…from beneath the crooked bough, witness 230 years of brutal tyranny by the al Khalifas come to an end
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Among horrible abuses, this must Stop: Children are routinely detained, ill-treated, tortured in Bahrain

Bahrain: Halt detention, abuse and torture of children
16 December, 2013 – Amnesty International

Children are being routinely detained, ill-treated and tortured in Bahrain, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today.

Scores of children arrested on suspicion of participating in anti-government protests – including some as young as 13 – were blindfolded, beaten and tortured in detention over the past two years the organization said. Others were threatened with rape in order to extract forced confessions.

“By rounding up suspected under-age offenders and locking them up, Bahrain’s authorities are displaying an appalling disregard for its international human rights obligations,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“Nearly three years after Bahrain’s security forces used excessive force to crush anti-government protests, they now appear to be targeting children in an intensified crackdown. All children under the age of 18 who have not committed any recognizable offence must be released immediately. Any allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be thoroughly investigated.”

According to reports received by Amnesty International there are at least 110 children aged between 16 and 18 held at the Dry Dock Prison, an adult facility in al Muharraq Island, pending investigation or trial.

Most children have been arrested on suspicion of participating in “illegal gatherings”, rioting, burning tyres or throwing Molotov cocktails at police. Many were seized during raids while they were playing at home and even at a local swimming pool. Several were denied access to their families for extended periods and interrogated without their lawyers.

Children under the age of 15 who have been sentenced are held at a Juvenile Centre in Manama under Ministry of Interior control. During the day they are attended by social workers but at night, when most abuses tend to take place, Bahraini police take over. At the age of 15 those held in the Juvenile Centre are transferred to adult prisons such as Jaw Prison in southeast Bahrain to serve the remaining prison sentences. …more

December 16, 2013   No Comments

Bloody Bahrain Regime will release political prisoners only if pressured by “friends” in US and UK

Bahrain will release political prisoners ‘only if pressured by US and UK’
30 Novmber, 2013 – TV-Novosti

The most well-known political prisoner in Bahrain, Nabeel Rajab, has become legally eligible for release, but remains behind bars. Bahrain Watch’s, Bill Marczak, believes the activist is unlikely to be freed unless the US and the UK insist.

As of November 29, Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini human rights activist, served three quarters of his 2-year prison term, which means he may be released. He was detained in July 2012 for taking part in an anti-government protest.

Amnesty International has called for Rajab’s immediate release.

“A failure to release Nabeel Rajab on Friday would make it crystal clear that his imprisonment is not about justice or the law but about silencing him,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, the watchdog’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

Bahrain Watch sees the release of political prisoners as something that would help the country move toward solving its political crisis. However, Bill Marczak, a founding member of the organization, told RT that Bahrain could only be pressured into doing so by its Western allies.

This comes as a group of British and American rights lawyers, gathered by Bahrain Watch, are taking legal action to prevent a South Korean firm from supplying the Bahraini authorities with over 1.6 million rounds of tear gas. …more

November 30, 2013   No Comments

Bahrain Regime lies on progess, Systematically Abuses Political Prisoners

Bahrain: Special Investigations Unit Makes Claims to False Achievements and Colludes to Extract Revenge On Political Prisoners, Prisoners of Conscience
16 September, 2013 – Bahrain center for Human Rights

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses dissatisfaction over the Bahraini authorities continued avoidance to comply with the recommendations which aim to limit human rights violations. Many official institutions were established which propose to value the protection of human rights, while in reality they follow the government’s official policy of impunity and discrimination. The BCHR has monitored the performance of the Special Investigations Unit at the Public Prosecution over the course of a year and a half, and concluded that this unit is only one of the many attempts of the Bahraini regime to present the image of reforms, while acting as a tool to punish political prisoners and prisoners of conscience for their peaceful activism.

The Special Investigations Unit was established on February 28, 2012 after an order from Attorney-General Ali AlBuainain to establish a specialized unit at the Public Prosecution for the investigation of torture crimes, abuse and ill-treatment that may have been committed by government officials. Specifically, this unit is designed to investigate into the facts arising from the events in 2011 during the three month state of emergency declared by the government, and which are included in the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), as well as any facts or other issues decided by the Attorney-General to be referred to the Special Investigations Unit.

