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UN experts call for release of Nabeel Rajab

The UN panel published on the 13th of August the advanced edited version of opinions adopted by the working group on arbitrary detention, concerning Nabeel Rajab, at its eighty-first session.

The panel called the release of Nabeel Rajab immediately and to “accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law.”

The UN panel couldn’t but notice that Nabeel Rajab ”has been the target of persecution, including deprivation of liberty, for many years and there is no other explanation for this except that he is exercising his right to express such views and convictions” considering that the Bahraini government's attitude could "only be characterized as discriminatory".

 Read full UN release here.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights: Denying the Secretary-General of Haq political Movement his right to health care is a crime which the government is held responsible of

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights stated that the stalling conducted by the government of Bahrain in depriving the political prisoner, Hasan Mushaima, of his right to medical treatment and health care violates the rules of Nelson Mandela in addition to local and international laws, and expresses disregard for the lives of prisoners. This validates the content of the report "Bahrain Prisons: Cemetery of the Livings" which was published last month by BCHR.
 
BCHR explained that Mushaima, which is over 70 years old, suffers from chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and gout; these diseases require continuous health care and periodic regular checkups.
 
BCHR reported that the prison's administration prevented the treatment of Mushaima for more than 152 days, this act and behavior cannot be explained or justified, which causes concern over the life of Mushaima. This will lead to serious repercussions of the diseases suffered by Mushaima.
 
BCHR added that Hassan Mushaima has been deprived of visits for more than 527 days and his family has not been able to see him since. This contradicts the laws governing the rights of prisoners, especially regarding contacting the outside world.
 
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights called on the Government of Bahrain to provide the necessary and appropriate health care regarding the medical condition of Mushaima in a quick and urgent manner. The Center states that any complications regarding his health condition fall under the responsibility of the Bahraini government.

Hasan Mushaima: Endless Suffering

Four Bahraini Human Rights Organizations hold the Bahraini authorities responsible for the deterioration of the health situation of opposition leader Hassan Mushaima

The human rights organizations that signed this statement express their condemnation of the violation of the rights of Hassan Mushaima, 70 years old, whose deprived from receiving medical treatment and proper care in Jau central prison. These organizations hold the Bahraini authorities responsible for Mushaima's health deterioration for its lack of commitment to the law; Mushaima suffers from chronic diseases.

The statements says: According to our information, Mushaima needs treatment of several chronic diseases in specialized hospitals and that he has previously undergone several operations for these diseases, but the prison administration has not completed the treatment and prevent the medicine.

According to previous information received in recent years, despite the high numbers of detainees, specifically in Jau central prison and the dry dock prison, only one doctor is available for one seizure per prison; As a result of this pressure on the doctor, testimonies from the detainees and their relatives says the doctor does not perform medical examinations in all cases, but only give painkillers. The doctor delays the transfer of detainees to hospitals and outpatient clinics, while some detainees are prevented from being transferred to these clinics as a result of the prison administration failing to take them to the medical appointments set by the external health center after the transfer of the prison doctor.

Also, convicted prisoners who wish to receive treatment at private health centers - at their expense - are not enabled to do so. Despite the powers of the prison administration to release prisoners whose life in prison poses a threat to their lives, it often does not work with these powers, except for limited cases of insurmountable diseases. It is clear that the prison authorities in Bahrain are failing to meet the minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners. Where Mushaima and his fellow imprisoned opposition leaders were recently subjected to humiliating inspection of and their personal items, such as books, notes, papers and pens, were arbitrarily confiscated.

The statement pointed out that the family of the political prisoner, Hassan Mushaima has called on the competent authorities and the prison administration to take into account his health status, but no response was ever recieved! It is a matter of concern that this act is deliberate and premeditated and is of acts of revenge. Mushaima has not accepted the family visit since February 2017 because of his refusal to place iron chains linking both his hands and feet which severely restricts his movement. Human rights activists considered this procedure to be humiliating, making prisoners refuse to go to the hospital and refuse to go to the visiting room.

The human rights organizations called upon the concerned authorities to take quick and urgent steps to end the suffering of Mushaima and to allow him to receive the necessary and appropriate treatment. They also urge the authorities to release all prisoners of conscience, especially those suffering from chronic diseases and persons with special needs.

