Again, Bahraini blogger arrested


Ghada Jamsheer

From Front Line Defenders:

2014/9/19

Bahrain – Human rights defender Ms Ghada Jamsheer detained for tweeting

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On the evening of 14 September 2014, human rights defender Ms Ghada Jamsheer was arrested after the Public Prosecution ordered her detention for one week, during which she will be interrogated on allegations of defamation. She is currently detained at the Isa Town Detention Center for Women. No date has yet been scheduled for her trial.

Ghada Jamsheer is a human rights defender and the Head of the Women’s Petition Committee. She is an author, blogger, and an advocate for women’s rights and freedom of religion. Ghada Jamsheer attended the Fourth Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders in 2007.

On 9 September 2014 at 6:00 p.m., Ghada Jamsheer was summoned to appear before the Interior Ministry’s General Directorate of Anti-Corruption and Economic and Electronic Security on the following day. This summons came in connection with messages posted via her Twitter account criticising alleged corruption in the management of King Hamad Hospital in Bahrain. On 10 September 2014, the human rights defender was interrogated by the General Directorate for four hours on the basis of ten complaints filed against her for posting “insulting” tweets, after which she was released.

On 14 September 2014, Ghada Jamsheer was again detained for further questioning and she is to be held for one week. It is reported that the human rights defender has access to legal representation and her family has been able to visit her in detention.

Front Line Defenders is concerned at the ongoing pattern of intimidation and harassment by the Bahraini authorities against human rights defenders as well as the increasing prosecution of social media activists advocating for human rights in Bahrain.

Take action

The United States, a long-time ally of the al-Khalifa regime currently governing Bahrain, is in a unique position to pressure the country to change its policies. The United States must take concrete action to condemn the Bahraini regime for its ongoing human rights violations, such as the persecution of activists, and urge it to prioritize human rights and engage in a dialogue with the opposition. The United States has recently experienced some tension with its ally, with the expulsion of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski and the denial of entry to U.S. Representative James McGovern, but it has not yet taken any real steps against the government of Bahrain. Continued inaction by the U.S. government leaves the regime under the impression that the world will stand by and allow for impunity regardless of its egregious violations of human rights: here.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Bahrain. New information: The Observatory has been informed by the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) about the provisional release pending trial of Ms. Maryam Al-Khawaja, GCHR Co-Director and a member of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR): here.

ATTEMPTED suicides among young people in Bahrain are on the increase, according to a leading expert: here.