21 Sep, 2013

Amnesty Int'l: Bahrain: Fifteen-year-old diabetic boy held in Bahrain

URGENT ACTION

Fifteen-year-old diabetic boy held in bahrain

‘Ali Muslim Ebrahim, a 15-year-old Bahraini boy who suffers from diabetes, was arrested at his home in al-Hidd in northern Bahrain on 8 September and was reportedly hit on the head during interrogation. The Public Prosecutor has ordered his detention.

‘Ali Muslim Ebrahim was arrested by police officers at his home in al-Hidd, northern Bahrain, at 2:45 am on 8 September. When his father let them in the house, the officers stated that the boy’s name was on a list of people to be arrested on orders of the Public Prosecution, but they did not show an arrest warrant. He was taken to al-Hidd police station where he was reportedly hit on the head during questioning by the police. ‘Ali Muslim Ebrahim was forced to “confess” to “participating in illegal gatherings”, “throwing Molotov cocktails” and “rioting”. He appeared before the Public Prosecutor on 10 September, accompanied by his lawyer, where he recanted his “confessions” stating that he had made them under duress. The Public Prosecutor ordered his detention for 45 days pending investigation and scheduled his next hearing for 25 October. The boy is now held in Bloc 11 at Dry Dock prison for adults in the capital Manama, along with other children.

‘Ali Muslim Ebrahim suffers from diabetes for which he needs insulin injections and a special diet. It is not clear whether he is receiving regular and adequate medical care.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

Urging the Bahraini authorities to ensure that ‘Ali Muslim Ebrahim receives the regular and adequate medical care he requires;

Urging the authorities to ensure that ‘Ali Muslim Ebrahim is treated in accordance with the international standards of juvenile justice;

Ensuring that ‘Ali Muslim Ebrahim is protected from torture or other ill-treatment and that his allegation of ill-treatment is independently investigated, and that anyone found responsible is brought to account. Statements obtained through the use of torture or other ill-treatment are not accepted in any trial proceedings.

 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 31 OCTOBER 2013 TO:

King

Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa

Office of His Majesty the King

P.O. Box 555

Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama, Bahrain

Fax: +973 1766 4587 (keep trying)

Salutation: Your Majesty

 

Minister of Interior

Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa

Ministry of Interior

P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain

Fax: +973 1723 2661

Twitter: @moi_Bahrain

Salutation: Your Excellency

 

And copies to:

Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs

Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah Al Khalifa�Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs �P. O. Box 450, al-Manama, Bahrain �Fax: +973 1753 1284

Email: minister@justice.gov.bh

Twitter: @Khaled_Bin_Ali

Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

 

URGENT ACTION

Fifteen-year-old diabetic boy held in bahrain

Additional Information

Two and a half years after the popular uprising in Bahrain, and beneath the fanfare of reform, prisoners of conscience, including some arrested during the protests, remain behind bars and the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly continue to be suppressed. In recent months, not only have prisoners of conscience not been released, but more people have been jailed simply for daring to express their views, whether via Twitter or on peaceful marches. Bahraini courts have appeared more concerned with toeing the government’s line than offering effective remedy to Bahrainis and upholding the rule of law.

Over the past months an increasing number of children have been detained. Those aged between 15 and 18 have been held in adult prisons. Many of these children were arrested during demonstrations and have been accused of “illegal gathering” and rioting. Some of them alleged they were beaten during arrest or during interrogation. In some cases they were forced to sign “confessions”. In other cases, they were formally charged with criminal offences under the Penal Code, tried as adults, convicted and sentenced to prison terms. On 6 August 2013 the King, Shaikh Hamad Bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa, issued two emergency decrees including one amending the 1976 juvenile law which now stipulates that if anyone under 16 years of age takes part in a demonstration, public gathering or sit-in, his or her parents will be warned in writing by the Ministry of Interior. If six months after the warning the juvenile is found in a new demonstration his or her father could face jail, a fine or both.

As of September 2013 there are scores of juveniles in detention in Bahrain some are being tried others held pending investigation.

On 12 September the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Bahrain. Amongst other recommendations, the resolution urges the Bahraini authorities to respect the rights of juveniles, to refrain from detaining them in adult facilities, and to treat juveniles in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Bahrain is a party. Also in mid-September a joint statement by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Bahrain, signed by 47 countries, expressed concerns about the ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain.