The establishment of this Unit came as an implementation to recommendation No. 1716 of the BICI report, which stated “To establish a national independent and impartial mechanism to determine the accountability of those in government who have committed unlawful or negligent acts resulting in the deaths, torture and mistreatment of civilians with a view to bringing legal and disciplinary action against such individuals, including those in the chain of command, military and civilian, who are found to be responsible under international standards of “superior responsibility”.

However, what is witnessed on the ground in Bahrain is quite different from the recommendation. The unit is headed by the Chief Prosecutor, and there is no mechanism in which the use of the independent experts to conduct investigations is compulsory, which stands in violation to the very essence of the recommendation, particularly as the involvement of the Public Prosecution itself in the abuse of detainees during the investigation period has been documented. In the investigation cases referred to the unit, some of the cases were documented while others were suspended, and many resulted in the acquittal of those involved in torture as occured in the case of doctors lawsuit against Mubarak bin Huwail and Noora AlKhalifa. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) believes that the formation of this Unit was primarily intended to stop international human rights pressure on the government, while the reality shows a deliberate avoidance of real reforms that are at the heart of the recommendation. …more

September 18, 2013   No Comments

Calls Continue for Release of those Imprisoned through Systematic Repression in Bahrain

Bahrain accused of systemic repression
21 June, 2013 – UPI

PARIS, June 21 (UPI) — Human rights activists imprisoned in Bahrain should be released immediately and unconditionally because their detention is arbitrary, a rights federation said.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, organizations party to French advocacy consortium International Federation for Human Rights, said Friday they were frustrated with the harassment and ill-treatment of rights defenders in Bahrain.

The rights group said at least four human rights defenders are imprisoned or were held briefly on charges of participating in “illegal gatherings” or for establishing a group “in order to disable the provisions of the constitution.”

Dozens of protesters died during violence associated with anti-government demonstrations in 2011. The Sunni-led monarchy was criticized for its harsh crackdown on dissenters, though the government said it is committed to reforms outlined by a commission probing the incidents.

The rights organizations criticized Bahrain for its “acts of repression, including judicial harassment, against human rights defenders” in the country. The charges filed against rights defenders are not justified, they said.

Human Rights Watch published an 87-page report Thursday highlighting what it said were repressive policies in Bahrain.

Bahrain said a national effort to promote reconciliation would put its work on hold during the holy month of Ramadan, which starts next week.

June 26, 2013   No Comments

Abusive capativity marks detention of Bahraini Rights Defenders Naji Fateel, Zainab Al-Khawaj

Arbitary arrest and detention of Bahraini rights defender Naji Fateel
8 May, 2013 – Bahrain Freedom Movement

Human rights activists Zaynab al-Khawaja (L), Yousif al-Mahafdhah (C) and Naji Fateel march towards al-Eker village before being detained by police, south of Manama on 21 October 2012

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) call for urgent action by the international community to stop the ongoing attacks against human rights activists in Bahrain, to immediately release human rights defenders, Naji Fateel who was arrested at dawn on 2 May 2013, and to stop the judicial harassment of Zainab Al-Khawaja who is currently serving a three-month prison sentence and expecting more prison verdicts this month.

Naji Fateel

Human rights defender, Naji Fateel, board member of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR), has been arrested without warrant by security men in civilian clothes at his home in the village of Bani-Jamra at dawn on 2 May 2013. His lawyer, Mohammed Al-Mahdi requested information from the Public Prosecutor’s office about his client, however the office declared that they have no information about him and are not aware of any charges against him. As of then, there has been no information as to his whereabouts.

Fateel was arrested last year on 14 February 2012 while he was participating in a peaceful march heading to the Pearl Roundabout area, the now restricted center of the 2011 protests for rights and democracy. Before that, he was detained between December 2007 and April 2009, and has been reportedly tortured. He has also been subjected to death threats since March 2011 due to his work in the defense of human rights.

Fateel suffers from damage to his spine and his current incommunicado detention raises concerns for his well-being.

GCHR and BCHR believe that the arbitrary arrest of rights defender Naji Fateel has taken place solely because of his activity and work in the defense of human rights.

Zainab Al-Khawaja

The authorities have taken human rights defender Zainab Al-Khawaja to court for charges in more than 10 cases, at least four of them are still active and the verdict is expected in relation to two cases on 9 and 15 May, 2013. Al-Khawaja has been in prison since 27 February 2013 when she was sentenced for “participating in an unauthorized demonstration and entering a restricted zone”. BCHR and GCHR fear that Zainab will be sentenced to further periods of imprisonment.

