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[l] at 2/27/20 2:01am

<p>The <a href="https://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/hrc/pages/home.aspx">United Nations&rsquo; Human Rights Council</a> HRC in Geneva opened the work of the <a href="https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session43/Pages/43... regular session</a>, starting on Monday, February 24, 2020, with number of topics of concern to the human rights situation in about fifty countries.</p>

<p>During this session, which will continue until March 20, the HRC will hold more than 25 interactive discussions in this regard. We mention that the Kingdom of Bahrain is one of the countries that the council will address during the session.</p>

<p>The Council is scheduled to organize four thematic discussion sessions, the first of which was held in the form of a round table for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child that was celebrated for the thirtieth anniversary of its adoption in 2019, while a high-level panel discussion yesterday focused on the Beijing Declaration and Plan of Action, which they grew out of the International Conference on Women in 1995.</p>

<p>In his speech at the opening of the annual session of the Human Rights Council, United Nations&rsquo; Secretary-General Ant&oacute;nio Guterres called for action against what he described as &quot;increasing human rights abuses around the world,&quot; highlighting the persecution of minorities and the murders of women. Guterres said in his speech: &quot;The rights of human beings are exposed to transgressions, and no country is immune to this trend&rdquo;, adding that &ldquo;fears are increasing&rdquo; and &ldquo;human rights are being violated from all sides&rdquo;, calling on the international community to &ldquo;move to reverse this path&rdquo;.</p>

<p>Guterres expressed his concern about &ldquo;the decline of women's rights and the alarming levels of women&rsquo;s murders, as well as about abuse women rights defenders and the continuation of laws and policies that perpetuate subordination and exclusion&quot;, pointing out that violence against women and girls is the greatest violation prevalent.</p>

<p>He also clarified that repressive laws proliferate with the emergence of increasing restrictions on freedoms of expression, belief, participation, assembly, and association, saying that: &quot;journalists, human rights defenders and activists, especially women, are exposed to increasing threats while their commitment is indispensable in the context of achieving justice&rdquo;.</p>

<p>The Secretary-General of the United Nations stated that the new technology provided a better organization for civil society, but at the same time it gave the authorities unprecedented means to control the movements of individuals to restrict their freedoms, adding that &quot;the climate crisis is the greatest threat to the survival of the human race and actually puts human rights at risk in all over the world&quot;.</p>

<p>&nbsp;On the occasion of the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights would like to take the opportunity to raise concerns about the failure of the Kingdom of Bahrain and its refusal to undertake reforms proposed by countries at the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2017. On the contrary, the vast majority of the recommendations made by other countries have not been fulfilled, even as the government takes some steps in this regard.</p>

<p>After Bahrain underwent its third cycle of the UPR in May 2017, during the review, member states and observer states in the United Nations Human Rights Council made 175 recommendations, and these recommendations were compiled in 20 areas of issues, including the most important human rights from the right to freedom of expression to treatment of prisoners. Due to the depth and breadth of the recommendations, if implemented, they would have led to broad reforms in the political, judicial and penal systems in Bahrain, but while the government endorsed 139 recommendations and provided comments on only 36 recommendations, it refused to implement the recommendations, taking only few serious steps to changing their policies or laws.</p>

<p>Therefore, and based on the foregoing, and believing in the active role played by the Human Rights Council, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls for paying wider attention to the implementation of the recommendations, as it is not sufficient to instruct them without monitoring their implementation. BCHR renews the call to pressure the Bahraini authorities in order to solve the current issues, especially with regard to the prisoners and their conditions in the recent periods.</p>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 2/25/20 1:43am

<p>Last Friday, February 14, 2020, marks the ninth anniversary of the start of the protests calling for democracy and human rights in Bahrain in 2011, the center of which was the Pearl Roundabout in the capital of Bahrain, Manama, before the Bahraini authorities suppressed it.</p>

<p>On Friday, <a href="http://bahrainrights.org/en/node/9241">February 14</a>, 2020, a number of cities and towns in Bahrain witnessed protests to commemorate this anniversary, and various areas in Bahrain witnessed a proliferation of police forces in an attempt to prevent the emergence of any kind of protests, but the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) was able to monitor many violations that coincided with this anniversary.</p>

<p><img src="/sites/default/files/124.png" style="height:207px; width:331px" /></p>

<p>A photo of the police presence witnessed in Karrana town on February 14, 2020</p>


<p>BCHR &nbsp;monitored from the 13th to the 15th of February, 26 protest marches in 18 regions, including the capital of Bahrain, Manama, where at least 3 of them were repressed by the police forces using tear gas canisters.</p>

<p><img src="/sites/default/files/125.png" style="height:165px; width:286px" /></p>

<p>A photo showing the spread of tear gas canisters shot by the police forces in Sitra</p>


<p><img src="/sites/default/files/126.png" style="height:163px; width:290px" /></p>

<p>A picture of a citizen's car damaged by the tear gas canisters fired by the police forces in Sanabis town</p>


<p>The Center also monitored in the same period 13 cases of detention, including 4 cases of detention of children under the age of 18, amongst them is the 10-year-old child Ameen Redha, who is held in custody by the Public Prosecution for a week on charges of illegal gathering, after his arrest on February 14, 2020 from the Al-Marakh town.</p>

<p><img src="/sites/default/files/127.png" style="height:169px; width:268px" /></p>

<p>Photo of the 10-year-old Ameen Redha, who was arrested by the police</p>

<p>The Center also monitored the summons of a number of persons and activists to prevent them from participating in the protests, and the father of the victim of extrajudicial killing, Hussein Al-Jaziri, who was killed by the police forces in 2013, was also summoned to prevent an event commemorating the killing of his son, which falls on February 13.</p>

<p>The official authorities in Bahrain work every year to prevent protests on the anniversary of February 14 in an attempt to stop any peaceful movements calling for democracy and human rights. Since 2014, the Bahrain government has banned all forms of peaceful protests and worked to legislate laws criminalizing participation in protests, and even punishing the hundreds of people participating in the peaceful protests taking place in various regions in Bahrain.</p>

<p>Since 2011, Bahrain has been experiencing a stifling political crisis in which the government of Bahrain eliminated all forms of political action by dissolving the two largest political parties, namely Al-Wefaq and Waad, and arrested its leaders. Sheikh Ali Salman, Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq, has been in prison since 2014. That is in addition to thousands of political detainees and prisoners of conscience, among them is the President of BCHR, Nabeel Rajab, who was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment in cases related to freedom of expression.</p>

<p>You can now see our 2019 <a href="http://bahrainrights.org/en/node/9145">annual report</a> on the ongoing violations in Bahrain.</p>


<p>On this occasion, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights would like to renew its call to the government of Bahrain to:</p>

<li>Stop criminalizing participation in protests and punishing activists and participants in peaceful protests;</li>
<li>End the suppression of political freedoms, especially freedom of expression;</li>
<li>Release all those detained on the background of their demands for democracy and human rights, and the most prominent of them is the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Nabeel Rajab.</li>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 2/24/20 4:09am

<p>Amnesty International's annual report summarizes the human rights situation for 2019, calling it the &quot;Year of the Challenge&quot;. The organization criticized the governments&rsquo; &quot;suppression&quot; of peaceful demonstrations. This came during a press conference held in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, to present its report entitled: &quot;<a href="https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE0113572020ENGLISH.PDF">Review of the human rights situation in the Middle East and North Africa: for the year 2019</a>&quot;.</p>