 

Name: ‘Ali Muslim Ebrahim

Gender m/f: m

UA: 260/13 Index: MDE 11/043/2013 Issue Date: 20 September 2013

 

http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE11/043/2013/en

20 Sep, 2013

Amnesty Int'l: Bahrain must immediately release opposition leader

The arrest of the prominent opposition leader Khalil al-Marzouq in Bahrain last night is the authorities’ latest move to tighten the noose on political opposition in the country and silence anyone seen to be critical of the authorities, Amnesty International said.

“Khalil al-Marzouq is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned only for of his vehement criticism of the government. He must be immediately and unconditionally released,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

“His arrest is yet another blow to the National Dialogue which the Bahraini authorities have been flaunting as a reason to cancel the visit of the UN expert on torture to the country. However harsh his speech towards the authorities, he should not have been arrested for expressing his views.”

Khalil al-Marzouq, the Assistant Secretary General of al-Wefaq, the registered political association representing the majority Shi’a population in Bahrain, and former Head of the Legislative and Legal Committee in parliament, was arrested on 17 September.

He was interrogated by the Public Prosecutor in the presence of a lawyer for seven hours.

Khalil al-Marzouq has been charged with incitement to violence after he gave speech critical of the government on 6 September at a political rally attended by nearly 6,000 people near the village of Saar. During the speech a masked man passed near the podium and gave him a white flag which Khalil put aside. The flag allegedly symbolises the “14 February Movement”, a loose network of youth groups established in 2011 which has called for the end of the monarchy. Some of the movement’s members are on trial, accused of using violence.

Amnesty International has reviewed the video of the 6 September speech by Khalil al-Marzooq and the flag incident, but does not believe there is any incitement to violence in them.

The Public Prosecution ordered Khalil al-Marzouq’s detention for 30 days pending an investigation. If convicted he faces a lengthy jail sentence and the possibility of his nationality being revoked.

Khalil and al-Wefaq have repeatedly stated that they are against the use of violence and are committed to achieving change through peaceful means.

“Over recent months, the Bahraini government has increased its threats and attacks against political associations which are critical of the government, in particular al-Wefaq. This must stop and Bahrain’s allies can no longer hide behind the National Dialogue to mute their criticisms under the pretext that it could derail the process,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

This latest arrest comes only days after a joint statement by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Bahrain, signed by 47 countries, expressed concerns about the ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain.

As a response to Khalil al-Marzooq’s detention and other serious ongoing human rights violations the political opposition associations have today announced their decision to suspend their participation in the National Dialogue which had just resumed after two months of summer break.

In July the King issued several decrees which, among other things, banned demonstrations, sit-ins and public gatherings in Manama indefinitely and toughened punishments laid out in the 2006 anti-terrorism legislation. In early September the Minister of Justice issued a decree adding new restrictions on political associations. Political associations must now notify the Ministry of Justice three days before any meeting with a foreign diplomat and must take place in the presence of an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/bahrain-khalil-al-marzouq-arrested-2013-09-18 

17 Sep, 2013

Bahrain- GCHR & BCHR express their grave concern over the continued attacks and harassment of Bahraini rights defenders

Left to right: Hussain Ali, Zainab Al-Khawaja, Naji Fateel

The Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) and Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) express their grave concern over the continued attacks and harassment, including arrests and ongoing detention, of human rights defenders in Bahrain.

On 6 September 2013, Hussain Ali Abdul Nabi (20 years old) – a member of the Documentation Team of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) - was arrested from his friend's house. He was subject to enforced disappearance for several days. On 10 September, the public prosecution ordered the detention of Abdul Nabi for 45 days pending investigation on charges of "illegal gathering" and targeting policemen.

Abdul Nabi is not the only human rights defender facing criminal charges as part of a campaign that targets human rights defenders in Bahrain with defamation and fabricated charges in order to hinder their work. Naji Fateel, a board member BYHRS, remains detained since 2 May 2013 on charges of “establishing a terrorist group for the purpose of disturbing public security, disabling constitution and law, preventing public institution and authorities from performing their duties, attacking public and personal rights, and harming national unity,” under the internationally condemned Terrorism Law. On 23 May 2013, Fateel was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for “illegal assembly”, while he is expecting a verdict on the other charges on 29 September 2013. In his first court hearing, which was held on 11 July 2013, Fateel talked publicly about the torture he was subjected to and took his shirt off to show the torture marks on his back. However, instead of  taking action to carry out an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation into the allegations of torture, the judge did not allow the defendants to complete their testimonies and refused to take note of their allegations. (For more information please see:  http://bahrainrights.org/en/node/6227).

