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A Smearing Campaign against the Shiite Bahraini Citizens with the Participation of the Bahraini Crown Prince

and the Ambassador of Bahrain in Washington

The Ruling Regime in Bahrain Stabilizes itself as a Model for “Sectarian apartheid and Systematic Discrimination"

The Bahraini Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa

10 June 2010

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is deeply concerned and disturbed by the fraud, distortion and stimulating hatred campaign led by the ruling regime abroad, especially in the United States of America. This campaign is led by the Bahraini embassy in Washington, and Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the Bahraini Crown Prince, participated in the campaign which aimed at distorting and scorning the Shiite sect and its beliefs, accusing this vital segment and main component of the Bahraini community with ignorance and backwardness and loyalty to the outside.

In a reception celebration held by Bahrain's embassy in Washington in honour of one of the Arab-American organizations[1] in the U.S. on June 4, 2010, a group of Bahraini's residing in the U.S and some supporters of the human rights cases in Bahrain protested [2] outside the embassy [3] at the invitation of one of the American societies [4] in protest against the Bahraini Authorities policy in: sectarian discrimination, political naturalization, changing the social fabric, the continue of torture in the Bahraini prisons, and the policy of creating a sectarian split among the Sunni and Shiite citizens. This demonstration led many of the participants in the embassy's celebration to question the truth about the claim and demands of these protestors especially that the guests of the celebration belong to an institute that operates against discrimination in the United States.

The Protest Rally outside the Bahraini Embassy in Washington

Due to the confusion resulting from those protests and the embassy's guests questioning what is taking place outside, the Bahrain ambassador in Washington Mrs. Huda Azra Nono cancelled her speech which she was supposed to deliver in the celebration, and was replaced with a leaflet of two page[5] distributed among the participants containing the Bahraini embassy's responses to the claims of the protestors outside the embassy. One of the embassy's employees, Khalid Al-Jalahma, distributed the leaflet among the participants in the celebration. What is disturbing and concerning is what was contained in the leaflet, and which included many fallacies and serious falsification of facts and deliberated distort of the image of the people of Bahrain, and especially the Shiite sect.

Copy of the two page leaflet - click to enlarge

Among the fallacies put forward by the offending leaflet:

1. In an indication and denial of the fact that Shiite are the majority of the population in Bahrain, the leaflet mentions that there is no official numbers of the sects of Bahrain population– (this piece of information contradicts what the leaflet later narrates about the size of Shiites in the various ministries).

2. The majority of representative members in the 2 houses are Shiite (the fact is that the Shiite are not a majority [6] in the mentioned council, although they are appointed according to their loyalty to the ruling regime).

3. The majority in the Ministry of Interior are Shiite, and they are a majority in several government ministries, among them the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education (while the BCHR statistical report notes a decline in the number of Shiites in senior State posts to 13%, and this percentage is declining in the dominating ministries to less than 2%, as is the case in the Ministry of Interior[7]).

4. The citizenship provided to Shiite exceeds that provided to Sunni’s (the reality is that the Authorities granted the earned citizenship – according to the Bahraini citizenship law and according to the requirements of international human rights law – to several hundreds of Shiite families who have been deprived of the citizenship, but on the other hand it took advantage of the exceptional power granted to the King to naturalize tens of thousands of non-Shiite foreigners in order to change the sectarian demography of the country for political purposes and interests).

5. The sect is not a factor when considering scholarships; however, competency is. and the majority of these scholarships are awarded to Shiites. (This is completely inconsistent with reality, and which is the deprivation of the Shiite sect of the equal right in obtaining scholarships, especially in the significant majors and Western countries, the government even lately attempted at choosing the scholarships of the American and European embassies with sectarian standard [8] ).

6. Some of the Shiite groups in Bahrain have ties to Iran – as the international community stand on one side against the policy of the Iranian regime, these groups try to hide this link and tie themselves with Iraqis (and these are false accusations, which the government could not present any evidence of, and the government itself maintains close diplomatic ties with the Iranian government).

7. The leaflet, in an indication to the Bahraini Shiite villagers, questions dealing with burned tires on a highway or burned down a school (they should have searched for the reasons behind the continuous and escalating protests in these villages and the methods of dealing with them within the framework of human rights and social justice.

8. The reasons for the low level of living [9] and poverty [10] in the Bahraini villages is due to the large size of their families, consisting of 12 individuals which results from lack of social awareness and early marriages and marrying more than one wife, and some religious belief in the necessity of increasing the size of the family, which is the reason behind them getting unskilled jobs (the average rate of the Bahraini families rarely exceeds five people, and the statistical report of the BCHR proves that the percentage of those outstanding students in the Bahraini schools and universities corresponds with their percentage of the total population).

9. The cost of university education in Bahrain is less than $300 per year, and there is no homelessness in Bahrain (this cost is in the University of Bahrain, which only absorbs a small proportion of graduates, while the cost of private universities are very high and is more than ten times this amount, and the low and middle waged cannot meet those costs. Government statistics themselves indicate that there are 60 thousand families waiting for housing loans for periods exceeding 18 years).

The participants while leaving the embassy carrying in their hands the (anti-Shia) leaflet

The BCHR is sorry for this narration that is misleading to reality and truth, and for this provocative sectarian approach against the country's population of the Shiite sect, and the outspoken advocacy of hatred and degrading their dignity, and beliefs in this campaign led by Bahrain's embassy in Washington, which is supposed to have a national representation of all Bahrainis with their various sects or ethnic origins, and it is the embassy that has no single employee of Shiite origins. The BCHR believes that this campaign is an escape of the questioning and sources of concern raised by the international organizations regarding the deteriorating human rights condition, and systematic sectarian discrimination in Bahrain.

What increases the degree of seriousness and gravity of this campaign is the contribution of the Bahraini Crown Prince, who is the second man ranking at the top of the pyramid system of the government, and he is Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, and his adoption of the same inciting approach especially in his last visit to the U.S. on 20 May 2010, which is the visit that followed the hearing session held on 27 April 2010 in the U.S. Congress in regards to the human rights conditions in Bahrain, where he met the American vice-president [11] and the Defense Secretary [12] and the security adviser to the U.S. president. He also met a group of members of Congress who sponsored or participated in the "hearing session" which discussed the torture file in Bahrain [13] and especially the report Torture Redux [14] released by the Human Rights Watch, and they are the members who urged the U.S. government to take advantage of its special relations with the government of Bahrain to offer it advice in order to improve the human rights conditions. The message of the Crown Prince and the accompanying delegation to those members is to suggest that the "Shiite yearn to gain control of the governance in Bahrain and that having them reach governance is dangerous to the U.S. interests in the area, and the fall of Bahrain which is considered the gateway to the rest of the Arabian Gulf is the fall of the Gulf in the hands of Iran, where the Shiite's loyalty is to Iran and not to their countries". The same messages has been brought to some of the Western countries, or its embassies in Bahrain and the area, as well as the other Gulf countries, in order to justify the continuous protests of people in Bahrain, due to the wrong policies of the regime, especially after his Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa came to the throne. This organized campaign to distort the image of Shiite and to make them look as traitors, and tie them to Iran expresses the deterioration and the level of bad relationship between the ruling institution and the country's population.

