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Bahrain F.H.Rights: Russian ambassador supports the right of peoples to self-determination


During his visit to Russian Embassy in BeirutBahrain Forum for Human Rights: Russian ambassador supports the right of peoples to self-determination

“Russia support the right of self-determination of peoples call for freedom and justice,” said Alexander Zaspakn Ambassador of the Russian Federation during a meeting with a delegation from Bahrain Forum for Human Rights in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Friday, stressing at the same time his country’s support for the national dialogue with the participation of all groups to get out of the political crisis which hits Bahrain since nearly a year and eight monthsThe ambassador added that he would convey what was discussed at this meeting, particularly with regard to the fact that the Bahraini authorities have revoked citizenships from 31 citizens, to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

For his part, Yusuf Rabia , the president of Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, illustrated that Russia is seen as positive state by people who are eager to liberty; as a result of  the balanced positions of Russian’s politics as opposed to unfair attitudes of other international powers , adding that Russia still form an important immunity for these peoples aspirant to democratic transformation, pointing out that Russian’s pro-human rights position is appreciated by people who feel sympathy with Bahraini people

Rabia also revealed that the Russian ambassador has been informed on the continuing systematic violations implemented by the Bahraini authorities toward claimants for political change and most recently revoke citizenship from 31 national by Bahraini government, posing a violation of the provisions of the national constitution, and a clear violation of international laws, as the fact that the right of citizenship is humanly guaranteed.

” Russian ambassador has also been informed on the methodology used by the Bahraini authorities to distort their fair humanitarian demands , particularly through contrived accidents used by these authorities, most recently was the series of silent explosions , stressing ,at the same time, the Bahrainis commitment to peaceful movement , and the rejection of all forms of violence”, Rabia continued

Rabia concluded by underlining that the forum will contact with the rest embassies of Security Council to know the size of violations carried out by the Bahraini authorities, in particular revoking citizenship of 31 Bahrainis; to put pressure on the Bahraini government to retreat from these decisions that lost its legality.

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B.F.H.Rights launches the Monthly Indicator: 995 violations in January in Bahrain

The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights launches the Monthly Indicator: 995 violations in January in Bahrain

The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights launches the Monthly Indicator: 995 violations in January in Bahrain
To download the report click here

With thebeginning of 2018, the human rights situation in Bahrain continued todeteriorate. 995 serious human rights violations were observed between January 1and January 31, 2018, including arbitrary arrests, house raids, unfair trials,suppression of peaceful protests, restrictions on freedom of movement,prohibition of Friday prayers, media materials that incite hate speech,enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment.

Arbitrary arrests, raids and restrictions on freedom of movement

121 cases of arbitrary arrest, including 6 children, were recorded,climaxing on January 23, 2018 and amounting to 44 unlawful arrests and 138 raids on houses and residential establishments that werecarried out without arrest warrants, and in a manner that spreads terror amongcitizens. In addition, the freedom of movement was violated through the continuationof the security siege on Duraz for 589 days and the imposition of house arreston the highest religious authority for the Shiite Muslims in Bahrain, AyatollahSheikh Isa Qassim, for 252 days without a judicial order or administrativedecision.

On January31, 2018, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim was transferred to the hospital after a13-day deliberate delay by the authorities, as he was scheduled for surgery onJanuary 18, 2018, therefore his rights to treatment and to freedom of movementwere violated.

Meanwhile,the security authorities continued to violate freedom of religion and belief bybanning Friday prayers at Duraz for 4 times in January, bringing the number to81 preventions since 2016. In addition, 200Bahraini citizens have been accused or arrested in the Public Prosecution andpresented to the Bahraini judiciary for reasons relating to freedom ofexpression and peaceful assembly.

