From the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:
Bahraini women’s rights defender arrested for tweeting about corruption
22 September 2014
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) express concern over the arrest of women’s rights defender Ghada Jamsheer in Bahrain.
On 15 September 2014, Jamsheer was arrested and a detention order of seven days was issued against her on charges of defamation on Twitter. This comes after she was summoned for interrogation at the criminal investigation directorate (CID) on 9 September 2014 in relation to her tweets about corruption at King Hamad University Hospital. The activist has been actively tweeting in recent days about her observations on the ill management of the hospital through close relatives of a single family.
After her interrogation at CID she said that the case brought against her is by Salman Attiyat Allah Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahrain ruling family, and the head of the hospital. She continued tweeting after that and up until her arrest.
Ghada Jamsheer is the president of the Women’s Petition Committee (WPC), a network of Bahraini women human rights defenders who campaign for the codification of Bahrain’s family laws and their reform. She is effectively banned from the national Bahrain media. Her online blog has been blocked in Bahrain since at least 2009.
GCHR and BCHR believe the arrest and prosecution of Jamsheer is in direct violation of her right to freedom of expression. We therefore call for her immediate release and for all charges against her to be dropped.
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights expresses its concern at the escalation of a campaign by the Bahraini authorities targeting freedom of expression on the Internet and prosecuting activists, human rights workers and broadcasters over views expressed on social media. Authorities create legal cases against them – sometimes with the aim of threatening them, and sometimes seeking to silence them and disappear them behind prison bars. This is the case particularly after recent directives from the King and the Prime Minister ordering that activists on social media be pursued: here.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) welcomes the news that prominent human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja has decided that tomorrow 23 September 2014 will be the last day of his hunger strike. Al-Khawaja is the founder and former head of the GCHR, and the former President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR): here.
Bahrain’s Opposition Rejects Crown Prince’s Reform Proposals: here.