The president of the BCHR, Nabeel Rajab, commented on these developments, "It is a shame that the relation between the ruling regime and the people of this country reach this level of deterioration, it is clear to the entire population of Bahrain of the Shiite sect that the ruling regime is targeting them and is working on isolating them on all cultural, social, educational, economic and living levels, and in addition to that seeks to distort their reputation abroad. What is surprising is that at a time when the ruling regime is committing these sectarian and racist practices, we find it questioning the lack of trust and loyalty of its citizens towards it", Rajab added, "it is known that the loyalty and respect towards ruling regimes is not granted for free, yet it should be combined with granting the people their rights and respecting their human dignity, which is the thing that is missing here".

The Bahraini authorities pursue a discriminatory policy and isolation against the people of the Shiite sect in improving its image to the outside world. It signed a deal with the U.S. lobby group known as (Patton Boggs) which specializes in the field of pressure and public relations in order to improve its image in the U.S [15], especially after its name appeared as a violator of human rights in many international reports, and that its policy has been found to be based on isolating, spreading ignorance and impoverishing the citizens, especially the Shiite sect.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights finds the following:

1. To immediately stop the campaign of distorting the reputation, led by the authority and with the participation of the Crown Prince of Bahrain, and the Bahraini embassy in Washington against the Shiite sect.

2. To stop doubting the loyalty of the original citizens of the country, and to stop casting the name of Iran in the internal political disputes.

3. To have a neutral, impartial and transparent investigation in the reality behind the existence of organized policies practiced by the ruling regime against the people of the country who belong to the Shiite sect, among that what was mentioned in the reports of the national and international human rights organizations in this regards, and what was stated in the report of the former government adviser Dr. Salah Al-Bandar.

4. To launch a program to amend the damages that happened to individuals, groups and areas that were subjected to the policy of discrimination and marginalization on all levels due to their sectarian belonging.

Sources:

[1]The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) [2]Video of the protest events [3] Photos of the protest outside the embassy [4] Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain [5] First page of the leaflet and Second page pf the leaflet [6]Shiites accounts for two thirds of Bahrain's population, but they are represented by 17 out of 40 MPs due to the unfair distribution of electoral districts, and in the appointed Council they are represented by 19 members out of 40 which is equal to 48% Check BCHR report on Human Rights in Bahrain 2008 [7] BCHR report which was presented in the American congress seminar on the Religious Freedoms in Bahrain [8] In BCHR 2008 report on discrimination it was mentioned that Shiite students accounts for about 70% of best grades students in Bahrain schools [9] Al-Jazeera video report o poverty in Bahrain, May 2010 [10] CNN video report on poverty in Bahrain [11] BNA news article of the meeting with the American Vice President [12] BNA news article of the meeting with the Defense Secretary [13] Summary of the seminar on torture in Bahrain [14] HRW Torture Redux Report [15] Bahraini authorities conclude a contract with American pressure groups to avoid condemnation for its policies of the sectarian discrimination

As a Punishment for his Trade Union and Environmental Activism: Dismissal of the Recognized Unionist Ghazi Al-Mirbati

Mr. Ghazi Al-Mirbati

13 June 2010

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its deep concern regarding the Gulf Air company's dismissal of the vice-president of its trade union Mr. Ghazi Al-Mirbati in May 2010, allegedly due to inciting the employees against the company, and leaking the company's private information to the press.

One of the local newspapers[1] ran a story on April 13 about two senior managers in Gulf Air's receiving a total of 440,000 BHD in conciliation for their resignation. The management took advantage of this news to accuse Mr. Al-Mirbati of leaking confidential information to the press. The management handed over the dismissal order to Mr. Al-Mirbati after 5 minutes of ending a meeting held between the union and the company's management; to look into the workers' retirement.

Al-Mirbati is considered to be a known defender of the rights of workers in the company which has been facing heavy losses for several years, believed to be due to consecutive corruption and losses which the company could not reduce because of its connection with some of the influential people in the country.

Besides his labour activism in the union, Al-Mirbati is considered to be one of the prominent environmental activists in Bahrain, who have worked on highlighting many environmental files over the last years especially the ones related to the industrial area surrounding Al-Ma'ameer village and the gases emitting from it, as well as shedding light on the drawbacks of land reclamation on the environment and its negative impact on village life and the Bahraini areas. His movements and defence of environmental rights caused embarrassment to the authorities over the years, due to revealing a lot of matters which the regular citizen overlooks.

This was not the first time where a unionist is targeted; Mrs. Najiya Abdul-Ghaffar – vice-president of the post union – was suspended from work in a similar incident. Charges were also fabricated against some unionists in the Bahrain Nursing Society, mainly against Mr. Ibrahim Al-Dimistani and Rola Al-Saffar. Ibrahim Al-Dimistani was cast into prison two months ago for curing a young man who was injured in the demonstrations in the country.

The BCHR believes that the decision to suspend Al-Mirbati from work, was made to silence him from his activity in demanding the rights of the workers in Gulf Air company and to prevent other activists from taking the same path, especially in the issue of Al-Ma'ameer's contamination – a residential area surrounded with factories – where the activist Ghazi Al-Mirbati and others attempted to bring the case to international organizations, after the local attempts to solve the case failed.

This dismissal decision is considered a blatant violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, and of local legislations. This decision also gives a clear picture of the attempts to systematically suppress all forms of expression of opinion in Bahrain.

Based on all the above, the BCHR demands the following:

1. Allow Mr. Ghazi Al-Mirbati to practice his work in Gulf Air company;

2. Not to carry out any arbitrary measures against Al-Mirbati and to allow him to express his opinion freely;

3. Carry out legislative amendments to secure citizens' rights working n the public and private sector to practice their right in expressing their opinion.