<p>The report presented the human rights situation in 19 countries, highlighting many of the rights of peaceful protesters, women, refugees, foreign workers and others that were violated by governments. The organization's report explains that governments chose not to listen to the voices of protesters protesting various grievances, and instead resorted to brutal repression to silence peaceful critics, whether in the streets or on the Internet.</p>

<p>For her part, AMNESTY&rsquo;s director of the Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, Heba Morayef, said that despite the bloody events that followed the 2011 uprisings in several countries, and the catastrophic deterioration of human rights in them, people had renewed their confidence in the ability of collective action for change. She added that the protests turned into long-standing waves of opposition, which represented a challenge to entire political systems.</p>

<p>Altogether, Morayef indicated that at least 136 people were imprisoned in 12 countries because of their online comments, including Bahrain.</p>

<p>In response, the organization called on the governments of the region to listen to the voices demanding social and economic justice and economic rights, and work to achieve these demands, instead of issuing orders to commit violations and serious crimes in order to remain in power.</p>

<p>The organization also called on the authorities to release all prisoners of conscience, to stop harassing peaceful critics and human rights activists, and to follow the recommendation of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression regarding stopping the sale and transfer of surveillance equipment, pending the development of a human rights-sensitive regulatory framework.</p>

<p>With regard to Bahrain in particular, the report stated that the authorities have stepped up their efforts to clamp down on freedom of expression, targeting in particular forums on the Internet, which are the last remaining means through which Bahrainis can criticize the government. Unfair mass trials continued to be used, both for people facing terrorism-related charges and for protesters. People were still stripped of their nationality, although hundreds of people who had previously converted to stateless persons had regained their Bahraini citizenship. Executions resumed, after being suspended since January 2017, and prison conditions remained poor and often represented a form of degrading and inhuman treatment. The Bahraini authorities continued not to allow independent human rights monitors to enter the country.</p>

Document Type:  اصدار المنظمات غير الحكومية Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 2/20/20 3:22am

<p>On 20 February of every year, the countries of the world celebrate the &quot;International Day for Social Justice&quot;, which was formally adopted by the United Nations in 2007, as a confirmation of the fact that social justice is a fundamental principle of peaceful coexistence that creates prosperity,&nbsp;development and the preservation of human dignity.</p>

<p>At a time when the world is witnessing a great state of poverty and conflict and the most prosperous societies witness the widening of inequalities, the Declaration focused on ensuring that everyone has a fair share of the fruits of globalization, which is provided through employment opportunities, social protection, social dialogue and the implementation of basic principles and rights.</p>

<p>Social justice is the outcome of a system of political, economic, and social choices aimed at eliminating the large economic differences between classes of society on the horizon of building that society in which justice prevails in all its aspects, rather than being confined to the justice of the law only.</p>

<p>The political, economic and social upheavals that Bahrain is witnessing today have significantly affected the security and stability of individuals and groups and ravaged the possibilities of coexistence. The situation has been exacerbated by the deterioration of the human rights situation from restricting freedom of expression of opinion, confiscation of freedom of assembly and association, and widespread impunity.&nbsp;That is alongside other&nbsp;violations such as arbitrary arrests, unfair trials, revocation of nationality, torture and ill-treatment, unlawful raids of homes and residential facilities, hate speeches, extrajudicial killings and others. This is in addition to discrimination in the rights of citizenship, jobs and administrative positions, scholarships, and marginalization against parts of the social components.</p>

<p>Besides many international resolutions and national laws of the countries of the world, social justice is still a distant dream for many people because of the political crises, economic&nbsp;agonies&nbsp;and wars that these&nbsp;countries suffer from, such as poverty,&nbsp;famines, denial of human rights and interstate wars between peoples that have&nbsp;put stability, equality and tolerance in peril.&nbsp;</p>

<p>The human being is in dire and permanent need for social justice, as it is an integral part of ensuring a decent life, and this will be achieved only through providing the real opportunities he deserves, and obtaining the privileges that make him a citizen of his country, and obtaining his fair share of its wealth, and guaranteeing his political rights from&nbsp;freedom of thought and expression, health care, education and shelter, and sincere participation in drafting the national decision.</p>

<p>On this occasion, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the government of Bahrain to pay more attention to achieving sustainable development, and it reaffirms its importance for the immediate release, compensation and rehabilitation of all prisoners of conscience, and for the need to provide justice to victims and hold perpetrators accountable, and to ensure the right of the people to achieve&nbsp;equality and social justice for all.</p>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 2/13/20 11:06pm

<p>It is the ninth anniversary of the outbreak of the popular movement demanding democracy in Bahrain on February 14, 2011, when the people expressed their will to be liberated from discrimination and oppression and their insistence on achieving their right to freedom, democracy and dignity.</p>

<p>With the international community continuing to shamefully deal with human rights issues in Bahrain, especially the humane suffering of prisoners, the official authorities have not held those responsible for torture and other forms of ill-treatment despite the establishment of oversight mechanisms as recommended by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI).</p>

<p>In this regard, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights monitored the overall number of violations between the years 2011 and 2019, which can be summarized as follows:</p>

<li>More than 14,000 cases of arbitrary detention, including more than 5,000 victims of torture and ill-treatment.</li>
<li>More than 1700 cases of arbitrary detention of children.</li>
<li>810 cases of revocation of citizenship of Bahraini citizens based on political and malicious reasons.</li>
<li>4997 injuries due to the suppression of peaceful gatherings, while the peaceful gathering is completely prohibited since 2014 due to the opposition&rsquo;s boycott of&nbsp; the parliamentary and municipal elections, in addition to the suppression of hundreds of peaceful assemblies since 2011.</li>

<p>In addition, according to the report of the International Center for Criminal Policy Research, Bahrain was ranked first according to the percentage of prisoners in the Middle East compared to the population, with a prison population of 301 per 100,000 inhabitants, and death sentences amounted to 36 rulings.</p>

<p>The most important forms of deteriorating human rights conditions in Bahrain are highlighted in restricting freedom of expression, confiscation of freedom of assembly and association, and widespread impunity. The rate of violations that include arbitrary arrests, unfair trials, revocation of nationality, torture and ill-treatment is also increasing, along with illegal raids of homes and residential facilities and violations of freedom of movement, prosecutions of activists, the transmission of hate speeches, and extrajudicial killings. As well as the dissolution of opposition political associations and the escalation of repression against civil society, where the National Security Agency was employed to pursue human rights and political activists in the torture cellars to prevent them from carrying out their legitimate human rights activities through the use of multiple methods of torture and coercion, including: electrical shocks, sexual harassment and the threat of targeting relatives.</p>

<p>It is worth mentioning that the most prominent human rights defenders in Bahrain are in prison and face ill-treatment, including &nbsp;Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, who spent two years in prison &nbsp;for &quot;spreading false news, statements and rumors about the internal situation of the Kingdom&quot; as alleged by the authorities. Then, he immediately returned to prison again to serve a 5-year sentence for his tweets in which he criticized torture at the &quot;Jaw Central Prison&quot; in Bahrain and the Saudi-led military operations in Yemen. The Court of Appeal in Manama endorsed the last conviction, as it accused Rajab of &quot;broadcasting false rumors in wartime&quot;, &quot;insulting regular bodies&quot; and &quot;insulting a foreign country (Saudi Arabia)&quot;, and Rajab is detained since June 2016 until today, despite suffering from a serious skin disease, despite repeated international calls for his release, the authorities have not paid any attention to this, and have continued to imprison him, and issued in 2018 another arbitrary ruling against him.</p>

