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Issue 45: 15th Aug - 5th Sep 2016

Quote from
Bahrain:

News from Inside Bahrain


Authorities prevent human rights activists from
leaving the country
Two members of the
European-Bahraini
Organisation for Human
Rights, have been
prevented from leaving
the country. Both Ahmed
Al-Saffar and Siham Al-Sayegh were
prevented from exiting Bahrain via the King
Fahd Causeway, linking the country to Saudi
Arabia. The security authorities in Bahrains
International Airport also prevented the head
of the monitoring and documentation unit at
the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)
and human rights activist Enas Oun from
leaving Bahrain by flight. This is in addition to
a member of Bahrain Center for Human
Rights, Hussein Radhi, announcing that
Bahraini security authorities refused to allow
him to leave the country, based on an order
issued by the Criminal Investigations
Directorate. In a similar move, the security
authorities in Bahrains International Airport
denied the director of Lualua Center for
Human Rights activist Isa Al-Ghaib from
leaving Bahrain. Despite the measures taken
against the activists, there have been no
pending court cases or criminal charges,
meaning that the travel bans are purely
designed to prevent Bahrains human rights
abuses from being mentioned on the
international stage.

Matar Matar
Former Bahraini MP
The sectarianism is
the major feature for
the new phase of
deterioration in Bahrain.
The sectarianism is
a very tricky term.
We need to be very
careful when we
address it. The struggle
in Bahrain is not about
sectarianism between
Sunni and Shia, it
is about sectarian
policies coming from
the government of
Bahrain against the Shia
population. It is also
important to mention
that the sectarian
policies against Shia
doesnt mean that the
government of Bahrain
is a conservative
government that care
about Sunni Islam
or Sunni Muslims. In
Bahrain, Sunnis are
losing as well. The
Government of Bahrain
encourages the Sunni
from early ages to join
Interior Ministry, Bahrain
Defense Force, National
Security Apparatus
and National Guards.
It is very hard for them
to speak out against
the government and
it is hard for them to
quit and join the labor
market and they get
stuck under these
conditions.

Nabeel Rajabs trial postponed


Nabeel Rajab, leading
human rights activist
and President of the
Bahrain Center for
Human Rights has had
his trial postponed until
6th October for ruling. Although Rajab remains
in custody there continue to be concerns over
his health. He was recently transferred to the
Interior Ministrys clinic following chest pains
and shortness of breath, although his wife said
his health has somewhat stabilized since. The
authorities have denied his release on medical
grounds on numerous occasions and have
been slow to provide the necessary treatment,
despite widespread international calls for his
release. Rajab was arrested in June accused of
spreading false rumors.

Finally, when the


government of Bahrain
commit sectarian
policies against Shia,
this doesnt mean
that this government
will tolerate any
Sunni dissent. In fact,
the government
may go harsher on
Sunnis to keep the
sectarian orientation
of the struggle as
what happened to
the moderate liberal
Sunni, Ebrahim Sharif
who was arrested,
and sentenced twice
since the beginning of
the uprising, and the
same for Mohammed
AlBuflasa, who was the
first detainee in the
uprising.

Al Wefaq to challenge dissolution ruling


According to media reports,
Al Wefaq National Islamic
Society has launched an
appeal against the decision
to dissolve the society. Al
Wefaq was suspended in
June before being permanently shut down last
month. No date has been set for the appeal and
the authorities have refused to comment,
although local pro-government media said that
a meeting to discuss the issue had been planned
for 20th September, but may now be brought
forward.

Senior Shiite figure transferred to Jaw Prison

Bahrain in the
Media

Sayeed Majeed Al-Mishaal,


the head of Bahrains
leading Shiite body,
has been transferred to
Jaw Prison to begin his
-2year sentence. He was
sentenced at the end of August after being
arrested a few weeks previously, accused of
calling for people to protest outside the home of
Sheikh Issa Qassim.

Letter From a Bahraini Jail

British police criticised for


lack of transparency in
Bahrain training deal

Friday congregational prayers brought to a


halt for over a month

Boris Johnson urged


to question Bahrain
ambassador about press
freedom

The Bahraini authorities


have once again
prevented the Imam of
the Imam Al-Sadiq
Mosque and worshipers
from reaching the
village of Diraz to
perform prayers. The weekly Friday prayers
service has been prevented from taking place
for over one month in a blatant disregard for
religious freedom. The authorities have
summoned the Imam of Al-Kheif mosque for
interrogation and held him in custody over a
sermon he delivered. Friday prayers were also
stopped in Al-Kheif mosque.

