Bahraini torture prince succeeding Blatter at FIFA?


This video says about itself:

E:60 – Taken / Athletes of Bahrain

8 November 2011

Produced by Yaron Deskalo of ESPN. Filmed and Edited by Evolve Digital Cinema.

What if a country’s biggest athlete, a legend, a hero, a player who brought the nation some of its biggest sporting moments, was at practice one day and was suddenly taken into custody by masked men? What if he was held for months, tortured, his career ended, banned from his team and for playing for his country, all because he expressed his political views? It’s not a storyline from a Hollywood script — that is what allegedly happened in Bahrain.

Specifically, it’s what Alaa Hubail says happened to him. Hubail is the most famous soccer player in Bahrain and says similar treatment was forced on his brother, Mohammad, also a member of Bahrain’s national soccer team; and to Anwar Al-Makki, Bahrain’s internationally ranked table-tennis champion. In a story largely ignored by the Western world, these athletes describe in detail the horrific torture they endured at the hands of their government — a government that is allied with the United States despite allegations of human rights abuses against pro-democracy protestors. E:60 goes to the Middle East for the first time to investigate how athletes were caught up in the clash of democracy, freedom, repression and politics. Jeremy Schaap reports.

From the International Business Times:

Sheikh Salman: Bahrain royal accused of ‘crimes against humanity’ favourite to replace Fifa’s Sepp Blatter

By Callum Paton

December 22, 2015 13:38 GMT

Fifa’s decision to immediately ban former president Sepp Blatter and Uefa president Michel Platini from football for eight years has renewed attention on Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa. President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Fifa presidential hopeful, the Bahraini royal is accused of crimes against humanity.

In the run up to February’s election for a Fifa president to replace Blatter, Salman is odds-on favourite at 6-5, ahead of Jordanian Prince Ali bin al-Hussein at 13-8, with UEFA’s general secretary Gianni Infantino 5-2, Reuters reported. Jerome Champagne is a 20-1 outsider, with South African Tokyo Sexwale at 25-1.

Blatter and Platini were found guilty of breaking Fifa’s code of conduct regarding a £1.3m ($2m) payment made to the Frenchman in 2011. Both have also received fines, with Blatter ordered to pay £33,700 and Platini £54,000. Defiant to the end, Blatter questioned his suspension saying he had become a punching bag.

Salman has been accused by local human rights groups in Bahrain and international organisations of crimes against humanity perpetrated during the country’s 2011 uprising which was put down with military help from Saudi Arabia.

In particular, Salman is alleged to have headed a committee which identified dissenting athletes and sports personalities in 2011 and then had them imprisoned and tortured.

The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) has said 150 athletes, coaches and referees were jailed as a result of Salman’s actions. It said at least six members of the Bahraini national team were “defamed and tortured following their public identification and humiliation by authorities, including the Bahrain Football Association.”

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at BIRD, said: “In attempting to get rid of its corruption crisis Fifa is now set to replace one allegedly corrupt official with another. Salman is accused of involvement in a campaign of abuse against athletes in Bahrain, something Fifa is aware of and has refused to investigate. Salman’s appointment would be absurd.”

Ken Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch has said Fifa will sink even lower than its nadir under Blatter if it elects Salman. “Can Fifa stoop any lower? Yes, if it selects as its head [a] Bahrain sheikh complicit in torture,” he said.

Bahrainis Hold 25 Peaceful Protests during 1st Week of December; 13 Citizens Arrested: here.

Bahrain’s security forces have a detained a reporter following the publication of an article on a bill seeking to deprive families of state-provided homes if the household head has had his nationality revoked, according to local human rights activists: here.

Stop Bahraini regime’s human rights violations


This video is a 2013 interview with Mohammed Al-Maskati.

From Human Rights First in the USA:

December 21, 2015

Bahrain Urged to Dismiss Case Against Human Rights Defender Mohammed Al-Maskati

Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today urged Bahraini authorities to immediately dismiss the politically-motivated case against prominent human rights defender Mohammed Al-Maskati. A Bahraini court is scheduled to hear his appeal on December 22.