In addition, the GCHR and BCHR are concerned about the health of human rights activist Zainab Al-Khawaja who is still being kept with criminal prisoners who have Hepatitis A and B. Her family visited her recently and they reported that she has lost a lot of weight and her face looked yellow. Hepatitis A and B are contagious diseases and authorities at the prison rejected many requests made by Al-Khawaja to get the vaccine which puts her at great risk of infection. Al-Khawaja is serving multiple prison sentences at Isa women’s prison, and expected to remain imprisoned until February 2014 on different charges including entering a restricted area (the Pearl Roundabout) and “illegal gathering”. It is important to note that all prisoners eat together from the same food, which puts them at higher risk of contagion. To add to that, Al-Khawaja has been prevented from going outdoors since March 2012, which increases risks of infection and puts her health at risk.

The GCHR and the BCHR call on the US administration, as well as other governments that have influence in Bahrain including the UK government, the EU and leading human rights organizations, to put pressure on the government of Bahrain to:

1- Immediately release detained human rights defenders  Hussain Ali Abdul Nabi, Naji Fateel and Zainab Al-Khawaja, as well as all other detained human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience in Bahrain;

2- Immediately remove Zainab Al-Khawaja from her cell and provide her with vaccination;

3- Guarantee the legal rights and due process of the prisoners of conscious and victims of torture;

4- Stop the ongoing daily human rights violations as well as the escalated attacks against human rights defenders;

5- Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment;

 

The GCHR and BCHR remind the Bahraini government that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognizes the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to Article 5 (b) “For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels  (b)To form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups” and Article 12 (2) “The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”

15 Sep, 2013

Repression and Impunity in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

In a Side Event at the United Nations Human Rights Council:

Repression and Impunity in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

 

Yesterday, 12 September 2013, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) organized an event at the 24th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council to highlight the ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders and lack of accountability for human rights violations within the Gulf region.

The speakers of the event included Ms. Maryam Al-Khawaja, acting director of BCHR and co-director of GCHR, Mr. Khalid Ibrahim, co-director of the GCHR, Melanie Gingell, a board member of the GCHR.  Mr. Jeremie Smith, director of the Geneva office of CIHRS, chaired the event.  The event was attended by state delegations, United Nations officials and civil society groups from around the world.

Mr. Ibrahim highlighted ongoing widespread attacks against human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen.  He then moved on to discuss the findings of the GCHR’s recent report on the role of human rights defenders within the transitional process in Yemen and ongoing attacks against these defenders. Mr. Ibrahim also pointed out the continued lack of accountability for human rights violations in Yemen, including the failure of the Yemeni government to appoint any members to the National Commission of Inquiry, created by the new president of Yemen more than a year ago, and called on the government ensure that these individuals are appointed and the commission is allowed to progress.  The UN Human Rights Council is due to adopt a resolution on Yemen this month concerning accountability and human rights within the country.

Ms. Gingell then discussed the UAE 94, a group of human rights defenders and reformists in the UAE that have been jailed and tortured for creating and signing a petition asking for democratic reforms.  Ms. Gingell spoke of her attempt to monitor the trial of the UAE 94.  These individuals have been imprisoned and tortured and their families threatened for their human rights and pro-democracy activities.  Despite the charges against them, the government has failed to provide any evidence to prove that they planned to overthrow the government or commit an act of treason.   Ms. Gingell highlighted that over the last two years there has been a crackdown in the country on all forms of expression advocating for democratic reform within the country.