Zainab Al-Khawaja, a renowned Bahraini activist, has had an active role in the human rights and pro-democracy movement in Bahrain. She has helped since February 2011 in telling the world of the protesters’ demands and exposing the Bahraini authorities’ crimes. She has been arrested several times, detained for months and has at least 10 active cases in court against her for charges related to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. …more

May 14, 2013   No Comments

As Bahrain Regime fails, only way forward is with release of Political Prisoners

Bahraini protesters demand prisoners be freed
4 May, 2013 – Tehran Times

The Bahraini police clashed with hundreds of protesters on Friday as they demonstrated to demand the release of political prisoners held by the government, witnesses said.

Demonstrators, who included women, shouted “Free the prisoners!” and held up photos of people being held, AFP reported.

The protests in Shia villages near the capital Manama were in response to a call from the February 14 Revolution Youth Commission.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging regular demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.

On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on the peaceful protesters.

Scores of protesters have been killed — many under torture — and numerous others detained and transferred to unknown locations during the regime’s brutal onslaught on protesters.

In mid-March 2011, Saudi-led forces were dispatched to the Persian Gulf island upon Manama’s request to help quell the nationwide protests.

In addition, Bahraini security forces have reportedly kidnapped a number of women, including doctors, university professors, and students.

Human rights groups and the families of protesters arrested during the crackdown say that most detainees have been physically and mentally abused and that the whereabouts of many of them remain unknown.

Physicians for Human Rights says doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have “evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police” in the crackdown on anti-government protesters. …source

May 6, 2013   No Comments

Bahrain Shiites protest to demand prisoners be freed

Bahrain Shiites protest to demand prisoners be freed
03 May 2013 – France 24

AFP – Hundreds of people from Bahrain’s Shiite Muslim majority clashed with police on Friday as they demonstrated to demand the release of Shiite prisoners held by the kingdom’s Sunni-dominated government, witnesses said.

Demonstrators, who included women, shouted “Free the prisoners!” and held up photos of people being held.

The protests in Shiite villages near the capital Manama were in response to a call from the radical February 14 Revolution Youth Commission.

Shiites, inspired by the Arab Spring in 2011, have been pushing to be given a greater say in the small country’s affairs.

The kingdom was rocked by a month-long uprising, which was crushed with the help of Gulf troops led by neighbouring Saudi Arabia, but protests continue and frequently turn violent. …source

May 6, 2013   No Comments

Bahrian Demonstrators Call for the Release of Political Prisoners

Release our prisoners, Bahraini demonstrators say
4 May, 2013 – PressTV

Bahrainis have staged demonstrations to demand the immediate release of pro-democracy activists who have been arrested by the ruling Al Khalifa regime.

The protesters shouted “Free the prisoners!” and held up photos of people being held during demonstrations in villages near the Bahraini capital Manama on Friday.

The demonstrations were organized by the February 14 Revolution Youth Commission.

The Bahraini uprising began in mid-February 2011, when the people, inspired by the popular revolutions that toppled the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, started holding massive demonstrations.

The Bahraini government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states.

Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses accused of treating injured revolutionaries.

A report published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 found that the Al Khalifa regime had used excessive force in the crackdown and accused Manama of torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters.

Bahrainis say they will continue holding demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met. …source

May 6, 2013   No Comments

No progress in Bahrain with leaders held in Prisons for more than two years

Bahrain uprising threatens US hegemony
By Finian Cunningham – 12 November, 2012

The Western-backed Bahraini monarchy has been facing continuous street protests… since February 2011 calling for an elected government to replace decades of misrule and corruption under one family. While the self-styled royal rulers and their hangers-on live in absolute luxury -– never having worked a day in their pampered lives -– the majority of Bahrainis live in poverty and under constant harassment from regime goons and death squads hired from neighbouring Sunni countries, such as Yemen and Pakistan.”

Connecting the dots of recent dramatic events in Bahrain spells one unmistakable message — the US-backed Al Khalifa regime is on the political ropes. It is desperately trying to defeat a determined pro-democracy movement that just won’t lie down or go away.

The regime is fighting for its very survival under unrelenting pressure from the mainly Shia population, who won’t back down in their demand for human dignity and freedom, no matter how much they are brutalized and terrorized.

