URGENT ALERT: BAHRAIN – Detained Human Rights Activists Continue to be Ill-treated

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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23 April 2008

URGENT ALERT: BAHRAIN – Detained Human Rights Activists Continue to be Ill-treated

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letters

1. Summary
According to recent reports from human rights group, HAQ Movement of Liberties and Democratic Bahrain, the individuals detained by Bahrain security forces in relation to the December-17 demonstration are suffering from severe illnesses and require urgent medical care; however, they continue to be ill-treated.

For link to HAQ press release, please visit: https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3329

For background information about this campaign and links to previous alerts, please visit: https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3321

IHRC requests all campaigners to send letters to the respective authorities mentioned below and urge them to immediately release these human rights activists.

2. Background
According to recent reports from human rights group, HAQ Movement of Liberties and Democratic Bahrain, the individuals detained by Bahrain security forces in relation to the December-17 demonstration are suffering from severe illnesses and require urgent medical care; however, they continue to be ill-treated.

15 of these detainees are well-known human rights activists who have subjected to physical abuse and torture since their arrest, as confirmed by the findings of the medical report submitted in court on 16 April 2008 by a medical team that inspected the detainees.

Many detainees are showing the ill-effects of their detention condtitons as well as the Detainee Husain Jaafar Turaif was urgently hospitalized on 19 April 2008, after sudden deterioration in his health resulting in vomiting and weakness, thus affecting his ability to stand and hold himself. He is currently under treatment.

Mohamed Al-Singace (brother of Abduljalil Al-Singace from the HAQ Movement of Liberties and Democratic Bahrain) had his physiotherapy program terminated without prior notice even though he urgently requires treatment for his back injury which he suffered due to severe torture and beatings by security officers at the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).

Mahmood Hasan Saleh was requested by the doctor to be taken for immediate treatment for his severe chest and back pain – however, he has been denied this right.

According to reports, the detainees have been tortured and forced to confess to crimes they have not committed.

The next trial session for these detainees is scheduled for 11 May 2008, during which the testimonies of some key witnesses will be heard, including the doctor responsible for the medical report.

For link to HAQ press release, please visit: https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3329

Background Details

Several human rights activists and protestors were arrested in the wake of a demonstration held on 17 December 2007 to commemorate the killing of two protestors 13 years ago. One protestor Ali Jassim Meki was killed in clashes with security personnel on 17 December. Of the fifteen protestors still detained, some are well-known human rights activists, including

• Maytham Bader Jassim Al-Sheikh, Hassan Abdelnabi, Abdullah Mohsen Abdulah Saleh and Ahmad Jaffar Mohammed Ali, who are members of the Unemployment Committee,

• Naji Al-Fateel, member of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR),

• Mohammed Abdullah Al-Singace, Head of the Committee to Combat High Prices and brother of human rights activist Abduljalil Al-Singace, from the HAQ Movement of Liberties and Democratic Bahrain

• Ebrahim Mohamed Amin Al-Arab, founding member of the Martyrs and Victims Committee

All of the detainees, especially the above-mentioned notable activists, have been reportedly abused and subjected to torture at the hands of the security forces.

The detainees have been charged with rioting, possession of ammunition, theft of a weapon and setting fire to a police vehicle.

According to the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), this reported ill-treatment of human rights activists in Bahrain is aimed ‘at discouraging the Bahraini society…[from getting]…involved in human rights activities.’

For more details please refer to previous alerts: https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3321

3. Action required
a) Write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in your country, urging him/her to raise this issue with his/her Bahraini counterpart to ensure that these attacks on civil liberties are immediately halted.

UK campaigners can write to:

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Fax: +44 20 7839 2417
Email private.office@fco.gov.uk

b) Write to the Bahraini Ambassador in your country

UK campaigners can write to:

HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Khalifa
30 Belgrave Square
London, SW1X 8QB

Fax: +44 020 7201 9183
Email: enquiries@bahrainembassy.co.uk

c) Write to the Bahraini Minister of Interior.

Rashid bin Abdallah bin Ahmad al-Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13
Manama, Bahrain

Fax: (973) 2262169

4. Sample letters
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Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

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Sample letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs in your country (UK campaigners can use the address supplied)

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr. Miliband,

Re: Detained human rights activists in Bahrain are being ill-treated

I am deeply concerned about the welfare of several detained human rights activists and protesters in Bahrain who are reportedly being tortured and ill-treated.

