NGO's to Bahraini Authorities: Stop Human Rights Violation

NGO’s to Bahraini Authorities: Stop Human Rights Violation


20 July 2015

We, the undersigned organizations, express our deep concern about Bahrain’s persisting hindrance on all forms of freedom of expression; the authorities continue to use various repressive tactics aimed to curb every opinion on different issues in the Kingdom. We have documented evidence of increasing abuse, harassment and violations against activists, journalists, bloggers and dissidents without any concern for the global legitimacy of their rights.

No moral limits prevent the Bahraini authorities from applying extreme measures to stop any individual from exercising their universally guaranteed right to expression. The penalty for criticising the government, security forces or for demanding fair political representation and wealth distribution could lead to at least 6 months in prison and may go up to a life sentence or even capital punishment, in addition to revoking citizenships and other forms of violations such as getting expelled from work, prosecution and barring the family from basic services.

The authorities in Bahrain recently sentenced the opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman to four years, and are still trying to charge him for other ongoing accusations that may lead to a longer sentence. After getting major international pressure, they released the prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, until further notice, but arrested in contrast two opposition leaders: Ebrahim Sharif and Majeed Milad in addition to Fadhel Abbas earlier this year on charges related to freedom of expression.

Bahrain’s jails are getting crowded with prisoners of conscience with more than 3,000 detainees: among them are activists, bloggers, professionals, clerics, teachers and artists, men, women and children. With the number continuing to grow, king Hamad continues to ignore all recommendations of international NGOs and reports demonstrating the extent of his irreverence towards guaranteeing his citizens their most basic rights.

We urge the Kingdom of Bahrain to urgently fulfill the following demands:

1. To commit to the international human rights declarations and conventions that it had already signed, specifically the content of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights providing all individuals the right to hold an opinion and express it without interference.

2. To stop all forms of harassment and prosecutions of activists, bloggers and journalists.

3. To release all detainees, mainly children, women and individuals with disabilities.

4. To stop all repressive tactics against demonstrators demanding their right to self-determination.

5. To allow citizens to demonstrate and express their opinions toward all political and human rights issues.

6. To reinstate the citizenships to those who have had their nationality revoked in relation to freedom of expression.

We also urge the international community to take clear action against the suppression of freedom of expression in Bahrain by ceasing their direct and indirect arms deals and commercial partnerships, until it fulfills its obligations and commitments.

Justice Human Rights Organization – Canada

SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights – UK

The European Bahraini Organization for Human Rights – Switzerland

Sentinel Human Rights Defenders – Ireland