But it’s not just the survival of the Khalifa regime that is at stake. It’s the entire US-backed order of Arab monarchies which has been in place for over six decades, and which is now showing cracks in the dam. This order has historically guaranteed the West a reliable source of oil; and more recently it is crucial to shoring up the bankrupt petrodollar system that Anglo-American global capitalism depends on.

Moreover, the Persian Gulf Arab dictatorships are a lucrative destination for the American and British weapons industries. The latter vital interest was underscored last week by the visit of British prime minister to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia — whose sole mission was to sell $9 billion-worth of fighter jets to these regimes. The Pentagon is also planning to sell Saudi Arabia $6.7 billion-worth of military transport planes, on top of the $60 billion deal signed off last year. In an age of debt-ridden American and British capitalism, the Arab dictators are vital sources of cash.

This crucial geo-strategic backdrop to Bahrain explains the escalating repression in the tiny island kingdom against civilian protesters, with a blanket ban invoked by the regime on all public demonstrations. Bloggers and organisers caught or suspected of agitating on social media have been dealt with instant imprisonment.

Then last week saw the rulers making the extraordinary Orwellian move of deleting the nationality status of 31 Bahraini pro-democracy leaders — a move that has shocked human rights observers and which contravenes the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Imagine a government making its own citizens “non-nationals.” How sinister is that?

Those draconian moves followed on the heels of suspicious explosions in the capital, Manama, and earlier last month in the village of Eker, which claimed the lives of two Indian workers and a policeman, respectively. …more

April 22, 2013   No Comments

Bahrain teens convicted on trumped up charges fill empty cells left behind by freed Medics

Lawyer says 5 Bahrain teens sentenced up to 15 years in prison for attacking police
By The Associated Press – 4 April, 2013

MANAMA, Bahrain – A defence lawyer in Bahrain says five teenagers are among a group sentenced up to 15 years in prison for attacks on police during anti-government demonstrations.

The convictions Thursday could raise fresh objections from rights groups that have already complained about Bahrain’s failure to use more lenient juvenile laws in trying other young suspects.

The Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom has faced more than two years of unrest as majority Shiites press for a greater political voice.

Lawyer Zahra Masoud said the court sentenced three teens — 16 and 17 years old — and one 20-year-old to sentences up to 15 years for attempting to attack a police car with homemade firebombs.

Two others, aged 15 and 16, were sentenced in absentia.

Bahrain is home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

April 5, 2013   No Comments

Rights and Access Denied Political Prisoners and Families in Bahrain

Rights and Access Denied: Prisoners Prevented from Seeing Family Members
21 March, 2103 – Bahrain Center for Human Rights

In the wake of World War 2, the international community established standards in regards to civil rights and liberties, with the hope that there wouldn`t be any racial, religious or political discrimination. The world has moved forward to protect human rights, but Bahrain has decided to stay behind.

Bahrain is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), where in Article 10 states that all persons imprisoned and deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person. However, these rights are routinely denied.

Since February 2011 human rights activists have been thrown in and out of jail at an alarming pace for acts as small as tweeting or simply because they were standing in a group of more than five people.

Photo: Families waiting outside a prison to visit their loved ones. Visitors never know if they will be allowed to visit their family members, or if the visit will be arbitrarily denied.

Imprisoned activist Zainab Al-Khawaja was supposed to meet with her father, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, on Sunday, but the visit was denied. To protest these violations of their rights, they both started a hunger strike on the same day, and their strike continues. Zainab was also denied the right to visit with her three year-old daughter during a scheduled visit. Prison authorities would not explain, but only stated that they were following the orders of senior personnel.

The UN adopted the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, and although they are not legally binding, they are certainly a good guide for how governments should treat their prisoners in a democratic society. This guide clearly states that prisoners shouldn`t be cut off from the world as they are in Bahrain. …source

March 23, 2013   No Comments

Never Forgotten – Nabeel Rajab and all of Bahrain’s illegally detained Political Prisoners

Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab has been in jail since last summer for using Twitter to call for peaceful gatherings against human rights violations. He is currently serving a two-year sentence.

This week marks the Global Week of Action 21-28 March 2013, which aims to draw attention to Rajab’s ongoing “unjust imprisonment, as well as the plight of all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.”


