23 August 2011

Nabeel Rajab President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights was summoned to the police station of Roundabout 17 of Madinat Hamad on August 19th for "deliberately posting sensational propaganda and false information on his social networking site likely to disrupt public order, spark fear among people, damage public interests and defame authorities" The interrogation was conducted by Ministry of Interior personnel. During the entire interrogation there was an individual videotaping the entire procedure. The questions were in regards to things he had written, his opinions and posting articles from the international media on twitter. They also interrogated him about Zakaryia AlAsheeri who had died in custody and had obvious torture marks on his body. They told him that AlAsheeri died of Sickle Cell disease, and he responded he had evidence that late AlAsheeri had been severely tortured. They also told him that Zainab AlJuma died a natural death, to which he responded that she had died due to teargas inhalation. He said he continues to stand by what he wrote and will continue to write on Twitter. Finally, they informed him that the case would be turned over to the public prosecution.

"Nabeel Rajab has been notified to abide by the law in exercising his right to freedom of expression, as stipulated in the constitution, and commit to legal constraints," the Northern Police director-general said.

Nabeel said that they had a stack of papers, all of which were copies of things he had written on Twitter. This is only one of a lengthy campaign of targeting human rights activists like Nabeel Rajab who is one of the leading activists in the country.

Today 40 people were taken to court, all of who have been in detention for several months without charges or trial. Amongst them were Hussain Ahmed and Wafi AlMajed, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's sons-in-law. Families were not notified, but found out through the internet, and showed up at the court where they were not allowed to speak to the detainees or sit in on the hearings. Amongst the charges were illegal assembly with the intent of disseminating false information, sending information internationally with the intent of distorting the country's image and incitement to hatred against the regime. The cases were adjourned for two weeks until September.

Despite the order from the King to move all cases to civilian courts, felonies cases are still set to be tried at the military court. Some of these cases are: the appeal of the 21 prominent activists, the case of the doctors and the case of those accused of allegedly cutting the tongue of man.

Report by Human Rights First about the return to Military Courts.

Jalila AlSalman, deputy head of the Bahrain Teacher's Association, and Roula AlSaffar, president of the nurse's society, were both released yesterday with ensuring the place of residence. The court case against them is still ongoing. AlSalman had recently been taken to the hospital twice due to chest pains.

Shaikh Isa Qassim, one of the most respected Shia clerics in Bahrain, today received a letter from the Minister of Justice, A copy of the letter in Arabic can be seen here. In short, it was a warning to the cleric in what the minister called: incitement to violence by use of his religious statute. The minster have included no supporting evidences to his accusations.

Last night a religious procession was attacked by civilian clothed thugs in Bani Jamrah. The thugs threw stones on people taking part in the ceremony then ran off, there was one serious injury in which a young man's wrist got cut when one of the stones flew into a car window causing glass to fly. In Muharraq a group of provocateurs targeted a religious procession by standing on the sides and chanting "the people want Khalifa bin Salman (the pm) at people taking part in the procession. Luckily there were no clashes.