International HR Mission Report: The Darkening Reality of Human Rights Defenders in Bahrain
2015-07-09 - 2:09 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): A report issued by an international mission that visited Bahrain (April 10-15, 2015) denounced the abuses that the human rights defenders are being subjected to, including imprisonment, torture and statelessness, which the report documented.
The report entitled "Imprisonment, torture and statelessness: The darkening reality of human rights defenders in Bahrain" issued by the International Federation for Human Rights highlighted the role of the Bahraini judiciary in helping the regime silence dissent.
The report documents the judicial harassment of 11 human rights defenders including lawyers, teachers, doctors or bloggers. All have suffered or been threatened with imprisonment, torture or statelessness as a consequence of their activities in defense of human rights.
While the trial of FIDH Vice Secretary-General, Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), was the impetus for the mission, the new report also documents the cases of lesser-known human rights defenders, all of whom have suffered judicial harassment at the hands of the Bahraini authorities. Some of them are currently in prison and have been exposed to severe torture.
The report tackles the cases of "leader of Bahrain Teachers' Association Mahdi Abu Deeb, Secretary of Bahrain Nursing Society Ibrahim Al-Dimistani, blogger Naji Fateel, women's rights activist Ghada Jamsheer, activist Hussain Jawad, lawyer Taimoor Karimi, activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, blogger Zainab Al-Khawaja and activists Mohammed Al-Maskati, Nabeel Rajab and Sayed Ahmed Al-Wedaei."
"There is no doubt that the judiciary is doing everything to help the regime silence dissent and muzzle those who speak out against the human rights violations being perpetrated in Bahrain," said Safya Akorri, French lawyer mandated by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders to collect testimonies from Bahrain about the situation of human rights defenders.
"Four years after the massive pro-democracy demonstrations at the Pearl (Louloua) Roundabout, the Bahraini legal arsenal has evolved to allow even greater repression of the right to freedom of expression and assembly," the international mission further stated.
"We reiterate our call for an immediate release of FIDH Deputy Secretary General Nabeel Rajab, and of all human rights defenders currently in arbitrary detention in Bahrain," said FIDH President Karim Lahidji.
For his part, the Secretary-General of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), Gerald Staberock, stated: "It's time for the Bahraini authorities to leave behind the empty rhetoric of human rights reforms at the international level and to actually undertake genuine and effective reforms in line with their international obligations and commitments."
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