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Bahrain testimony a highlight of "best ever" IFEX conference

8 June 2011

Security forces prevented IFEX member Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), from attending the IFEX General Meeting and Strategy Conference in person in Beirut last week. But they couldn't prevent him from talking about recent human rights abuses in Bahrain via Skype, nor IFEX members and partners who were listening from initiating an international mission to Bahrain in the coming days. This was just one of the many highlights of the IFEX 2011 conference.

The Bahraini government had prevented Rajab from flying to join his IFEX colleagues in Beirut on 29 May. Maryam al-Khawaja, who heads BCHR's foreign relations department, cancelled her trip after receiving death threats.

Instead, fellow free expression and human rights defenders gathered for a 40-minute call on 2 June, during which Rajab thanked them for their support and welcomed plans for a mission composed of IFEX members and other concerned groups to Bahrain in the coming months.

Rajab also brought them up to date with the rounds of arrests, detentions, assaults and threats that both preceded and followed 1 June when the King cancelled the state of emergency and called for "national dialogue" on reform.

"How can there be a dialogue when people even this morning are being detained?" he asked. If the government is serious about dialogue, it must "stop persecuting people for doing their human rights work, allow journalists to publish freely, stop the bans on blogs," he said.

Rajab repeatedly thanked IFEX members for shining a light on Bahrain when other internationals failed to do so: "We are victims of the West who won't criticise the Bahrain government even though they criticised Libya and supported the revolutions in Egypt or Tunisia.

"Your support is like air for us, it’s like hope for us. It is lifting our spirit," he said.

[..]

UK stressed the importance of the Bahrain Government moving to a policy of reform rather than repression

Written answers and statements, 6 June 2011

Question Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty's Government what communications they have had with the Government of Bahrain since the beginning of public protests there; what communications they intend to have with that Government in the near future; whether they are emphasising the importance of due process for all persons arrested; and whether they have received information about allegations of disappearances and the outcomes of relevant cases.[HL9237]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government have had regular communications with the Government of Bahrain since the beginning of public protests, and these communications are ongoing.

My right honourable friend the Prime Minister spoke by phone to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on 15 March 2011 and met the Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in London on 19 May 2011. On both occasions the Prime Minister expressed our concerns about the situation in Bahrain and stressed the importance of the Bahrain Government moving to a policy of reform rather than repression.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), spoke to the Bahraini Foreign Minister on 17 February, 16 April and 25 May and raised the UK's concern about the human rights situation. He made clear our concerns about arrests, deaths in detention and moves to investigate prominent licensed, political opposition parties. He made clear that the civil rights of peaceful opposition figures, the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly should be respected.

The Secretary of State for Defence, my right honourable friend the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), spoke to the Crown Prince on 22 February 2011 and met the King and Crown Prince in Bahrain on 3 April 2011 and spoke to the King again on 16 May 2011, urging the Bahrain Government to create the environment in which dialogue can take place.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my right honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Alistair Burt), spoke to the Bahraini ambassador by phone on 1 April 2011 and raised our concerns about human rights. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my noble friend Lord Astor of Hever, met the Crown Prince in Bahrain on 23 February 2011 and urged all sides, including opposition groupings, to engage in dialogue.

Our ambassador has also regularly raised the UK's human rights concerns with Ministers across the Bahraini Government, including most recently with the Ministers of Justice, Interior and the Deputy Prime Minister. These include highlighting our concerns that due process should be followed and that those accused should have access to legal counsel and be tried before independent and impartial courts. The Defence Senior Adviser Middle East, Lieutenant General Simon Mayall, raised human rights with the Commander in Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force on 11 May 2011.

We will continue to make our concerns clear to the Bahraini authorities.

publications.parliament.uk

Secretary Clinton Must Press Bahrain Crown Prince on Human Rights During Visit

June 6, 2011

Washington, D.C.—Secretary Hillary Clinton and other U.S. officials meeting Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in the U.S. this week must publicly press the issue of human rights violations, including torture, mass arrests, military show trials and attacks on religious sites, said Human Rights First today. She should raise the cases of human rights defenders like Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, whose house has been attacked and who has been prohibited from leaving the country.