Ms. Al-Khawaja discussed the ongoing repression of human rights defenders in Bahrain and use of excessive force against those participating in protests and demonstrations.  In particular, the BCHR has documented more than 1000 arrests of political activists since the beginning of 2013.   Political prisoners in the country continue to be subjected to ill-treatment and torture.  The government has failed to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, which submitted its findings to the government almost two years ago.  Forty-seven states from around the world signed onto a joint declaration at the UN Human Rights Council on 10 September to call for a halt to human rights violations in Bahrain and for the government to implement the BICI recommendations.  This is the third such declaration by UN member states within the last year and half.  Ms. Al-Khawaja expressed her hope that if Bahrain continues to repress dissent and refuse to implement reform, stronger action will be taken by UN member states.

Maryam Al-Khawaja Speaks at Human Rights Council Side Session

9 Sep, 2013

Bahrain: On the Establishment of an Arab Court for Human Rights in Bahrain

Nasser and Khalid bin Hamad Al-Khalifa (King’s sons)

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights welcomes the idea of establishing an Arab court to prosecute human right violators; however, the BCHR received the news of the Arab League Council's approval for Bahrain to host the permanent headquarters of the Arab Court with dismay regarding the seriousness of the objectives of establishing the court given the notorious record that the government of Bahrain and the members of the ruling family, including the top of the hierarchy the country’s King, have in the field of human rights and public liberties. These violations have been documented by leading human rights organizations. On the 8th of February 2010, Human Rights Watch issued its well-known report on Bahrain: ‘Torture Redux’. The report is based on interviews with former detainees and on forensic reports and courts. The report concluded that since the end of 2007 officials resorted to repeating the practice of torture in what seems like an attempt to extract confessions from suspects in security cases. In March 2011, the regime put civilians on trial in military courts; which is another addition to the violations of the judiciary in Bahrain that is incompatible with the international standards of fair trials. International condemnations were issued against the severe sentences handed down by the military court, among them the statement of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights says Bahrain trials bear marks of political persecution.
  • The UN Secretary-General expresses his deep concern for the long prison sentences against the political and human rights activists in Bahrain.
  • International human rights organizations condemn the severe sentences against the activists following unjust trials.
  • Washington is ‘concerned’ about the life-imprisonment sentences against opposition in Bahrain.
  • The British Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East is concerned about the verdicts in Bahrain.

On the 17th of August, 2011, the BCHR released a report about citizens who were reportedly subjected to torture at the hands of members of the ruling family in Bahrain who beat and tortured political prisoners.

Top, right to left: Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa and Khalid bin Hamad Al-Khalifa (King’s sons)

Bottom, right to left: Noora bint Ebrahim Al-Khalifa (Drug Enforcement Administration), Khalifa bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa (Head of the National Security Apparatus), Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa (The Director General of Police in the Southern Governorate)

On the 4th of May 2011, the BCHR released a report about the death of four citizens under torture in detention centers in Bahrain, among them a journalist and blogger.

The graveness of the brutal and systematic torture practiced by the authorities in Bahrain against political detainees and human rights activists in detention centers was evident in the documentation of four cases of death under torture that took place within nine days, amongst them one of the founders of Alwasat newspaper and an Internet activist.

From right to left: Kareem Fakhrawi, Zakariya Al-Asheeri, Hassan Jassim and Ali Saqer.

The BCHR also released a number of reports that state that the authorities in Bahrain have adopted a policy of impunity. A video clip was recently spread on the internet showing Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, the longest standing unelected prime minister in the world of 43 years, visiting an officer who has been repeatedly pointed out as being involved in torture by victims but was acquitted in court, to thank him and to reassure that impunity exists.

On the 7th of July, 2013, a pro-government account uploaded a video of the Prime Minister on Youtube during his visit to Officer Mubarak bin Huwail following his acquittal on 1 July 2013 from charges related to torturing medics in the detention center in 2011.

(For more information: http://bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/6205)

A screenshot from the video (Mubarak bin Huwail to the left, Prime Minister in the center)

On the 26th of July, 2013, Amnesty International released a report: ‘Still no justice for torture cases, the torture of Nazeeha Saeed’.

And on the 27th of July, 2013, Frontline Defenders released: ‘Bahrain: Trial of Human Rights Defender Mr Naji Fateel Falls Short of International Standards’.

Naji Fateel is a member of the Board of Directors in the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR), and an active human rights defender who documents and reports on human rights violations in Bahrain.

