URGENT ALERT: BAHRAIN – Detained Human Rights Activists To Appear in Court on Monday

——————————————————-
Islamic Human Rights Commission
——————————————————–

14 March 2008

URGENT ALERT: BAHRAIN – Detained Human Rights Activists Next Trial Session on 17 March 2008

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

1. Summary
Several human rights activists detained in relation to demonstrations held in commemoration of the killing of two protestors in Bahrain are reportedly being tortured at the hands of security forces. Their next trial session is scheduled for 17 March 2008. If they are found guilty they can face several years in prison.

In the first trial session held on 24 February 2008, the defendants gave testimonies in court of how they were tortured. The testimonies can be read at https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3237

Further, IHRC has received recent reports that one of the detained activists, Mohammed Abdullah Al-Sengais (brother of Abduljalil Al-Sengais from the HAQ Movement of Liberties and Democratic Bahrain), has been refused medical attention which he urgently requires. His back was injured while he was tortured and he suffers from anaemia as well. Nevertheless he is still being tortured using techniques such as falaqah, butterfly and scorpio. For further details, please read forwarded press release at https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3247

2. Background
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-Sengais, 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 and theft of weapons 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 https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3180, https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3078, https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3148, https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3179 and https://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3176

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
——————————————————–

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.

——————————————————————————————

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: Human rights activists detained and ill-treated in Bahrain

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.

They 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 rioting, possession and theft of weapons and setting fire to a police vehicle.

According to the detainees’ testimonies that they presented in court, they have been subjected to severe beatings, sexual abuse and psychological torture. The most noteworthy human rights activists amongst them are held handcuffed and blindfolded, in solitary confinement. They need urgent medical attention due to the harsh prison conditions they are enduring.

I am further concerned that the detainees’ lawyers have been permitted restricted access to their clients. Their case is scheduled for a hearing on 17 March 2008; if they are found guilty they can face up to 32 years in prison.

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. 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]

———————————————————————————————-

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: Human rights activists detained and ill-treated in Bahrain

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.

They 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 rioting, possession and theft of weapons and setting fire to a police vehicle.

According to the detainees’ testimonies that they presented in court, they have been subjected to severe beatings, sexual abuse and psychological torture. The most noteworthy human rights activists amongst them are held handcuffed and blindfolded, in solitary confinement. They need urgent medical attention due to the harsh prison conditions they are enduring.

I am further concerned that the detainees’ lawyers have been permitted restricted access to their clients. Their case is scheduled for a hearing on 17 March 2008; if they are found guilty they can face up to 32 years in prison.

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. 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]

—————————————————————————————

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: Human rights activists detained and ill-treated in Bahrain

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.

They 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 rioting, possession and theft of weapons and setting fire to a police vehicle.

According to the detainees’ testimonies that they presented in court, they have been subjected to severe beatings, sexual abuse and psychological torture. The most noteworthy human rights activists amongst them are held handcuffed and blindfolded, in solitary confinement. They need urgent medical attention due to the harsh prison conditions they are enduring.

I am further concerned that the detainees’ lawyers have been permitted restricted access to their clients. Their case is scheduled for a hearing on 17 March 2008; if they are found guilty they can face up to 32 years in prison.

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. 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]

——————————————————————————————————-

For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below:

————————————————————————————————————

IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

Please help IHRC by visiting https://www.ihrc.org.uk/catalog and making a donation or buying an item from our on-line store.

If you want to subscribe to the IHRC list please send an email to subscribe@ihrc.org

If you want to unsubscribe from the IHRC list please send an email from your subscribed email address to unsubscribe@ihrc.org

If you are reusing this alert, please cite the source.

For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below.

“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

Join the Struggle for Justice. Join IHRC.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org