“The U.S. government must tell the Crown Prince forcefully and unambiguously that these violations are unacceptable and seriously threaten the U.S. relationship with the Bahraini government. The reports of widespread torture, the show trials, the disappearances, attacks on Shia mosques and other serious violations must be addressed, and those responsible must be held accountable. Impunity for the guilty damages the prospects for a political solution,” said Brian Dooley of Human Rights First.

“These are messages the Crown Prince and the Bahraini government must hear clearly and publicly from U.S. officials. The Bahraini authorities must be left in no doubt that the U.S. Government condemns its actions in the strongest possible terms”

Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, visiting the U.S. this week, is regarded by some as a relative moderate among the Bahrain’s ruling elite, but the brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors in recent months has made dialogue about reform more difficult. Although the state of emergency in Bahrain was officially lifted June 1, little has changed. Leading opposition figures and human rights activists remain in detention or in fear of arrest. Peaceful dissent has been met with violent repression. Today, the military trials of dozens of medical personnel opened.

“Amid continuing reports of protestors being shot in the streets, the Crown Prince needs to explain how the continuing repression respects human rights and advances the political dialogue,” added Dooley. “The U.S. government’s response so far has been largely muted in comparison to its rhetoric encouraging peaceful protestors in other countries in the region. It should raise these violations by name with the Crown Prince, detailing specific abuses, and demand that they end. We have seen elsewhere in the region that stability does not come through repression.”

Human Rights First visited Bahrain last month. Its report, Speaking Softly, focuses on the targeting of human rights defenders and other human rights violations, and includes recommendations to the U.S. government regarding how to respond to the situation in Bahrain.

humanrightsfirst.org

BCHR Letter on the Deterioration of Laborers' Rights in the Kingdom of Bahrain

08 June 2011 Mr. Juan Somavia Director General, International Labor Organization

Greetings,

Sub: Letter on the Deterioration of Laborers' Rights in the Kingdom of Bahrain

We would like first of all to cordially extend our thanks for your precise follow-up on the laborers' conditions in Bahrain; for the tremendous efforts as reflected in the various statements in which you declared your deep concern on the deteriorating situation of the Bahraini workforce; and for the ILO Delegation that visited Bahrain at the end of April to look into the working conditions of laborers. This led to the assembly of a committee chaired by the Labor Minister to address the issues pertaining to the cases of mass lay-offs.

Although such a committee was formed, the number of laborers being laid off is accelerating day after day. The estimates released by The General Federation of Workers Trade Unions in Bahrain show that, as of May 29, 2011 the total number of sacked laborers reached 1724 [1]. The actual number, however, is even greater than this as it incorporates only the laborers who reported their cases to the Union and not the total number who have actually been laid off. According to the same statistics, Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) and Bahrain Aluminum (Alba), of which the government of Bahrain owns 100% and 70% respectively, have topped the list for layoffs, accounting for around 40% of the total number of sacked laborers in Bahrain.

ALBA has dismissed 364 laborers. About 250 of these were dismissed without any Interrogation. ALBA alleges that the main reason for dismissal was due to participation in the strike which was called by the company's Trade Union as well as the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions in solidarity with the protesters who were violently oppressed. However, Bahrain Center of Human Rights (BCHR) received several testimonies from some ALBA laborers that they were not absent from work but were still dismissed. Other laborers said that they were absent from work due to the deteriorating security situation, or due to annual or sick leave however they were also dismissed. BCHR has documented a case in which an ALBA laborer was arrested from his workplace and dismissed under the pretext of an absence of more than 10 consecutive days. Other employees were given the option of either resignation, demotion or immediate dismissal [2].