[1]Al-wasat newspaper

FIDH: Open letter in view of the EU-GCC Joint Co-operation Council

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

OPEN LETTER

Open letter in view of the EU-GCC Joint Co-operation Council

Paris-Brussels, 11 June 2010


On the eve of the EU-GCC Joint Co-operation Council to be held on the 14th of June 2010, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) calls upon the EU and GCC Ministers to put human rights at the centre of their relations in all fields and at all levels.
FIDH takes note of the recent developments in the negotiations of an EU-GCC Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) and particularly welcomes the announcement of the inclusion of a reference to human rights in the FTA. In this regard, FIDH insists on the essential inclusion of a « human rights clause » in the negotiated Free Trade Agreement and recalls that the European Parliament adopted a Resolution in April 2008 pertaining to the EU-GCC FTA in which it « stresses that enforceable human rights clauses are an essential part of an FTA with any country or region and should be included in the agreements as a suspension clause ».
At the end of the last EU-GCC Joint Co-operation Council held in April 2009, both parties “reaffirmed that they share the universal values of respect for human rights and democratic principles, which form an essential element of their relations.(...) [and] reiterated their continued commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms”. However FIDH remains concerned about the general pattern of human rights violations in the GCC countries. Since the last EU-GCC Joint Co-operation Council held in April 2009, few steps were taken by the authorities of the GCC countries to improve the enjoyment of human rights on their territory.
FIDH therefore urges once more both parties to give specific attention to the following priorities: • Inclusion of a human rights clause in the negotiated EU-GCC Free Trade Agreement • Adopting concrete measures to protect the rights of migrant workers; • Adopting concrete measures to protect women's rights and to promote equality between men and women; • Taking effective measures to improve the enjoyment of the freedom of association and the situation of Human Rights Defenders in GCC countries; • Taking action to guarantee freedom of opinion and expression; • Taking effective measures to guarantee non-discrimination on a religious or sectarian basis • Committing to improve the overall situation of human rights in GCC countries.
Inclusion of a human rights clause in the negotiated EU-GCC Free Trade Agreement

Both parties should comply with their previous commitments and insert a human rights clause in the agreement as an essential element. This human rights clause should be implemented at all stages of the EU-GCC political dialogue. As a first step, the parties should set up a common strategy for the practical implementation of their joint commitments in this field.
Taking into account that the human rights situation differs significantly from one GCC country to another, FIDH recommends that the EU set up concrete tools for monitoring the human rights situation and its evolution within the EU-GCC political dialogue and in particular, • Systematically puts human rights concerns on the agenda of bilateral political dialogues at all levels; • Systematically assesses the situation of human rights on the basis of UN special procedures and human rights NGOs reports; • Establishes concrete benchmarks in order to monitor regularly the implementation of commitments and efforts undertaken by both parties; • Holds systematic consultations with EU and GCC independent human rights NGOs ahead of official meetings in order to take into account their assessment of the human rights’ situation in situ and thus update the monitoring process.
Protecting migrant workers' rights, especially domestic workers

The GCC States remain an important magnet for migrant workers and these categories continue to suffer from specific discrimination. FIDH is concerned about the challenges faced by migrant workers in the GCC countries, such as the substitution of employment contracts, premature termination, excessive working hours, poor working conditions, and so on. They also face trafficking and forced labour, and sometimes visa trafficking. The right to organize and join trade unions and other associations is generally not recognized for migrants. Furthermore, despite several improvements in particular in Bahrain and Kuwait and announcements in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, there is generally no legislation protecting the rights of migrant domestic workers, although domestic work is one of the most important categories of employment for migrants.
Shocking rates of suicide of migrant workers have been reported in the last months, most of these cases concerned foreign domestic workers. Their situation has to be addressed urgently in all GCC countries to improve their working and living conditions, and to prohibit any discrimination against them.
→ FIDH calls upon the GCC to better protect labour rights for all by amending labour laws and making them consistent with international human rights standards, to adopt legislation on domestic workers, in accordance with international standards and to reform the sponsorship system. In this regard, FIDH urges the EU and the GCC States to ratify and implement the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families.
Promoting equality between men and women

Despite significant progress, in particular in terms of economic opportunities, educational attainment and political participation, a substantial lack of women’s rights persists in every country in the Gulf region.
Even though women usually have political rights, they still face discrimination under the law. Islamic law and traditions have discriminating aspects towards women. Indeed they do not enjoy same rights as men under family law, property law and in the judicial system (e.g. Inheritance or transmission of nationality to spouse or children). In all GCC countries, spousal rape is not criminalised. In Qatar, women victim of rape are also punished along with the perpetrator because they are considered as being at fault. But even if in other GCC countries rape is criminalised, under-reporting is systematic due to fear of social stigma considering the cultural and societal influences. Also, in cases of rape or other crimes against women reported to the police, the perpetrators commonly enjoy impunity. Domestic violence is often not addressed as such by law in GCC countries, as well as sexual harassment which is not prohibited in most GCC countries.
→ FIDH calls upon the GCC countries to promote equality between men and women in all fields. As equality between men and women is an essential issue promoted by and within the EU, the EU should also discuss this important question in its relations with third countries in order to increase the coherence of its internal and external policies.
Improving the situation of Human Rights Defenders and their right to freedom of association

The role of an independent civil society in assessing and monitoring the human rights situation at national level is essential. Restrictions on the right to freedom of association constitute a major obstacle to an independent civil society and put civil society representatives at risk of repression and arbitrary measures. In the GCC countries, freedom of association often remains limited and sometimes, such as in Saudi Arabia, forbidden.
→ Promoting the right to freedom of association and ensuring the compatibility of national laws and practice with international human rights and labour standards should be a key issue of the EU-GCC political dialogue.
Also, Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) continue to be victims of harassment, travel bans, detention, prosecution under false charges and even in some cases torture under interrogation. Cases of excessive use of force by the authorities have been reported during demonstrations and peaceful protests in various GCC countries. Furthermore, restrictions to freedom of assembly are also imposed on human rights organisations as they are prevented from organising conferences and workshops. The authorities of various GCC countries also used the obligation for NGOs to register as a tool to control the organisations' activities as well as to impede them from carrying out their activities due to long bureaucratic registration procedures. Any organisation not registered is considered as carrying out illegal activities. In some GCC countries (e.g. Oman and Saudi Arabia), independent human rights organisations are even not allowed to operate within the country.
→ HRDs are key actors for an independent monitoring of the human rights situation. Repressive measures against them are widespread in several GCC countries. Therefore, the EU must increase its support for Human Rights Defenders in GCC countries, in accordance with the operational chapter of the Council Guidelines on HRDs.
Taking action to guarantee freedom of opinion and expression

Freedom of expression, especially of the media, is the basis for democracy. It is essential for citizens to have access to free and pluralistic information. Nevertheless, freedom of expression is very much restricted in most of the GCC countries. The Constitutions and press laws in GCC countries and their interpretation by courts restrict freedom of speech and the press. Criticising Islam or the government is easily considered as being a criminal offence for which people can be fined and imprisoned. Almost all press (written press, radio, tv) is directly or indirectly controlled by the authorities. In various GCC countries, the government actually owns radio and television stations to control the information disclosed.
Harassment, censorship, prosecution, fining and imprisonment of news media professionals in order to control the information is systematic. Internet, as all other forms of media, is monitored by the authorities, and controversial websites are blocked. Many bloggers run the risk of being arrested and having their websites banned.
→ FIDH calls upon the GCC countries to take steps to put their legislation on freedom of speech and press in line with international standards and to stop harassing journalists and other news media professionals.
Putting an end to religious and sectarian discriminations