Hate speech: 342 media materials

342 mediamaterials and messages that incite or help to incite hatred against humanrights defenders, political activists and Bahraini citizens were observedinJanuary. Those materials are divided into 89 media articles published in theofficial press and 253 materials published on social media by users thatinclude official and media figures, such as Assistant Undersecretary forInformation and Follow-up at the Prime Minister’s Court, Ibrahim Al-Dosari,Ministry of Information Affairs’ adviser, Sawsan Al-Shaer, former MP MohammedKhaled, and journalists Faisal Al-Sheikh, Farid Hassan, Mona Mutawa and SaeedAl-Hamad.

The mediamaterials inciting hatred published in local press are as follows: 18 articlesin the Bahraini Al-Ayam newspaper, 25 articles in Akhbar Al-Khaleej newspaper, 13articles in the Bahraini Al-Bilad newspaper, and 33 articles in the BahrainiAl-Watan newspaper.

Torture, ill-treatment, enforced disappearance and destruction ofproperty

18 cases oftorture and ill-treatment, which climaxed on January 14, 2018, were observed.The cases include four women and eight children – one of them an infant – who weresubjected to ill-treatment while attempting to enter the sieged area of Duraz. Inaddition, three children from Buri were also subjected to ill-treatment. Thedetained child, Sayed Hadi Ali Ne’ma from Iskan Aali and detainee Ammar AbdulGhani from Al-Daih were subjected to torture. Moreover, the right to treatmentand health care of Hasan Mushaima, Secretary General of the Movement for CivilLiberties and Democracy (HAQ), was violated.Moreover, 2 cases of destruction of property were observed onJanuary 24 and January 27, 2018. Also, 17 cases of enforced disappearance ofBahraini citizens were observed, including Ali Hussein Jassem who disappearedfor 45 days, Salman Ismail who disappeared for 40 days, Hussain Humaid Madanwho disappeared for 28 days, Mustafa Bahr who disappeared for 27 days, AbbasRahma who disappeared for 20 days and Mansour Al-Dulabi who disappeared for 20days.The cases of enforced disappearances were regionally distributed as follows:10 cases from Duraz, 3 cases from Nuwaidrat, and 1 case from each of Manama,Abu Saiba, Bilad Al-Qadeem, and Barbar.

Unfair trials

In addition,77 Bahraini citizens were handed arbitrary sentences, whichclimaxed on the 24th and 29th of January, 2018, amountingto 24 cases. The total arbitrary sentences amounted to the following: 679 years of imprisonment, 3 years of imprisonment suspended forone year term, total fines of US $268,000, 39 sentences of revoking nationalities, and 10 sentences of deportingcitizens whose nationalities were revoked, four of them were deported before January1, 2018. In addition, the death sentence against Maher Al-Khabaz was upheld,even though four UN experts issued a report saying that he was subjected to tortureand ill-treatment. 2 death sentences were issued against Ali Al-Arab and AhmadAl- Mullali. Also, amongthose who were arbitraily imprisoned are 4 women.

The trial hearings,which violate the freedom of political action of Bahraini opposition leaderSheikh Ali Salman, as well as two former MPs of the Al-Wefaq parliamentarybloc, Sheikh Hassan Sultan and Ali Al-Aswad, continued.The fourth hearing washeld on January 4, 2018 and the fifth hearing on January 25, 2018. In the fifthhearing, Sheikh Ali Salman emphasizedthat the audio recordings which were usedas indictments for the charge of spying for Qatar are cut in a way thatdistorted their contents.

On January 16,2018, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation upheld a two-year prison sentence againstNabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and DeputySecretary-General of the International Federation for Human Rights. A statementby the Bahrain Center for Human Rights said[1],“We are very worried about Nabeel’s safety and well-being,”adding, “Authoritiesshould release him immediately, drop the charges against him, and investigatethoroughly his possible ill-treatment in detention.”

Appeals hearingsat the military judiciary for 17 civilians and one soldiercontinued to be held,in which civilian victims were tortured and ill-treated. Three appeals hearingswere held on January 10, 14 and 31, 2018, and the case was reserved until February21, 2018 without investigating the torture complaints which include 11violations: torture by electric shock, enforced disappearance, sleep andbathing deprivation, severe beatings and solitary confinement. On December 25, 2017,the military court sentenced five civilians and one soldier to death in thiscase, including human rights activist and head of Liberties and Human RightsDepartment at Al-Wefaq Society, Mohammed Al-Motaghawi, and the personal escortof Sheikh Isa Qassim, communications engineer Sayed Alawi Hussein.