“The charges brought against Mohammed Al-Maskati are crude political intimidation for his legitimate human rights work,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “The charges against him are reprisals for exposing Bahrain’s human rights problems to an international audience. We’ve spoken at public events together in the U.S. Congress, and he is a credible, articulate witness to the regime’s repression. That’s exactly what the Bahraini authorities are scared of, and that’s why they’ve targeted him. The U.S. government should immediately and publicly call for the case against him be dropped.”

Al-Maskati is the founder and former president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR). He was detained, interrogated, and charged with allegedly “rioting and participating in an illegal gathering” in October 2012. The charges were in reference to a protest in Manama in which he participated. He was brought to trial in June 2013 and sentenced to six months in prison in December 2014, but he has remained free on bail until now as he prepares for the upcoming appeal. Al-Maskati’s case is named in the U.S. government’s 2014 Country Report on Human Rights Practices as an example of the government’s practice of arresting and harassing local NGO leaders.

The Bahraini government has failed to fully implement the recommendations from the 2011 Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report, which would set the country on a path toward necessary reforms. Human Rights First recently released a new fact sheet detailing Bahrain’s backslide on human rights since the BICI report’s release and urging U.S. policymakers to press its military ally to introduce crucial reforms before the situation in Bahrain deteriorates further.  The charges against Al-Maskati are further evidence of Bahrain’s lack of meaningful progress on human rights issues.

Human Rights First continues to urge the U.S. government to publicly press the Bahraini regime to drop politically-motivated prosecutions 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 BICI report have been fully implemented.

“As Bahrain continues to intimidate human rights defenders, including through the courts, the U.S. government’s failure to take more vigorous action on the human rights situation in Bahrain is damaging its credibility in the region. The United States should make it known that its military allies in the Gulf do not get a free pass when it comes to crackdowns on civil society,” added Dooley.

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

Outspoken Bahraini human rights defender Mohammed Al-Maskati faces six months in prison if an appeals court uphold a sentence handed down one year ago for his human rights activities. The undersigned organisations call for the verdict to be overturned when his case is heard by the Court of Appeals on 22 December 2015, and call for an end to the more than three years of judicial harassment of Al-Maskati: here.

A now familiar story in Bahrain: another human rights defender is sentenced to jail on trumped up charges while known torturers and human rights violators walk free. This week a Bahraini court sentenced Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights, to two years in prison and a 500 dinar fine: here.

Bahrain dictatorship punishes anti-torture, pro-peace free speech


This video says about itself:

No End to Torture in Bahrain

22 November 2015

Bahraini security forces are torturing detainees during interrogation. Institutions set up after 2011 to receive and investigate complaints lack independence and transparency.

From Human Rights Watch:

December 14, 2015

Bahrain: Travel Ban on Rights Activist

Criticized Torture, Yemen Bombing Campaign

(Beirut) – An arbitrary travel ban is preventing a prominent rights activist from leaving Bahrain. The ban against Nabeel Rajab is based on charges that violate his right to free expression. Prosecutors should immediately drop the charges and lift the travel ban.

Rajab’s lawyers told Human Rights Watch that because prosecutors have not formally closed the investigation into these charges, Rajab could be arrested at any time and face a criminal trial. Rajab’s lawyers have filed appeals to the travel ban with the investigating prosecutor on September 2, 2015, the attorney general on September 16, and the office of the Public Prosecution on October 1. After receiving no responses, the lawyers submitted a second appeal to the attorney general on December 3.

“Nabeel Rajab is not at liberty to speak his mind or to leave the country,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “This travel ban against Rajab is just the latest unlawful effort by Bahrain’s government to keep a critic quiet.”

A public prosecutor imposed the travel ban on Rajab on July 13, the day Bahrain’s King Hamad-Bin-Isa-Al-Khalifa pardoned and released him for “offending national institutions” by criticizing the government on social media. The travel ban is based on two speech-related charges that led to his arrest on April 2, which prosecutors have not dropped.

One of the outstanding charges is for insulting a statutory body, under article 216 of Bahrain’s penal code, based on his social media comments about the alleged torture of detainees in Jaw Prison. The second accuses him of “disseminating false rumours in times of war,” under article 133, based on social media posts criticizing Saudi-led coalition air strikes in Yemen. Violations of articles 133 and 216 carry maximum sentences of 10 and three years in prison, respectively.

