Bahrain, human rights violations and football

This video, from Code Pink in the USA, says about itself:

Solidarity with Zainab Al-Khawaja!

17 October 2014

Zainab Al-Khawaja is a human rights activist who was arrested for simply tearing up a picture of the Bahraini King— now she faces up to 7 years in prison!!! This is just one example of the Bahraini monarchy’s ongoing human rights abuses and we are appalled (but not surprised) that the American government continues to maintain a cozy relationship with such a repressive regime. Join CODEPINK at the Bahraini Embassy in DC today (Oct 17, 2014) at 2:30pm as we tear up pictures of the king too!

From Human Rights First:

October 20, 2015

Bahrain Should Dismiss Cases Against Human Rights Defender Zainab Al Khawaja

Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today urged the Bahraini authorities to immediately dismiss the outstanding cases against prominent human rights defender Zainab Al Khawaja. A Bahraini court is scheduled to hold hearings on the consolidated appeals for three politically-motivated charges against her tomorrow, October 21. An appeal hearing in another case against Al Khawaja is set for next month.

“Jailing Zainab Al Khawaja will only cement Bahrain’s international reputation as a country where peaceful dissent is a criminal act,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “Bahrain needs people like Zainab to solve its human rights crisis. Putting her and other peaceful dissidents in prison makes that much more difficult. The U.S. government has rightly called for charges against her to be dismissed, and should once again press the Bahraini government to drop all charges as these hearings approach.”

Wednesday’s hearings coincide with Al Khawaja’s 32nd birthday. Al Khawaja faces cumulative sentences of over five years on charges of tearing up pictures of the king, for insulting a public official, and for trespassing in the vicinity of the jail where her father Abdulhadi Al Khawaja is in prison. If the convictions are upheld, Al Khawaja’s imprisonment would separate her from her six-year-old daughter. She also has a son who is less than one year old and is still nursing, and he would stay with her in prison.

Al Khawaja, who attended Beloit University in Wisconsin, spent most of 2013 in prison for peacefully protesting against the repressive Bahraini regime. In addition to the charges being heard on Wednesday, she also faces a separate appeals hearing on November 17 on charges brought after she sought to visit her father, Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, in prison in August 2014. Abdulhadi Al Khawaja is one of Bahrain’s most prominent human rights defenders. He is currently serving a life sentence for his peaceful part in 2011 protests. Zainab Al Khawaja’s sister, Maryam Al Khawaja, has been sentenced in absentia to a year in prison and lives in exile.

The Bahraini government has failed to fully implement the recommendations from the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report which would set the country on a path toward necessary reforms. The charges against Al Khawaja are further evidence of Bahrain’s lack of meaningful progress on human rights issues.

Many opposition leaders jailed during the 2011 protests remain in prison, and Bahrain continues to jail those peacefully expressing their views, both online and offline. Human Rights First continues to urge the U.S. government to publicly press the Bahraini regime to release its political prisoners and promote an inclusive political solution to its crisis. Human Rights First also urges members of Congress to support S. 2009 and H.R. 3445, legislation that would ban the transfer of small arms to the Bahraini military until the 26 recommendations in the 2011 BICI report have been fully implemented.

For more information or to speak with Dooley, contact Mary Elizabeth Margolis at or 212-845-5269.

Today’s appeal verdict against Bahraini activist Zainab Al-Khawaja, confirming her conviction on charges of “insulting” the King of Bahrain and reducing her three-year prison sentence to one year, is the latest example of the authorities’ total disregard for the right to freedom of expression, said Amnesty International: here.

Human rights group wants Sheikh Salman barred from Fifa presidency bid. Sheikh Salman accused of crackdown against pro-democracy athletes. Bahraini Fifa executive committee member has not yet said he will stand: here.

Human Rights Group Urges FIFA to Bar Bahraini From Running for President. Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, head of Asian confederation, has yet to run, but activists assert he was involved in crackdown against pro-democracy athletes: here.

Fifa president Issa Hayatou urged to prevent Sheikh Salman from campaigning for “crimes against humanity”. Chaos threatens to engulf the race to succeed Sepp Blatter at Fifa after allegations he aided a crackdown against pro-democracy athletes in Bahrain: here.

Sepp Blatter’s authorisation of Michel Platini payment ‘was conflict of interest’: here.

Fifa has confirmed cases against Franz Beckenbauer and Angel Maria Villar are being examined by the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee: here. And here.

FIFA’s ethics committee took less than a day to exercise some of its new transparency powers, confirming on Wednesday that it was actively investigating nearly a dozen current and former officials: here.

3 thoughts on “Bahrain, human rights violations and football

  1. Pingback: Bahrain human rights and football update | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Bahraini human rights woman Zainab Al Khawaja jailed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Bahraini torture regime, British Conservatives’ friends | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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