<p>And based on the foregoing, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the Bahraini authorities to allow the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on human rights defenders, freedom of expression, and torture to visit Bahrain immediately to meet with civil society representatives, as well as interview detainees, assess the human rights situation in the country, and work to transfer their recommendations to solve this crisis.</p>

<p>In addition, we call on the government of Bahrain to fulfill its promises made during the United Nations&rsquo; Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Bahrain to support international standards that protect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, including taking immediate steps to:</p>

<li>Revoke the convictions, which followed unfair trials, of protesters, human rights defenders and activists, including Abdul Hadi Al-Khawaja, Nabeel Rajab, Dr. Abdul Jalil Al-Singace, and Naji Fateel, and release them immediately without conditions.</li>
<li>Ensure the physical and psychological integrity of all human rights defenders in Bahrain in all circumstances, put an end to torture and ill-treatment in prisons, police stations or secret locations and bring the perpetrators to justice immediately.</li>
<li>Allow foreign NGOs, journalists and UN representatives to visit Bahrain freely.</li>
<li>Respect for the right to freedom of expression and opinion of all people in Bahrain, as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of Bahrain.</li>
<li>End the harassment of journalists and allow everyone to do their job without fear of reprisal.</li>


Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 2/7/20 3:21am

<p>The world celebrates the World Interfaith Harmony Week from February 1 to February 7 of each year, by a decision of the United Nations General Assembly affirming that mutual understanding and interfaith dialogue constitute two important dimensions of the global culture of peace and interfaith harmony, noting the urgent need for dialogue between different religions, to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation between people.</p>

<p>The UN General Assembly also encourages all countries to support this week to spread the message of harmony through churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship of the world, on a voluntary basis and in accordance with convictions, which makes this World Week a way to promote harmony among all people regardless of religion.</p>

<p>With the emergence of modern administrative and legal organization, the legislation came to reinforce and standardize what was already recognized within Bahraini society. As the Constitution of Bahrain stipulates in Article 22 that: &quot;freedom of conscience is absolute, and the state guarantees the inviolability of places of worship, and freedom to perform religious rites, processions and religious meetings in accordance with established customs in the country&quot;.</p>

<p>In terms of numbers, the number of mosques in Bahrain currently stands at about 1171, and the number of Maatams is about 620, while the licensed churches number to 18. It is noteworthy that the establishment of the National Evangelical Church came before more than 100 years, and is considered the oldest church in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Bahrain also hosts one of the oldest Hindu temples that was established 200 years ago, in addition to four other sub-temples, and is currently building the largest Catholic church in the Arab world.</p>

<p>The main problem today with this issue is the management of endowments.</p>

<p>The Awqaf &nbsp;(endowments ) was established in Bahrain in 1927 and has been lacking administrative and financial independence since its foundation, and this is in contradiction with international laws granting sects, religions and boredom independence in managing their religious affairs without prejudice to their right to practice rituals and manage private religious affairs in accordance with their beliefs.</p>

<p>From January 13 to January 30, 2020, Bahrain witnessed successive events. Among these events was the summoning and arrest of a number of Shiite clerics due to religious sermons. Among these events were also the arrest of 19 people, including at least five children, from January 13 until January 26, 2020.</p>

<p>From January 13 until January 30, 2020, the security authorities summoned 5 religious clerics, who were Qasim Zainuddin, Abdul-Zahra al-Samahiji, Sheikh Ali Al-Jadhafsi, Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Jamri and Sheikh Ali Rahma, and arrested 3; Abdul-Zahraa Al-Samahiji, Qasim Zainuddin, and Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Jamri on charges of insulting the companions of the Prophet Muhammad</p>

<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights considers that the Bahraini authorities continue to impose their tight security grip and impose more stringent measures to restrict freedom of expression and immediately punish people who try to express their opinions peacefully or when they have an opinion contrary to the government&rsquo;s opinion.</p>

<p>On this occasion, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights recalls the urgent need to affirm interfaith harmony, believing that everything that prevails in the world does not change the principle that pluralism of religions is the essence of human culture</p>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 2/7/20 3:13am

<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Nabeel Rajab.</p>

<p>Today, February 4, 2020, Nabeel Rajab, who is prominent human rights defender and Deputy Secretary-General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), is entering his fourth year in detention, after he was sentenced to several years in prison for his activities, defence, peaceful commitment, and calls to respect human rights.</p>

<p>Nabeel Rajab is one of the most prominent human rights defenders around the world and is the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), the founding director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), the Deputy Secretary-General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and a member of the Human Rights Watch Advisory Committee in the Middle East and North Africa.</p>

<p>BCHR recalls that Rajab has been detained since his arrest on 13 June 2016 until this moment and has been placed in solitary confinement most of the time during the first nine months after his arrest, in violation of United Nations laws regarding pre-trial imprisonment, and that Rajab was subjected to ill-treatment. His books, clothes and personal belongings were confiscated and his cell was repeatedly raided at night.</p>

<p>On December 31, 2018, the Court of Cassation upheld a five-year prison sentence on Rajab, on the background of his tweet on his Twitter account claiming torture in prisons and criticizing Bahrain's participation in the Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen.</p>

<p>Rajab, who has already spent two years on other charges related to peaceful expression, is slated to remain behind bars until 2023. It appears that he has at times been subjected to negligence in medical treatment that may amount to arbitrary punishment, causing his health to significantly deteriorate.</p>

<p>It is noteworthy that, in August 2018, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called for the immediate release of Nabeel Rajab, saying that his detention was not only arbitrary, but also constituted discrimination based on political or other opinions, as well as on his status as a defender of human rights.</p>

<p>The case of Rajab is part of a much broader campaign. Since 2012, Bahrain&rsquo;s courts have sentenced at least 40 Internet users to more than 842 months in prison for expressing on the Internet, and Bahrain&rsquo;s Minister of the Interior, Lieutenant General Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, recently announced another campaign against citizens who criticize the government on social media.</p>

<p>In light of all of the above, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights urges the Bahraini authorities to release Nabeel Rajab immediately and without any restriction or condition, to cancel the judgments against him, drop all charges against him, and to pledge an immediate, impartial, independent, and effective investigation of his allegations of mistreatment during periods of time of his imprisonment. BCHR also called on the results of this investigation to be made public and any suspects with criminal responsibility to be brought to justice within fair, transparent and impartial procedures.</p>


Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 2/6/20 2:00am

<p>The last week of January 2020 was alarming in regards to the ill-treatment and neglect of medical care provided to prisoners of conscience.</p>

<p>One week ago, the prisoner, Elias Al-Mulla, (sentenced to 15 years), was released after spending five years in prison while suffering from cancer, after a campaign calling for his release in order to receive medical care after years of neglect that led to the aggravation of his health situation.</p>

