Posts Tagged ‘Zainab Al-Khawaja’

Further on Bahrain where the Judiciary is helping the State to repress Human Rights Defenders

July 8, 2015

Further to my post today on Nabeel Rajab [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/bahrain-freenabeel-campaign-more-urgent-than-ever-in-view-of-resumption-usa-security-assistance/], I draw attention to the recent report by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (FIDH/OMCT) “Bahrain: Publication of an International Mission Report: Imprisonment, torture and statelessness: The darkening reality of human rights defenders in Bahrain”.

Report OBS Bahrain_English
44 pages / 870 KB

Human rights defenders in Bahrain are operating in a shrinking space, says the Observatory in a report published on 25 June 2015. The report documents the judicial harassment of 11 human rights defenders including lawyers, teachers, doctors or bloggers. All have suffered or been threatened with imprisonment, torture or statelessness as a consequence of their activities in defense of human rights. Read the rest of this entry »

What Human Rights Day means in Bahrain and how the EU made it worse

December 11, 2014

On 9 December, on the eve of Human Rights Day, Zainab Al-Khawaja was sentenced to 4 years and 4 months in two separate court hearings in Bahrain. Front Line, Human Rights First and others have reported extensively on this courageous human rights defenders [see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/zainab-al-khawaja/] .

She was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment for “sabotaging properties belonging to the Ministry of Interior” and “insulting a public official” to three months’ imprisonment and fined 3,000 Bahraini Dinar (approx. 6,400 Euro) for “tearing up a photograph of the King”.

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped also shockingly reports that on the same day as her sentencing, the European Union presented a human rights award to Bahrain’s National Institution for Human Rights and the Ombudsman of the Ministry of the Interior! Although this concerns a relatively unknown regional award (the Chaillot Prize is presented annually by the Delegation of the European Union in Riyadh http://www.ambafrance-bh.org/Press-release-Delegation-of-the.) the state press has been making the best of it [http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=391213] and it is hard to see this as in line with the EU policy on Human Rights Defenders.

Bahrain sets October 1 trial date for Maryam al-Khawaja

September 20, 2014

Bahraini human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja (R), sister of jailed activist Maryam al-Khawaja, lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi (2-R) and Zainab's husband Wafi al-Majed (2-L), near the Bahrain court building in Manama on September 6, 2014

Bahraini human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja (R), sister of jailed activist Maryam al-Khawaja, lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi (2-R) and Zainab’s husband Wafi al-Majed (2-L), near the Bahrain court building in Manama on September 6, 2014

AFP reports from Dubai that Bahraini human rights defender Maryam al-Khawaja is to stand trial from October 1 charged with assaulting a police officer. Her lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi told AFP the prosecutor general had also decided to extend her custody pending the trial. A conviction could carry a five-year prison sentence, he said. Khawaja, a director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights who also has Danish nationality, was arrested after arriving at Manama airport on August 30.

via Bahrain sets October 1 trial date for key activist – Yahoo News.

for previous posts: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/maryam-al-khawaja/

Bahrain: Travails of a Family of Human Rights Defenders

September 12, 2014

On Tuesday, 16 September, Maryam Al Khawaja, the Bahraini human rights defender will return to court for her second hearing on charges of assaulting a police officer, which she denies. It’s now been nearly two weeks since Maryam was arrested at the airport following her return to Bahrain to visit her father. She was initially detained for seven days, but over the weekend a Bahraini judge ruled to extend her detention by an additional 10 days. This is a good occasion to draw your attention to a long but fascinating piece by Lawrence Weschler on Truthdig of 11 September 2014. Under the title “Terrorizing a Family of Human Rights Champions” he describes in detail what happened to the remarkable al-Khawaja family of democratic non-violent human rights defenders [it is rumored that for the first time a family as such was considered for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize].  Read the rest of this entry »

“I have a dream…..” – King inspires Human Rights Defenders around the globe

September 2, 2013

On 28 August 2013, 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Corinne Duffy of Human Rights First (HRF) gives an interesting palette of stories how his words and action continue to inspire HRDs everywhere: HRF logo

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The EU should toughen its stand on Bahrain on 30 June say 6 big NGOs

June 27, 2013

A JOINT STATEMENT by the following 6 international NGOs: Front Line Defenders, Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) urge the EU to call for the release of human rights defenders and peaceful protest leaders in Read the rest of this entry »

Bahrain and human rights: contrasting views

May 23, 2013

Bahrain‘s Human Rights Minister during a visit to Morocco on 22 May stated: “Bahrain Has Presented Itself as a Model in Implementing BICI’s Recommendations

He said that despite the regretful incidents that happened in 2011, the kingdom of Bahrain has presented itself as a model in its wise dealing with those events, highlighting Bahrain’s bold steps in this regard, including the establishment of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), led by international eminent judges, the acceptance of the recommendations featuring in BICI’s final report and the political leadership’s commitment to implementing them, out of its belief in the importance of protecting human rights. Read the rest of this entry »

Another prominent Bahraini Human Rights Defender, Naji Fateel, arrested

May 3, 2013


Naji Fateel
Bahrain’s crackdown on human rights defenders continued today with the arrest of another prominent figure, Naji Fateel. The arrest is the latest in a string of recent events calling into question the Kingdom’s claims of reform and progress.  On 2 May 2013 at dawn, police arrested human rights defender Naji Fateel at his home in the village in north-west Bahrain. He is being held without formal charges at a location which is still unknown. Naji Fateel is a board member of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights and a blogger who has been active in reporting human rights violations in Bahrain. The human rights defender gives daily speeches during marches in villages in which he discusses the importance of documenting violations and calls for people to form monitoring committees. Read the rest of this entry »

Breaking News: Finally an acquittal in Bahrain – Said Yousif Al-Muhafda twitted legally

March 12, 2013

In a case that was followed closely in this blog, a Bahraini human rights defender accused of sending out twitters with ‘false information’, there is finally some good news: a Bahraini court has acquitted Said Yousif Al-Muhafdah of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR – 2012 Final Nominee of the MEA). “It’s a great relief that Said Yousif was acquitted today, bringing an end to three months of judicial harassment.  Let’s hope this means the courts are beginning to show a better understanding of what freedom of expression means,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. Al-Muhafdah was arrested in December 2012 for “spreading false information on Twitter.”HRF logo

His case is one in a string cases stemming from the Kingdom’s ongoing judicial harassment of human rights defenders. It followed last year’s jailing of Nabeel Rajab, President of the BCHR, and of human rights activist Zainab Al Khawaja in February 2013. “This is a small victory, but unfortunately there are many other cases of judicial harassment that continue to wind their way through Bahrain’s judicial system,” Brian Dooley noted.  On March 21, the appeal of 23 medics, each sentenced to three months in prison after treating injured protestors in 2011, will continue. A verdict is expected at a date soon after. Dooley, who has authored four reports about the ongoing crackdown in Bahrain, has been forbidden access to the nation for more than a year. “This is not how a nation that wants to trumpet its human rights record treats monitors” Dooley added.

via Acquittal in Bahrain Twitter Case Comes as Dooley Denied Access Again | Human Rights First.

 

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 bowsersoderb@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3323. HRF logo

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

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