4 Dec, 2013

I've Been Forced into Exile for Defending Human Rights in My Home Country, Bahrain

I am not going back to my country. 

It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. But I made it to continue doing the work that matters most to me: documenting the human rights violations in Bahrain that have been ongoing since protests for change began in February 2011. I will stay abroad and work from exile for the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) after receiving numerous death threats for launching a campaign to hold officials accountable for torture.

The BCHR launched a campaign called "Wanted for Justice" from Nov. 1 to Nov. 23, which has involved publishing the names and photos of people responsible for human rights violations in Bahrain. Many of these offenses have gone unpunished. What we want is simple: We want their crimes to be known internationally, and the perpetrators must be held accountable and given fair trials.

We've listed 59 people in our report. The allegations range from torturing protesters to arbitrary arrests. The list covers lower level police officers, to Bahrain's King Hamad himself. 

Despite promises of reform and the government-commissioned Bahrain Independent Commission for Inquiry (BICI) report, the situation on the ground is still grim. Human rights violations will only continue as long as those responsible for carrying out torture go unpunished. 

Bahrain's Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa (who took office in 1971) is shown here with Lt. Colonel Mubarak Huwail after he was acquitted of charges related to torturing doctors who treated injured protesters in 2011.

 

Read on http://www.policymic.com/articles/74665/i-ve-been-forced-into-exile-for-defending-human-rights-in-my-home-country-bahrain

Know the facts: Migrant Rights in the Gulf

التعديب داخل سجون #البحرين

11 Nov, 2013

Bahrain: Weaponized Tear Gas in Bahrain Leaves Young Man in Vegetative State

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses grave concern in regards to authorities in Bahrain use of excessive force against peaceful protesters. Abbas Abdulnabi Marhoon, 19 years old, is currently in a vegetative state due to being shot in the head with a tear gas canister[1] on Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Karzakkan.

Marhoon’s family reported that they started looking for their son after his delay in coming back home, when they found him lying on a road in Karzakkan village bleeding from his head. Witnesses reported that Marhoon was shot with a tear gas canister directly in the head and was taken to the hospital unconscious. According to the Ministry of Interior's twitter feed[2], Northern Police Directorate received a report from Hamad Kanoo health center that an injured person was brought to the center from Karzakkan village.

Due to the seriousness of his injuries, Marhoon was transferred to the operation room at the Bahrain Defense Force Hospital.  He was shot in his right temple which caused him to suffer from brain edema which required that doctors perform a craniotomy to relieve the intracranial pressure. According to his family, Marhoon is now put under monitoring and a procedure was done for feeding him through the stomach. The family stated that his condition is not stable[3]. “Every day I pray for a divine miracle to bring my son back” said his mother commenting on his case.

It is important to note that a document was leaked recently about a deal[4] between the government of Bahrain and South Korean companies to import 1.6 million tear gas canisters and 90,000 tear gas grenades. Bahrain Watch launched a campaign to stop this shipment and demanded to halt the selling of tear gas to Bahrain. Since the beginning of Bahrain's uprising, approximately 39 civilians[5] were killed by tear gas, several of them due to injuries caused from being shot with tear gas canisters from close range, among them children.

The Bahrain Center for Human rights believes that importing a massive amount of tear gas canisters and grenades to be used against peaceful protests will lead to more deaths and severe injuries.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and all of Bahrain’s closest allies as well as international institutions to pressure the Government of Bahrain to:

  • Launch an immediate independent and impartial investigation into Marhoon's incident and hold those responsible accountable
  • Stop the shipment of tear gas canisters for Korea and any future deals with any other countries
  • Immediately put an end to the use of excessive force against protesters

 


[1] http://manamavoice.com/news-news_read-15750-0.html

[2] https://twitter.com/moi_bahrain/status/390225620182913024

[3] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plBe4C4CKg4

[4] http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/6454

11 Nov, 2013

Bahrain: Exhibition destroyed as part of continued attacks on Freedom of Expression

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses concern in regards to the ongoing attacks on freedom of expression in Bahrain demonstrated in the recent destruction and banning of an art exhibition of the Bahrain Revolution.

On 30 Oct 2013, police forces in Bahrain stormed one of Al Wefaq National Islamic Society’s buildings where an exhibition of the Bahrain revolution was on display. No warrant was shown. This came two days after the opening of the exhibition, which included scenes and life-size panels from the uprising, such as demolished mosques, torture inside prisons, police attacks with tear gas and riot police running over a young boy. The police destroyed the panels and confiscated the exhibition items including some personal items that belong to the families of victims of extrajudicial killings over almost two years and a half.

 

 

The building was under lockdown by security forces for around nine hours and the AlWefaq lawyer was not allowed in to talk to any of the officials inside the building. The surveillance cameras inside the building were covered at the start of the raid and journalists were not allowed in the area.

The M