These detainees were arrested in the wake of a demonstration held on 17 December 2007 to commemorate the killing of two protestors 13 years ago. They have been charged with what appears to be trumped up charges of rioting, possession of ammunition, theft of a weapon and setting fire to a police vehicle.

A team of doctors, authorized by the high court judge to examine the detainees for allegations of torture, submitted a medical report in court on 16 April 2008, which concluded that the detainees were subjected to torture. These findings have confirmed the fears of many human rights organizations. The detainees themselves testified in court in an earlier session, that they have been subjected to severe beatings, sexual abuse and psychological torture.

Several detainees are suffering from serious medical conditions owing to torture, bad prison conditions and the neglect shown by the authorities. Some require urgent medical treatment but have not received much care.

I am further concerned that the detainees’ lawyers are only allowed restricted access to their clients.

I urge you to raise these issues with your Bahraini counterparts to ensure that the detainees are treated in accordance with international human rights standards and an investigation is launched into the allegations of torture. Those officers found guilty of using force against the detainees should be brought to justice and duly penalized. Further, please ensure that those detained for political reasons are released immediately and that these attacks on civil liberties are immediately halted.

I look forward to your response on these matters.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

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Sample letter to Bahraini Ambassador in your country (UK campaigners can use the address supplied)

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

[Date]

HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Khalifa
30 Belgrave Square
London, SW1X 8QB

Your Excellency,

Re: Detained human rights activists in Bahrain are being ill-treated

I am deeply concerned about the welfare of several detained human rights activists and protesters in Bahrain who are reportedly being tortured and ill-treated.

These detainees were arrested in the wake of a demonstration held on 17 December 2007 to commemorate the killing of two protestors 13 years ago. They have been charged with what appears to be trumped up charges of rioting, possession of ammunition, theft of a weapon and setting fire to a police vehicle.

A team of doctors, authorized by the high court judge to examine the detainees for allegations of torture, submitted a medical report in court on 16 April 2008, which concluded that the detainees were subjected to torture. These findings have confirmed the fears of many human rights organizations. The detainees themselves testified in court in an earlier session, that they have been subjected to severe beatings, sexual abuse and psychological torture.

Several detainees are suffering from serious medical conditions owing to torture, bad prison conditions and the neglect shown by the authorities. Some require urgent medical treatment but have not received much care.

I am further concerned that the detainees’ lawyers are only allowed restricted access to their clients.

I urge you to ensure that the detainees are treated in accordance with international human rights standards and an investigation is launched into the allegations of torture. Those officers found guilty of using force against the detainees should be brought to justice and duly penalized. Further, I urge you to immediately take action to release those detained and to ensure that these attacks on civil liberties are immediately halted. As Bahrain has committed itself in the last decade to better governance, these actions blacken Bahrain’s reputation.

I look forward to your response on these matters.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

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Sample letter to the Bahraini Minister of Interior

Your Name]
[Your Address]

[Date]

Rashid bin Abdallah bin Ahmad al-Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13
Manama, Bahrain

Your Excellency,

Re: Detained human rights activists in Bahrain are being ill-treated

I am deeply concerned about the welfare of several detained human rights activists and protesters in Bahrain who are reportedly being tortured and ill-treated.

These detainees were arrested in the wake of a demonstration held on 17 December 2007 to commemorate the killing of two protestors 13 years ago. They have been charged with what appears to be trumped up charges of rioting, possession of ammunition, theft of a weapon and setting fire to a police vehicle.

A team of doctors, authorized by the high court judge to examine the detainees for allegations of torture, submitted a medical report in court on 16 April 2008, which concluded that the detainees were subjected to torture. These findings have confirmed the fears of many human rights organizations. The detainees themselves testified in court in an earlier session, that they have been subjected to severe beatings, sexual abuse and psychological torture.

Several detainees are suffering from serious medical conditions owing to torture, bad prison conditions and the neglect shown by the authorities. Some require urgent medical treatment but have not received much care.

I am further concerned that the detainees’ lawyers are only allowed restricted access to their clients.

I urge you to ensure that the detainees are treated in accordance with international human rights standards and an investigation is launched into the allegations of torture. Those officers found guilty of using force against the detainees should be brought to justice and duly penalized. Further, I urge you to immediately take action to release those detained and to ensure that these attacks on civil liberties are immediately halted. As Bahrain has committed itself in the last decade to better governance, these actions blacken Bahrain’s reputation.

I look forward to your response on these matters.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

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