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Bahraini Zionist embassy: Misinformation on A.I report

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Misinformation on Amnesty International in Bahraini embassy report

In response to erroneous statements by the Bahraini embassy in London about the organization’s planned work on Bahrain, Amnesty International clarified today its recent discussions with the embassy and urged the authorities in general to respond positively to human rights concerns it raises and to its repeated requests for access to the country for it and other human rights organizations.
On 5 January 2018, the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) published the annual report of the Bahraini embassy to the United Kingdom entitled, “Tireless efforts to confirm the Kingdom’s presence and to identify its positions and defend its interests”. The report included two paragraphs relating to the embassy’s work “to correct the negative views on the situation of human rights in Bahrain and to clarify the fallacies and negative perceptions circulating in the United Kingdom and other countries covered by the Embassy diplomatically”. It said that “the Bahraini embassy responded to requests for clarification and questions raised by British parliamentarians, human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and others, as well as providing the British Foreign Office with legal updates in order to enable it to respond to any parliamentary inquiries in detail.”
The report went on to say: “The embassy’s efforts with Amnesty International have yielded positive results, including the organization’s goodwill initiative not to issue any reports on Bahrain’s human rights file until February 2018 and to only briefly address the situation in Bahrain in its annual report, in addition to dedicating two pages to the Kingdom of Bahrain in the organization’s forthcoming report in the month of February in such a way that the Kingdom is able to present any clarifications or responses relating to matters of interest in it.”
The statements are a serious misrepresentation of the outcome of a meeting held between representatives of Amnesty International and the Bahraini embassy in the United Kingdom on 2 November 2017. In addition to specific human rights concerns, including some of those documented in Amnesty International’s report of September 2017, ‘No one can protect you’: Bahrain’s year of crushing dissent, the meeting discussed ways to improve communication between Amnesty International and the Bahraini authorities and specifically the most effective means for the organization to receive responses to requests for clarification relating to its ongoing monitoring of and reporting on human rights violations in the country.
During the meeting, Amnesty International clarified its universal methodology with respect to communications with governments, notably the fact that it seeks clarification about human rights developments or specific cases from relevant authorities in order to reflect any responses received in its publications. At an operational level, Amnesty International agreed to copy in the Bahraini embassy in London to requests for clarifications from government authorities in Bahrain so that it could facilitate the communication process. The embassy committed to help obtain such responses.
Amnesty International also mentioned that it would be publishing its next Annual Report in February 2018. It clarified that the entries in this report, which covers some 160 countries around the world, are short summaries, typically of around two pages in length, of the human rights situation in each country rather than the product of new research. For that reason, the organization does not tend to
submit the findings summarized in the entry to the government for response ahead of publication.
In no way did Amnesty International commit not to publish any document related to Bahrain before February 2018, nor to restrict the Annual Report entry on Bahrain to a particular length, nor to submit the entry for comment to the Bahraini authorities before publication, as erroneously indicated by the annual report of the Bahraini embassy in London.
Subsequent to the meeting of 2 November 2017, Amnesty International submitted requests for clarification on a number of ongoing human rights concerns to both the Interior Minister and Justice Minister in letters sent on 21 November and provided copies of both letters to the Bahraini embassy in London at the same time. Amnesty International was disappointed not to receive a response to the requests despite the assurances it had been given that the embassy would make efforts to obtain responses to such correspondence. Amnesty International was therefore forced to publish its concerns, in a public statement entitled Bahrain: Human rights violations unabated and issued on 21 December, without a response from the authorities.
In its meeting with the embassy, Amnesty International also raised its concerns that the Bahraini authorities had failed to respond positively to a series of requests the organization had made to visit the country since it was last given access in January 2015. It presented this in a context in which the authorities had denied other human rights organizations access during the same period. It emphasized the point that, if the authorities wished to demonstrate that they were serious about wanting to develop a constructive dialogue with organizations such as Amnesty International, they needed to allow them access to the country to meet government officials, civil society actors and others. The embassy made no mention in its annual report of any efforts it may or may not have made to facilitate access to Bahrain for Amnesty International or others.
Amnesty International has written to the Bahraini embassy to the United Kingdom to raise its concerns about the statements published in its annual report and to request that they should be correct or clarified.