Discrimination based on religion or belief has an important impact on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, particularly with regard to members of religious minorities and other persons in vulnerable situations. Indeed, everyone should have the right to education, to work or to take part in cultural life without any discrimination on the basis of religion or belief.
Most of GCC States often try to put a disadvantage or to ban other religions in practice or in their legislation. In some GCC countries, the fact to believe in another religion is punished by severe sanctions, up to death penalty. For instance in Saudi Arabia: the fact for an ancient muslim to declare himself atheist is punishable of death penalty by beheading.
→ FIDH calls upon the GCC countries to take steps to guarantee non-discrimination on grounds of religion, belief and ethnicity, and to achieve effective implementation of the relevant international standards and in particular, the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ratified by all GCC states.
Committing to improve the general situation of human rights in GCC countries In addition to these specific concerns, FIDH remains concerned about the general pattern of human rights violations. The non-ratification by four of the six GCC member States of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and a generally weak cooperation with the United Nations mechanisms do not show a strong commitment towards the protection and respect of human rights. FIDH considers that the ratification of the international human rights instruments should be a key issue in the EU-GCC dialogue taking place next week.
As the human rights situation varies strongly from one GCC member State to another, FIDH insists on the imperative need to systematically assess the situation of human rights and put human rights concerns on the agenda of bilateral political dialogues at all levels.

Press Contacts : FIDH : Karine Appy/Fabien Maitre + 33 1 43 55 14 12 / + 33 1 43 55 90 19

Amnesty International Report 2010 - Bahrain

BAHRAIN

KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN Head of state: King Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa Head of government: Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Death penalty: retentionist Population: 0.8 million Life expectancy: 75.6 years Under-5 mortality (m/f): 13/13 per 1,000 Adult literacy: 88.8 per cent

The government took steps to promote human rights and to improve conditions for some migrant workers. However, it continued to penalize criticism of the royal family and failed to investigate allegations of torture in 2008. One person remained at risk of execution.

Background

In November, a royal decree established a national human rights institution. Its mandate includes promoting awareness of human rights in Bahrain and proposing legal reforms. The government said it was considering withdrawing some reservations entered by Bahrain when ratifying key international human rights treaties. It also said it would introduce various legal reforms and provide human rights training to judicial and other officials. In March, the security forces shot and injured demonstrators in Sitra and al-Duraz who were protesting against alleged land seizures and for the release of prisoners sentenced after violent protests in 2007 and 2008. The authorities denied the use of excessive force and said the security forces had intervened when the protests became violent.

Justice system – trials and prisoner releases

Three Shi’a activists – Hassan Meshaima’, ‘Abd al-Jalil al-Singace and Mohammad Habib al-Muqdad – appeared before the High Criminal Court in March. They and 32 other defendants, some of whom were being tried in their absence, were accused of financing and planning acts of violence with the aim of overthrowing the government. Thirteen of the accused, who had been arrested on 15 December 2008 and later shown on television “confessing”, alleged that they had been detained incommunicado and tortured. They said they had been subjected to electric shocks, beaten while suspended by their arms, and held for prolonged periods with their hands and feet bound. Before the trial concluded, all the defendants were released in April under a royal pardon. A total of 178 prisoners, including political prisoners, were released under the pardon. The authorities failed to investigate alleged torture of detainees in late 2008.

Freedom of expression

The government remained especially sensitive to criticism of the monarchy. Amendments to the 2002 Press and Publications Law, proposed in 2008, remained pending before the House of Representatives. If implemented, the amendments would remove imprisonment as a penalty for those convicted of criticizing the King or “inciting hatred of the regime”. In January, the Ministry of Information and Culture blocked a number of websites, blogs and discussion forums, including some deemed to “incite hatred and sectarian violence”. Hundreds of websites were said to remain blocked at the end of the year. # ‘Abdul Hadi al-Khawaja, a human rights defender, was charged under Articles 92, 160, 165 and 168 of the Penal Code in January after he criticized the royal family. He was accused of calling for the use of force to change the political system, inciting hatred against the country’s rulers and inciting unrest by deliberately spreading rumours. He was also banned from travelling abroad. He denied the accusations. The charges were dropped in accordance with the royal pardon in April.

# In February, Lamees Dhaif was charged under the Penal Code after she published several articles on alleged judicial corruption in al-Waqt daily newspaper. She faced possible imprisonment or a fine if convicted of insulting a public authority. At the end of the year, the case was still being investigated.

Migrants’ rights

In May, the government announced a revision of the sponsorship system – known as kafala – through which foreign migrant workers obtain employment. The new system, which came into force on 1 August, permits foreign workers to change their employment without obtaining their current employer’s consent. The kafala had previously prevented workers from changing their employers or leaving the country, facilitating exploitation and abuse of workers’ rights by employers, including non-payment of wages. The reform does not apply to migrant domestic workers, mostly women, who remain particularly vulnerable to abuse by employers.

Death penalty

In November, the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence against Jassim Abdulmanan, a Bangladeshi national. He was sentenced to death in 2007 for premeditated murder. The execution was pending ratification by the King.

Amnesty International visits

In March, Amnesty International observed the trial of the 35 people accused of terrorism-related offences. The same month, an Amnesty International delegate participated in an international conference on human trafficking.

Full report (PDF)

WAN-IFRA World Press Freedom Review, January-May 2010

A WAN-IFRA review of the last six months of 2010, has reported that press freedom is under attack on every continent. On Middle East and North Africa the report mentioned that:

“Those in power throughout the Middle East and North Africa continue to resort to harassment, censorship, prosecution, fining and imprisonment of news media professionals in order to control information. Their hostility toward independent and opposition media has often proven to be ruthless.”

The report also noted Bahrain Ban on Al-Jazeera:

On 18 May, Bahrain’s Ministry of Culture and Information decided to “temporarily freeze the activities of the Bahrain bureau of the Qatari satellite news channel Al-Jazeera for having violated professional norms and for failing to observe laws and procedures regulating journalism, printing and publishing.” The ministry’s decision came just one day after Al-Jazeera broadcast a programme about poverty in Bahrain.

Today (Monday) the report was due to be presented to the WAN-IFRA board which is currently meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Read the full report

Source: journalism.co.uk

Bahrain Center Honors Human Rights Watch

Bahrain Center for Human Rights has hosted a dinner in honor of the staff of the Middle East and North Africa division of the Human Rights Watch. A plaque was given to the organization in tribute of their big role in shedding light on violations of human rights in Bahrain, particularly their recent report - Torture Redux - which supports the allegations of torture raised earlier by many victims during period of their detention. The honor ceremony held at the house of Nabeel Rajab – President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights– in the presence of the Head of Middle East and North Africa division, Ms.Sarah Lee, her assistant Mr.Joe Stork, and a group of experts and consultants in the same organization. In addition a group of members of the center and another group of lawyers interested in rights issues in Bahrain have attended the honor ceremony.