March 21, 2013   No Comments

Wefaq “grandious demands” and “calls” absent demand for immediate release of Political Oppostion languishing in Prisons

Anti-regime demos held in north Bahrain
7 February, 2013 – PressTV

Bahrainis have once again staged demonstrations against the ruling Al Khalifa regime in a number of villages.

On Wednesday, demonstrators took to the streets of the northeastern island of Sitra, the northwestern village of Diraz and the northern village of Nuwaidrat, chanting slogans against the Manama regime.

The protesters expressed determination to continue the uprising despite the crackdown by security forces.

The recent demonstrations were held ahead of national talks that are scheduled to commence on February 10.

Protest gatherings in Bahrain are planned to be held every day until February 14, which is the second anniversary of the uprising.

On Wednesday, Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, which is the major opposition bloc in Bahrain, called for the establishment of a transitional government, which represents different national factions, as a first step to resolve the crisis in the country.

The group also called on the regime to put an end to the “ongoing crackdowns and media campaigns against dissidents.”

Despite expressing readiness to attend the talks, the opposition groups have cast doubt over the effectiveness of the talks. Six members from the opposition and eight from pro-regime groups will attend the talks.

The popular uprising began in Bahrain in mid-February 2011. The Saudi regime and the United Arab Emirates sent security and military forces to the country upon a request from Manama to help the Bahraini government quash the peaceful protests.

Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds including doctors and nurses. …source

February 8, 2013   No Comments

Bahrain Political Prisoners in Hunger Strike against torture and abuse behind bars

Four prisoners began a dry hunger strike last week to protest the torture and human rights abuses that they have suffered at the hands of the authorities during their politically motivated detention. But it is not just these four that suffer, indeed torture is a well-accepted practice in the Gulf kingdom to the extent that a police officer with years of torture allegations against him was just promoted by the King to a high government post. The poor state of prison conditions in general is explored in a BCHR report released this week based on interviews with prisoners and their families.

Several other reports were released this week, including from Bahrain Watch, Human Rights Watch, the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, which explore the failure of the authorities to work towards reforms.


February 5, 2013   No Comments

Bahrain al-Khalifa regime silences majority of oppositon leaders with imprisonment, crushing repression of their supporters

Bahrain: Widespread Suppression, Scant Reforms
ABNA – 2 February, 2013

(Beirut) – Bahrain’s failure to release political prisoners or hold accountable high officials responsible for torture, and its escalating campaign to silence human rights defenders, exposes the government’s fraudulent claims that it is carrying out promised reforms, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013.

In 2012, authorities jailed human rights defenders for participating in peaceful demonstrations and criticizing officials, arbitrarily revoked the citizenship of dozens of opposition political activists, and frequently used excessive force to suppress peaceful protests, as well as those in which demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails. The government shelved the key November 2011 recommendations of an independent commission to address gross human rights abuses during the punishing repression of the largely peaceful mass demonstrations of early 2011.

“Unfortunately, 2012 was the year that Bahrain’s ruling family showed it prioritizes repression over reform,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “This year the government needs to act on its reform rhetoric by setting free all peaceful protesters, including the protest leaders still serving long prison terms for exercising their right to free speech and peaceful assembly.”

In its 665-page report, Human Rights Watch assessed progress on human rights during the past year in more than 90 countries, including an analysis of the aftermath of the Arab uprisings. The willingness of governments to respect rights will determine whether the Arab uprisings will give birth to genuine democracy or authoritarianism in new clothes, Human Rights Watch said.

Throughout 2012, the authorities regularly rejected demonstration permit requests from opposition groups and, in October, issued a two-month ban on demonstrations. According to opposition groups, at least 25 protesters and bystanders died in protest-related injuries in 2012. At least 15 of the deaths have been attributed to excessive or unlawful use of teargas. At least two security officers died of injuries from a Molotov cocktail attack, and the government said that clashes with anti-government protesters injured 1,500 policemen in 2012.

On August 16, a criminal court sentenced Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), to three years in prison for organizing and participating in three demonstrations between January and March. In December, the Court of Appeal upheld the verdicts on most of the charges but reduced his sentence to two years. Security forces in December arrested Sated Yusuf al-Muhafadha, acting vice president of the BCHR, and prosecutors charged him with “disseminating false news” for allegedly posting on his Twitter account a photograph of an injured protester shot during an anti-government demonstration in Manama. He was released on January 17, 2013 pending trial. …more

February 4, 2013   No Comments

Torture and Abuse Rampant against Politcal Prisoners in Bahrain Dungeons

Bahraini Opposition Figure Blasts Al-Khalifa for Using Different Torturing Techniques
4 February, 2013 – FARS

TEHRAN (FNA)- Ali al-Mashima, the son of Bahrain’s renowned opposition leader Hassan al-Mashima, lashed out the al-Khalifa regime for using various torturing techniques against revolutionary forces in the country.

