Front Line - 16 July 2005

Front Line is seriously concerned by the reported assault and ill-treatment of human rights defenders, Abdulhadi Al Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab, President and Vice-president of Bahrain Center for Human Rights, respectively.

On 15 July 2005, in Manama, the two human rights defenders were monitoring preparations for a peaceful demonstration by the Committee for the Unemployed to protest against the government's management of current unemployment levels. Shortly before it was due to begin the security police arrived and allegedly began beating individuals, many of whom were not actually participating in the demonstration.

Following this attack, several of the participants and by-standers who were severely beaten required hospitalization. In particular, Abdulhadi Al Khawaja was hospitalised after receiving blows to the back and arm, while Nabeel Rajab suffered a broken finger, fractured arm and a head injury.