This is in addition to the violations of the government of Bahrain against freedom of press. Although Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa pledged to support freedom of the press and reform, however, the situation last year did not improve. Throughout the past year, several journalists and bloggers in Bahrain were subjected to harassments, assaults, arrests and torture due to their work. Journalists working near pro-democracy demonstrations were targeted in a systematic manner by the security forces.

Arrest and torture of journalists

Arrests and Trials of Internet Users

On the 9th of July 2012, the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the former Director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to three months in prison and was arrested on the charge of ‘insulting the citizens of Muharraq through Twitter’ for information he published on Twitter demanding the Prime Minister to step down, and discussing his visit to the Island of Muharraq. Although he was acquitted of this charge in the Court of Appeal, he remains in prison serving another 2 year sentence on the charge of participating in demonstrations and calling for gatherings through social networks. On the 17th of December 2012, Acting Vice-President and Head of Monitoring & Follow Up at BCHR Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafdah was arrested while monitoring a demonstration in the Manama and posting tweets on Twitter about the suppression of demonstrators and documenting the violations. He was accused of ‘spreading false news through Twitter’; he spent a month in detention. Despite being acquitted from the charges by the Court on the 11th of March 2013, the Public Prosecution appealed against the acquittal sentence.

The prominent Bahraini blogger Ali Abdulemam was sentenced to 15 years in absentia by a military court on the 22nd of June 2011 on the charge of ‘being part of a terrorist organization and the attempt of overthrowing the government’. Ali Abdulemam is the founder of Bahrain Online, a Bahraini electronic forum bahrainonline.org, where critical opinions of the government are published regularly, and where the first call for protests on 14 February 2011 appeared. He was also arrested from September 2010 to February 2011, and was subjected to torture during that period.

Denial of Access to the country

On the 14th of July, 2012, Bahrain deported the American film director Jane Marlow, after she was arrested for a short while and questioned before being deported to Jordan. The authorities accused her of forging the visa application and filming a documentary without obtaining permission. Nick Kristof, who writes for the New York Times, was denied from entering the countries border’s on 20 December 2012 when he was informed that he was in the ‘black list’. The journalist, who is a two time Pulitzer Prize winner, strongly criticizes the Bahraini authorities in his reports. During his last visit to Bahrain in December 2011 he was subjected to an attack by the use of teargas and was arrested for a short while along with the cameraman accompanying him. Habiba Hamed stated that she was interrogated for 5 hours in Bahrain airport on the 11th of February 2013, and then she was denied access, although she had not come to submit a report about the political situation. The authorities checked her Twitter account and found that it contained comments about Bahrain. They wanted her to apply for a visa through the Ministry of Information first, before coming to Bahrain. On the 19th of April, 2013, the ITV News crew were held while they were filming in Bahrain and were then taken to the police station where they were asked to leave the country, although their visa was approved by the relevant ministry. The decision to deport them followed a report released the night before by the Channel in which it criticized the Bahrain government.

On the 9th of August 2013, the BCHR released a report regarding the preventing of traveling for the Acting President of the BCHR and the Co-Director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights Ms Maryam Al-Khawaja to Bahrain on British Airways. Al-Khawaja was denied boarding by British Airways at the order of the government of Bahrain. Al-Khawaja had decided to visit Bahrain to monitor the situation before planned protests on the 14th of August.

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies also released a report on the 14th of March 2013 regarding the attack carried out by the GCC governments against human rights defenders because they deal with the UN, the report was titled, “Cut off from the World: Systematic Reprisals against Human Rights Defenders in the Gulf Region for Engaging with the United Nations”. The report addresses the governmental attacks, acts of threats and defamation carried out by the governments of some of the GCC countries such as Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against human rights defenders; as a result of their cooperation with the mechanisms of human rights affiliated with the UN during the last two years, and especially in the context of its 21st session of the Human Rights Council that was held in September 2012.

The report presents an overview of the suppressive existing laws in these countries, which criminate work in the field of human rights, including working with international mechanisms of human rights.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights asserts that the government of Bahrain is ineligible to host and establish an Arab court that attends to defending and reprising human rights violators and criminals. These type of courts require international standards and the involvement of the opinion of human rights organizations. The host country of such a court should be chosen on the basis of whether this country holds a respectable human rights record which Bahrain lacks; causing dozens of negative reactions from international organizations as well as media. Bahrain also lacks the presence of effective assurances to meet the aspirations of neutrality and justice.