<p>On Friday 31 January 2020, the former prisoner Hamid Khatam passed away; Khatem was released in 2017, a year after his arrest, as a result of his illness, and to receive treatment abroad, but he recently suffered a setback and passed away.</p>

<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) still emphasizes on the need to develop ways of dealing with prisoners in accordance with international norms and laws, as well as providing medical treatment for the patients among them and improving prison conditions in terms of providing adequate medical care and developing the general environment of health facilities. It was reported that there is lack of hot water in Sanitation in the winter and this is one of the causes of sicknesses, as well as the low level of hygiene in prisons and detention centers, due to the limitation of cleaning materials and even the prevention of prisoners from purchasing them.</p>

<p>BCHR considers that the conditions of prisons in Bahrain need to be fundamentally and comprehensively addressed, ensuring that prisoners receive all their legitimate rights, and to improve the general situation in places of detention and imprisonment. That is especially needed since mass issues have occurred such as collective poisoning or mass infections such as scabies, and some other skin diseases. The affected were transferred to isolated wards, which further intensified their health and psychological suffering.</p>

<p>There is also a continued complaint of neglect in providing medical treatment, and of the poor level of health care in the prison clinic, which is usually limited to the dispensing of painkillers, which leads to the continuation of diseases and even their aggravation. That is of course, along with the difficulty of obtaining a transfer of emergency cases quickly to central public hospitals including difficult and chronic ones such as sickle cell anemia and cancer, as in the cases of Al Mulla, Khatem, and others.</p>

<p>It is a matter of concern that the Bahraini authorities continue to market the idea that prisons in Bahrain adhere to the highest standards of prisons in the world, which is an incorrect claim that is not supported by facts, as evidenced by the persistence of complaints of preventing prisoners from receiving treatment even in difficult and advanced cases of illness. It was reported as well, that prisoners complain of the lack of medication for patients, as well as continued ill-treatment and solitary confinement . Last October, Human Rights Watch issued a report on seven sick detainees (including al-Mulla) subjected to health neglect, and demanded their release and the cessation of reprisals. Also, last November, four UN experts published a letter to the Bahraini authorities that included ten cases of political prisoners subject to medical neglect.</p>


<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights considers that it has become urgent for the authorities in Bahrain to adhere to the following:</p>

<li>Organizing a series of field trips to assess the prison situation, with the aim of developing appropriate plans to improve their conditions;</li>
<li>Developing treatment with prisoners in accordance with relevant international laws and regulations;</li>
<li>Providing adequate medical treatment for sick prisoners and improving prison conditions in terms of providing adequate health care and improving sanitary facilities and others.</li>
<li>The release of prisoners and detainees held on the background of their demands for democracy and human rights.</li>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  Prisoner's Rights
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[l] at 2/5/20 4:34am

<p>Monday 03 February 2020, Sayed Kadhem Abbas Hashem, aged 23, died as a result of suffering from the illness he had sustained while he was detained by the security authorities since 2015 on charges of illegal gathering and riots.</p>

<p>Sayed Kadhem developed a cancerous brain tumor while he was in prison, which led to the deterioration of his health, and his family reports that he did not have any health problems before his detention, but he started complaining of pain in his head continuously. His family asserts that whenever he complained to the prison administration about what he was suffering from and demanded to be taken to the hospital, he didn&rsquo;t receive any response and was told: &quot;You suffer from nothing&quot;. His family says that they have repeatedly appealed to the prison administration to provide the necessary and adequate health care to their son and transfer him to the hospital, but to no avail.</p>

<p>Sayed Kadhem suffered from the deliberate delay in providing medical care by officials at the Jaw Central Prison, a prison where convicts are serving their sentences in Bahrain, and he was suffering from severe pain in the stomach, back, and nose. Only when these pains increased abnormally, the prison administration took him to the hospital, where he was told that he had a cancerous brain tumor.</p>

<p>&nbsp;In 2018, he was operated and subsequently lost his sight, and in July 2018, he was released after his health deteriorated until he died, on Monday 03 February 2020.</p>

<p>In 2015, Sayed Kadhem was arrested from Bahrain International Airport, after which he was severely tortured and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for riots and illegal gathering before the sentence was reduced to 5 years; he served 3 years of the sentence before being released due to his health situation.</p>

<p>One of the persons who shared the same prison as Sayed Khadem reported to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) that: &quot;Sayed Kadhem was always suffering from back pain and severe headache and he kept asking the prison officials to take him to the hospital for many continued hours, but to no avail. When his condition worsened, Sayed Kadhem began to vomit loudly, and prison officials came to him not to take him to the hospital, but to make fun of him, saying: &ldquo;What an actor you are!&rdquo; and they laughed at him&rdquo;.</p>

<p>The witness reports that many times, Sayed Kadhem was waking up from his sleep in the middle of the night due to the severity of the pain he was suffering from, and his brother who is convicted in the same cell asked the officials to take him to the hospital, then the officials came and took him out of the cell and forced him to walk when he could not even move from the pain. The officials used to take Sayed Kadhem out of the cell not to take him to the hospital but to leave him in one of the prison corridors to suffer and sleep on the ground until the morning when he was brought back to his cell. When officials brought him back, they told his brother: &quot;Your brother has improved his condition so tell him to stop lying and acting again, or we will transfer him to the solitary confinement.&quot;</p>

<p>Sayed Kadhem is the second victim of the negligence of the authorities in providing the necessary health care to prisoners. Last Friday, 31 January 2020, Hamid Khatem died, after suffering from stomach cancer after his arrest and neglect of his health condition by the prison administration. He was released in 2017 and traveled directly to India for treatment where he passed away.</p>

<p>In 2016, Hamid Khatem was arrested on charges of insulting the King of Bahrain via tweets he posted on Twitter, and in the same year, he was sentenced to two years in prison in the same case before the sentence was reduced to one year.</p>

<p>BCHR considers that what Hamid Khatem and Sayed Kadhem Hashem were exposed to reflect the situation and the real environment in which prisoners live in prisons and detention centers, where dozens of prisoners in Bahrain suffer from delay and neglect in obtaining medical care by the prison administration. Many of them resort to go on hunger strikes to demand basic rights such as the right to medical treatment, which usually results in the prison administration punishing them by preventing them from family calls and visits or by transferring them to solitary confinements.</p>

<p>There is no doubt that obtaining medical care inside the prison is a basic right that the prisoner must obtain without effort, and in accordance with internationally guaranteed and legitimate rights. BCHR considers that the failure of prisoners to obtain the appropriate medical care and treatment is a clear violation of the United Nations&rsquo; Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners while the documentation of two deaths due to failure to receive timely treatment is a contempt for these rights and those involved in this must be held accountable.</p>

<p>Accordingly, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the &nbsp;Bahraini authorities to:</p>

<li>Initiate an immediate investigation into the death of Sayed Kadhem Hashem and Hamid Khatem</li>
<li>Investigate the causes of cancer occurrences in the prison</li>
<li>Stop all measures taken by prison officials that lead to the neglect of prisoners' access to the right to treatment and necessary medical care.</li>



Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 2/4/20 2:06am

<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) condemns the systematic policy of enforced disappearance of citizens, and affirms that &quot;the widespread and arbitrary detention by the government is a violation of human rights in accordance with international laws and covenants.&quot;</p>

