Stop human rights violations in Bahrain


Bahraini human rights defender Ms Ghada Jamsheer

From SpyGhana.com in Ghana:

Bahrain: Lift the travel ban imposed on human rights defender Ms Ghada Jamsheer

March 24, 2015

Lt. Gen. Sheikh Rashed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa,

Minister of Interior,

Tel: +973 -17572222 and +973 17390000.

Email: info@interior.gov.bh

Your Excellency,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights activist and Freelance journalist.

I would like to draw your attention to the following case.

Human rights defender Ms Ghada Jamsheer was stopped at Bahrain International Airport on 14 March 2015 by security authorities and was informed that she was not permitted to travel as the Prosecutor General had ordered a travel ban against her. She had not received any written notification of such a ban.

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.

The human rights defender was stopped at Bahrain International Airport as she attempted to travel to France to receive medical treatment. Ghada Jamsheer and her legal representative immediately sought a meeting with the Prosecutor’s Deputy, who reportedly refused to meet them. No reason was provided for the travel ban, but the Prosecutor’s Deputy asked the human rights defender to submit a request the next day for a review of the decision. Prior to travelling, Ghada Jamsheer had reportedly sought and received assurance from the Deputy Interior Minister that she would be allowed to travel.

Ghada Jamsheer has been targeted in the past for her human rights work, and is currently a defendedent in a prolonged trial on charges of “assaulting a police officer”. On 15 December 2014, the human rights defender was released after spending more than three months in detention in connection with the charges. Ghada Jamsheer had been arrested at her home on 12 November 2014, 12 hours after being released from ten weeks of detention.

The human rights defender was originally arrested on 14 September 2014 against the backdrop of ten complaints filed against her by different individuals for posting “insulting” and “defamatory” tweets.

I am concerned at the travel ban and on-going trial against Ghada Jamsheer, as it is believed that they are solely motivated by her peaceful and legitimate human rights work. I view this act as part of an ongoing crackdown against civil society and human rights defenders in Bahrain.

I urge the authorities in Bahrain to:

1. Immediately drop all charges against Ghada Jamsheer, and lift the travel ban imposed on her, as it is believed that they are solely motivated by her peaceful and legitimate work in the defence of human rights;

2. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

Yours sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes

Human rights activist & Freelance journalist

Also from SpyGhana.com in Ghana:

Bahrain: Investigate the allegations of torture against Naji Fateel

March 24, 2015

Lt. Gen. Sheikh Rashed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa,

Minister of Interior,

Tel: +973 -17572222 and +973 17390000.

Email: info@interior.gov.bh

Your Majesty,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights activist and Freelance journalist.

I would like to draw your attention to the following case.

23 March 2015 marks the 13th day since human rights defender Mr Naji Fateel, detained in Jaw prison, has been held incommunicado. Authorities have refused to allow the human rights defender’s family to visit or contact him and did not provide any information on when contact may be resumed, stating that he is being punished.

Naji Fateel is a board member of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) and a blogger who has been active in reporting human rights violations in Bahrain. He has been imprisoned and tortured in the past, and was the subject of death threats during the Bahraini uprising starting in February 2011.

Reportedly, on 10 March 2015, Bahraini security forces attacked prisoners at Jaw Prison using rubber bullets, tear gas, and shotgun pellets. The incident allegedly started when the family of a detainee protested after being denied permission to visit the person. According to a witness, Naji Fateel was held in the same building where the clashes occurred, but was not involved in the events. However, shortly after the incident, an officer ordered that several individuals be taken to Building 10, including Naji Fateel.

The human rights defender had a sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment upheld against him by the Appeals Court of Bahrain on 29 May 2014. The human rights defender had been convicted of establishing “a group for the purpose of disabling the constitution” under Article 6 of the controversial Terrorism Act. Front Line Defenders sent an observer to his first instance trial, which fell short of fair due process guarantees. At the time of his arrest on 2 May 2013, Naji Fateel was held incommunicado for three days and reportedly subjected to torture.

I would like to express my grave concern at the incommunicado detention of Naji Fateel, especially given that he was not involved in the clashes, as well as at the absence of any information on his current situation. In light of his previous ill-treatment and torture and the fact that the use of torture has been documented in Bahrain, I am concerned for his physical and psychological integrity and security.

I urge the authorities in Bahrain to:

1. Immediately allow Naji Fateel to resume contact with his family;

2. Ensure that the treatment of Naji Fateel, while in detention, adheres to the conditions set out in the ‘Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment’, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988;

3. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture against Naji Fateel, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Bahrain are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

Yours sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes

Human rights activist & Freelance journalist

Bahrain: Families Denied Prison Access After Unrest. Investigate Overcrowding; Ensure Family Contact for Prisoners: here.

Will a British court deliver justice for Bahraini torture victims? Here.

Bahrain asks [United States] Congress for help in restoring arms sales. Read more: here.

4 thoughts on “Stop human rights violations in Bahrain

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