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Bahrain: Enforced disappearance of 15 citizens from 7 different areas continues

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BFHR: Enforced disappearance of 15 citizens from 7 different areas continues

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The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights (BFHR) said that 15 cases of continued enforced disappearance were monitored. Citizens were forcibly disappeared from seven Bahraini areas, which are Duraz, Al-Dair, Sitra, Bilad Al-Qadeem, Al-Naim, Samaheej and Jurdab. The BFHR stressed that the enforced disappearance is one of the many abuses practiced by the authorities, which have a record full of human rights violations.
In addition, the BFHR added that the security authorities deliberately develop new sorts of retaliatory actions against the prisoners of conscience in order to pressure them and their families, such as depriving the victims’ families of knowing the fate of their relatives, after being subjected to enforced disappearance.
The BFHR pointed out that from 12/14/2017 until 01/17/2018, i.e. for 34 days, five citizens have never been released and their fate remains unknown. These five forcibly disappeared are Ahmed Hamza Al Safi from Sitra, Ali Khalil Al Rami and Hassan Abdul Hussein Al Asfour from Duraz, Hussein Ali Muhanna from Bilad Al-Qadeem, and Mahmoud Abdullah Al Wazir from Al Dair.
Moreover, the BFHR mentioned that Ali Hussein Jassim from Duraz has been forcibly disappeared since 12/15/2017, while Bassem Ali Allawi from Al Naim since 12/17/2017, adding that Hussein Ali Mayouf from Samaheej and Mohammed Abdullah Mansur from Jurdab have been forcibly disappeared for 30 days.
The BFHR also pointed out that Hussein Ali Al Shaalan and Baqer Jafar Abu-Rowais from Duraz and Salman Abdul Hussein Al-Nakhla from Al Dair have been forcibly disappeared for 29 days.
The BFHR added that Ahmad Mohammed Salman from Jurdab has been forcibly disappeared for 27 days, Abdul Razzaq Ali Mirza from Al-Dair for 24 days, and Hussein Hamid Madan from Duraz since 12/31/2017, i.e. for 16 days.
Bahrain Forum for Human Rights (BFHR)
January 17, 2018

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Bahrain: Relatives of exiled activists continue to be targeted amid ongoing unrest