The BCHR is concerned that due to the track record of human rights violations in Bahrain, that such a court will be used as a tool against civil society and independent human rights organizations; just as the local judiciary system has become a tool to target and imprison activists.

 

 

 

 

9 Sep, 2013

Bahrain rights groups back Ceartas call not to re-elect Bahrain’s Attorney General

Leading Bahrain human rights organisations have supported a call by Ceartas – Irish Lawyers for Human Rights urging the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) to expel Dr. Ali bin Fadhel Al-Buainain from its executive committee. In April 2013 a complaint was lodged by Ceartas detailing how Al-Buainain has overseen a systematic pattern of human rights abuses and breaches of basic judicial principles at a public prosecution level.

Bahrain’s state media recently announced that Bahrain’s Attorney General Dr. Al-Buainain was re-elected by his peers to the Executive Committee of the IAP. However, Ceartas has learned that Dr. Al-Buainain had yet to secure his position and was seeking re-election at the IAP’s 18th Annual General Meeting in Moscow, 11th September 2013. Civil society groups from Bahrain have published an open letter, published below, urging all IAP delegates not to support Dr Al-Buainain’s re-election bid given the findings in the Ceartas complaint and the continuing human right infringements Bahraini citizens are facing through the judicial system.

Ceartas maintains that his position in the IAP is untenable given that the IAP objectives are to protect human rights, due process, fair procedures and pubic prosecution standards at an international level. Dr Al-Buainain’s election is proceeding despite the fact that IAP President and former director of public prosecutions in Ireland, Mr James Hamilton acknowledged receipt of the complaint and saying that it was “on the agenda”. 

The Ceartas report on  Dr. Al-Buainain received backing from numerous groups including the  Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Frontline DefendersEuropean Center for Constitutional and Human Rights,  Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, the Freedom of Expression Institute, the Gulf Center for Human Rights,  Canadian Journalists for Free Expression.

 

Open Letter to IAP

To: Mr John Hamilton, President of the International Association of Prosecutors.

In April of this year a complaint was lodged to your organisation based on a report by Ceartas – Irish Lawyers for Human Rights concerning the Bahraini representative on the Executive Committee of the IAP, Dr. Ali bin Fadhel Al- Buainain. The report details how Dr Al-Buainain as head of the Office of Public Prosecution in Bahrain has overseen a systematic pattern of human rights abuses and breaches of basic judicial principles at a public prosecution level. It maintains that his position in the IAP is untenable given that the IAP objectives are to protect human rights, due process, fair procedures and pubic prosecution standards at an international level.

While the complaint has been acknowledged by your offices Dr. Al-Buainain has nonetheless sought to be re-elected to the Executive Committee at your 18th Annual General Meeting in Moscow on the 11th September. We would therefore urge you and all other delegates not to support Dr A-Buainain’s re-election bid given the bona fide and widely backed findings in the Ceartas report and the continuing human right infringements Bahraini citizens are facing through the judicial system.

We hope that you will take our views into consideration and act accordingly. 

Bahrain Center for Human Rights

Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights.

Bahrain Watch

Gulf Center for Human Rights

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain

 

http://www.ceartaslaw.org/blog/entry/bahrain-rights-groups-back-ceartas-call-not-to-re-elect-bahrain-s-attorney-general.html

9 Sep, 2013

Amnesty Int'l: Child tortured in detention in Bahrain

URGENT ACTION

Child tortured in detention in Bahrain

Bahraini boy aged 14, Ali Hatem Ali Salman, was arrested on 26 August 2013 and reportedly tortured and otherwise ill-treated during interrogation to “confess” to rioting. On 3 September the Juvenile Prosecution extended his detention for another week.

Ali Hatem Ali Salman was arrested in a coffee shop in the neighbourhood of Sanad, south of Bahrain’s capital, Manama. Prior to the arrest a police patrol vehicle in the area was set alight with a Molotov cocktail. Ali Hatem Ali Salman was playing a board game with friends when police officers arrested him and five others. He was taken to a police station blindfolded. He reported to his family and lawyer that during his interrogation he was beaten and electrocuted in order to make him “confess” to rioting. He was brought before the Juvenile Prosecutor on 27 August where Ali Hatem Ali Salman denied the accusations and told of his torture and ill-treatment. The Juvenile Prosecutor ordered his detention for seven days pending an investigation. He was transferred to a Juvenile detention facility at 4am on 28 August.