Role of UK police in training


Bahrains forces ignores
abuses

Bahrain urged to end


prosecution of leading
rights activist Nabeel
Rajab

Shiite figures widely targeted


Figures between June and
August 2016, released by
Human Rights Watch, have
shown a serious targeting
of Shiite religious figures by
the authorities in Bahrain.
The Bahraini government
has summoned 70 Shiite
clerics, detained 20 of them, 9 Shiite quaran
readers and more than 50 activists and citizens
from June to August. Most of the preachers
were summoned over delivering Friday sermons
in which they expressed their refusal to the
governments latest measures, and the others
were summoned over taking part in the open
sit-in held outside Sheikh Isa Qassims house,
protesting against the decision that revoked
his citizenship on 20th June. The government
has also intensified the violations against Shiite
within the past two months through a series of
measures; the revocation of Sheikh Isa Qassim
citizenship, withholding the passport of Sheikh
Maytham Al-Salman and adjourning the hearing
sessions of dozens of clerics with their continued
detention.

Bahrains Truth Will Out

Pentagon Forces
Congress to Wait for Late
Bahrain Report

Foreign Office Accused


Of Covering Up Bahrain
Torture Allegations

Government arrests 12 protestors in Diraz


The Bahraini
government detained
12 people in Diraz over
the charge of unlawful
assembly for
demonstrating near the
home of a Sheikh Isa
Qassim. It was revealed that 6 out these 12 were
Shiite clerics. Thousands of Bahrainis took to the
streets across the Kingdom of Bahrain,
denouncing the recent oppressive measures
taken by the authorities against the citizens in the
country. Demonstrators further stressed on their
calls for democratic reform and putting an end
to the ruling Al Khalifa familys monopoly over
power. Security forces clashed with protestors in
Sitra who were expressing their refusal of the
government attack on protesters.

NGO`s on Bahrain:

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALS
WRITTEN STATEMENT TO THE
33RD SESSION OF THE UN
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
: BAHRAIN: ALARMING
CLAMPDOWN ON THE
RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF
EXPRESSION, ASSOCIATION,
PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND
MOVEMENT

-1year prison term upheld over tweet


A Bahraini woman has had
her -1year prison sentence
upheld over a tweet in
which she criticized Bahrains
judiciary. The Bahraini Public
Prosecution accused the
woman of insulting the judiciary in public via
social media networks in the period between
2013 and 2015. The authorities claim that the
accused tweeted on her Twitter account
phrases that insulted the judiciary, in precise the
symbols of the religious judiciary in the Kingdom.
She also established a group on which she
announced fighting the judiciary. She continued
to post these tweets during the period from 2013
till 2015.

BAHRAIN: END HEIGHTENED


CRACKDOWN ON
PEACEFUL CRITICS

Bahrain: Authorities
Targeting Shia clerics

Human Rights portfolio designated to foreign


ministry
A Royal Decree concerning
the role of the Foreign
Ministry has moved key
human rights work under this
department. According to
the decree human rights
affairs management will be led by the Assistant
Foreign Minister, with general oversight by the
Foreign Minister. No reason for the changes has
been given, although it is unusual for internal
human rights issues to be managed by the
department changed with external affairs. The
move could point to a growing view amongst
the authorities in Bahrain that the management
of human rights is about international perceptions
as opposed to internal concerns that genuinely
cover the spirit of human rights.

Bahrain: Release Rights


Activist, Lift Travel Bans

Bahrain: Protesters
celebrate Nabeel Rajabs
birthday and call for his
release

Index award winners and


judges call for release of
Bahraini campaigner

News from Outside Bahrain

Letter: UK must question


Bahrains record on press
freedom

UK FCO urged to pressure on Bahrain to


Release Nabeel Rajab, Denmark expresses
concern over his health
Margaret Ferrier MP has
called on the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office to
pressure Bahrain to release
the prominent human rights
defender Nabeel Rajab,
saying that the United
Kingdom should use its influence to call for
Rajabs release. Ferrier said that Rajab has been
in detention since 2 months over charges related
to freedom of expression and that he may face
up to 15 years in prison. She also called on UK
not to remain silent and to use its influence
to release Rajab. Meanwhile the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of Denmark expressed its serious
concern by the information it received about the
health condition of the prominent human rights
defender Nabeel Rajab and reiterated its call for
the release of all arbitrarily detained people in
Bahrain.