Selected Photos from the event (click to enlarge):

For all photos please visit BCHR Flickr Page

Social Watch Report 2009: Bahrain: Increasing numbers of millionaires, and impoverished lower class

The impact of globalization on Bahraini people

The Bahrain’s economy is growing, along with per capita income. However, along with the increasing numbers of millionaires the middle class is shrinking and the lower class is becoming impoverished. There are increasing confrontations and tension between the impoverished groups and security forces. A strategy to shield society from the negative impacts of globalization is urgently needed.

Social Watch Bahrain

Bahrain traditionally has had an open economy for trade, investment and exchange. Since its independence in 1971, the country has been a financial hub for international banks and financial Institutions, joint Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ventures and a transit spot for trade and commodities.

It has been a member of the World Trade Organisation since 1997, removing barriers to trade and investment and the movement of labour. Bahrain signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US which facilitates trade, investment and labour movement between the two countries. As a member of the GCC, Bahrain is negotiating with the European Union (EU) regarding a FTA and recently hosted an ASEAN-GCC conference which debated the prospects of concluding an FTA between the two economic groups. Like many other countries, Bahrain has been influenced positively and negatively by globalization.

This report will concentrate on the impact of globalization on the well-being of Bahraini residents and consider this from a number of angles:

Liberalization of the economy

The Government has been steadily pursuing economic liberalization, which means less and less state involvement in running the economy. This has in inevitably led to the State abandoning certain essential services it previously rendered to its citizens. It has also led to the opening of the market to competition between local and foreign companies. Furthermore, the reduction of restrictions on foreign residents has resulted in their occupying jobs traditionally limited to Bahrainis, such as legal counselors and auditors.

Privatization

In attempting to maintain pace with globalization and to be able to compete in an open market, the Government has resorted to privatizing a number of state institutions and services, including electricity and public transport. In addition, it has increasingly opened other sectors to private control, such as education, health care services, municipal services, administration of ports and air transportation.

Housing

The Government has increasingly lifted restrictions on the acquisition of real estate by foreign residents, especially for GCC citizens, which has led to a rise in ownership of land and property in residential areas. Bahrainis now find themselves at a disadvantage in terms of purchasing power compared to other GCC citizens. This has led to an acute housing crisis: the demand for state-subsidized housing is surpassing supply and there is currently a backlog of some 60,000 applications. As a result, many families have been obliged to move back into extended family accommodations, many of them congested and poorly equipped to deal with overcrowding.

Employment

Due to the lax policy control on the flow of foreign workers, especially cheap labour, Bahraini job seekers are in a weak position when competing for jobs that require specific educational backgrounds and skills. Foreign workers are also more willing to accept lower salaries and tougher working conditions. So, despite increased employment opportunities generated by a growing economy, unemployment is growing among Bahraini citizens, especially among women and those whose educational qualifications (e.g., liberal arts or sociology degrees) are not well matched with the new jobs.

Inflation

The inflation rate has increased steadily, exceeding 7% annually for the last few years. There has been no substantial concurrent increase in salaries, especially in the public sector. In view of this, Parliament agreed in December 2008 to a BD50 (USD 133) allowance/bonus to Bahraini families annualy, for the next two years. However, this does little to alleviate the impact of inflation for most workers, including the low-income foreign residents who are in the same situation, with wages failing to keep pace with inflation. The disparity between a minority with very high incomes and a majority with very low incomes is increasing. There are some Bahraini families who are living on BD 120 per month (USD 319). Although the Government denies that this kind of relative poverty exists in Bahrain, it has been identified by independent researchers as well as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).2

Changing social fabric

The steady increase in foreign workers, especially from Asia, over the last decade has resulted in the growth of the expatriate population from 37% of the total in 2001 to 50% in 2007, altering the fabric of society. Foreign workers tend to live in work camps, isolated from indigenous communities, in derelict areas of town and in small groups adjacent to indigenous communities. There is, in general, little integration of these workers into the public arena, in social activities and in NGOs. Moreover, the majority of these workers live alone, with no family, which is viewed as a departure from the social norm and has caused friction between the two communities, especially those adjacent to each other. In general, the lower standard of living and lack of social life among these workers generates an environment conducive to crime, especially sexual assault, burglary, theft and physical abuse/assaults. Poor living conditions, mistreatment from employers, such as the withholding of payment, often for months, has led many foreign workers to suicide, since they find themselves in debt and unable to send money back to families in their countries of origin.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that the Bahraini economy is booming with a high growth rate and increasing per capita income, the benefits of globalization have not extended to the population as a whole. There are increasing numbers of millionaires, and a shrinking middle class and impoverished lower class. The country has been witnessing repeated confrontations and tension between impoverished communities and security forces, especially in the villages, which is why the World Bank now ranks Bahrain low in political stability.3 There is need for a strategy to shield society from the negative impacts of globalization.

Source: Social Watch Report 2009

---- 1 Bahrain Social Watch Coalition is composed of Bahrain Transparency, Bahrain Human Rights Society, Bahraini Women Renaiscence Society, Awal Women Society, Sociologists Society Best.

2 UNDP’s Human Development Report 2007-2008 gives Bahrain 0.88 points on the Human Development Index, despite its impressive per capita income of 20,800.

3 World Bank, Governance Matters 2009: Worldwide Governance Indicators, 1996-2008 shows that Bahrain’s ranking rose above .50 only in 2003, after which it declined steadily until 2007, improving only slightly in 2008 to about .36. Available at: World Bank.

Bahrain: A Human Rights Defender of Senior Age Under Harassment and Travel Ban to Acquiesce to Security Authorities

To the left: Head of National Security Apparatus Shaikh Khalifa Bin Abduallah - To the right: Mr. Abdul-Redha Mohammed
6 June 2010

A 64-year-old Bahraini human rights defender with heart condition, Mr. Abdul-Redha Mohammed, was prevented from leaving Bahrain to London on June 1st, 2010 to rejoin his children. Mr. Abdul-Redha was told by immigration officers at Bahrain Airport that he is under no travel ban, but he will not be able to proceed to his flight pending his reporting to the National Security apparatus (NSA). Upon enquiry, the Ministry of Justice and the Chief Prosecutor Office have both told BCHR lawyer on June 2nd, 2010 that there is no official travel ban order against Mr. Abdul-Redha.

Over the last four months, Mr. Abdul-Redha has been under mounting pressure and constant movement surveillance by intelligence patrols as a means to acquiesce to a meeting with the Head of National Security apparatus, Sheikh Khalifa bin Abdulalh Al Khalife, at a place and time of the latter's choosing. Other pressure and harassment tactics included threatening phone calls but most importantly the sacking of his brother Ali Mohammed from his duties as a consultant at the Ministry of Information.

