The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) releases a statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This day is celebrated each year to raise awareness of the reality of women status around the world. Moreover, it aims to shed light on the fact that women are still subjected to violence, torture and different forms of ill-treatment, especially in countries like Bahrain.

Women human rights defenders who advocate against torture are being subjected to torture all across the globe. Although they are facing gender-based discrimination on many levels, they aim to grant peace to all individuals regardless of their gender. However, they are being continuously targeted and attacked while seeking a dignified kind of life.

Bahrain is one of the countries with deteriorating situation of human rights where women fight for their basic rights, as transferring nationality to their children for example. In Bahrain, women human rights defenders face imprisonment, threats, beating, torture and even death. The forms of violence -that women are subjected to- are beyond what other human rights defenders might experience, including sexual violence, harassment and defamation. Furthermore, BCHR documented during 2018 and 2019 an increasing level of violence against women human rights defenders in Bahrain. Many were arrested, tens were detained and dozens were ill-treated.

Among those women human rights defenders who were subjected to different types of repression while doing their work was Nedal Al-Salman, the Acting President of BCHR. She was subjected to gender-based discrimination and was banned from traveling abroad just for being a woman human rights defender, speaking up for what happens in Bahrain and seeking justice for those who suffer from all forms of repression. Another victim of detention, torture and travel ban by Bahraini authorities is the journalist Nazeeha Saeed, who was covering security forces’ violent suppression of peaceful protesters. So many other females faced the attacks of the government, which tried to silence them, in its various forms: prevention of career practicing, unfair trials, nationality revoked, confined imprisonment… This shows that all women in Bahrain should be protected and supported by the International Community.

 

Therefore, BCHR calls on the concerned international bodies to put pressure on the government of Bahrain to:

  • Maintain a safe environment for women human rights defenders in order to proceed with their work;
  • Abide by the International laws that guarantee protection for women human rights defenders.

BCHR calls, further, on the government of Bahrain to:

  • Release immediately and unconditionally those arbitrarily detained;
  • Put an end to violations against women human rights, in particular the right to express opinions and freedom of peaceful assembly;
  • Hold accountability those responsible for violations, regardless of their position.