TRAVEL BAN AGAINST


HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER
ENAS OUN

Protest in Sitra
Tear gas canister shot
directly at camera
person
Rally in front of Sheikh
Issa Qassim home
Protest in support of
Sheikh Hassan Issa

U.N. experts urge Bahrain to halt persecution


of Shiite
Bahrain is targeting the Shiite
majority through arresting
and prosecuting Shiite clerics,
activists and human rights
defenders, warned UN
experts. They urged the Government of Bahrain
to stop the arbitrary arrests and release those who
were arrested for charges related to freedom
of speech and assembly. The experts added
that the wave of arrests, detentions, summons
and interrogations have recently increased
against Shiite clerics, reciters, preachers and
activists. They added that the authorities have
launched the harshest campaign against Shiites
and opposition since 2011 through a series of
measures. They toughened the sentence against
opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, revoked the
citizenship of spiritual leader Sheikh Isa Qassim,
arrested prominent human rights activist Nabeel
Rajab, banned activists from leaving the country,
arrested and summoned dozens of Shiite clerics.

HR Groups Send Joint Letter to UNHRC to Take


Action towards Bahrain
Five Bahraini human rights
groups sent a joint letter to
the UN Human Rights Council
as its 33rd session is to
commence in 2017. The
NGOs inputted the concerns
facing Bahrain and confirmed their fear that
there is a whitewashing of the true picture of
what is happening in Bahrain. The letter tackled
the number of citizens whose nationalities were
revoked, the enforced deportation of figures and
scholars and the use of criminal charges and
restrictive legislation to silence Shia scholars,
activists, civil societies and media outlet. The
NGOs also mentioned the violations against
opposition, represented by toughening the
sentence against Sheikh Ali Salman, the arrest
human rights activists Nabeel Rajab and
summoning of Sheikh Maythem Al-Salman and
the consultant neurosurgeon Dr Taha Alderazi.
The letter also referred to the number of Shia
scholars who have been summoned and
detained, Diraz siege and dissolution of Al-Wefaq
and two other religious societies. The NGOs also
proposed 15 recommendations which to be
addressed to the Government of Bahrain, the
members of the Human Rights Council and to the
Special Procedures mandate holders of the
Human Rights Council.

Useful links:

Al Wefaq National Islamic


Society

Bahrain Centre for Human


Rights

Bahrain Mirror

Bahrain Watch

Manama Document

National Democratic Action


Society (Waad)

US should call on Bahrain to drop charges


against Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman and Dr.
Al-Dirazi
Human Rights First said
in a statement that the
U.S. government should
speak out on behalf
of Sheikh Maytham AlSalman and Dr. Taha Al-Dirazi and call for the
charges against them to be dropped. HRF said
that Dr. Taha Al-Dirazi is charged with taking part
in an illegal gathering, a charge often brought
by the authorities against political opponents
and activists in the governments ongoing
targeting of dissidents. The Bahrain government
has called Dr. Al-Dirazi in for questioning before,
and prevented him from travelling to the United
Kingdom in June this year, but this is the first
time he has been charged. For his part, U.S.
Ambassador for International Religious Freedom
David Saperstein tweeted concern about the
charges brought against Dr. Al-Dirazi and against
leading interfaith cleric Maytham Al-Salman.

Australian government expresses concern on


Bahrain situation
A letter from the
Australian Foreign
Ministry to the Gulf
Centre for Human
Rights noted called
on Bahrain to respect human rights and make
concrete political reform. It further stated The
Australian government continues to engage
in active dialogue with international experts,
including the United Nations special Rapporteur
on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly
and of Association, in order to foster a better
international understanding of the importance of
these rights.

Bahrain King in visit to Russia


Bahrains King has visited
Russia for the second
time this year, according
to state media in both
Bahrain and Russia. The
visit coincides with an
agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia to
stabilize oil prices.

About Bahrain Justice and Development Movement:


Bahrain Justice and Development Movement (BJDM) is based in London, UK and
promotes democratic reform in Bahrain. We work with opposition figures both inside
and outside Bahrain, supporting their efforts to raise awareness of the situation in
Bahrain, as well as advocating political reform of a democratic nature.
Contact:
info@bahrainjdm.org www.bahrainjdm.org / http://bahrainjdm.hopto.org
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