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The signatory human rights organizations express their condemnation over the continued targeting and harassment of human rights defenders and their families. “Human rights defenders have been subjected to systematic and continuous violations, including arbitrary detention, travel bans and torture”. Testimonies documented by reliable human rights organizations confirmed the continued target and harassment of also the families of human rights defenders.
The signatory organizations confirmed that they have monitored and documented the abuse committed by members of the security services against Yunes Ahmed Sultan, a Bahraini citizen, who is also the brother of human rights defender Mohammed Sultan, member of Bahrain Center for Human Rights. This abuse had revealed the extent of the involvement of the security services in targeting and harassing the families of human rights activists, as well as the torture policy that has become systematic, rampant and frequent, accompanied by methods of sexual assault and harassment.
The latest victim is Yunes, who was subjected to physical and psychological torture and degrading treatment, was indeed sexually assaulted by officer Taher Al Alawi on November 26, 2017 in the Southern Province Police Station (Hamad Town, Roundabout 17). Yunes was coerced to work and cooperate with the security agencies to monitor human rights activity and monitor the activities of human rights organizations cooperating with the United Nations’ human rights mechanisms. (The victim’s statement is attached with this statement).
The undersigned organizations demand the Government of Bahrain to open a genuine investigation into this incident and stop the targeting and harassment of human rights activists and their families. The Government of Bahrain is bound by Article 2 of the United Nations’ Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.  The signatories also call on Bahrain to invite the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Mr. Michel Forst, to visit Bahrain in order to stand upon the real situation of human rights defenders and their families.
The signatories:
    SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights
    Bahrain Center for Human Rights
    Bahrain Forum for Human Rights
    The European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights
    Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights
“Yunes Ahmed Sultan”, is a Bahraini citizen who has been interrogated, tortured, and threatened by Bahraini police officers on two recent occasions in November 2017.
On 19 November 2017, officers at the Southern Province Police Station (Hamad Town, Roundabout 17) called Yunes Sultan and ordered him to come to the station. He arrived 15 minutes later, and officers took him to the investigation officer’s bureau.
The investigation officer questioned him about the activities of his brother Mohamed Sultan, a Bahraini refugee currently residing in France and two other exiled Bahraini rights activists, Sayed Yousif AlMuhafda, vice president of SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights, currently based in Germany and Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights, based also in France.
During the investigation, the officer accused Yunes Sultan of meeting with exiled human rights defenders in France and Germany, and of cooperating with others to overthrow the government in Bahrain. Sultan denied these charges, and the officer called two other policemen who threatened to beat him and sexually assault him.
The officer also offered him financial rewards in order to provide him with intelligence on the activits’ movements and work.
On 26 November 2017, officers at the station called Sultan again and asked him to come and see officer Taher Al Alawi. Sultan arrived and was taken to officer Al Alawi’s office. Officer Al Alawi offered him tea or water, Sultan first said “no, thanks” but the officer insisted, and Sultan chose water. Officer Al Alawi instead threw the water in Sultan’s face and began to insult him and his religious beliefs.
Officer Al Alawi stated that they had evidence against him, and brought a laptop with photos of him in public ceremonies with a number of public figures, including Nabeel Rajab and others. Again, Sultan denied any criminal activities, and stated that he could not recall details of any conversations he had with these public figures.
Two officers pinned Sultan to the wall, and officer Al Alawi told them “Do what you wish.” The three officers began beating Sultan and started stripping him off his clothes, and sexually assaulting him. They also began kicking him on different parts of his body.
Officer Al Alawi ordered the other officers to leave the room and take all Sultan’s clothes away. Officer Al Alawi resumed the investigations with Sultan while totally naked and again accused him of “terrorist activities”, and pressured him to provide information on his brother Mohamed Sultan and Yousif AlMuhafdah and Hussain Jawad, or he would charge him with various crimes linked to terrorism and collusion.
Later, the police guards returned Sultan’s clothes and ordered him to dress. He later discovered that the underwear he was given was not even his own!
Yunes said that the officers told him he has 15 days to think about their offer and to come back to the police station. The fifteenth day ended on Monday, 11 December. From then on, they have called him numerous times but out of fear he did not answer any of the calls. On the 13th of December, at 1:00 AM precisely, Sultan received a call from officer Al Alawi in which he directly threatened him and said: “are you afraid of me? A call at this time of the night would of course scare you, wouldn’t it? Your deadline has finished”!
Yunes Sultan said he was intimidated and out of fear for his safety and wellbeing he is now in France where he began the process of filing an asylum claim after fleeing Bahrain on the same day of the 13th of December 2017.