<p>BCHR considers that the regime in Bahrain violates the internationally stipulated conventions that criminalize enforced disappearance as defined by the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance as follows: &ldquo;Arrest, detention, kidnapping, or any form of deprivation of liberty is carried out at the hands of State officials, persons or groups of individuals who act with permission or support from or with the consent of the state, followed by a refusal to recognize the deprivation of a person's freedom or the concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which deprives him of the protection of law&rdquo;, (Article 2 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from The disappearance Series).</p>

<p>At a time when Bahrain praises itself at international forums for promoting inter-religious tolerance in an attempt to cover the current crises in the world, religious persecution in Bahrain is growing; five clerics have recently been targeted and finally arrested on 20 January 2020, among whom cleric Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Mulla Attiya al-Jamri who was imprisoned for 7 days pending an investigation. On the same day, the cleric, Sheikh Ali Rahma, was called in for investigation because of a religious sermon.</p>

<p>Also, on 13 January 2020, the Bahraini security authorities decided to arrest Cleric Mulla &nbsp;Abdul Zahraa al-Samahiji (39 years) for a period of 7 days pending an investigation, due to a religious sermon. On 21 January 2020, the Public Prosecution decided to renew his detention for a period of 15 days, pending investigation. The Capital Police Directorate said that it summoned and arrested Al-Samahiji for delivering a sermon &quot;on one occasion that included legal violations&quot;, alleging that he had publicly assaulted &quot;the Prophet&rsquo;s Companions&quot;, noting that the case was referred to the prosecution.</p>

<p>Also, on 29 January 2020, the Bahraini security authorities decided to arrest Sheikh Mulla Qasim Zainuddin, who will be brought before the prosecution, as well as for Sheikh Ali Al-Jadhafsi, who was summoned again the day before.</p>

<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) condemns the regime's systematic policy in the series of arrests and demands that religious rights and freedoms be provided for everyone alike, and that these rights and freedoms are not limited to one component of another, they are the right of all and must be available to all.</p>


<p>Based on the above, BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and all other relevant international institutions and human rights organizations to put pressure the government of Bahrain to:</p>

<li>Disclosing the fate of the detainees and release them immediately;</li>
<li>Join the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;</li>
<li>Put an immediate end to the practice of enforced disappearance as a way to punish opponents and activists.</li>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  Arrests
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[l] at 2/4/20 2:01am

<p>The authorities in Bahrain arrest the historical researcher Jassim Al Abbas after summoning for interrogation. The Public Prosecution decided to detain him on charges of publishing false information.</p>

<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses deep concern over the Bahraini authorities' ongoing restrictions on public freedoms, especially the freedom of expression; those who practice this right, those who speak different opinions or are inconsistent with the views adopted by the official authorities are often targeted and punished. On 29 January 2020, the Bahraini authorities arrested the historical researcher Jassim Hussain Al Abbas, after he received a phone call requesting his presence at the Criminal Investigation Directorate in Adliya.</p>

<p>It is worth noting that Jassim Al Abbas is a Bahraini researcher and investigator and is the owner of the largest website and blog that is interested in publishing investigations on Bahraini history; &ldquo;Years of Al Jarish&rdquo; who has worked on many topics and investigations in Bahraini history.</p>

<p>The arrest of the researcher Al Abbas came after he published a historical research on his blog, on the social networking site Instagram, &quot;<em>Years of Al Jarish&quot;,</em> &nbsp;about the history of a mosque that dates back to an ancient era. This post was deleted after the arrival of Al Abbas to the criminal investigation building, and according to the received information, the Public Prosecution accused the researcher of publishing false information through his recent research on the historic mosque, relating to the post that was deleted after his arrest. It is in this context that the public prosecutor ordered the arrest of Al Abbas for a period of seven days pending investigation.</p>

<p>The authority in Bahrain imposes strict measures and suffocating restrictions on freedom of expression, as it issued many tightening laws in previous periods increasing censorship on social media, and the authority is also working to punish people who express their views clearly through social media sites such as &quot;Twitter and Instagram&rdquo;, which is a violation of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly stating the right to freedom of expression and the right to information and its dissemination.</p>

<p>Although BCHR believes in the necessity of publishing and circulating the correct information, it believes that the arrest of the Al Abbas makes up one of many cases of the violation of the freedom of expression in Bahrain where opinions that do not coincide with the government&rsquo;s policy are often targeted, as in the case of Nabeel Rajab, prominent human rights defender, who is serving a prison sentence for charges related to freedom of expression.</p>

<p>BCHR also considers that what the Bahraini authorities are doing confirms what human rights organizations and international bodies go about regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain and the restricted freedom of expression. It is a measure that is constantly taken against individuals who publish information on their blogs or websites; these individuals are targeted and their blogs or websites are often blocked. For instance, the Bahraini authorities have been blocking the website of BCHR for years because of its work and publishing of information about human rights issues and violations taking place in Bahrain.</p>


<p>Therefore, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) calls on the Bahraini government to:</p>

<li>Immediately release the researcher, Jassim Al Abbas;</li>
<li>Stop targeting people who express their opinions; and</li>
<li>Stop all measures taken that would impose more restrictions on freedom of expression and other basic freedoms.</li>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  Arrests
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[l] at 2/3/20 2:11am

<p>After nine years of crisis, the standards for respecting human rights in the Kingdom of Bahrain do not seem to be on the path to improvement. The almost-daily reports received indicate the widening circle of violations of political and civil rights, from arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, unfair trials, torture, and the revocation of nationality, and other practices that it undertaken by security and judicial services in the Kingdom against the human rights and political movement.</p>

<p>Under international law, torture is considered a crime subject to universal jurisdiction and its perpetrators can be prosecuted in any country, and states must arrest and interrogate anyone on their soil suspected of involvement in torture, and prosecute or deport him to face justice.</p>

<p>The crime of torture is one of the main pillars of the tools for suppressing freedoms and violations in Bahrain, and it is a key pillar of the security doctrine, since 2011 the authorities have been working to develop patterns of torture and abuse in prisons.</p>

<p>In 2017, Bahrain ranked first in the Middle East in terms of the prison population, according to the Prison Studies list, published by Prison Studies.</p>

<p>New statistics for 2019, published by the Committee to Protect Journalists, showed that Bahrain ranks tenth around the world in terms of detaining journalists, and according to the committee&rsquo;s numbers, Bahrain is still arresting 6 media workers: blogger Abdul Jalil Al-Singace, photographer Ahmed Humaidan, journalist Ali Mearaj, photographer Hassan Qamber, journalist Mahmoud al-Jaziri and photographer Sayed Ahmed al-Musawi.</p>

<p>According to the report, the number of sentences for revocation of citizenship reached 308 cases, and 129 Bahraini citizens were sentenced to life in prison, and the courts also ruled to deport ten Bahrainis, knowing that the constitution prohibits the deportation of any citizen or prevent him from entering the country.</p>

<p>As for the cases that were tried, according to the report they amounted to 1155 cases in various levels of litigation, while the number of raids of homes and establishments reached 1056 cases.</p>

<p>The campaign of persecution and repression also affected prisons in Bahrain, as Amnesty International constantly receives complaints related to the often-deliberate poor health care, the latest of which is the prisoner of conscience, Mohsen Badaw stating that: &quot;Scabies and skin allergies became like a fire raking the bodies of detainees inside Jaw Central Prison, and every day the numbers increase despite the isolation of the injured&rdquo;.</p>