Rajab posted numerous tweets about the violence in Jaw Prison. On March 17, Rajab tweeted that he had met with a recently released inmate. The photographs accompanying the tweet “will tell you how they were treated,” he wrote. They show abrasions and contusions on the man’s back and injuries to his right arm.

In the weeks before his arrest, Rajab also posted numerous tweets purporting to show the effect of Saudi Arabian air-strikes in Yemen. On March 26, the Interior Ministry cautioned against criticism of the government’s decision to send eight fighter jets to take part in air-strikes in Yemen as part of a Saudi Arabia-led, US-backed coalition against Houthi forces. It warned against “any attempt to exploit the situation through division or sedition, or issuance of statements against the approach Bahrain has taken.” The ministry “would take appropriate steps against individuals that put the safety and security of the country at risk,” the statement said.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, the body of independent experts that monitors state compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Bahrain has ratified, issued an authoritative interpretation on the scope of the right to freedom of expression and opinion. In its General Comment 34, the committee stated that, “In circumstances of public debate concerning public figures in the political domain and public institutions, the value placed by the Covenant upon uninhibited expression is particularly high.” It also stated that “states parties should not prohibit criticism of institutions, such as the army or the administration.”

Article 12(3) of the covenant states that the right of any person to leave their country, provided for in article 12(2), can be restricted to protect “national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others,” or if the restriction is “consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant.” Given that the charges on which the travel ban is based manifestly violate Rajab’s right to free expression under article 19 of the convention, the travel ban violates his right to free movement, and Bahraini authorities should lift it immediately, Human Rights Watch said.

Rajab is a member of the Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa advisory committee.

The International Center for Supporting Rights and Freedoms (ICSRF) called on the Coalition for the International Criminal Court to urge the Bahraini authorities to allow detainee Ali Abduljalil to attend his mother’s funeral. Abduljalil’s mother passed away on December 9, 2015, and her funeral ceremony was postponed, as the family awaits the authorities’ decision on allowing her detained son to attend the funeral: here.

The undersigned organisations condemn the practice of capital punishment in Bahrain and urge the Government of Bahrain to commute any and all death sentences issued by its courts: here.

Bahraini human rights defender Mohammed Al-Maskati faces prison if his sentence is upheld in December; NGOs call for his sentence to be overturned: here.

Bahrain dictatorship attacks women’s rights


Ms. Ghada Jamsheer, of the Women's Petition Committee in Bahrain

From the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT):

Bahrain: Sentencing and continuing judicial harassment of Ms. Ghada Jamsheer

November 30, 2015

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 reliable sources about the sentencing and continuing judicial harassment of Ms. Ghada Jamsheer, Head of the Women’s Petition Committee, an organisation which campaigns for the rights and dignity of women in the Shari’ah family courts.

According to information received, on November 26, 2015, the High Criminal Appeal Court upheld the one year sentence, suspended for three years, issued against Ms. Ghada Jamsheer on charges of “assaulting a police officer” (see background information). The Court refused all the requests of the defense lawyers, which included the testimony of Ministry of Interior officials and a forensic examination of whether Ms. Jamsheer could have kicked the police officer as alleged.

The Observatory strongly condemns the sentencing and the continuous judicial harassment of Ms. Ghada Jamsheer, which seems to merely aim at sanctioning her human rights activities. The Observatory calls upon the Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against her.

Background information:

Over the past years, Ms. Jamsheer has come under permanent surveillance with a 24-hour presence of plainclothes Public Security officials of the Ministry of the Interior in front of her home.

On September 14, 2014, Ms. Jamsheer was arrested and arbitrarily detained for more than three months on allegations of defamation, in connection with messages posted via her Twitter account criticising corruption in the management of King Hamad Hospital in Bahrain, which is run by members of the ruling family. Various charges were brought against Ms. Jamsheer based on the above-mentioned Twitter posts resulting in twelve criminal cases.

Hearings in a total of 12 criminal cases against Ms. Jamsheer have been regularly adjourned without any reason, in violation of Ms. Jamsheer’s right to be tried within a reasonable time.