The prison guards blindfold and handcuff the inmates and keep them in that position for the whole day, and while lying them on the ground, they start beating them as well as insulting them, Ali al-Mashima told FNA on Sunday.

He said security forces and prison guards use different torturing techniques, such as electric shock and pouring cold water on them in humid and dark prison cells and then keeping them in front of a cooler and in freezing conditions, not just to take confessions, but to humiliate the revolutionary leaders and opposition figures to wear off their resolve and determination.

In August 2011, al-Mashima said that various torturing techniques are used in the al-Khalifa prisons to extract information and punish the revolutionary forces, and revealed that Bahrain’s prince has a direct role in the torturing and interrogation of the detainees.

“Nasser, the son of the Bahraini king is involved in the torturing of the detainees and this has been revealed and proved to us,” Ali al-Mashima’ told FNA at the time.

He also reiterated that Sheikh Mohammad al-Meghdad and Sheikh al-Mahrous, two of the opposition leaders, have confirmed the presence of Nasser al-Khalifa in the process of their interrogation and torturing.

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the al-Khalifa dynasty’s over-40-year rule, end of discrimination, establishment of justice and a democratically-elected government as well as freedom of detained protesters.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar – were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 13, 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

So far, tens of people have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured. …source

February 4, 2013   No Comments

Regime Offer of Dialogue “not serious” with Majority of Opposition Leaders in Prisons

January 29, 2013   No Comments

Thousands hit Streets Across Bahrain to Protest unjust imprisonment of Opposition Leaders

Thousands of Bahrain Arab Spring Protesters Denounce Government
12 January, 2013 – Democracy Chronicles

Bahraini security forces keep watch during clashes with Shiite Muslim protesters in the village of Malikiyah on January 7, 2013. Thousands of Shiites have demonstrated near Manama in a new protest against an appeals court upholding jail terms for 13 activists on charges of plotting to overthrow Bahrain’s monarchy, witnesses said.

Bahraini security forces keep watch during clashes with Shiite Muslim protesters in the village of Malikiyah on January 7, 2013. Thousands of Shiites have demonstrated near Manama in a new protest against an appeals court upholding jail terms for 13 activists on charges of plotting to overthrow Bahrain’s monarchy, witnesses said.

Thousands of Shiites demonstrated near Manama on Saturday in a new protest against an appeals court upholding jail terms for 13 activists on charges of plotting to overthrow Bahrain’s monarchy, witnesses said.

“We will not resign ourselves to it” and “we will not forget the prisoners,” shouted demonstrators during the peaceful protest that was monitored by a heavy security presence. Some carried photos of those convicted.

On Monday, the Court of Cassation upheld sentences ranging from between five years and life in prison against the 13, who took part in 2011 anti-government protests.

January 12, 2013   No Comments

US policy broken or USG is complicit in Bahrain abuse as it repeats its “concern” about KOB rampant rights abuse

US Department of State Daily Press Briefing
Victoria Nuland – Spokesperson
Washington, DC – 7 January, 2013

QUESTION: Would you update us on your position to – or your reaction to the latest arrests and apparent heavy-handedness of the Bahraini Government against the opposition?

MS. NULAND: Well, as you know, there was a final ruling today in the Bahraini Court of Cassation on the 13 Bahraini activists. We regret today’s decision by the Bahraini Court of Cassation to uphold the convictions and the sentences of these 13 activists. We’re concerned that this decision further restricts freedom of expression and compromises the atmosphere within Bahrain for reconciliation. We have repeatedly voiced our concern about these cases both publicly and privately and at the highest levels, and urged the Government of Bahrain to abide by its international obligations, and we have also had Embassy observers at the trial. So we call on the Government of Bahrain to investigate all reports of torture, including those made by the defendants in this case, as it has pledged to do, and to hold accountable any who are found responsible.


