations on Sunday, calling for the downfall of the Al Khalifa regime.
Anti-government protesters have been holding protest rallies in Bahrain since mid-February.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates deployed military forces to Bahrain in mid-March to assist the Manama government in its brutal crackdown on the popular protests.
Scores of people have been killed and hundreds more arrested in Bahrain since mid-February. Numerous protesters have also been detained and transferred to unknown locations during the brutal onslaught on protesters.
Amnesty International has condemned the brutal crackdown on peaceful protests and detention of Bahraini demonstrators.
According to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, there are currently over 1,000 political detainees inside the Middle Eastern country. …source
August 15, 2011 No Comments
August 11, 2011 01:49 AM – By Isabel Coles – Reuters
DUBAI: Bahrain has released more than 100 detainees who had been facing military trials over their roles in anti-government protests earlier this year, but some of them will still be prosecuted in civilian courts, one of those set free said Wednesday. A panel of international lawyers which Bahrain’s Sunni Muslim monarchy invited to investigate the protests that mainly involved the Gulf state’s Shiite Muslim majority, said Tuesday that a total of 137 people had been released.
Among the detainees, who walked free Sunday, were Jawad Fairouz and Matar Ibrahim Matar, former members of parliament in the largest Shiite political bloc, Al-Wefaq.
Fairouz, who expects proceedings against him to be dropped, said some other detainees had been told they could not leave the country pending prosecutions in a civilian court.
“I heard they took some photos of them to show that they are in good health, so that later on when they re-appear in court [they] shouldn’t [make] any claims [that they had been] tortured,” said Fairouz, who had been charged with spreading false news and taking part in illegal gatherings.
“When they released us they didn’t take any signature or any commitment from us [that would require us to be] referred to the civil court,” he said.
Among those likely to face trial in a civilian court is lawyer Mohammad al-Tajer, who was detained in April after defending people arrested during the protests, Fairouz added.
More than 1,000 people were detained after Bahrain crushed demonstrations in March for greater political freedom and an end to sectarian discrimination that Shiites say they face in access to land, housing and state employment.
The kingdom attributed the unrest to manipulation by Iran of its Shiite co-religionists in Bahrain and denied persistent allegations of torture during and after the wave of detentions.
It has responded to international criticism of the crackdown by funding an international legal commission to investigate the events, but activists and rights groups say the panel is cut off from people who fear reprisal for testifying.
Bahraini opposition activists have also faulted the panel’s head, Cherif Bassiouni, for praising the authorities for cooperating with the investigation, and suggesting that abuses were individual acts, not official policy.
August 10, 2011 No Comments
Free Jaleela Al Salman – recently visited in prison, Jaleela asked “have I been forgotten?”, it’s not unusal for the detained and oppressed to feel forgotten and abandoned
Published by Ahmad on Jul 24, 2011
On 29th March 2011 2.30 am group of 40 masked men stormed house of Mrs Jaleela Al Salman, deputy president of Bahrain teachers society, a mother of 3 arresting her at gun point in front of her kids breaking all doors in their way, her kids rooms was stormed as well, kids still suffering from this & scared and cry at night as they recall masked men stormed in their rooms holding, quote “big weapons” for her alleged role in coordinating a teachers strike in Bahrain, for 2 months none heard anything about her whereabouts, or what were her charges.
Now it’s known regime of Bahrain is accusing her for so many fake charges in revenge, for her doing her work defending teachers & students right. It’s known that she had been exposed to numerous acts of ill-treatment & torture. …more
July 31, 2011 No Comments
July 29, 2011 No Comments
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 – By RAY MOSELEY – Al Arabiya
A British parliamentary committee called on Wednesday for immediate action to ensure an end to torture and politically motivated detentions in Bahrain and accused Iraq of widespread human rights abuses, including torture and poor conditions in prisons.
The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee also said it plans to launch in inquiry in the autumn concerning aspects of British foreign policy and the Arab Spring.
In a report on human rights around the world, the committee said events of the Arab Spring should remind the Foreign Office that there are risks for the United Kingdom in failing to take a stronger and more consistent stance against rights violations by foreign regimes.
It said the committee was less confident than the Foreign Office that there is little conflict between Britain’s simultaneous pursuit of commercial interests and improved human rights standards abroad.
The Foreign Office, it recommended, should take a more robust and consistent position on human rights violations in the Middle East and North Africa. It said the Foreign Office should have treated Bahrain as a “country of concern” in its 2010 annual human rights report.
The committee welcomed the Bahrain government’s establishment of a commission to investigate recent events involving protestors but said: “We remain concerned that immediate action is needed to ensure an end to torture and politically motivated detentions.”
Human rights, it said, should be at the heart of Foreign Office work in implementing its so-called Arab Partnership program. The government recently announced a four-year, £110 million partnership fund to support political reforms, give economic aid and carry out public finance reforms. …more
July 24, 2011 No Comments