On October 29, 2014, the Third Criminal Court acquitted Ms. Jamsheer in one case, fined her 100 BHD (approx. €210) in another case, and granted bail upon the payment of 50 BHD pending the decision on the other Twitter cases. However, Ms. Jamsheer had to wait until November 27 to be released, and was again rearrested only 12 hours later on new charges of “assaulting two police women”. She was again released on December 15, 2014, and further put under house arrest until January 15, 2015.

On May 5, 2015, the Bahrain High Criminal Court sentenced Ms. Jamsheer to a one year prison term, suspended for three years on charges of “assaulting a police officer”.

On June 9, 2015, the Third Lower Criminal Court sentenced Ms. Jamsheer to one year and eight months imprisonment on charges of defamation in connection with messages posted via her Twitter account criticising alleged corruption in the management of King Hamad Hospital in Bahrain. Ms. Jamsheer paid a bail of 400 BHD (approx 1,200 USD) and filed an appeal.

Besides, on October 1, 2015, the Second Lower Criminal Court held its first hearing against Ms. Ghada Jamsheer on charges of “verbal and physical confrontation with a police woman”. The Court then adjourned the hearing to November 11, 2015. On that day, Ms. Jamsheer’s lawyers requested the Court to present evidence and witnesses, and the court adjourned the hearing to December 28, 2015. The Prosecution alleges that Ms. Jamsheer assaulted a police officer while she was detained in September 2014.

In the present, separate case, for allegedly “assaulting a police officer”, for which she has been sentenced in first instance to one year in prison suspended for three years, the High Criminal Court of Appeal had refused on October 29 the requests filed by Ms. Jamsheer and adjourned the hearing to November 23 for the verdict. The ruling was eventually issued on November 26.

The Observatory recalls that on December 29, 2014, UN experts urged the government of Bahrain to drop charges against Ms. Jamsheer, as she was sentenced “purely for [her] criticism of government authorities. […] Such criticism is not only fully legitimate according to Bahrain’s obligations under human rights law; it is also essential to the free and public debate necessary for a healthy civil society” they added.

Furthermore, Ms. Jamsheer has faced other acts of harassment. For instance, on March 14, 2015, Ms. Jamsheer was denied the right to board on a plane at Bahrain International Airport by the airport’s security office as she attempted to travel to France to receive medical treatment. Ms. Jamsheer, who did not receive any prior notification, was not given any reason for the travel ban. On March 23, 2015, Ms. Jamsheer complained to the Public Prosecutor’s office regarding the travel ban and was informed that she should submit a travel request to the High Criminal Court. The Court reviewed her request on April 12, 2015 and decided to waive the travel ban, stating that there was no solid reason for such a restriction. Nonetheless, on April 15, 2015, the office of the Public Prosecutor was still unable to provide Ms. Jamsheer with a formal authorisation to travel, stating that the file was now in the hands of the immigration office.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Bahrain urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Ghada Jamsheer;

ii. Put an end to any kind of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Ms. Ghada Jamsheer as well as against all human rights defenders in Bahrain;

iii. Guarantee Ms. Ghada Jamsheer’s freedom of movement;

iv. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular its :

– Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”,

– Article 12(1) that provides “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”,

– as well as Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

v. Ensure in all circumstances, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Bahrain.

Addresses:

  • Cheikh Hamad bin Issa AL KHALIFA, King of Bahrain, Fax: +973 176 64 587
  • Cheikh Khaled Bin Ahmad AL KHALIFA, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fax: 00973 17 21 05 75; ofd@mofa.gov.bh
  • Cheikh Khalid bin Ali AL KHALIFA, Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, Fax: +973 175 31 284
  • Lt. Gen. Cheikh Rashed bin Abdulla AL KHALIFA, Minister of Interior, Email: info@interior.gov.bh
  • H.E. Mr. Yusuf Abdulkarim Bucheeri, Permanent Mission of Bahrain to the United Nations in Geneva, 1 chemin Jacques-Attenville, 1218 Grand-Saconnex, CP 39, 1292 Chambésy, Switzerland. Fax: + 41 22 758 96 50. Email: info@bahrain-mission.ch
  • H.E. Ahmed Mohammed Yousif Aldoseri, Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Kingdom of Belgium, Avenue Louise 250, 1050 Brussels, Belgium; Fax: 0032 (0) 26472274; E-mail: Brussels.mission@mofa.gov.bh

Bahraini Women Call for Elimination of State Violence Against Women: here.

