Another Bahraini jailed for a Twitter message


This video says about itself:

Sentenced for social media: Bahrain activist jailed over tweet

10 July 2012

Bahraini anti-government campaigner Nabeel Rajab, a prominent activist who has been using social media to highlight human rights abuses in the kingdom, was jailed on Monday after being sentenced to three months imprisonment for a tweet.

The following is the tweet purported to have landed Rajab in jail. He addresses ruling prime minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman, uncle of the country’s reigning king, following his visit to the town of Muharraq (Al Mahraq). Rajab intimates that the crowds greeting Prince Khalifa were paid to receive him. His tweet asks the unelected prime minister, who has held the position since 1971, to “leave the residents of Al Mahraq, its Sheikhs and its elderly. Everyone knows that you are not popular here, and if there wasn’t a need for money, they wouldn’t have gone out to receive you. When will you step down?”

From Gulf News:

Bahraini activist in custody over tweet

Slaiss alleged that military personnel were ordered to vote in elections

15:09 September 1, 2014

Dubai: The spokesperson for a group of young activists was on Sunday remanded in custody for seven days over a tweet he posted.

Yacoub Slaiss, who was the public voice of Al Fateh Youth Coalition (FYC), a group that often supported the government, is to be investigated over claiming on Twitter about three months ago that “military personnel received orders” to vote in parliamentary elections and calling for criminalising the alleged orders to cast ballots, Bahraini media reported.

Under Bahrain’s election laws, men and women in uniform are allowed to cast ballots.

The Bahraini opposition opposes the right of military personnel to vote, claiming that the votes go in favour of pro-government candidates.

Civil Rights Defenders calls on the Bahraini authorities to immediately release leading human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja, who was arrested on August 30 at Bahrain International Airport. Security Officials at the airport informed Maryam Al-Khawaja that her Bahraini nationality had been revoked and that she was no longer welcome in the country: here. See also here.

On 1 September, Marietje Schaake submitted written questions to High Representative Catherine Ashton concerning the case of the arrest of Maryam al-Khawaja in Bahrain. Please find a plain text version and the official document below: here.

Maryam al-Khawaja, prominent pro-democracy activist, arrested as she attempted to visit her father: here.

On 30 August, the prominent Bahraini human rights defender Maryam al-Khawaja, was detained upon her arrival in Manama, the country’s capital. She risked arrest for the chance to see her ailing father, dissident Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who is serving a life sentence, and has been on hunger strike since 26 August: here.

Photojournalist Ahmed Humaidan – Prisoner of Conscience at Bahrain: here.

Hunch-backed dolphins off Bahrain


This video is called Chinese White Dolphin (Sousa chinensis chinensis).

In Bahrain, there is not only ugly torture and beautiful birds, but also beautiful dolphins.

From the Bahrain News Agency:

Hunch-backed dolphins sighted in territorial waters

01:52 PM – 31/08/2014

Manama, Aug. 31: The rare species of hunch-backed dolphins (sousa chinesis)

Sic: Sousa chinensis. In scientific names, the first, genus, name always begins with a capital. While the second, species, name does not. Many people make mistakes in this.

have recently been sighted off Sitra Island.

A female dolphin accompanied by a swarm of dolphins was seen attempting to resuscitate her dying youngster who eventually succumbed. Regional experts were consulted to verify the specifies

Sic: species

. According to a previous study conducted in 2006, there were 227 dolphins in Bahrain’s territorial waters during the study period which prefer to inhabit shallow island waters.

The Supreme Council of the Environment (SCE) urged fishermen, seafarers and captains of commercial vessels to take care upon sighting this rare species and other wildlife in order to ensure their safety and contribution in natural habitats and the boom and flourishing of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s maritime ecology. This rare species of dolphins is also known as the White Chinese Dolphin measuring 3.5 meters, weighing 250 kg. It had been sighted for the first time in Hong Kong waters in the fifteenth century. It is now listed as one of the endangered species.

The SCE urged the public to cooperate and to call the Hotline: 80001112 in order to report any damage to the environment which harms wildlife and fauna of all sorts.

The SCE has urged fishermen to comply with national regulations and to avoid incurring damage to marine mammals, dolphins and turtles.

Bahrain bridled terns


This is a bridled tern video.

In Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, not just cruel regime torture of human rights activists. Also, beautiful birds, like bridled terns.

From Focusing On Wildlife, with photos there:

August 28 2014

Bridled Terns – Al Jarrim Island South (Bahrain)

The Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus is a common summer breeding visitor to offshore islands in the Gulf and Red Sea. Brian Meadows (Bull B.O.C 2003) mentioned 175 pairs breeding on islets north of Yanbu al-Bahr 18 June 1993. Summer visitor to all coasts nesting on islands occasionally.

In 1988 Jennings visited the Farasan Islands and found the species to be a very common breeding tern and a survey of summer breeding seabirds by SF Newton in 1994 in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea found they were the most abundant and widespread breeding seabird. The aerial count total of just under 20,000 is likely to be a gross underestimate.

Most nests were under bushes but a few small colonies on Farasan use rock overhangs on cliffs in the absence of vegetation. Both the al Wajh and Farasan Archipelagoes hold large populations and the species is abundant on the well vegetated outer islands of the Farasan Bank where it co-occurs with Brown Noddy. Clutches were always of a single egg and hatching commenced in mid June.

In the Gulf large numbers breed on the Bahrain and Saudi Arabian offshore islands with eggs hatching in early to Mid-June. Karan(27°44’N, 49°50’E) is the largest of the six coral islands measuring 128 hectares in size (2025m x 625m).

This island has the largest breeding population of Lesser Crested terns in Saudi Arabia as well as good numbers of Bridled Terns and White-cheeked terns and a small number of Swift Terns. Jana (27°22’N, 49°54’E) is the second largest island being 33 hectares in size (1105m x 300m).

Large numbers of Bridled tern and small numbers of Lesser Crested Terns and Swift Terns nest here. Juraid (27°11’N, 49°52’E) is the third largest coral island measuring 20 hectares in size (732 x 282m) and holds the largest breeding population of Bridled Terns in Saudi Arabia, with good numbers of breeding Lesser Crested Terns and White-cheeked Terns.

Kurain (27°39’N, 49°50’E) is the second smallest island with a size of 8 hectares (312m x 251m). Large numbers of Lesser Crested Terns along with good numbers of Bridled Terns and White-cheeked Terns nest on this island.

Jailed Bahraini human rights activist in coma


Maryam and Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. Photo: Maryam al-Khawaja/Polfoto

From The Local in Denmark:

Jailed Danish activist in coma in Bahrain

29 Aug 2014 08:23 GMT+02:00

Less than a week into his new hunger strike, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has reportedly fallen into a coma. The family plans to appeal to Denmark for help.

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, the jailed Danish-Bahraini activist who began a new hunger strike on Monday, is in a coma according to a report from Politiken.

An activist with Al-Khawaja’s Bahrain Center for Human Rights said that the dual Danish and Bahraini citizen fell ill on Thursday and was taken to the prison hospital, where he was reported to be in a coma.

Al-Khawaja’s family announced on Monday that he would begin a new hunger strike, refusing all food and drink with the exception of water. An earlier hunger strike by the activist lasted 110 days and led to a massive, but unsuccessful, diplomatic effort by Denmark to get him either released or transferred.

Al-Khawaja, a dual citizen of Denmark and Bahrain, has been imprisoned in Bahrain prison since 2011, serving a life sentence for demonstrating against the government and organising protests during the Arab Spring. Along with eight others, he was convicted on charges of terrorism and attempting to overthrow the government. While jailed in Bahrain, al-Khawaja has been subjected to torture, violence and sexual abuse. In January 2013, al-Khawaja lost the final legal appeal against his life sentence.

Al-Khawaja’s daughter Maryam wrote on Twitter that the activist’s other daughter Zainab was detained by Bahraini police on Thursday when she tried to visit their father in prison. Zainab is seven months pregnant. Both of Al-Khawaja’s daughters are also Danish citizens.

According to Politiken, the family will appeal to the Danish Foreign Ministry for help. A doctor has told the family that al-Khawaja’s hunger strike may have already damaged his internal organs.

Message From Human Rights Defender Maryam al-Khawaja: here.

Co-Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and prominent human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja was detained at Bahrain International Airport this morning. On her arrival at approximately 1:00am Bahrain time, Maryam was met by security officials who informed her that she was not welcome in Bahrain. They also informed Maryam that her Bahraini nationality had been revoked: here.