On May 1st, 2010, secret agents dressed as civilians came to Mr. Abdul-Redha's family house to seize him by force but he was not home. On May 12th, 2010, his brother Ali was summoned by the Security Minister, and was personally held responsible for not being able to persuade his brother Abdul-Redha to “cooperate” with the NSA. Two days later, Mr. Ali received a phone call from the Ministry of Information dismissing him from his duties there.

Background:

As a well-known political dissident in the early eighties, Mr. Abdul-Redha was targeted by the security authorities but managed to flee the country and escape arrest. However, his house was searched and members of his family were under continued harassment and reprisals in the years that followed, specially his wife (Rabab) who was subject to maltreatment and in one case was beaten on the head by a frying-pan. While in exile, Mr. Abdul-Redha was a co-founder and active member of the Committee to Defend Political Prisoners in Bahrain and later a co-founder and the Secretary General of the Denmark-based Bahrain Human Rights Organization. Since 2002, after the general amnesty in Bahrain Mr. Abdul-Redha has been visiting Bahrain regularly but continued to reside in Copenhagen. Since 2002 Mr. Abdul-Redha, has worked closely with the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights which, despite being officially banned in September 2004, remained active in Bahrain. Apparently, the authorities in Bahrain suspect Mr. Abdul-Redha of being behind BCHR activities at the international level.

Mr. Abdul-Redha told BCHR that the current situation has its antecedents in receiving numerous phone calls on behalf of the then Head of NSA, currently Head of National Security, to agree to meeting with them. About a year ago, the Head of NSA flew to Copenhagen to meet with Mr. Abdul-Redha in a futile attempt to buy him off through a bribery offer that will see him settling in Bahrain. Shocked and insulted, Mr. Abdul-Redha turned the offer down. Upon his most recent visit to his home country on February 5th, 2010, Mr. Abdul-Redha has been subjected to mounting pressure and severe and harassment for once again turning down the Security Minister’s offer of a private meeting at a private location at the upscale Amwaj Islands. Mr. Abdul-Redha remained unwavering in not accepting to meet with security officials in private, and that he would only agree to such meeting if it were in a public place or through an official summon should he be accused of any breach of law.

For more information please call: Nabeel Rajab At +97339633399 Mr. Abdul-Redha Mohammed at +97339122020

In order to Stop the Protests against the Policy of Discrimination and Naturalization and an Increase in Arrests

Excessive Force against the Residence of the Bahraini Villages

Shotgun Injuries on the body of Hasan Abdullah Hasan and Sadiq Ali Shotgun Injuries on the body of Hasan Abdullah Hasan and Sadiq Ali


30 May 2010
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses it great concern for the continuous escalation pursued by the security authorities in Bahrain represented in the violence and bloodiness of the authorities in confronting the growing public protests that prevail the Bahraini villages and areas opposing the authority's policy.
The BCHR received several complaints from sufferers and victims of this policy, the last which was the young Hasan Ali Darwish (20 years old) suffering severe injuries in the village of Karzakan, last Monday 17 May 2010, due to being shot by the Special Forces live ammo "shotgun" when he was leaving his grandmother's house and heading towards his house. The village of Karzakan had witnessed a protest demonstration that led to the intervention of the Special Forces which used live ammo to disperse the protestors. The shooting, which the youth faced, caused a punctured lung which led to internal bleeding. The 12 splinters he faced have not yet been removed. The local newspapers published a news piece stating that the Public Prosecution ordered the imprisonment of the accused for 30 days in custody[i][1].

Two youth from the village of Malkiya suffered from injuries due to firing live ammo "shotgun"[ii][2] at them on Tuesday 13 April 2010, when the youth Abdullah Hasan (18 years old) and Sadiq Ali Abdullah (18 years old) where walking to the baker in the same area, and were startled by the firing of live ammo at them which led to scattered injuries on the bodies of the two youth. Abdullah Hasan was injured with shotgun splinters on his hand, leg and chest, while Sadiq Ali was injured in the head and other parts of his body. When they turned to the hospital, the security forces were contacted and who interrogated them and kept them under security surveillance, then they were pulled out of hospital by force and taken to prison to face the charge of assembling.
The shotgun fires a bullet that explodes directly after firing it, only to offload dozens of solid balls that get scattered over a wide area in aim of hitting the largest number possible of targets, and this normally leads to the downfall of several wounded amidst the demonstrators. These solid blocks penetrate the human skin and stop at the bone, and it is difficult to later extract those blocs from the body, as there are still dozens of Bahraini citizens whose bodies suffer from the remains of these metal blocs since the nineties. It is also difficult to cure or remove these blocs due their small size, and there are many who got killed in the incidents of the nineties due to the indulgence in using this weapon which is intended at hunting small animals and birds.

In another case received by the BCHR which proved the excessive use of force by the Special Forces when dealing with the inhabitants of the Bahraini villages, two students from the Al-Jabriya Industrial School, and they are Mohammed Ammar Ahmed and Sayed Abbas Habib (17 year-olds), were arrested on 14 April. The bus carrying the students back to their village was driving near the concentration of the Special Forces stationed at the village of Karzakan, and it was filled with the sounds of clapping and singing, which angered the Special Forces and pushed them stop the bus and beat everyone inside and arrest the earlier mentioned students without any legal justification.
Some of the Bahraini village and areas are being besieged with Special Forces for several months, and these forces and the civilian militias belonging to them of foreign individuals brought by the security apparatuses as mercenary forces from several tribes in Syria, Jordan, Yemen or the province of Balochistan in Pakistan. These forces raid the residents of the Shiite villages and abuse them in a systematic manner, where the villages are stormed and live ammo, rubber bullets and tear gas is used, which leads to the injury of hundreds of people among them elders, women and children. Several properties, houses and mosques are damaged. The mercenary forces are used to prevent the political seminars and to attack the peaceful protests and demonstrations. The Special Security Forces use armed civilian militias wearing, in some cases, black masks and attack the villages. The description "mercenary" can be applied to these Special Forces that are selected in a structured manner, and from certain countries; to be used security and military wise outside the usual framework of the security and military apparatuses of the country. These "mercenaries" are granted materialistic and job privileges that the citizens working in the same unit and same jobs do not get. They are given housing, travel tickets and are thrown into political disagreements which they are not a part of, and they are trained in a special manner to raid the villages and humiliate the residents. The votes of these mercenaries were also used, after actively granting them the Bahraini citizenship, to marginalize the parliamentary elections of 2006, which is a matter that is expected to be repeated in the coming elections. The BCHR believes that targeting the Shiite villages on a regular daily basis by using foreign forces from a Sunni sectarian background, aims at creating sedition between the people of the country of the two sects, and to deepen the differences and sectarian tensions. This policy was met with utter rejection by the civil society institutions and human rights organizations in Bahrain.
In a fourth incident that happened in Sitra area, north of the capital, a car carrying two youth who are Yousif Ahmed Hubail (28 years old) and Hasan Ahmed Hubail (21 years old) – the brothers of one of the wanted – was stopped by civilians in order to arrest them without knowing the reason behind that. When the two youth refused to obey these civilians due to them being unaware of their identities, the civilians severely beat the two youth. It later turned out that these civilian forces had come to arrest their brother (Hubail), and who was not in the car they were driving.