BCHR has also investigated cases of dismissed laborers working for Bapco, which BCHR believes to have been carried out on sectarian and political grounds [3]. As of May 10, 2011, 293 laborers have been laid off. BCHR also has information asserting the intention of the said company to sack 150 laborers over the coming period with the list of employees to be fired pending the approval of the company CEO. Furthermore, BCHR has received dozens of leaked documents from Bapco emphasizing that the dismissal was arbitrary and violated local laws and international conventions. Such decisions were made on the grounds of punishing those laborers for their political beliefs. Please find attached herein some documents representing excerpts of interrogation statements with some laborers along with a list containing the employees' names who were already interrogated and were mostly recommended to be dismissed. With the careful scrutiny of such documents, the following conclusions can be drawn:

1. Interrogation proceedings centered around the days of absence due to the crackdown and the response of the laborer going on strike called for by The General Federation of Workers Trade Unions in Bahrain and Trade Union of Bapco Employees. The interrogation sessions included questions related to the laborer’s participation in the prodemocracy protests. Some of the employees were faced with pictures obtained from notoriously unreliable resources as evidence of participating in the demonstrations.

2. The Interrogation Committee has counted the days off as absenteeism, in a clear breach to provision 4 of Article 113 of The Labour Law for the Private Sector, 1976 [4]. It is important to mention that Bapco’s management did not adhere to the provisions contained in the aforementioned article stipulating that an employer shall give a written notice to the employee after an absence of five alternate days or after an absence of ten non-consecutive.

3. The Interrogation Committees gave no respect to the employees excuses for being absent on the grounds of the unsecure situation of the country in the wake of the crackdown, notwithstanding the company's explicit directions stressing that “if any occurrences cause the employees to feel insecure leaving their homes, they should consider their safety as paramount and notify their supervisors as soon as possible”.[5]

4. Employees were punished for their political views and activities in a clear violation of provision (a) in Article 1 of the ILO’s ‘C111 Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958’, that stipulates "An act of discrimination shall include (a) any distinction, exclusion or preference made on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin, which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation". It should be noted that all dismissed people from Bapco are Shiite Muslims. This figure represents around 30% of the total number of Shiites in Bapco.

5. Some employees were punished on suspicion of going on strike despite the fact that the strike was called for by The General Federation of Workers Trade Unions in Bahrain and Trade Union of Bapco Employees, both entities being duly authorized and incorporated as per the applicable laws of the Kingdom and whose members are elected. The strike continued after the deployment of Bahraini, Saudi, and Emirati army troops on the streets and with the declaration of the martial law on March 15, 2011. This was later followed by spreading out check-points all over the island and letting military and police vehicles patrol all neighborhoods, making it extremely difficult for laborers to get to their places of work. Likewise, a vast number of citizens were either arrested or brutally beaten with more than 20 murdered following the announcement of martial law. More than 1000 citizens were arrested and many were wounded by the military and police at check-points.

Kindly note that BCHR will be more than happy to supply any documents we currently have at hand should you require them to draw a clearer picture of the violations being carried out by the regime against laborers' rights in Bahrain. Once again, please accept our sincere thanks.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights

[1] http://www.alwasatnews.com/3187/news/read/563517/1.html [2] http://bahrainrights.org/en/node/4178 [3] http://bahrainrights.org/en/node/4100 [4] http://www.upr.bh/hrbc/The_Labour_Law [5] Circular issued by Bapco Management on March 14, 2011

Samples of the records of the investigation at Bapco Bahrain Petroleum Company - Click on image for a larger view

Sample of documents showing summary of the recommendations of the commissions of investigation at Bapco Bahrain Petroleum Company - Click on image for a larger view

Amnesty International Urges Secretary of State Clinton To Reveal Human Rights Commitments Received from Bahrain Crown Prince

Amnesty International USA Press Release For Immediate Release Tuesday, June 7, 2011

(Washington) -- Amnesty International today urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to publicly state any commitments she received from the visiting Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa AL Khalifa. The human rights organization said the United States should not be a spectator to the deteroriating human rights situation in Bahrain.

“As a strong allay of Bahrain, it is the United States’ duty and responsibility to raise concerns about abuses and to secure meaningful commitments for improvements. The world should know whether the United States is taking the human rights situation in Bahrain seriously. There should not be one standard for Bahrain and another for other countries in the region,” said T. Kumar, International Advocacy Director in Washington.