On 3 September, in the presence of Ali Hatem Ali Salman’s father and lawyer, the Juvenile Prosecutor extended his detention order for a further seven days. Ali Hatem Ali Salman is facing charges of “illegal gathering” and “rioting”.

Ali Hatem Ali Salman’s family was allowed to visit him on 5 September for the first time.

Please write immediately in Arabic or English or your own language:

Urging the Bahraini authorities to protect him from torture and other ill-treatment;

Urging them to ensure that Ali Hatem Ali Salman is treated in accordance with the international standards of juvenile justice;

Calling for an impartial and independent investigation into the reported torture and other ill-treatment of Ali Hatem Ali Salman and bring those found responsible to account.

 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 OCTOBER 2013 TO:

 

King

Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa

Office of His Majesty the King

P.O. Box 555

Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama,

Bahrain

Fax: +973 1766 4587

Salutation: Your Majesty

 

Minister of Interior

Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa

Ministry of Interior

P.O. Box 13, al-Manama,

Bahrain

Fax: +973 1723 2661

Twitter: @moi_Bahrain

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs

Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa

Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs

P. O. Box 450, al-Manama,

Bahrain

Fax: +973 1753 1284

Email: minister@justice.gov.bh

Twitter: @Khaled_Bin_Ali

Salutation: Your Excellency

 

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

 

URGENT ACTION

Child tortured in detention in Bahrain

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In response to a recent increase in violence, and in anticipation of planned large demonstrations by the opposition, Bahrain’s parliament held an extraordinary session on 28 July at which it submitted 22 recommendations to the King, Shaikh Hamad Bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa; the recommendations toughen punishments laid out in the 2006 anti-terrorism law. The King welcomed the recommendations the next day, and ordered the Prime Minister to ensure that they were urgently implemented by the government. Bahrain’s Constitution (Article 38) gives the King the power to issue decrees that have the force of law when parliament is in recess. In these circumstances the government prepares the draft amendments and the King ratifies them.

The King issued two emergency decrees on 6 August. One amends the 1973 Law on Public Gatherings and Demonstrations, to ban demonstrations, sit-ins, marches and public gatherings in the capital, Manama. The 1976 juvenile law was also amended and now stipulates that if anyone under 16 years of age takes part in a demonstration, public gathering or sit-in, his or her parents will be warned in writing by the Ministry of Interior. If six months after the warning the child is found in a new demonstration his or her father could face jail, a fine or both. Amnesty International fears that these draconian measures will be used, as was the case on 14 August to crack down on anti-government protests.

Anti-government protests were organized in many Shi’a villages in Bahrain on 14 August. Protesters were planning to march to Manama but security forces prevented them by using tear gas and, in some instances, by erecting barbed wire around the villages. At least 18 people were arrested. The Tamarrud (rebellion) movement, made up of youth groups, chose 14 August to organize anti-government protests to denounce government repression and call for genuine political reforms. Mainstream opposition associations were also planning a large anti-government rally, but it was cancelled due to the heavy security forces presence in Manama.

Name: Ali Hatem Ali Salman

Gender m/f: m

 

UA: 239/13 Index: MDE 11/036/2013 Issue Date: 06 September 2013

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE11/036/2013/en/8b8dd46b-8325-488b-9a9b-1520b4669c5d/mde110362013en.html

9 Sep, 2013

HRD Naji Fateel will be sentenced on 29 September

Pic: Naji Fateel with Margaret Sekaggya

September 5: Fourth Criminal Court decided to postpone the hearing in the case of the “coalition of the February 14″ to 29 September, 2013 for sentencing.

All the defendants did not attend the hearing after they decided to boycott because of the lack of neutrality and judicial independence.The defense lawyers also boycotted.

Mr.Naji Fateel, said: ” I boycotted the court, I have been subjected to torture in criminal investigations building, but the public prosecutor and the court did not carry out a neutral and independent investigations regarding allegations of torture”.