Yousif Hubail and the Bruises Caused by Beating Yousif Hubail and the Bruises Caused by Beating


On the same day, the two youth submitted a notification to the Sitra district police station; however they were surprised that the nature of categorizing this case changed from them being plaintiffs to defendants, on the charge of attacking security men while carrying out their official duty.
The majority of the villages and areas of Bahrain witness rising public tensions, and semi-daily confrontations with the Special Forces. The demands of the protestors are usually presented in stopping the systematic sectarian discrimination against the Shiite sect, whose pace increased since the arrival of the current King to the throne, and to stop the policy of the political naturalization in aim of changing the demography to manipulate the results of the elections, and to stop the continuous arrests of the people of these villages, and to end the established torture in the Bahraini prisons, and to stop bringing, funding and training foreign mercenary forces. Also, of the reasons for protests is the increase of poverty level among the citizens and the pervading corruption amidst the ruling class and the class surrounding it, and the authority being a party in inflaming sectarian disputes between the Shiites and Sunnis, and marginalizing the role of the Parliament and excelling in humiliating the loyal representatives of people in it.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights recommends:

1. Stop bringing firearms of all kinds, and to refrain from the use of excessive violence against the demonstrators; 2. Stop bringing and exploiting the non-Bahraini mercenaries with a sectarian agenda in the various security apparatuses. 3. Set up an independent commission of inquiry, to investigate the issue of using excessive force, and the illegal exploitation of foreigners, and to bring the ones responsible for it to trial; 4. Initiate an actual dialogue process with the pillars of society to resolve the crisis the country is going through, and to stop resorting to security solutions.

[i][1] http://www.alwasatnews.com/2813/news/read/430319/1.html [ii][2] http://www.alwasatnews.com/2778/news/read/403243/1.html

Re-criminating the Innocents of Karzakan to Acquit the Criminals of the Security Apparatuses

13 May 2010
In a political sentence issued by the Supreme Appeal Court on 28 March 2010[i][1] to convict 19 defendants of killing a policeman from the Special Forces, the Pakistani Majid Asghar Ali, and imprisoning them all for 3 years, after annulling the acquittal issued in their favour on 13 October 2009.
All of the following: Kumail Ahmed Ali Mohammed, Fadhel Abbas Ali Ahmed, Mohammed Maki Ali Mansoor, Hussein Abbas Ali Ahmed, Fadhel Abbas Mohammed Ashoor, Abdullah Juma Abdullah Ali, Sayed Ahmed Hameed Adnan Alawi, Sayed Sadiq Ibrahim Juma, Sadiq Jawad Ahmed Jawad, Hussein Ali Mohammed Dhaif, Habib Mohammed Ashoor, Ibrahim Saleh Jaffar, Hussein Abdul-Kareem Maki Eid, Sayed Omran Hameed Adnan Alawi, Hussein Mohammed Ali Khatam, Habib Ahmed Habib Ashoor, Qassim Mohammed Khalil Ibrahim, Sayed Jaway Hameed Adnan Alawi and Hamed Ibrahim Al-Fardan were arrested at different periods after the Ministry of Interior announced in the newspapers on 10 April 2008, that a security patrol has been attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails by masked people, and which resulted in the death of one the patrol men and the injury of the others on 9 April 2008 in the area of Karzakan. On the next day, the same source announces that it was able to arrest the perpetrators. This was followed by a visit by the Prime Minister, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, to the Ministry of Interior where he met the Minister of Interior, the head of the National Security Apparatus and senior leading officials in the country, and declares that there will be no tolerance for the offenders. The Public Prosecution announces that the offenders were arrested according to the findings of the inquiries of the General Directorate of Investigations and that it had initiated their interrogation and declared that they confessed committing the crime. Quickly after that, the Bahrain News Agency and the Department of Foreign Media at the Ministry of Information, and the newspapers allied with the authority released the news and distributed it to all news agencies and world newspapers, and along with that suggested to those media institutes that the crime was committed by a group of youth from one of the Shiite villages. However, after the arrest that lasted more than 17 months, and under cruel detention conditions suffered by the defendants and wide violations and systematic torture practiced against them, and arbitrary detention in solitary cells for extended periods, and torture that was installed to the sentence, the High Criminal Court issued its ruling of acquitting all the defendants of killing the security man and which is a ruling that was later appealed by the Public Prosecution.
According to the sentence, the court was not satisfied with the prosecution witnesses statements – who are members of the Special Forces – and who did not show how the injury which had led to the death of the policeman had happened, especially that the forensic report who inspected the victim proved that the wounds on the victim's body was unrelated to the death, and that the chief medical examiner had said the cause of the injury was most likely due to the victim's fall out of the car after it had flipped over and his head hit the ground. Moreover, there is no physical evidence that proves the involvement of any of the defendants in that crime. The forensic report proved that the confessions made by the 19 defendants were extracted under torture and harsh detention conditions. The court ended its ruling by it not being assured that the incident, in place of the accusation, can be proven against any of the defendants, which is something that requires releasing them according to article 255 of the Code of Criminal Procedures[ii][2], which means they are not guilty of any of the charges against them.

Defendants Convicted Retroactively

The earlier acquittal sentence placed many of the ones accounted for the authority or the ones close to them in a great embarrassment, and some of their reactions even seemed troubled or rejecting the acquittal sentence due its rush, initially, in announcing its opinion and being influenced by the misleading media campaign carried out by the authority and the fake scare of the security apparatuses in the arbitrary prior conviction of the defendants, even before the court instigated the case. The hasty statements of those included apparent incitement against the defendants and a prejudgment, which created a hostile and negative atmosphere towards the defendants and which greatly affected them and their families and their areas of residence. Yet, this campaign contributed in restricting some of the articles of the Penal Code issued with decree no. 15 of 1976, and especially law no. 14 known for the Molotov law which was quickly passed with no review, taking advantage of the negative atmosphere and the charge and incitement accompanying the arrest. As a result of this tense atmosphere created by the authority since day one of arresting the defendants, it launched a violent security campaign against the village of Karzakan and the villages near it, the residents of these areas were collectively punished by using excessive force against them and which led to the injury or arrest of dozens of detainees since the arrest of the defendants and up to this day. In correspondence with this security campaign against the village, there was a press and media scare to incite against the defendants and their areas, or by rallying in a sectarian manner in the Juma Prayers, and a race between the Shura members and the loyal MPs or the societies close to the authority to convict them and seek justice. This campaign had a provocative and hate aggravating nature, and it lacked moral and human standards in most cases.[iii][3]

A few weeks after their first acquittal, the Human Rights Watch issued a report about torture in Bahrain "Torture Resurrected", and which is a summary of the work of several months of two experts, who carried out an accurate investigation in the torture allegations in Bahrain, and which concluded that torture in the Bahraini prisons is a systematic practice. It indicated that the detainees in the Bahraini prisons faced torture on the hands of the ones detaining them during the interrogation in order to extract confessions from them. This matter was met with a wide reaction from the Bahraini authorities, especially due to the mention of a group of officials[iv][4] in the security apparatuses in this report, and the report's recommendations to the Bahraini authorities to question those officials regarding the allegations of their involvement in the torture crimes against the defendants, and which is a campaign that ended in convicting the defendants and sentencing them to three years in prison. The head of the team of lawyers, Lawyer Mohammed Al-Tajer appealed the sentence on 26 April 2010.