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Bahrain: Kingdom of Persecution

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Kingdom of Persecution
Today SALAM for Democracy & Human Rights has issued a distinctive report (attached) on titled: “Kingdom of Persecution”. The report aimed at monitoring human rights violations committed against Shiite clerics in Bahrain between the years 2011 and 2017. These violations included death sentences, life imprisonment, citizenship revocation, enforced deportation, arbitrary detention, harsh prison sentences, where many religious scholars are subjected to humiliation and physical torture.
This report reveals that the security authorities in Bahrain summoned 156 Shiite religious clerics only for speeches, ideological tendencies or political views. The report likewise shows that 89 religious scholars have been arbitrarily arrested by the security authorities. Arbitrary detention’s procedures varied between detention via land and airport borders, police summonses, road checkpoints, and house raids. Where on a judicial level, 50 religious scholars have been sentenced in various cases to harsh sentences ranging between death sentences, life imprisonment, citizenship revocation and huge fines.
The report says that the authorities continued to violate the rights of religious scholars where it sentences 3 to death, 8 life imprisonment, and worked on revoking the citizenship of 19 religious scholars without them having access to fair judiciary in an absolute flaw to international treaties and charters. Among those who their nationality been revoked are three of the great religious scholars of Bahrain, whom been ranked Ayatollah: Sheikh Isa Qassim, Sheikh Mohammed Sanad and Sheikh Hussain Najati, who was forcibly deported in April 2014
Moreover, the report notes that the authorities unjustifiably interfered with stopping 5 Shiites clerics from delivering religious speeches or the practice of any preaching role inside mosques when performing religious duties.
The report concludes saying “these numbers and figures reflect the reality of violations of freedom of religion and belief against the Shiites in the country, especially their religious scholars.
“The total number of violations since 2011 to 2017 counted 313 violations. The augmented targeting of Shiite clerics highlights the lack of serious efforts toward a space full of freedom of religion and belief inside the country. This also indicates that the authorities have no meaningful initiatives towards any reform on human rights level specially that of related to freedom of religion and belief”, elaborated Sayed Abbas Shubbar, our head of Religious Freedoms Committee.
The report pleas to international parties to exert pressure on the government of Bahrain in order to stop targeting Shiite clerics and its discriminatory policies against Shiite citizens. Similarly, the report urges international bodies to outline the violations contracting Bahrain’s international obligations of respect to human rights norms and standards. Emphasizing on all acts of torture, humiliation and arbitrary arrests against political opponents on charges related to religious or public freedoms and expression.
In recommendation, the report appeals to the government of Bahrain to immediately respond to visits requests made by international special rapporteurs, whom visits to Bahrain still remain denied by the security authorities. It also demands the government to drop all charges related to the practice of political freedoms and to release those scholars who are detained and sentenced under the provisions of the Criminal Penal Code or the articles of the anti-terrorism law.
It is noteworthy that we in SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights have in previous times issued a number of reports regarding the sectarian discrimination against the Shiite community in Bahrain and called on the international community to immediately intervene in order to stop these violations.

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Bahrain: The Prospects of the continuation of military trial

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BFHR: The Prospects of the continuation of military trial for civilian victims are crumbling and the authorities insist on intensifying sanctions

The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights (BFHR) said in a statement that the prospects of the continuation of the military trial of civilian victims, some of whom have been sentenced to death, are crumbling in light of the flagrant violation of the principles and guarantees of fair trials. The BFHR pointed out that the proceedings of the trial and the exhaustion of litigation levels through the appeal stage clearly indicate maliciousness, especially since complaints of torture and ill-treatment were ignored and the judiciary lacks independence.
The BFHR added that the judge deliberately closed his eyes on article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), particularly since the detainees were subjected to 11 violations, the most prominent of which are torture by electric shock, forced disappearance and solitary confinement. The BFHR noted that the real picture of the justice system is absent, except for the seats and tables in the courtroom, all the other elements indicate the lack of all guarantees of a fair trial, emphasizing that those elements include the Military Judiciary Law, that some of its articles contradict with the international law, the conditions of arrest and detention and legal adaptation of the case, not giving the case file to the lawyers, and threatening to target some of the victims’ relatives and lawyers if they revealed violations to the media or international human rights organizations.
The BFHR noted that the National Institute for Human Rights, the Terror Crime Prosecution and the Special Investigation Unit have played clear roles in covering up the serious human rights violations committed against some of the detainees in this trial.
Bahrain Forum for Human Rights

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Bahrain: Secret military courts begin to try civilians


