Bahrain dictatorship denies entry to human rights lawyer

This video says about itself:

27 June 2013

Interview with Bahraini human rights defender, Said Yousif Al-Muhafdha from the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

From the FIDH international human rights organisation:

BAHRAIN: Lawyer mandated by international human rights NGOs denied entry to Bahrain to observe the trial of human rights defender Naji Fateel

November 15, 2013. While the appeals trial of human right defender Naji Fateel is due to start on November 18, 2013, a group of human rights NGOs regrets the lack of cooperation by Bahraini authorities to allow access to the country for a trial observation. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Front Line Defenders, the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), and 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), with support from IFEX, had mandated a lawyer to observe the trial of the human right defender, but their request to facilitate entry to the country remains unanswered several days before the hearing.

Naji Fateel, co-founder of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) and a blogger, was sentenced on September 29, 2013 to 15 years in prison for “the establishment of a group for the purpose of disabling the constitution” under Article 6 of the Terrorism Act.

On October 8, 2013, a few days after the date of the hearing was made public, IFEX wrote on behalf of the group to the Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development to facilitate entry to Bahrain for a lawyer appointed as trial observer by the group of international organisations. Twelve days later, the Director in charge of Human Rights replied that “the Ministry is currently updating its entrance procedures and at this time we will not be able to facilitate the entry of your representative”. One day later, IFEX requested clarifications in order to be able to plan future trial observations. Such request remains unanswered to date.

Our organisations recall that Naji Fateel was arrested without warrant by security men in civilian clothes at his home in the village of Bani-Jamra at dawn of May 2, 2013 and held incommunicado for three days, during which time it is reported that he was severely tortured at the Criminal Investigation Directorate. He was taken to the Ministry of Interior hospital twice for treatment due to the torture.

Previously, Naji Fateel had been arrested on February 14, 2012 while he was participating in a peaceful march toward the Pearl Roundabout area, the now restricted centre of the 2011 protests for rights and democracy. He was also detained between December 2007 and April 2009, a period during which he was reportedly tortured. On May 22, 2013, Naji Fateel was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment on charges of “attending illegal gatherings”.

The co-signed organisations denounce this obstacle to observing the trial, which manifestly aims to hinder their human rights activities and impedes Naji Fateel’s right to a fair trial. They further call upon the Bahraini authorities to guarantee in all circumstances the right to freedom of movement to both local and international human rights defenders in Bahrain as enshrined by Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the 1998 United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

We collectively and strongly call on the Government of Bahrain to meet its international obligations and grant immediate and unconditional access to Bahrain for international human rights observers and journalists.

Our organisations also call upon the Government of Bahrain to put an end to the judicial harassment against Naji Fateel, and to release him immediately and unconditionally as his detention is arbitrary since it only aims at sanctioning his human rights activities.

Despite mounting concerns about human rights abuses, David Cameron continues to promote UK weapons sales in the Gulf States, visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to lobby for a £6 billion pound deal for BAE Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets. This follows a £2.5 billion deal with Oman and further potential sales with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, priority markets for UK weaponry despite their authoritarian regimes and poor human rights records: here.

11 thoughts on “Bahrain dictatorship denies entry to human rights lawyer


    Travel ban agony

    By FRANCES LEATE , Posted on » Sunday, November 17, 2013

    A BRITISH man who has been trapped in Bahrain by a travel ban for the past five years is desperate to return home to see his dying father.

    The 49-year-old, who asked not to be named for fear of jeopardising job opportunities, said he had been collecting tin cans from streets and beaches for money since the ban was imposed in 2008 because of a BD6,000 debt with American Express.

    The former senior project manager from Birmingham, who has spent time in hospital for stress and anxiety, is now living hand to mouth with fishermen in Muharraq.

    He moved to Bahrain in 2004 to work on the Bahrain World Trade Centre, before going to work on a project in Amwaj Islands.

    His employer went bankrupt and he found another job with Davis Langdon in 2008, but the firm was unable to transfer his work visa because of the BD6,000 debt.

    “From that moment it meant I couldn’t transfer my work visa to my new employer, I lost my residency, my bank accounts were cancelled, my landlord and car hire company were informed and not only was I left stranded in Bahrain with nowhere to live, no rights and no money, but I was also unable to work my way out of the debt as without a work visa my employers were forced to let me go,” he said.

    In the last five years he claims to have been offered more than 50 jobs in the GCC, but was unable to accept any of them due to the travel ban.

    However, he has managed to secure a Bahrain residence permit on the basis of being retired.

    During this time he has sought help from the British Embassy and took action through the Bahrain legal system, but to no avail.

    “Now I rely on my Indian friends to let me share their food and I collect cans for recycling for a few dinars a day,” he told the GDN.

    “I sometimes find myself just wandering around the malls, with nowhere to go and nothing to do.

    “My mother passed away while I was here and four weeks ago my father was admitted to hospital after suffering a heart attack and stroke.

    “I just want to go back to the UK, be with my father before he dies and start my life again.

    “I want to repay the debt, but unless I am allowed to take employment I can’t.”

    In May 2011, a spokesman for the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence announced the law had been changed to enable people trapped in Bahrain by travel bans to find employment in order to pay off their debt.

    However, the former senior project manager, who is divorced, claimed this was only done in exceptional circumstances and the employment had to be based in Bahrain.

    An official told the GDN that since March, the directorate had helped provide work visas to 129 people with travel bans. “There is little we can do because the ban is a court order and it needs to be resolved in the courts,” he added.

    The British Embassy said it was aware of this case, but added there was little it could do to help.

    “The British Embassy is aware of this man’s case and we have a lot of sympathy for the situation that he finds himself in,” said a spokesman.

    “We have liaised with the Bahraini authorities about his and other similar cases, but ultimately this is a matter for the Bahraini authorities and the courts to resolve.”

    Meanwhile, Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society secretary-general Faisal Fulad called on authorities to end the practice of imposing travel bans.

    “We have followed these cases with great concern,” he said. “In line with the Geneva Convention, we are calling on Bahrain to settle this matter as soon as possible.

    “It is a breach of the individual’s human rights to be denied access to his home and family and we must remember that there are often other family members, including children, suffering as a result of this.

    “Travel ban victims are stranded here without access to healthcare, basic housing, a car or any way of making money to survive and pay off their debts and over the years we have seen a number of suicides resulting from this.”

    Mr Fulad said it had been revealed in parliament that there were currently more than 700 people living in Bahrain under travel bans.

    Last year, the GDN reported that a Briton and an American allegedly staged a hunger strike because they were stranded in Bahrain due to travel bans.


  2. Pingback: David Cameron, Philippines disaster and Bahrain dictatorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: British government helps corrupt BAE selling weapons to dictators | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: British governmental collusion with Saudi, Bahraini dictatorships | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Bahraini teachers still persecuted | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Bahraini Prime Minister in corruption scandal | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Nelson Mandela, Britain, the USA and Bahrain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Bahraini pro-human rights woman interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Bahrain regime deports human rights lawyer, again | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Fifteen years in Bahraini jail for blogging | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.