Criminating Innocents to Acquit the Criminals

The BCHR believes that annulling the acquittal sentence of the defendants and wiping out the entire past ruling, and then convicting and sentencing them to prison is a political call that lacks integrity, impartiality and independence, and was influenced by the report of the Human Rights Watch as a reaction to the recommendations, and in addition to remove all suspicions from those officials, or any possibility of prosecuting them locally or internationally. The conviction also comes as a preempt to the embarrassments that happened to many state officials, as well as those counted for them such as loyal MPs and societies and others, of drawing prior convictions against the defendants and before initiating the case, and away from the principle that the accused is innocent until proven guilty in a fair trial.
Based on the above, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights demands the authorities the following:

1. Release all the ones arrested in this case, and consider all the defendants innocent of the charges against them and to compensate them for all the violations practiced against them;

2. Bring the perpetrators, officials and executors in the torture cases to neutral and impartial trails;

3. Reform the judicial institute, including the Public Prosecution, for it to become more neutral and fair, especially in the cases that have a political and human rights aspect.
References

[i][1] http://www.alwasatnews.com/2761/news/read/388376/1.html

[ii][2] http://www.alwasatnews.com/2595/news/read/323456/1.html

[iii][3] Samples of statements that were released by some societies and political blocs or members in the Councils of Shura and Representatives, or some commercial or foreign institutes, and which were characterized by an arbitrary prior conviction or sectarian incitement, or by inciting hatred towards the victims or individuals

1. The Salafi Al-Asala Bloc: the criminal act comes as a connected link to the terrorist acts, and the last which was 30 people burning down the farm of Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Atyat Allah and destroying its facilities. It is clear that the person behind it is one in all these incidents, and that the security men are targeted. This criminal group wants to weaken them so that Bahrain drowns in violence and chaos. This incident is a betrayal of the homeland and people, and of the values and morals and is a blatant transgression of the human self. How is the forbidden and pure blood being shed in this savage manner?! And how do these terrorists deal with security men as if they are occupation soldiers?! We call on everyone to deal with the security issues in honesty and patriotism, and to call things by their proper names, the defendant who has been charged with a clear charge by the Public Prosecution is not called a detainee as was mentioned by some to mislead the people with these titles, and which is something that makes the ones tampering the security indulge in their transgressions when they find some one to support them with such manipulations.

2. The independent MP, Al-Asoomi (a former secretary in the office of the Prime Minister) – this appalling crime led to the death of a security man, and which is a criminal act that aims in first place at intimidating the safe people, and its perpetrators did not target breaching public order, but yet tampering the social and civil peace and to split the joint national front.

3. Al-Wefaq Islamic Society (opposition which has 17 MPs in the Council of Representatives): what happened of burning the Karzakan car and the killing of an element belonging to the Ministry of Interior contradicts the requirements of political differences which pushes it outside this circle, to a circle of suspicion and mistrust, which could suggest that the person responsible for it is seeking purposes other than political and national work which everyone seeks through political difference, and which does not invoke these rejected and condemned methods.

4. The Charter Society (close to the authority) – we at the Society express our condemnation and denunciation of this vicious assault which killed the citizen policeman Maijd Asghar ali. The National Action Charter Society stresses the danger of resorting to the methods of violence, terrorism and vandalism that are strange to the manners of the people of Bahrain.

5. The MP Abdulrahman BuMajid: we greatly regret what he had heard and saw in the media of grave escalation of insecurity in the country of setting fire to a security patrol, including the ones in it, and which led to the death of one security men who died of his wounds, after a patrol was attacked with Molotov Cocktails.

6. Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry: what happened is considered a blatant transgression of the law, and an unjustified security escalation. These unfortunate events are harmful to the reform process witnessed by the Kingdom of Bahrain and damages the economic development and the business environment and investment… indicating that we all support the words of the Prime Minister that taking lives and attacking properties is a red line that should never be transgressed… the Chamber and the entire commercial and business sector stress the need to stand firm in the face of this indifference and abuse to the security and stability of the country.

7. The Secretary-General of the GCC, Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al-Atya: the committer of these heinous acts targeted the loyal security men and committed a crime in which he betrayed his country and religion and intimidated the secure people and killed an innocent life. Al-Atya expressed his support for all the measures taken by Bahrain to face these criminal and outlaw acts, hailing the efficiency of the security apparatuses… and emphasizing that such acts are met with rejection by the entire GCC, as the security and safety of a country and its people is indivisible.

8. Al-Salafi MP, Al-Saidi (close to the Royal Court) – to what extent do these intend to drag the Bahraini street to… do they want a civil war that starts with a sectarian spark??... Do they want a new Iraq in Bahrain??... If they wanted that and which is something we do not wish for, by God they will not be safe and they will burn with their same fire, be wiser and more rational. We do not want an escalation and we do not want violence, we are trying not to be involved in it, and this is not out of fear or negligence by us, it is out of love to this country an in maintenance of its system and in obedience to the governors in command. These youth have been deceived and they have become criminals and murderers and an instrument of destruction in the eyes of everyone, and this dear country's achievements have been destroyed and its properties have been damaged, so where are the people of reason and logic and nationalism, where are the lovers of Bahrain.

Al-Saidi said that dragging the policeman from the car and being killed in cold-blood murder with stones… the blood of this poor fellow is hung in the neck of the ones that directed those murderers and terrorists… to become organized murder gangs, yes organized gangs that target each safe citizen in his country… do you accept that oh people of Bahrain? Where are the honorable of the country? Where are the defenders of the country? Have you nothing to say? Didn't God say in the Holy Koran: ((You are the best nation [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong)) Isn't this the vice? Wake up oh lovers of this country… we are questioned before our God and we are questioned also by our country.

[iv][4] From the criminal investigations: Colonel Yousif Al-Arabi, Major Fahad Al-Fadhala, Major Bassam Al-Miraj, Lieutenant Isa Al-Majali and from the National Security Apparatus Bader Al-Ghaith