Amnesty International urged the Obama Administration to demand that Bahrain:

*Immediately and unconditionally release anyone detained simply for peacefully expressing his or her political views in public, and ensure that the scores of protesters who have been detained some facing military trials, are granted immediate access to lawyers and family members.

*Allow the US Ambassador to Bahrain and other international trial observers to observe the military trials of opposition figures.

* Suspend U.S. security assistance and secure a commitment that no American weapons will be used against peaceful protesters.

* Immediately reinstate the over 2,000 people who have been dismissed or suspended from their employment in the public and private sector for have participated in the protests. * Investigate and prosecute security forces who have committed abuses.

www.amnestyusa.org

UN agency urges Bahrain to re-employ 2,000 workers

Jun 7, 2011 9:56am EDT By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, June 7 (Reuters) - The U.N. labour rights agency urged Bahrain on Tuesday to give jobs back to at least 2,000 workers fired for striking in support of pro-democracy protests.

Bahrain's unions called a general strike in March to back protesters from the Shi'ite majority demanding greater freedoms from the Sunni-led government.

Bahraini forces and troops from nearby Sunni Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia crushed demonstrations later that month.

The Gulf kingdom's legislation, allowing independent trade unions was unique in the region, but eight of 15 executive members of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions are among those dismissed, International Labour Organization (ILO) director-general Juan Somavia said.

"Our main worry is people being able to work and ensuring they can exercise their freedom of association and not be pressured as a result of events," Somavia told a news briefing.

Officials at Batelco BTEL.BH, Gulf Air [GULF.UL], Bahrain Airport Service and APM Terminals Bahrain said at the time that they had laid off more than 200 workers due to absence during the strike. State oil company, Bahrain Petroleum Co (Bapco), later said it had sacked nearly 300 employees. [ID:nN12115429]

The ILO denounced the mass sackings and "other repressive measures" in early April. [ID:nLDE73425B] It later sent a high-level team to Bahrain for talks with government officials, as well as worker and employer groups.

The Obama administration is reviewing an American labour group's petition calling on the United States to warn Bahrain that its crackdown has put a 2006 trade pact at risk, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said on May 12. [ID:nN12115429]

Syria and Yemen, where pro-democracy uprisings have turned deadly, have a different history to Bahrain in terms of union activity, according to Somavia.

"In the case of both Syria and Yemen, the trade unions back the governments. There is very little evolution of independent trade unions," he said. (Editing by Louise Ireland)

reuters.com

Obama urges Bahrain hold rights abusers accountable

Jun 7, 2011 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Bahrain's rulers to hold accountable those responsible for human rights abuses in a crackdown on pro-democracy protests and pressed for compromise between the government and the opposition.

Obama, in a White House meeting with Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, voiced support for moves toward a national dialogue and insisted the stability of the Gulf kingdom "depends upon respect for universal human rights," the White House said. The meeting came after King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, whose Sunni Muslim family rules over the majority Shi'ite population, offered on May 31 to open a dialogue on reform and on June 1 lifted a state of emergency used to break up protests inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world.

Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, called in security forces from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries in March to quash the demonstrations, accusing the protesters of having a sectarian agenda and help from Shi'ite power Iran. The opposition deny this.

Critics have said the United States and other Western nations reacted too softly to the crackdown in Bahrain, which is seen as a vital U.S. ally facing Iran.

Bahraini Shi'ite clerics accused police on Tuesday of violating religious freedoms by breaking up weekend street festivals by majority Shi'ites that police said activists had turned into political protests against the government.

A White House statement said Obama welcomed the Bahraini king's decision to end martial law and the announcement that a national dialogue on reform would begin in July. Obama also said, "Both the opposition and the government must compromise to forge a just future for all Bahrainis."

"The president emphasized the importance of following through on the government's commitment to ensuring that those responsible for human rights abuses will be held accountable," the White House said.

Bahraini authorities unleashed a campaign of detention and dismissals during martial law that has affected thousands of people who took part in the protests, most of them Shi'ites. The opposition has expressed fear that repression will continue despite the lifting of the emergency decree.