BFHR: Secret military courts begin to try civilians, some of whom have been subjected to enforced disappearance for 13 months

The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights said that a secret military court began on Thursday November 2, 2017 to try civilians, some of whom have been subjected to enforced disappearance for 13 months
The BFHR stressed that the serious human rights violations against detainees under trial in the military judiciary foreshadow the course of the upcoming judicial disaster in the cases of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as a result of the use of certain articles in the Military Judiciary Law to commit abuses in violation of the International Bill Of human rights.
The BFHR pointed out that the victims attended on Thursday the third session in the military judiciary with skinny bodies as a result of being subjected to severe torture and degrading treatment and being placed in solitary confinement. The BFHR noted that this is the first military trial of civilians since the issuance of the new law amending the Military Judiciary Law, and the detainees were referred to the military judiciary on October 23, 2017.
The BFHR also pointed out that there were several violations of Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – that is concerned with the guarantees of fair trials – and the violations are the following: the confidentiality of court hearings, the confidentiality of information circulation, the court’s refusal of the lawyers’ request to receive the case file, and preventing the defendants from talking before the court about the torture they were subjected to during and after interrogation.
The BFHR further noted that four detainees are placed in solitary confinement, two of whom have been there for 13 months, which violates the basic principles of the treatment of prisoners. The BFHR added that the court’s refusal to present the defendants to a forensic doctor contravenes the Bahraini Code of Criminal Procedure.
The BFHR stressed that the confidentiality of the trial and the confidentiality of the circulation of information therein were intended to enable military courts to violate the right to a fair trial before all courts.
Bahrain Forum for Human Rights

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Bahrain: Death or Confession

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“Death or Confession”: a report by human rights organizations monitors the torture of civilians in Bahrain’s first military trial

Four Bahraini human rights organizations issued a report under the title of “Death or Confession”, a report that monitors the violations due to secret military courts that tried civilians whose confessions were extracted under torture. These civilian were accused of attempting to commit crimes against Bahrain Defense Force, including human rights activist Mohammed Al Mutghawi and Sayed Alawi Husain, who is the personal attendant of the highest religious cleric in Bahrain Shaikh Isa Qassim.
It is important to note that this is now the first military trial for civilians since the recent legal amendment to the military judiciary.
The human rights organizations participating in drafting and writing of this report are: Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR), SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) said that “the trial violates fair trial procedures and that some of the accused were subjected to torture and ill-treatment”. It added: “The recent constitutional amendment to the military judiciary was used to expose them to a trial that produces harsh sentences, as well as the arbitrariness of punitive sentences against three accused persons arrested as children”, explaining that “two of the accused were forcibly disappeared around the year, namely Sayed Alawi Husain and Fadhel Abbas, without being investigated for their enforced disappearance.
The President of the Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, Baqer Darwish, said that the “judiciary did not investigate the defendants’ allegations of torture and ill-treatment. Military courts resorted to intimidating methods to threaten some of the families of victims and lawyers by exposing them to degrading treatment if violations were revealed on the media, or by human rights organizations”. He also noted “In view of this, the judiciary has used the decision to secrecy of hearings to commit abuses and to enable those involved in torturing the accused with impunity”.
Asma Darwish, the Head of International Relations in SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights, pointed out that “the right to fair trials is an inherent right of any citizen anywhere and at any time, and no one has the right to violate such rights. incompatible with these inherent rights. Therefore, the decision to try citizens in military courts must be brought to an end because they do not conform to these inherent rights”.
Yahya Al Hadid, President of the Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, criticized the “role played by the National Institute for Human Rights (NIHR) by issuing a statement praising the proceedings of the case, while it did not mention in its statement on the 14th of November 2017 that the military judiciary is not the usual judge stipulated in Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. That means the NIHR is contributing to the legitimization of the role of the military judiciary in the trial of civilians in spite of its violations to the international Military Justice Law. It also did not have a clear position on the matter of the enforced disappearance of the four defendants”.
The report recommended the repeal of the constitutional amendment and the restoration of Article 105 of the Bahraini Constitution as it was; to ensure that civilians are not tried in military courts and to repeal Law No. 12 of 2017 amending the Military Jurisdiction Law, which allowed civilians to be tried by military courts. That is to also open an independent investigation into all complaints of violations in this and other cases, concerning complaints of torture and ill-treatment.
The report also stressed that the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner and the members of the Human Rights Council should urge the Government of Bahrain to adopt the basic principles on the independence and application of the judiciary. That is in order to ensure that the Government of Bahrain retracts the trial of civilians in military courts and amends the law. It also urges the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers to request a visit to Bahrain and to call on the Bahraini authorities to accept the request for his visit.
To Read The Report Please Click Here