Bahrain must immediately and unconditionally release leading human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja, who was arrested earlier today in connection with her work to promote human rights and accountability in the country. See more here.

Bahrain: 600 Detainees On Hunger Strike To Stop Torture In Prison: here.

Bahraini political prisoner Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja on hunger strike


Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and his family, before he was imprisoned

From the Bahrain Centre for Human rights:

Bahrain: Prominent Human Rights Defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja to Start a New Hunger Strike

Sunday 24 August 2014, Bahrain – Prominent human rights defender and founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human rights (BCHR) and the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, has declared an open hunger strike “in protest against the continuation of arbitrary arrest and detention.” In a statement made to members of his immediate family during a visit today, Mr. AlKhawaja declared that he would refuse all food and liquids with the exception of water. He also informed his family that due to the drugging, force feeding and the forced ending of his last hunger strike, he will also refuse to be taken to any hospital, the prison clinic or to receive any IV treatment during his strike.

Mr. Al-Khawaja was arbitrary arrested on 9 April 2011 and sentenced to life imprisonment by a military court in a grossly unfair trial for his peaceful and legitimate human rights activism. He was subjected to torture during both his arrest and detention. The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) found that this torture included severe beatings, sodomy, and psychological abuse resulting in a broken jaw which required immediate surgery. He was also sexually abused at the Bahrain Defense Force Hospital. His case (Number 8) is among the 60 cases of torture and/or ill treatment included in the annex of its report.

In October 2011, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found the detention of Mr. Al-Khawaja to be arbitrary in contravention of articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9, paragraph 3, and 14, 21 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and called for his immediate release as an adequate remedy. They also raised doubts over the charges leveled against Mr. Al-Khawaja and found that the Government of Bahrain violated international norms to the right to a fair trial.

In April 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of assembly and association, and the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers called for the immediate release of Mr. Al-Khawaja.

Archived photo from the 2012 hunger strikeArchived photo from the 2012 hunger strike

Mr. Al-Khawaja started a hunger strike in 2012 that lasted 110 days to protest his arbitrary detention. During his strike, Mr. Al-Khawaja was drugged through an IV injection, restrained to the hospital bed and then force fed by a painful procedure using a tube through the nose at the Bahrain Defense Hospital. He now suffers from a number of medical conditions as a result of his treatment in detention. This has included cramps in his facial muscles, and acute pain in his coccyx as a direct result of torture. In 2014, Mr. Al-Khawaja was also informed that his medical files have “gone missing”. He has not received the adequate medical treatment necessary to treat his medical conditions nor any rehabilitation for the torture suffered during detention in direct breach of Bahrain’s obligations under Article 14 of the Convention Against Torture. Mistreatment during imprisonment has continued, mainly through the systematic refusal of access to adequate medical treatment.

We reiterate demands made for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Al-Khawaja and all other prisoners of conscience in Bahrain from detention and the repeal of all their sentences. We remain concerned over continuing allegations of mistreatment in detention and remind authorities of their obligations under the Convention Against Torture, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We also call for impartial investigations over allegations of systematic torture and the prosecution of all those involved in committing, overseeing and/or enabling torture and/or ill-treatment to take place. In addition, all torture survivors must be provided with rehabilitation and reprieve by the authorities.

Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)

Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)

Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR)

Bahrain should provide victims of torture with physical and psychological rehabilitation, Human Rights Watch and other human rights groups said today, based on a letter they sent to King Hamad. In particular, authorities should address the health needs of 13-high profile detainees, some of whom are suffering from the effects of torture by Bahraini interrogators in 2011: here.

Canadian Tortured in Bahrain: Bring Him Home: here.

Calls on #Bahrain courts to overturn photographer Ahmed Humaidan’s “baseless conviction”: here.

Today, CPJ joined 10 local and international organizations in sending an open letter calling on King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and the Bahraini government to release photojournalist Ahmed Humaidan and dismiss all charges against him. The letter calls on the government to fulfill Bahrain’s obligations under international law and its commitments under the 2012 Universal Periodic Review by the U.N. Human Rights Council: here.

NGO’s Send Letter to Bahrain King Regarding Torture Victims: here.