The crown prince used his Washington visit to repeat his support for reform. "It is a great test but also a great opportunity to drive the nation forward," he told reporters as he met Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "We are committed to reform in both the political and economic spheres."

(Reporting by Alister Bull, Matt Spetalnick and Arshad Mohammed, editing by Cynthia Osterman)

reuters.com

BYSHR: Bahrain: Crackdown on teachers Society

Ms. Al Salman (Left) and Mr. Abu Dheeb (Right)

On 7 June 2011, The first hearing was held at the National Safety court ( Military court) for Bahrain Teachers Society (BTS).The case has been adjourned till 15 June, 2011.

The defendants were present at the trial :

1- Mr. Mahdi Isa Abu Dheeb – Chairman, Bahrain Teachers Society 2-Ms. Jalila Mohammed Ridha Al Salman – Deputy Chair, Bahrain Teachers Society

Charges:

1-inciting others to commit crimes; 2-calling for the hatred and overthrow of the ruling system; 3-holding pamphlets, disseminating fabricated stories and information; 4-leaving work on purpose and encouraging others to do so; 5-taking part at illegal gatherings.

The Society was founded in 2002, previously called for improvement in teachers working conditions, and contributed to the protests since February 14, 2011.

BTS: Activities”2009″

On 13 March 2011, The BTS issued a statement criticizing the violations by the security forces in schools and called for a strike. (Ref: http://www.bhteachers.org/portal/news.php?action=view&id=61)

On 23 March 2011, Issued a statement to suspend strike. (Ref: http://www.bhteachers.org/portal/news.php?action=view&id=62)

On 6 April 2011, The Bahrain Teachers Society (BTS) suspended by Ministry of Development. (Ref: http://www.bna.bh/portal/news/451949).

BTS’s website blocked by Bahraini authorities: www.bhteachers.org

Bahraini authorities arrested some members of the Board of Directors.

Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) expresses deep concern at the targeting of institutions of civil society and calls for urgent action to stop the punishment of civil society institutions by the Bahraini authorities.

http://byshr.org/?p=578

English PEN: Bahrain: Poet and writer arrested; fears for their safety

7 June 2011 English PEN is deeply concerned about the arrests of poet and student Ayat Al-Gormezi and writer and journalist Abbas Al-Murshid who have been held since 30 March and 15 May 2011 respectively. They are believed to be detained for their peaceful dissident activities and have reportedly been tortured in detention. We call for their immediate and unconditional release and seeks urgent guarantees of their safety, and respectfully remind the Bahraini authorities of their obligations to protect the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a state party.

According to our information, 20 year old Ayat Al-Gormezi was arrested on 30 March 2011 after reading poems at a pro-democracy rally in Pearl Square in which she criticised the ruling family and asked for transparency. She was forced to turn herself in when masked police threatened to kill her brothers unless she did so. She has not been seen since her arrest, although her mother spoke to her once by telephone and Ayat said that she had been forced to sign a false confession. Her mother has since been told that her daughter has been in a military hospital after being tortured.

Ayat Al-Gormezi appeared on 2 June 2011 before a military tribunal in Manama on charges of 'insulting the king, taking part in banned gatherings, and spreading false information.' The trial has been adjourned until 12 June 2011, when a verdict is expected to be delivered. She is the first woman to go on trial following the unrest and it is feared she will face a heavy prison term if convicted. An excerpt of one of Ayat al-Gormezi's poem follows, translated from the Arabic by Ghias Aljundi:

We do not like to live in a palace And we are not after power We are the people who Break down humiliation And discard oppression With peace as our tool We are people who Do not want others to be living in the Dark Ages

Abbas Al-Murshid is a well-known Bahraini writer and researcher, and a frequent contributor to the Bahraini daily Al-Waqt as well as numerous online publications. He has written about Bahrain's social unrest, corruption, institutional discrimination and other topics considered sensitive by the government. He was summoned on 15 May 2011 to appear at Al-Naeim police station for interrogation and has not been seen since. No charges have yet been made against Al-Murshid. On 16 May 2011, he called his family to tell them that he had been placed under arrest and then the line was disconnected. Al-Murshid has been previously arrested on several occasions in relation to his writing and many of his books have been banned in Bahrain. At the end of January 2009, Al-Murshid was hit above his eye with a rubber bullet in a targeted attack and had to be admitted to hospital as a result.