The signatory human rights organizations are: Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights

Thursday 2nd August 2018

Transparency International UK: In Whose Interest?, Analyzing How Corrupt and Repressive Governments seek influence and Legitimacy

Transparency International UK published a report, “In Whose Interest? “ , that talks about corruption and repression in the government of 3 different countries (Azerbaijan, Russia and Bahrain) and how this corruption is affecting the whole country, in addition to measuring the legitimacy of these acts with UK parliamentarians. Mainly when talking about Bahrain, the report included the strong relation between the UK and Bahrain that goes long back to the nineteenth century.

The report mentioned that although Bahrain has a partly-elected National Assembly, the king of Bahrain rules by monarchy. It also showed how the peaceful protests started in 2011 to demand the political, social and economic human rights. The report showed that the Bahraini government responded to these protests with violence since it suppressed the demonstrations and imprisoned the protestors with the help of Saudi Arabia and United Emirates military forces where 30 persons were killed, hundreds were imprisoned and independent newspapers were shut down.

The report mentioned that in 2017, the Bahraini government was continuing the suppression against the protestors and other acts that showed how bad the corruption became and how severe the violence was rising. Since the 90s, the budget of Bahrain was poor, and quarters of the countries revenues were transferred to the royal family where there was no audit to record the monetary transactions. When the government receives the funds, a proportion of the money is spent on defense and security expenditures where the exact amounts and information are not available to the public. According to an audit in 2015, Bahrain reached its highest stage of corruption by spending money on such forces. In addition, land ownership in Bahrain is mainly controlled by the royal family that owns billion-worth pieces of real estate; so the kingdom is spending around 28 billion pounds on real estate when Bahraini citizens are deprived from their rights to housing. After the protests, King Hamad appointed a panel of human rights experts to oversee the condition in Bahrain, and the result was 26 recommendations that the kingdom should adopt, yet only two were temporary applied and then were reversed.

The source added that UK parliamentarians were engaged with Bahrain by the Manama dialog, that observes the corruption and human rights abuses in a country, it was later realized that the Bahraini government was paying secretly for the event and that the government was paying for the trips of 19 parliamentarians since 2007. Alongside with the visits, some of the parliamentarians have provided advisory services directly to the King of Bahrain for almost 14 years.

Read Report

Assessing the Human Rights Situation in Bahrain: Report on Bahrain's Implementation of its ICCPR Obligations

Bahrain Center for Human Rights presented information to the UN Human rights Committee that has  published its report on 26 July .The report mentioned the results concerning the civil and political rights record of countries it examined during its latest session in 3rd and 4th of July. The study included Bahrain file taking into consideration the Government opinion on the first hand and organization and associations on the second one.

Bahrain acceded to the ICCPR in 2006, the only Arab Gulf monarchy to do so (however, Kuwait ratified in 1996). In acceding to the Convention, Bahrain agreed to be bound by the provisions of the ICCPR without the need for an act of signature. In accordance to Article 40 of the ICCPR, Bahrain was required to submit a periodic treaty report to the HRC on the measures adopted within one year of ratifying the convention and maintains an affirmative obligation to submit follow-up reports every four years thereafter. Bahrain has yet to submit either the initial report or any follow-up reports to the HRC.

The head of the delegation of the Kingdom of Bahrain mentioned in his speech in front of the UN Human Rights Committee that Bahrain abide the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This was based on provisions of the Constitution claiming that it is being applied.  He also noted to the initiatives taken on the events of February 2011. Saying that this happened to solve conflicts by applying the Law.

The report presented by the BCHR noted several irregularities of the Law and violations for freedom and human rights since 2011 till now were presented.

 Bahrain has seen significant regression in its respect for important civil and political freedoms and has developed an unfair justice and penitentiary system to punish political and human rights activists alike

The report mentioned many violations such as:

  • Freedom of Expression, Assembly, Association and Religion
  • Arbitrary Detention and Torture
  • Prison Conditions

The BCHR supported the conclusions and recommendations reached by the Commission in the following report.

 

 

The Prisons of Bahrain: Detention, Disease and Suffering

Since the beginning of the popular outbreak uprising on February 14 2011, human rights violations in Bahrain continued. These violations included the arrest of many people of different age groups and practitioners in various fields. Jurists, journalists, doctors, teachers, academics and students were arrested. The arrests also included children, women, men and the elderly (over 60), through which most of those arrested were subjected to harsh conditions of detention. According to statistics released by the State Department recently, the number of arrestees reached 4,780 of detainees and prisoners.

Read full report.

Bahrain Prisons: The Cemetery of the Living

Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the main source of international norms in the treatment of prisoners, and since the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners is the detailed source for the application of the rules in the treatment of prisoners, and since the basic principles of the treatment of prisoners are a guiding source for Member States of the United Nations to harmonize their legislation with these principles, and since the decision of the General Assembly of the United Nations (A/RES/70175/) to adopt the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the Nelson Mandela Rules.

We, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, publish this report concerning the prison conditions in Bahrain on the occasion of Nelson Mandela International Day, in which we shed the light once more on the conditions of prisoners and prisons in Bahrain that are crowded with political prisoners and jurists.

Read report

Bahrain Center for Human Rights: Nelson Mandela Still Suffers in Bahraini Prisons

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights issued a statement on the occasion of “Nelson Mandela International Day” which is celebrated every year on the 18th of July. The “Center” took the opportunity to renew the call for improving the conditions of prisoners and detainees in Bahrain according to the Nelson Mandela Rules. Mandela was kept in prison for 27 years before serving as President of South Africa and was deprived of the minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners during his incarceration.

The “Center” also called attention to its launching of a special report on that occasion on the conditions of prisoners and prisons in Bahrain entitled “Bahraini Prisons: A Cemetery for the Living”, in which it reviewed Bahrain’s laws and legislation, as well as the extent of violations that are committed against prisoners.

The “Center” added that laws and legislation are not enough to improve the situations of prisoners and prisons in Bahrain amid ongoing violations against prisoners and detainees. The Government of Bahrain must therefore apply local laws and international rules regarding the treatment of prisoners.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights concluded its statement by calling upon the Government of Bahrain to allow human rights and humanitarian organizations to inspect the conditions of prisons and implement international procedures through special rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council and related task forces.

 

FREE DETAINED HRDs! FREE ALL PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE!

The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), in cooperation with Amnesty International, Media Association for Peace (MAP), Committee to protect Journalists, Maharat and the Gulf Center for Human Rights, organized a solidarity stand with prisoners in Bahrain and human rights defenders Nabeel Rajab and Abdulhadi Al Khawaja.

The conference was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the presence of a number of journalists from various Arab and foreign stations, as well as jurists from several organizations.

The Bahraini Human Rights lawyer, Mr. Ibrahim Sarhan, opened with a talk about the tragic situation of the detainees in Jaw prison. He referred to the denial of the most basic human rights, calling the prison "cemetery of the living." He added that the government in Bahrain must abide by the laws accurately, because laws without rights are considered as nothing. He also called for the urgent need for the immediate release of Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab and all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain

It was followed by a speech of the representative of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Mrs. Sabah Faour, which she called for pressure on the authorities to release the detainees and to ensure that all prisoners are able to receive appropriate treatment and get all their rights. It also stressed the importance and the need to end all forms of retaliation against jurists and to allow human rights organizations to operate freely from all forms of harassment.

The representative of the Maharat Foundation Mr. Hussein Al-Sharif, spoke about their cooperation with other organizations in order to release the detainees. Al-Sharif says that Bahrain is not alone in suffering from the suppression of freedoms, but there are other forms in most Arab countries such as Egypt and Lebanon.

Also, a speech was held by the Amnesty International representative Devin Kenny, who reiterated that prisoners of conscience should be released, saying that the expression of opinion is not a crime.

In addition, a statement by CPJ delegate Ignacio Miguel Delgado confirmed that the press in Bahrain suffers from repression of freedom and public opinion, and this is professionally rejected.

The conference ended with the Chairperson of the Peace Information Organization, Mrs. Vanessa Basil, who returned and confirmed the main objective of this stand, wich is the release of Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja, Nabeel Rajab and all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.

Terrorising People by the Law of Terrorism:

The «War on Terrorism» is a modern term that has emerged after the events of September 11, 2001, which claimed the lives of nearly 3000 civilians of different nationalities. This terrorist act also resulted in thousands ofcasualties and nancial losses in billions.Following this terrorist incident, the United States adopted war on terror by various means including legal legislation. Later, it was followed by many countries both democratic and authoritarian, creating excellent opportunity for the latter to legislate laws that are outwardly anti-terrorism and within the context of international cooperation inthe ght against terrorism, while they wererepressive against peaceful dissidents and carrying within a hidden agenda against human rights activists, politicians and civil society organisations. How? This is what we are going to explain substantively and systematically in this report.

In this report, we will apply the analytical methodology on the Bahraini law and study some of judicial applications of the law as available. We will also do a brief comparative study of the relevant local and international anti-terror legislation, and the extent to which it is in line with the international law, international conventions and human rights treaties. The study will try to determine the impact of Bahraini laws on Bahrain civil society and the judicial decisions against citizens and human rights activists.
 

Read full report.