Naji Fateel has been subjected to severe torture during interrogation in the notorious Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). Among the allegations are that he has received electrical shocks to his genitals, left foot, and back, and been subjected to simulated drowning, severe beatings, threats to publish photographs of his wife (taken from her camera which was confiscated when security forces raided the family home), verbal abuse using uncivilized words, hanging by his hands from the ceiling, sexual harassment and threats to rape him, standing for long hours, and sleep deprivation. ( For more information see our appeal: http://byshr.org/?p=1381)

Mr.Naji Fateel: is a board member of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) and blogger who has been active in reporting human rights violations in Bahrain.He used his account on Twitter for dissemination of human rights information. He was previously detained between Dec 2007 and April 2009, and has been reportedly tortured.His house was stormed in search for him several times last year following the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

http://byshr.org/?p=1493

9 Sep, 2013

Bahrain: Several Arrests without Warrants, Fear of Torture, After Dawn House Raids in Nuwaidrat Village

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its grave concern in regards to the authorities’ continued use of arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and torture as tools against civilians. Recently, the BCHR documented the arbitrary arrest of several people in Nuwaidrat village at dawn without warrants on the 26th of August 2013. The BCHR expresses serious concern that these individuals might be subjected to torture and ill treatment in order to extract enforced confessions.

Ebrahim Ali Ahmed Ismaeel, 27 years old, was arrested on the 26th of August 2013 at approximately 4 am when masked men in civilian clothing backed by security forces raided his home by kicking the front door repeatedly until the father opened the door. They asked about his sons, and he showed them their rooms. One masked man in civilian clothing went to the eldest son’s room, Abbas, and asked him to give his ID card, then asking him to about his brother’s location. When he pointed to Jassim's apartment which is located inside the house, they replied "leave Jassim for another time, we want Ebrahim". They then went to Ebrahim's apartment that is also located inside the house, his brother knocked the door, but there was no response. Abbas was escorted by two masked men in civilian clothing as he attempted to call his brother Ebrahim, but they broke down Ebrahim’s apartment door before he could reach him. Ebrahim’s wife added that during his arrest, they searched the apartment and confiscated his mobile phone.  Two days later, Ebrahim called from the Criminal Investigations Department, informing his brother that he is fine and that he will let him know if he is allowed visits. The family received news later that Ebrahim was admitted to the hospital for four days reportedly because of the torture he was subjected to during his stay at the CID.

Ahmed Hassan Yousif (18 years old), Hussain Hassan Yousif (18 years old) were arrested on the 27th of August 2013 after masked men in civilian clothing backed by security forces raided their home at 3:40 am. After they spread inside the house, the brother, Yousif, asked them to not enter any room as there were women inside. Yousif took them to the rooms, and they Inspected Ahmed and Hussain's room. They then blindfolded both of them and took them to the security bus. They tried to go into other rooms, but the family refused to allow them, as there were women inside. The family added that everyone was frightened and the women were screaming during the house raid.

The family later inquired about their sons at the Sitra Police Station then Isa Town Police Station and the Criminal Investigation Department. They all denied having them in custody.

The first call from Ahmed and Hussain was on Thursday, 29th of August 2013, during which they said that they were fine, and the line was cut. The family added that Ahmed got arrested the same day he completed his registration at the University as he got a scholarship from the ministry because he achieved high grades at school.

Ali Hassan Ahmad, 20 years old, was arrested on Monday 26th of August 2013 at approximately 4:30 am after masked men in civilian clothing backed by security forces started beating on the door and air conditioner of the house forcing the father to open the door. They entered the home and headed to Ali's room where they arrested him after they asked for his ID card and confiscated his mobile phone.  When the father inquired about the reason of his arrest and if he is wanted, one replied, "yes he is".

The father attempted to stop the bus from leaving with his son, and he was pepper sprayed in the face and he and his wife were threatened that they would be shot with the pellet shotgun.

Three days later, on the 29th of August 2013, the family received a call from Ali who informed them that he is fine. The father informed the BCHR that Ali sounded fatigued and he fears that his son was subjected to torture. His father went to Sitra police station to ask about Ali, but they denied having him.

 

Based on the above, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) demands the following:

  • Immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Bahrain.
  • Put an end to the use of torture to extract false confessions from detainees
  • Put an end to illegal house raids, arbitrary arrests and detention without a court issued warrant