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Bahrain: A Crime Outside Coverage a human rights report

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A Crime Outside Coverage a human rights report on the grave violations in suppressing the peaceful assembly near the house of Ayatollah Qassim

Four Bahraini human rights organizations, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, the Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, Salam for Democracy and Human Rights, and the Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, published a report monitoring grave violations in suppressing the Duraz peaceful assembly on May 23, 2017, after the security forces used excessive force to end the gathering, which lasted about a year near the house of the highest religious authority for Shiites in Bahrain, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, in a report entitled: A Crime Outside Coverage.
Yahya al-Hadid, head of the Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, said that suppressing the peaceful gathering in Duraz on May 23, 2017 resulted in killing five protesters, injuring more than 100 people, and arresting 286 residents directly after a specific time of an attack, in which security men used shotguns, sound bombs, and tear gas.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) said that the security authorities used excessive force indiscriminately and unjustifiably during the attack on the protesters in front of Sheikh Isa Qassim\\\’s house, which resulted in extra-judicial killing of five people, a method that reinforces international statements about Bahrain\\\’s use of force against peaceful protests and sit-ins without regard to any conditions or respect for international conventions and covenants that provide for respecting freedom of peaceful assembly.
The culture of impunity and lack of accountability for perpetrators of violations has played a major role in the continuation and high frequency of abuses committed by the security services in Bahrain, including extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrests, particularly the arrests that took place while attacking the protesters in front of the house of Sheikh Isa Qassim. Those arrests amounted to nearly 300 people, including children, some of them were arrested during raids on their houses, and some of them were later released.
Baqer Darwish, head of the Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, said that the imposition of house arrest on Ayatollah Qassim by the security authorities – without a judicial order or administrative decision – resulted in a violation of his right to receive the necessary and appropriate treatment according to his wishes, and he was transferred to the hospital after a week of the deterioration of his health. Darwish noted that Sheikh Qassim had restricted access to his medications at the beginning of the house arrest, and the house arrest must be ended after he leaves the hospital to ensure that he receives the necessary medical care. Darwish explained that the security forces fired tear gas heavily and illegally near Sheikh Qassim’s house on November 25, 2017, before his relapse, adding that 56 hate-inciting media materials were monitored on social networking sites after the announcement of the deterioration of Sheikh Isa Qassim\\\’s health on November 26, 2017.
For his part, Sayed Yousif al-Muhafdah, Vice President of Salam for Democracy and Human Rights, said that after the verdict was issued against Sheikh Isa Qassim, more than 80 Shiite clerics were interrogated and at least nine of them were convicted because of exercising freedom of assembly and expression. Al-Muhafdah added that citizens are still being prosecuted and subjected to sectarian persecution due to their participation in the Duraz peaceful assembly, instead of opening an independent investigation by an independent UN commission and subjecting those involved in the violations to legal accountability.
The human rights organizations which issued the report called for opening an urgent investigation into the violations caused by the raid on the peaceful assembly, and supported the call of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for opening an independent investigation by an independent committee and holding those involved accountable. The organizations expected that the human rights crisis in Bahrain will escalate, and at the same time they expressed their concern over measures of double standards, lack of accountability, impunity, undermining political activity, pressuring human rights activists, and granting the security
  authorities comprehensive powers to try and torture citizens solely for exercising their fundamental rights.
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