<p>Rights sources reported that &quot;Badaw&quot; had been infected with scabies for 6 months, and that the disease had spread throughout his entire body, which caused him a marked deformity, and are concerned that it would reach his face and eyes, as all treatments do not work under the current circumstances, pointing that he and the detainees are demanding the elimination of the insect, changing bed sheets, mattresses, and clothes, ventilating the place, and relieving overcrowding in the cells, while providing them with appropriate treatment, and stopping the policy of stalling by the prison administration regarding these demands.</p>

<p>Also, the prisoner of conscience, Ayoub Adel, said that he suffers from severe pain, and that he is not taken to the prison clinic and the prison administration does not listen to his requests to see a doctor, and he explained that his pain reached his back, and that he needs to perform surgery. Adel stressed that there is a health negligence in prison, and there is no care, that he can barely walk on his feet, and that he demanded to get the right to receive the necessary treatment, especially as his condition gets worse day by day, and he cannot sleep normally.</p>

<p>It is reported that the detainee Ayoub Adel was injured in the leg, and he underwent surgery before his arrest to straighten the leg, and he still needs follow-up. He was arrested on May 14, 2015, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment on political grounds.</p>

<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights recommends the release of all political detainees, and an independent investigation of all complaints of torture and the prosecution of violators, in addition to establishing a binding mechanism to implement the recommendations of the United Nations&rsquo; Human Rights Council in Geneva, and to allowing the United Nations special rapporteurs to visit Bahrain and lift restrictions on international human rights organizations.</p>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  Torture in Bahrain
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[l] at 2/3/20 2:07am

<p>Individual liberty is one of the most fundamental of human rights, recognized in international human rights instruments and national constitutions throughout the world. However, the government of Bahrain still considers imprisonment as a natural form of punishment.</p>


<p>Even though Bahrain recently witnessed the release of a number of prisoners within the Alternative Penal Code, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) considers that the implementation of this law should not be lengthy in order to ensure its efficiency.</p>


<p>Overcrowded prisons increase health risks and decrease psychological well-being. Overcrowding can be decreased by reducing the number of incarcerated people. Hence, BCHR emphasizes that alternatives will have a measurable effect on the number of prisoners.</p>

<p>However, the goal of introducing alternatives to prison is not only to address the problem of overcrowding in prisons; given that imprisonment inevitably infringes human rights and that it is expensive, there are also economic arguments in favor of alternatives.</p>

<p>Furthermore, the wider use of alternatives inspires a fundamental change in the approach to human rights in general. Alternative sentencing gives inmates the opportunity to go to treatment and get the medical help they were denied.</p>


<p>Despite this step towards a this positive direction taken by the government of Bahrain, the share of political prisoners and detainees on issues related to freedom of expression is very small and negligible. Consequently, the number of people who will advantage from these alternatives is small.</p>


<p>Therefore, BCHR hopes that the next number of released prisoners will be greater than the previous one, and to be extended beyond sick prisoners.</p>


<p>&nbsp;Thus, through this statement, BCHR calls on the Bahraini authorities to include Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, among the released prisoners.</p>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 1/28/20 1:22am

<p dir="ltr">On Saturday and Sunday, 25 and 26 January 2020, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights organized a training course on digital security, to develop the basics of malware protection, how to create strong passwords, and to browse the Internet anonymously, along with the basics of safety measures on mobile devices And cyberspace.</p>

<p dir="ltr">The course targeted individuals who interact with Internet services, such as social media networks, email and chat services, and an experienced digital and internet security expert presented a unique program in comprehensive digital security support and provided the most recent information on digital threats and how to mitigate risks.</p>

<p dir="ltr">Topics included; virus protection; e-mail; file encryption; secure chat; safe and permanent file deletion, and habitually recovering deleted files; password management and virtual private network (VPN).</p>

<p dir="ltr">In addition, the participants learned about open source tools that can be used in place of the common tools owned by private companies that collect a lot of data about their users, and we saw how these tools can be improved through communication with its developers.</p>

<p dir="ltr">The training targeted nearly twenty participants from various organizations and institutions in order to enable them to use digital protection methods.</p>

<p dir="RTL">&nbsp;</p>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured
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[l] at 1/24/20 7:01am

<p dir="ltr">On Friday, January 24, 2020, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights organized a workshop in cooperation with Bahrain Interfaith and with human rights researchers on a paper prepared by the center on the creation of equal citizenship initiatives.</p>

<p dir="ltr">The Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Nedal Al-Salman, and the President of the Bahrain Interfaith, Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman, and a number of researchers and jurists concerned with human rights issues, especially the right to equal citizenship, participated in the specialized workshop.</p>

<p dir="ltr">&ldquo;A glossary of terms and concepts on homeland and citizenship&rdquo; was presented and discussed by legal professionals, with copies distributed to all attendees. Sheikh Al-Salman then discussed the importance of equal citizenship and its role in resolving the crisis in Bahrain.</p>

<p dir="ltr">Following the introduction and preface, the session continued with the moderation of president of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Nedal Al-Salman, who also stressed the importance of implementing these initiatives, and presented them for launching the discussion.</p>

<p dir="ltr">The interaction of the participants on the topics was distinguished by the richness, diversity and multiplicity of opinions, where everyone participated in the discussions that took place on the violation of the law and if citizenship permits it, along with the state's obligations as well as the responsibilities of citizens, the relationship between responsibility and freedom, secularism, and other important topics that occupied the thoughts participants in the workshop.</p>

<p dir="ltr">This workshop has been held in the context of a number of programs and activities recently launched by the center in the previous period, and constitutes a key component.</p>

<p dir="ltr">The workshop touched on linking these concepts with the concept of active citizenship and how the citizen becomes a positive influence within the scope of his presence, whether geographic, tribal, or social. In addition, this workshop in particular, aimed to achieve the following:</p>

<p dir="ltr">&bull; Urging initiatives that the government and non-governmental agencies need to promote concerning of equal citizenship in Bahrain.</p>

<p dir="ltr">&bull; Launching at least of 10 initiatives that are hoped and expected to have a corrective and positive impact on the human rights situation in Bahrain with regard to the issue of equality and non-discrimination in the country.</p>

<p dir="ltr">&bull; Proposing dozens of community initiatives to promote citizenship.</p>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured
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[l] at 1/24/20 1:21am

<p>Since 2011, Bahrain has witnessed a serious deterioration of its human rights situation, especially after the closure of the democratic space, and the intensity of the security grip in dealing with the movement of peaceful protests, as the Bahraini authorities paved this through a series of local legislations that have been created or developed to serve that purpose.</p>

<p>According to documented statistics, more than 12,000 Bahraini citizens have been subjected to arbitrary arrest since 2011, including more than 4,000 victims of torture and ill-treatment, 968 children who were subjected to arbitrary arrest, and 330 women (two women currently in prison).</p>

<p>According to the study prepared by the International Center for Criminal Policy Research in October 2016, Bahrain ranked first in the number of prisoners in the Arab world, with the number of its prisoners reaching about four thousand people, at a rate of 301 per 100,000 population.</p>

