August 16, 2011

Scholars at Risk (SAR) is gravely concerned about Professor Masaud Jahromi, Chairman of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Ahlia University, Manama, Bahrain, who has been arrested and detained for four months. SAR asks for letters, faxes and emails urging the appropriate authorities to intervene to ensure his well-being pending his earliest release, including ensuring regular access to the legal counsel of his choosing, to family and to medical treatment.

Scholars at Risk is an international network of over 250 universities and colleges in 31 countries dedicated to protecting the human rights of scholars around the world and to raising awareness, understanding of, and respect for the principles of academic freedom and its constituent freedoms of expression, opinion, thought, association and travel. In cases like Professor Jahromi's involving alleged infringement of these freedoms, SAR investigates hoping to clarify and resolve matters favorably.

Dr. Masaud Jahromi holds a PhD in Telecommunication Networking from University of Kent at Canterbury in the United Kingdom, and he is Chairman of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Ahlia University’s College of Mathematical Sciences and Information Technology. Scholars at Risk has learned that Professor Jahromi was arrested and taken from his home at 2:30 am on April 14, 2011. Scholars at Risk understands that Professor Jahromi was held first in Al Galaa Prison and then transferred to the Dry Dock Prison, where he has been since the end of April. According to reports, the police broke into his house in the middle of the night, threatened and harassed members of his family, confiscated the family’s laptops, and beat Professor Jahromi before taking him away to an undisclosed location. He was denied access to his family for over one month. Reports also indicate that Professor Jahromi is not receiving medical treatment for serious and diagnosed conditions, including Hepatitis C.

The nature of Professor Jahromi’s arrest and his detention without access to medical care and family suggests apparent disregard of international standards of due process, fair trial and detention as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain has acceded. Taking into account reported arrests of scholars in Bahrain following the pro-democracy protests in February and March, Professor Jahromi’s detention suggests a wider attempt to intimidate intellectuals and to limit academic freedom in Bahrain—a suggestion Scholars at Risk finds particularly distressing and unfortunate given the current tensions in the region and the world, which appear to warrant more rather than fewer exchanges and discussions among scholars inside and outside Bahrain.

Scholars at Risk therefore urges authorities to ensure that Bahrain’s obligations under international law are upheld with regard to Professor Jahromi and respectfully urges authorities to intervene in his case and to ensure his well-being—including regular access to family, to legal counsel of his choosing and to medical treatment—pending his earliest release.

Scholars at Risk invites letters, emails and faxes be sent:

-respectfully urging authorities to ensure that Bahrain’s obligations under international law are upheld with regard to Professor Jahromi; and

-respectfully urging authorities to intervene in his case and to ensure his well-being—including regular access to family, to legal counsel of his choosing and to medical treatment—pending his earliest release.

PLEASE WRITE TO:

His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Prime Minister Ministry of Foreign Affairs P.O. Box 547 Government Road Manama Kingdom of Bahrain Email to: info@mofa.gov.bh Fax to: +973 1-753-6343

COPIES TO:

His Majesty Shaikh Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa King of Bahrain Office of His Majesty the King P. O. Box 555 Rifa’a Palace, Kingdom of Bahrain Fax: + 973 1-766-8884

His Excellency Dr. Majid Bin Ali Al Nuaimi Minister of Education Ministry of Education Building Al Istiklal Street P.O. Box 43 Isa City Kingdom of Bahrain Fax: +973 1-768-7866 Email: moe.relations@bahrain.gov.bh

Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni Commission Chair Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) Email: outreach@bici.org.bh

The Honorable Hillary R. Clinton United States Secretary of State U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520, USA

The Right Honorable William Hague Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Foreign and Commonwealth Office King Charles Street London SW1A 2AH United Kingdom

The Honorable _________ Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to [YOUR COUNTRY] [POSTAL ADDRESS] [FAX] [EMAIL] (See right-hand column at http://www.mofa.gov.bh/Default.aspx?tabid=75&language=en-US for a list of Bahraini embassies worldwide.)

The Honorable _________ Ambassador of [YOUR COUNTRY] to the Kingdom of Bahrain [POSTAL ADDRESS] [FAX] [EMAIL]

Scholars at Risk New York University 194 Mercer St., 4th floor New York, NY 10012 USA Fax: +1 212 995-4402 Email: scholarsatrisk@nyu.edu

scholarsatrisk.nyu.edu