January 9, 2013   No Comments

Bahrain Protests take to sidewalk outside of Court demanding freedom and justice for Political Prisoners

January 7, 2013   No Comments

EU Human Rights Delegation’s calls for release of Political Prisoners in Bahrain callously ignored by regime

Bahrain regime urged to free prisoners
21 December, 2012 – PressTV

The head of a European Parliament human rights delegation has called on the Bahraini regime to free political prisoners.

During a Thursday visit to the Bahraini capital Manama, Inese Vaidere called on Bahraini officials to release all “prisoners of conscience” to soothe political tensions in the country.

Vaidere further said the European delegation paid a visit to imprisoned opposition leaders, including Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been sentenced to life in prison.

The European team’s visit to Bahrain comes nearly a week after the Bahraini prince called for dialogue with the opposition on December 5, saying only talks could solve the political unrest in Bahrain.

The uprising in Bahrain began in mid-February 2011.

The Manama regime promptly launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states.

Dozens of people have lost their lives in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including rights activists, doctors and nurses.

Bahraini demonstrators say they will continue holding anti-regime protests until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met. …source

December 30, 2012   No Comments

Bahrain Regime uses Prisons as Death Chamber for Sick and Injured Prisoners

December 26, 2012   No Comments

If UN delegation really wants Bahrain prisoners free it should call for Sanctions against regime

Bahrain regime urged to free prisoners
21 December, 2012 – PressTV

The head of a European Parliament human rights delegation has called on the Bahraini regime to free political prisoners.

During a Thursday visit to the Bahraini capital Manama, Inese Vaidere called on Bahraini officials to release all “prisoners of conscience” to soothe political tensions in the country.

Vaidere further said the European delegation paid a visit to imprisoned opposition leaders, including Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been sentenced to life in prison.

The European team’s visit to Bahrain comes nearly a week after the Bahraini prince called for dialogue with the opposition on December 5, saying only talks could solve the political unrest in Bahrain.

The uprising in Bahrain began in mid-February 2011.

The Manama regime promptly launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states.

Dozens of people have lost their lives in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including rights activists, doctors and nurses.

Bahraini demonstrators say they will continue holding anti-regime protests until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met. …source

December 24, 2012   No Comments

Ill-treatment and denial of medical care for political detainees in Bahrain

Bahrain: ill-treatment and denial of medical care for political detainees
25 October, 2012 – Bahrain Center for Human Rights

The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) urgently appeals upon the UN, the US, the UK and all governments that are close alleys of the Bahraini authorities to take action to stop the violations against prisoners of conscience. The BCHR expresses grave concern over the well-being of political detainees in Bahraini prisons who are having sham charges made against them, are being ill-treated and tortured, and are being denied adequate medical care. Many reports confirm the poor conditions of the prisons in Bahrain which adds to the suffering of their prisoners. Hussain Al Aali, Jaffar Eid and Mohammed Al Moghani are further examples of what prisoners are going through in Bahraini prisons.

ussain Abdulla Al Aali is a 28 year old father of three. He was arrested on 26 July 2012 after his house, his in-laws’ and his sister’s house were raided several times at dawn over a period of two months as his mother stated to a local newspaper. Hussain’s family started a search after his arrest but were told by the authorities that they did not have him in their custody. Finally, and after weeks of not knowing anything about Hussain’s whereabouts and well-being, they were allowed a visit him. According to his family, Hussain is in solitary confinement to date in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

He was allegedly subjected to torture to force a confession out of him and he was kept in a very small cell under intensive monitoring where he was not even allowed private time in the toilet where there are surveillance cameras and he had no exposure to sun for weeks. Hussain’s health is deteriorating because of the prison’s poor conditions, ill-treatment and insufficient medical care. He suffers from disc problems in his back and because he is being denied medical treatment, his condition is worsening daily. His family added that they have learnt he is not being given sufficient food which will cause him malnutrition and a worsening of his mental and physical well-being. Hussain’s family are gravely concerned about their son’s health condition. He is charged with “the making and possession of explosive materials”, though he only attended elementary school, cannot read and write and his family have affirmed that their son was far from the political situation.

Jaffar Eid and Mohammed Al Moghani are also being detained in the same case. Jaffar is Hussain’s brother-in-law and his family said after their first visit that he was not well. On the second visit, he looked worse, he couldn’t walk or stand and the family noticed torture marks on his legs. Mohammed Al Moghani, 35 years old, was detained on 22 July from the airport after arriving in Bahrain. His family did not know anything about his location for a while and despite the fact that he was in detention, his house was raided several times and many personal items were taken.