<p>The deteriorating conditions of prisons in Bahrain represented the other side of arbitrary detention, whereby the prisoners are held in correctional institutions that do not meet the minimum standard rules for the treatment of prisoners. According to the information received, the deteriorating prison conditions included all four official prisons in Bahrain, but they were heavily concentrated in the Dry Dock Prison (Preventive Detention Center) and Jaw Central Prison (Center for the Convicted), compared to the women's prison and the juvenile prison.</p>

<p>Nevertheless, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights continues to welcome any endeavours towards the release of prisoners who have been imprisoned against the background of their demands for democracy and human rights.</p>

<p>Specifically, on Tuesday evening, January 21, 2020, when the Bahraini authorities released some prisoners suffering from chronic diseases, with reports indicating that other numbers will be released in the coming periods.</p>

<p>The Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Mrs. Nedal Al-Salman believes that this and other similar steps are &ldquo;positive&rdquo;, and she called on the official authorities in Bahrain to continue to release all those who have been imprisoned since 2011 on political or related grounds to express their opinion and demands for reform and democracy.</p>

<p>The BCHR also reminds the Bahraini authorities to recognize the existence of prisoners they have, who have been convicted simply for exercising freedom of expression or peaceful assembly and demanding democracy and human rights. BCHR calls on the authorities to immediately release them, including the group of political opposition leaders who have been imprisoned since March 2011 and who suffer from chronic diseases as a result of prison conditions, detention and ill-treatment they suffered in the first months following their arrest, such as: Hassan Mushaima, Abdul Jalil al-Singace and Parweez Jawad, as well as many.</p>

<p>The BCHR also urges the Bahraini authorities to continue to fully respond to what is contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for what significant impact that has on building societies and establishing respect for human rights in them.</p>


Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 1/24/20 12:57am

<p>On January 24, the United Nations called the &quot;International Education Day&quot;, where education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility. The United Nations decided to declare this day to celebrate the role of education in achieving peace and development in the world.</p>

<p>Education provides children with a ladder to escape poverty and a path to a promising future, but approximately 265 million children and adolescents in the world do not have the opportunity to study or even complete their studies. Even though more than one-fifth of these children are of primary school age, they are frustrated by poverty, discrimination, armed conflict, and emergency situations and climate change impacts. Where according to the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report, migration and forced displacement also affect the achievement of education goals.</p>

<p>In Bahrain, institutional education was launched in 1919 with the establishment of Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifia Secondary School in Muharraq. The state recorded its leadership and precedence in the launch of formal education in the Gulf states.</p>

<p>But when a state does not review its school and university educational system first-hand, and does not monitor the relationship of this educational system to training and the labor market, it will continue to suffer greatly at all levels.</p>

<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights knows that the challenges facing education in Bahrain today need to be reviewed honestly and there is an urge to reports that reflect very transparent numbers about many details affecting the educational and school environment and the implications of their frequencies in all the details of state institutions.</p>

<p>The 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report reminds the reality of education in Bahrain, which has declined to low levels due to discrimination in the right to education, as the Ministry of Education has deprived hundreds of &ldquo;A grade&rdquo; students of their right to university studies due to religious considerations and the existence of sectarian discrimination in large scale since 2011.</p>

<p>In Bahrain, the new Financial and Administrative Supervision Bureau report for the year 2019 estimated 15% decline in primary school performance in the third review reports of &ldquo;the quality of education&rdquo; compared to their performance in the second review cycle, as 31% of primary schools that received an evaluation of inappropriate or satisfactory performance.</p>

<p>The report criticized the repetition of some recommendations in the quality reports issued during the second and third sessions of some primary schools, despite the lapse of time periods between the date of the issuance of the two courses, which ranged between three to four years. The report noted a merger between primary school students who numbered more than nine thousand students for the academic year 2019 with students in stages intermediate and secondary schools in some schools. The report also drew attention to exceeding the standards of student densities for more than 21% of primary school classes during the years 2016-2017 to 2018-2019.</p>

<p>The report said that the Ministry of Education has resorted to increasing mobile classrooms in primary schools to keep pace with increasing student numbers without taking the necessary measures to verify the suitability of public facilities in schools with the expected total number of students after adding those classes, pointing out that the area of ​​mobile classes is 42.5 square meters which does not conform to the standard classroom space specified in the Standards and Technical Specifications for Governmental Educational Institutions, as the classroom space must not be less than 50 square meters.</p>

<p>Also, approximately 17 schools, meaning 12,000 students, will terminate its educational services as they are likely to fall, which means having to transfer the students to other schools, causing an increasing pressure on the existing institutions, educational and administrative bodies and Ministry of Education staff that manage these educational and training institutions.</p>

<p>This is in addition to the exit of 3600 teachers and employees from the Ministry of Education in the early retirement program, accompanied by 800 teachers and employees within the regular government retirement programs, which means 4400 persons including school principals, teachers and specialists whom will not be replaced according to the optional retirement system first, as well as the difficulty of reproducing their expertise and experiences second .</p>

<p>As for reducing budgets in the educational sector, it constitutes another challenge that does not lie under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education alone, but it is a major challenge that will face the Supreme Council for the Development of Education and Training and its planned strategies, which cannot be implemented according to numerical pressure in the numbers of students, and a numerical shortage of educational, technical and administrative staff. Not to forget the large reduction in budgets, which does not give any opportunity to remedy the existing imbalance.</p>

<p>The circumstances and previous challenges constitute a major confusion in the educational structure in Bahrain, and will stand as a major obstacle in the development of education and upgrading its quality, which was launched by the state exactly a decade ago; in establishing the Polytechnic, the Education and Training Quality Authority and the Teachers College.</p>

<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights hopes that the reports on the quality of education and training, and their comparison with reality and aspirations, will really be able to chart the path after the 100-year march from the start of formal and institutional education in Bahrain.</p>

<p>On this international and national occasion, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls for increased political commitment to education as a force to include it in pushing for the achievement of all sustainable development goals, and to adopt reforms related to education at all levels besides those related to people with special needs, and to indeed improve procedures for professors and employees of educational institutions and all its members.</p>

Document Type:  BCHR report Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 1/9/20 1:57am

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) is highly concerned about the cases of Mohamad Ramadan and Hussain Moosa, sentenced to death, and therefore, urgently calls for the stop of all death sentences in Bahrain.

In December 2014, the two men were sentenced to death following a bombing that killed a police officer in the village of al-Dair on 14 February 2014.

In 2015, the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence of Muhammad Ramadan and Hussein Musa for their alleged involvement in the killing of a policeman. Both were tortured by interrogators resulting in enforced confessions.

Today, on 08 January 2020, the Fourth Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the death sentence of both men. The court based its judgment on confessions obtained under conditions of torture, where detainees were subjected to ill-treatment and incommunicado detention in circumstances of enforced disappearance.

Human rights organizations report that Hussain Moosa and Mohamed Ramadan were severely tortured which led to extracted confessions, which served as the main evidence in their trial for the murder of the policeman, Sayed Mohamed Faqir during a bombing in the village of al-Dair.

International standards, including the "Arab Charter on Human Rights", which Bahrain ratified, stipulate that countries that adopt the death penalty must use this punishment only for "the most serious crimes", and in exceptional cases. Many human rights defenders and organizations issued urgent appeals to rescue detainees Mohamed Ramadan and Hussain Moosa, calling on the Bahraini authorities to retry them in accordance with international standards of fair trial, and to stop extracting confessions under torture.