Four human rights organizations called for a conference to discuss the human rights situation in Bahrain. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, Bahrain Human Rights Watch, and a Canadian based organization called for the conference on December 10, the World Human Rights Day: here.

When in October this year the United Nations’ top anti-torture expert and investigator Juan Mendez told the international community that the Government of Bahrain has repeatedly rebuffed his many visitation requests, he must have been venting his frustrations. In the past four years, the small Arabian Gulf monarchy has twice cancelled scheduled visits by Mendez, the Special Rapporteur on Torture, to follow up on a steadily growing mountain of reported acts of Bahraini torture piling on his desk: here.

Maryam al-Khawaja faces jail if she returns to Bahrain. UK is harming human rights in the Gulf says Bahrain exile: here.

To truly counter violent extremism in Bahrain and maintain the country’s stability, the US must use its leverage to urge the government to fully implement human rights reform and political reconciliation: here.

THE daughter of a
 pro-democracy campaigner jailed in Bahrain is urging the Scottish Government to challenge the UK’s close ties with Gulf states. Maryam Al-Khawaja visited Holyrood as a guest of Amnesty International: here.

Bahraini regime’s links to ISIS


This video says about itself:

British base in Bahrain is “slap in the face for everyone fighting for human rights”

8 December 2014

Activists are protesting in Bahrain. The reason: the country’s plans to host a permanent British military base. They say it’s a reward for London, which ignores human rights violation in Bahrain. The protesters carried banners “Shut up Iain Lindsay” – it’s British ambassador to the country who they want to be sacked. The UK military is expanding in the region after most of its projects were scrapped in the 70’s. The base costs more than 23 million dollars and will be used in fighting ISIS and as a training ground for Syrian rebels. Dominic Kavakeb from Bahrain’s Justice and Development Movement is In the NOW.

By Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, director of advocacy of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, in the New York Times in the USA:

The Islamic State’s Bahraini Backers

NOV. 25, 2015

LONDON — “Sectarianism failed,” Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, told a news conference attended by Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington last week. It had not gained “a foothold in our country,” he went on, “but we will continue to be on our toes facing it.”

Mr. Kerry spoke, too, about military cooperation against Daesh, the group also known as the Islamic State or ISIS, and about working to “reduce the sectarian divisions together in Bahrain, which we saw resulted in a boycott of an election and challenges internally within the country.”

Characterizing the boycott that led opposition groups to call off participation in Bahrain’s November 2014 general election as sectarian is fundamentally wrong. The sectarianism that exists in Bahraini society is almost the reverse of what Mr. Kerry and Sheikh Khalid described: It comes not from the political opposition, but from within the state itself.

In November 2011, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry completed an investigation into human rights violations during the Bahraini government’s crackdown on Arab Spring protests earlier that year, and presented its findings to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. The king accepted the report’s recommendations as the basis for a reform program.

But the promised change never came. Instead, as a new report from Human Rights Watch details, the Bahraini security forces have continued to torture detainees using methods identical to those the commission documented in 2011. Violence and arbitrariness are widespread from arrest to prison, where collective punishment and beatings are well documented.

The opposition political societies (actual parties are illegal in Bahrain) had simple demands: the formation of a credible, independent judiciary and meaningful steps toward democratization. Because neither of these moderate demands was met in the four years following the Arab Spring, the opposition groups decided to boycott the elections.

With hindsight, this strategy was a mistake. It gave the government of Bahrain carte blanche after the elections, imprisoning opposition leaders like Ebrahim Sharif and Ali Salman. Human rights defenders like Nabeel Rajab suffered arbitrary arrest. Another rights defender, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, is serving a life sentence, as is the blogger and activist Abduljalil al-Singace. According to a coalition of Bahraini human rights organizations, as many as 4,000 doctors, teachers, students, journalists, photographers and others are detained as political prisoners in Bahrain’s prisons; many have endured torture.

The same week that Sheikh Khalid spoke in Washington, two men had their death sentences upheld by Bahrain’s top appeals court. Mohammed Ramadan and Husain Ali Moosa were convicted of taking part in a bombing that killed a policeman in 2014, but both men claim they were tortured into confessing to the crime.