Background

Protests, led by Bahrain's majority Shia community, against the government's policies have been underway since mid- February 2011. The Bahraini security forces have responded with excessive force, using tear gas and live bullets to disperse demonstrators. Dozens of civilians have reportedly been killed and many more wounded. The Bahraini government declared a State of Emergency on 15 March 2011 and brought in troops from neighbouring Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia to help suppress dissent. The State of Emergency was lifted on 3 June 2011 but the detainees arrested under that law are still in detention.

For further information, please see:

The Independent (2 June 2011)

Committee to Protect Journalists (17 May 2011)

TAKE ACTION

Please send appeals:

- Expressing serious concern about the arrest of Ayat Al-Gormezi and Abbas Al-Murshid; - Calling for their immediate and unconditional release; - Urging the Bahraini government to drop any charges against Ayat al-Gormezi that may infringe her right to freedom of expression; - Seeking immediate guarantees that they are not tortured or ill-treated in detention; - Urging the Bahraini authorities to abide by their obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and to end the violent crackdown on those who are peacefully expressing their opinions.

Send appeals to:

His Majesty Sheikh 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: 973 176 64 587

Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs P.O.Box 450 Al-Manama Kingdom of Bahrain. Fax: 973 175 31 284

Please also send copies of your appeal letters to the diplomatic representative for Bahrain in the UK:

His Excellency Shaikh Khalifa bin Ali bin Rashid Al Khalifa Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain 30 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QB Fax: 020 7201 9183 Email: ambassadorsoffice@bahrainembassy.co.uk

englishpen.org

ANHRI condemns the ongoing martial courts after the lift of emergency law

Cairo 5 June 2011

ANHRI has condemned today the ongoing martial courts against Bahraini activists upon their expression of opinion though the emergency law, according to which these martial courts were held, is lifted. The martial court will review tomorrow, Monday 6 June 2011, the second sitting of martial court against the poet Ayat Al Cormozy for having recited poems during the protests sit-in which had been dispersed by force in last March in the Pearl Roundabout.

Ayat Al Cormozy, a 20 years old student and poet, was arrested last March by Bahraini security forces after she had recited poems in the Pearl Roundabout criticizing in it the Bahraini authorities. Ayat had been detained in an unknown place and without any specific charges until the Bahraini authorities had informed her family that she would be prosecuted in a martial court on Thursday 2 June as the first sitting of the court. This prosecution took place only two days after the lift of emergency law according to which these martial courts were held. The court has indicted the young poet of “touching on Bahraini King and participating in illegal demonstrations” and decided to postpone the hearing to Monday 6 June 2011.

This prosecution came after the lift of the notorious emergency law which had been imposed in 15 March 2011 and according to which 600 opponent activists were arrested and around 2000 persons were fired from their jobs because of their participation in the demonstrations that had broken out in the kingdom since last February and which had been violently suppressed by the security forces.

Ayat Al Cormozy is the second woman to be prosecuted in a martial court in the wake of the last events in Manama after that Galila Salman, an activist, had been sentenced to four years jail for possessing forbidden singing records and not obeying the orders of the police officers in the street in 12 May 2011.

ANHRI said “Human rights situation in Bahrain is in ongoing deterioration and the lift of emergency law was merely a trial from the authorities to improve their image while they are actually still following suppressive measures and holding martial courts in fighting freedom of expression”

ANHRI added “Bahraini authorities should stop attacking human rights activists and opponents and prosecuting martial courts against civilians, and should release immediately all activists and arrested demonstrators, and allow a suitable environment for freedom of opinion and expression without adopting prosecution, or arrest or jail policies. It is not logic that the Bahraini authorities calls for dialogue with different political movements while the opposition leaders are in jail.”

http://www.anhri.net/en/?p=2621