Based on the above, BCHR urgently calls on the Government of Bahrain to:

• Immediately refrain from the application of the Death Penalty against Mohamed Ramadan and Hussain Moosa;

• Commute all death sentences;

• Establish a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolition;

• Investigate and prosecute all acts of torture, mistreatment, enforced disappearance;

• Grant immediate access to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions;

• Establish procedures to ensure the fairness of all criminal trials and appeals.

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  Prisoner's Rights
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[l] at 1/2/20 2:52am

<p>Alternative penal laws are among the pioneering ideas in which contemporary society addresses the problem of overcrowded prisons. As human thought has evolved, a new way of human interaction with the prisoner evolved according to a reformist vision, reducing pain and suffering, and easing economic burdens on the state and its financial system. This way also reduces the constant psychological and physical exhaustion of inmates and their families.</p>

<p>Recently, Bahrain witnessed the release of a number of prisoners within the Alternative Penal Code that Bahrain began to implement in early 2018. Among the prisoners who were released within this law, are prisoners who face cases related to the political situation in Bahrain. Previously, in November, the Bahraini authorities released three women within the same law, and then four other women were released.</p>

<p>After the Bahraini team won the Gulf Cup, a number of prisoners sentenced in various cases with different sentences were released gradually. They were from those who had served half of their sentence and who, according to official statements, numbered 800. The largest proportion of those released were prisoners of foreign nationalities, who were sentenced in Bahrain in drug trafficking and other criminal cases.</p>

<p>Indeed, the number of prisoners associated with the political crisis in Bahrain is no less than 4000 people, according to unofficial statistics, which is a large number for the total population of 1.6 million, in a country whose citizens do not exceed 45 percent. Despite the small number of released politicians, there is only a few days or months left of the sentence issued against the largest number of them, with a very limited number of those who still have five years of their sentences to serve.</p>


<p>The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) believes that the beginning of the application of the Alternative Penal Code is a positive step in the right direction, and it is a step that will ensure justice for prisoners who have been subjected to harsh sentences in politically tense conditions. This step will contribute to clear the atmosphere in front of any corrective process for the deadlocked political track since 2011.</p>

<p>However, it is evident that the implementation of the law is very slow, especially considering the number of complaints of ill-treatment in prisons, and the denial of access to medical care and medicine. Additionally, this law was started nearly two years after the King of Bahrain ratified the same law on July 17, 2017.</p>

<p>BCHR considers that the steps to release political prisoners in Bahrain are still in need of a clear official intention to do so. Despite being a positive step, the implementation of the Alternative Penal Code needs more steps to support it in order to become a fixed law implemented in accordance with specific and clear criteria for every person to whom the law applies and includes prisoners who face clear political issues and issues related to freedom of expression and opinion.</p>


<p>Therefore, BCHR, through this statement, calls on the Bahraini authorities to lay down a clear executive plan for the implementation of the Alternative Penal Code, and to extensively include political prisoners and prisoners of conscience within this law.</p>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  General
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[l] at 12/27/19 1:21am

<p>As the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), we are writing to express our deepest concern over the cases of death row inmates Mohamed Ramadhan Issa Ali Hussain and Hussain Ali Moosa Mohamed. The verdict on their case has been delayed to 08 January 2020.</p>

<p>They were sentenced to death in December 2014 for their alleged involvement in the explosion in al-Dair on 14 February 2014 that resulted in the death of a policeman. They took the judgment to the Appeal&rsquo;s Court, on the grounds that they were falsely accused, tortured and coerced to confess to a crime they had not committed.</p>

<p>On 16 November 2015, the Bahraini Court of Cassation rejected their final appeal and upheld their death sentence. The two men are now at imminent risk of execution.</p>

<p>BCHR therefore urges the international community to condemn the high number of death sentences passed in the country; to call for an official moratorium on all executions; to call for a review of all death sentences to ensure that the trials in question adhere to international standards; and to continue makimg reference to Bahrain in the EU and Member States&rsquo; statements under item 4 in the upcoming sessions of the UN Human Rights Council;</p>

<p>We call on the Vice President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service, the Council and the Member States to systematically raise the concerns about the violation of human rights in Bahrain and to consider the introduction of targeted measures against those responsible for grave human rights violations.</p>


<p>BCHR also calls on the Government of Bahrain to:</p>

<p>&bull;Postpone the verdict to a later date in the cases of the Mohamed Ramadhan Issa Ali Hussain and Hussain Ali Moosa Mohamed in view to ensure an outcome of a trial that has fully complied with international fair trial standards that excludes evidence obtained under torture, and without recourse to the death penalty;</p>

<p>&bull;Cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteurs (notably on torture, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and belief, independence of judges and lawyers, and human rights defenders) and to issue a standing invitation in their favour;</p>

<p>&bull;Allow an official delegation of Members of the European Parliament and civil society representatives to visit prisons concluding for the purposes of making contact with detained human rights defenders;</p>

<p>&bull; Release immediately and unconditionally Mr. Rajab, for any remaining charges against him to be dropped, and for the authorities to ensure that, pending his release, he is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment and has regular family visits and access to lawyers of his choice, as well as adequate healthcare;</p>

<p>&bull;Abide by their international obligations and commitments to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and ensure a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders;</p>

<p>&bull;Deplore the poor prison conditions in the country and the use of torture by Bahraini security and prison personnel;</p>

<p>&bull;Refrain from all torture, cruel and degrading treatment of detainees, to fully investigate all allegations of violation of basic rights of prisoners and torture and to bring the perpetrators to justice;</p>

<p>&bull;Release all illegally detained prisoners, including human rights defenders arbitrarily arrested, charged and convicted for carrying out their legitimate and peaceful human rights activities;</p>


<p>As the BCHR, we recommend that the government of Bahrain abolishes the death sentence legally and judicially, and invite them to join the second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on the abolition of the death penalty.</p>

Document Type:  BCHR release Feature:  Featured Issue:  Unfair Trials
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[l] at 12/18/19 7:21am

<p>Bahrain Center for Human Rights and Bahrain Interfaith published this&nbsp;study which aims to discuss the conditions of domestic workers, and to propose solutions for their improvement.Methodology: This paper primarily relies on secondary data, scholar books, and articles, as well as research reports published by international NGOs, organizations and institutions from Bahrain and the Bahraini Ministry of Labor website.</p>

<p>Results: The average number of domestic workers has decreased during the past two years in Bahrain. The government of Bahrain had executed several steps to reform this situation, but unfortunately, it was insufficient.</p>

<p>Discussion: Some solutions were proposed to the Government of Bahrain, the employers, and employees to maintain appropriate working conditions for all parties.</p>

<p>Conclusion: Freedom of religion in Bahrain, for both citizens and migrant workers, needs to be improved by enhancing the laws that protect it. Moreover, the laws concerning the domestic workers must be upgraded and improved to ensure their religious freedom and basic human rights.</p>

<p><a href="https://bahraininterfaith.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Domestic-worker... here to read it fully </a></p>

Document Type:  BCHR report Feature:  Featured Issue:  Migrant workers

As of 2/28/20 4:06pm. Last new 2/27/20 2:27am.

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