Bahrain’s Persecution of Human Rights Defenders Continues

March 4, 2013

Several NGOs continue to follow closely the development in Bahrain, sadly the subject of may posts in this blog. Here HRF’s and Frontline’s recent statements:

Human Rights First (HRF) says that this week will see a series of high profile court hearings in Bahrain, exposing the authorities continued use of judicial harassment against human rights defenders and activists. On Sunday March 3, Halima Abdulaziz al Sabag is due to hear an appeal verdict. She is a dental assistant and was sentenced to a year in prison after she was convicted for allegedly taking first aid material from the hospital where she worked to treat injured protesters. On Monday March 4, the Bahrain government will continue to press a case against leading human rights defender Said Yousif Al Muhafda of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights for information he tweeted about police using birdshot against protesters. On Tuesday March 5, the appeal of 23 medics is due to return to court. They have all been convicted and sentenced to three months in prison after treating injured protesters in 2011. “This continuing crackdown in the courts tells us more about the reality of what’s happening in Bahrain than the speeches its officials are giving to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva this week,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley…….. Other prominent human rights leaders, including President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights Nabeel Rajab, remain in jail. Please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at or 202-370-3323. HRF logo

via Bahrain’s Targeting of Civil Society with Judicial Harassment Continues | Human Rights First.

Zainab Al-Khawaja has been campaigning since April 2011 for the release of her father, Mr Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, a prominent human rights defender. A court in Bahrain has sentenced her to three months in prison on 1 March. On 27 February 2013, Zainab Al-Khawaja was arrested while protesting the authorities’ refusal to hand over the body of Mr Mahmoud Issa al-Jaziri, a pro-democratic reform activist killed during a demonstration in Nabi Saleh, South of Manama. In separate incidents, on 28 February 2013, the Court of Appeal rejected two appeals against prison sentences filed by Zainab Al-Khawaja. The first appeal related to a verdict issued on 10 December 2012, which sentenced Zainab Al-Khawaja to one month of imprisonment. The sentence was based on charges of alleged participation in an unauthorised demonstration on 12 February 2012 and the alleged unlawful entry to Pearl Roundabout, which the authorities reportedly consider as a restricted area, despite the absence of an official decision or law confirming the area as restricted.  The second appeal related to a sentence of two months imprisonment issued against the human rights defender, on charges of allegedly destroying property belonging to the Ministry of Interior. Both rejections of appeal could result in Zainab Al-Khawaja serving a total period of two months and 22 days imprisonment. She currently remains in detention in Hoora Detention Centre.  For more information on previous acts of judicial persecution faced by Zainab Al-Khawaja, please see Front Line Defenders‘ urgent appeals issued on  16 February 2012 Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

2 Responses to “Bahrain’s Persecution of Human Rights Defenders Continues”

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