In 2014, five United Nations human rights experts, including the special rapporteur on torture, expressed concern that Mr. Ramadan, Mr. Moosa and other prisoners had made confessions under severe duress. Yet nothing now separates the two men from the firing squad save King Hamad’s whim — since he may sign either their death warrant or a royal pardon.

While Bahrain imprisons political activists and rights advocates at home, it also participates in the American-led coalition against the Islamic State. The bitter irony of this is that the Islamic State’s Bahraini recruits come not from among the government’s opponents, but from within its own ranks.

Unlike the United States, Britain and France, where typically the Islamic State recruits among alienated young people, in Bahrain the group finds willing jihadists in the establishment. The most prominent Bahraini member of the Islamic State, the terrorist preacher Turki al-Binali, comes from a family closely allied with the Khalifa royal family. Other recruits have come directly from the security forces of Bahrain. (Mr. Rajab, the human rights advocate, was imprisoned for six months recently for pointing out links between the Bahraini military and the Islamic State.)

Another Binali family member who has defected to the Islamic State, Mohamed Isa al-Binali, is a former Interior Ministry officer. He worked in Jaw Prison, a facility notorious for overcrowding and harsh conditions. One former prisoner told me that he’d witnessed Mr. Binali overseeing the ill treatment of juvenile Shiite inmates, not long before Mr. Binali disappeared in 2014 to join the Islamic State.

Mr. Binali was acclimated to violence and hatred in Bahrain’s prison system. This is not something Bahrain will ever admit to: For the government, the embarrassment is too great. But until it does, it cannot possibly combat extremism effectively at home.

This is an extremism of its own making, born out of the destruction of Shiite mosques and the sectarian language that many in government use — as Sheikh Khalid does — in an attempt to undermine the credibility of the democratic opposition. Bahrain, I fear, is heading in the direction of Saudi Arabia, where radical Salafism has fostered sectarianism and terrorism.

On Jan. 31, I discovered that my Bahraini citizenship had been revoked when I woke in London to find my name on a list published by the Bahrain News Agency. Alongside mine were the names of some 50 other activists, journalists and political figures — as well as those of about 20 affiliates of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, including Turki al-Binali and Mohamed al-Binali.

The reasons for revocation ranged from serious terrorism charges to “advocating regime change.” The message could not be clearer: For Bahrain, my human rights work was equivalent to terrorism.

How can a country that willfully refuses to differentiate between peaceful calls for democratic rights and terrorism deal with sectarian extremism? Earlier this year, President Obama promised to have the necessary “tough conversation” about these issues with Persian Gulf state allies. Yet Mr. Kerry just gave Bahrain a pass on the sectarianism at home that is feeding the Islamic State abroad.

Bahrain: NGOs condemn imprisonment and nationality revocation of photographer. Index on Censorship calls for the immediate release of Sayed Ahmed al-Mousawi. Bahrain must end the criminalization of free speech and press: here.

36 Bahraini receive 429 years in prison, 13 stripped of citizenship: here.

Bahraini governmental torture update


Bahrain, capital of torture, demonstration signs

Bahrain torture report undermines UK’s reform claims. New accounts of prisoner mistreatment documented in Human Rights Watch report, undermining British claims that Gulf ally has reformed security services: here.

Bahrain’s security forces torture detainees using electric shocks, beatings and sexual abuse, despite a public pledge by the king of Bahrain four years ago to end such practices, according to a report released on Monday by the New York-based Human Rights Watch: here.

Bahrain tortured detainees years after 2011 protests, Human Rights Watch says: here.

Torture still happening in Bahrain jails: HRW: here.

Bahrain sexually abuses detainees, still ‘capital of torture’ despite UK support – HRW: here.

Bahrain security forces ‘continue to torture detainees‘: here.

Bahrain refuses to prosecute police who tortured journalist: here.

Human Rights First today urged the U.S. government to increase pressure on the Bahraini regime to implement all 26 recommendations from the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) four years after the report’s release: here.

Bahrain authorities violate the rights of hundreds of children against the convention on the Rights of the Child: here.

The one-year-old daughter of Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary general of Bahrain’s main opposition party, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, has been deprived of Bahraini citizenship on political grounds, Salman’s wife announced: here.