Hussain, Jaffer and Mohammed are among hundreds of political detainees in Bahrain’s prisons who are being held on sham charges. Prisoners are being kept in poorly conditioned prisons, many are suffering from serious pre-existing illnesses or injuries caused by torture or excessive use of force by the authorities and are being denied medical care. Mohammed Mushaima, 22 years old, died from a lack of adequate medical care while in custody. Also, Mohammed Sahwan, Ebrahim Al Moqdad (15) and Sadeq Al Haiki are currently in detention and are also being denied proper medical care by the authorities.

Therefore, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights demands the following:

• To immediately provide the necessary treatment to Hussain Al Aali, Jaffar Eid and all other prisoners in need of medical care in the prisons of Bahrain
• For the authorities in Bahrain to commit to international conventions which they have ratified, especially the rights of prisoners to receive full medical care
• The release of Hussain Al Aali, Jaffar Eid, Mohammed Al Moghani and others convicted in cases where the judgment is only based on confessions extracted under torture, which is internationally prohibited
• Accountability against those involved in torture and bringing them to a fair and independent judiciary
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October 25, 2012   No Comments

Judicial crackdown in Bahrain brutalizes human rights defenders and activists

Bahrain: Judicial crackdown continues on human rights defenders and activists
17 October, 2012 – Gulf Center for Human Rights

17 October 2012- The Gulf centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and Bahrain Centre for human rights (BCHR) express their deepest concern over the escalated judicial crackdown on activists as several human rights defenders and political activists have been summoned for interrogation or arrested in the past few days, due to their legitimate peaceful activism for rights and democracy. The GCHR and BCHR believe that the silence of the international community on the continued judicial harassment and detention of some activist is leading to escalation to a wider group of activists and an immediate action is required to put an end to these violations.

On 16 October 2012, human rights defender and president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights Mohamed Al-Masktai has been summoned for interrogation at Al-Naem police station. He was then arrested and kept in custody to be brought the following day before the public prosecution office on charges of “rioting and participating in an illegal gathering.” in reference to the Friday protest in Manama (12 October 2012) entitled “Self determination”. On 17 Oct 2012 he was released after interrogation.

Human rights defender Mohamed Al-Masktai has been active in documenting and reporting the violations committed by the Bahraini authorities in recent months. In September 2012 he has been subjected to intimidation campaign as he received more than a dozen anonymous phone calls threatening his life and the safety of his family, which followed an oral intervention he delivered at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, during a panel discussion focused on intimidations and reprisals, where he informed the (HRC) about the massive intimidation campaign against him.

On 16 October 2012, human rights defender Nader Abdulemam was summoned for interrogation at the public prosecution office. At the time of writing this appeal Nader Abdulemam has not appeared at the public prosecution office as yet.

In addition to her previous 13 plus lawsuits, activist and human rights defender Zainab Al-Khawaja was summoned again for a new case that includes the charge of “insulting a police officer”. The case goes back to 6 May 2012, however it has been activated just now and a trial was scheduled on 17 October 2012, but postponed to 2 November 2012 in order to summon Al-Khawaja.

Al-Khawaja was recently released on 3 October 2012 after she spent two months imprisonment sentence on the charge of “ripping photo of king of Bahrain”. She is expecting verdicts on several cases in the coming weeks.

On 16 October 2012, the court refused to release leading human rights defender Nabeel Rajab; during a session of his appeal trial against 3 year imprisonment sentence which has he received on charges of “participating in illegal gatherings” and “calling for gatherings over social media”.

In addition, the court refused to provide assistance to allow foreigner witnesses to enter Bahrain and testify on behalf of Rajab. On 15 October 2012, Stephanie David, a representative from FIDH has been denied entry to Bahrain to testify for Rajab, as she was required to provide an authorization from the court. Rajab’s lawyers objected to the manipulation of evidences and the trial records. A paragraph was included in the previous session log, although it was not discussed during the session, and a CD which included videos showing Rajab participating in various events and demos, has disappeared from the case records. This CD was provided by the public prosecution to convict Rajab, but the lawyers found it was evidence of the peaceful nature of his activities. The next session of trial will be on 8 Nov 2012. …more

October 18, 2012   No Comments