15/12/2010 – 10:16 p | Hits: 82
15 December 2010 The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights expresses its concerns over Bahraini Authorities’ continuous escalation of security tension in the country after four months of launching its security crackdown against human rights defenders.
Early this morning, the centre came to know that the Bahraini Authorities arrested Mr. Mohammed Hasan Jawad, a prominent 63-year-old activist and a victim of torture of the past era. His detention came a day after the opening ceremony of the House of Representatives in which the king reaffirmed his support to the security crackdown launched by him since last August, leading to the arrest, torture and abduction of hundreds of citizens, quarter of them were children. Thus, today, Mr. Mohammed Jawad is considered the elder among the political detainees in Bahrain.
The activist, Jawad, was arrested after he raised a banner, yesterday, with pictures of the activists and human rights defenders who were arrested during the recent security crackdown, and after calling for their release using a loudspeaker in the capital Manama which has been a host place recently for a substantial number of citizens, residents and visitors gathered to commemorate Ashura. Since last August, the Bahraini Authorities imposed a ban on all forms of solidarity with the detainees, whether carried by families or supporters.
Mr. Mohammed Jawad is a well-known activist and a victim of torture of the past era. He was repeatedly arrested during the eighties and nineties due to his human rights activities, the latest arrest was in 2007. His house was raided several times and him and his daughter, Ms Ramla Jawad, 32 years old, human rights activist, were arrested, interrogated and tortured severely. Mr. Jawad is still suffering from the side effects of torture as he has partially lost his hearing abilities and is still suffering from problems with his back and limbs due to being hanged for long periods of time during interrogation. After his release, Jawad remained unemployed for years not only because the authorities put him on their blacklist, but also because the authorities informed all government and private institutions not to provide him with any job. Despite his old age, Mr. Jawad was an active participant in most of human rights activities and events held in Bahrain over the past thirty years.
The detention of Mr. Mohammed Jawad came a day after the opening ceremony of the National Council in which the king delivered a speech thanking the internal security authorities and expressing his support for all the security actions taken since the beginning of the repressive crackdown that resulted in 400 detainees and wanted persons. This notorious crackdown fiercely targeted freedom of expression and tried to incriminate it. In the recent months, more than 19 detainees were put on trial for activities related to the freedom of expression.
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights calls on Bahraini Authorities to commit to the following:
1- Immediately release Mr. Mohammed Jawad. Authorities will bear full responsibility for any deterioration of his state of health caused by conditions of detention or investigation.2- Immediately release all prisoners and detainees who are on trial in cases related to freedom of opinion and expression;3- Immediately repeal the terror law, which is condemned internationally as it does not even provide a guarantee for a fair trial.
4- The withdrawal of all actions that would restrict freedom of opinion and expression.
Under the pretext of “inciting hatred against the regime”: The criminalization of freedom of opinion & expression continues