Bahrain: Jails Crammed by Detainees of Conscience and Activists Activists Committee calls the Authorities to respects its vows and release prisoners
In protests to the continued incarceration of prisoners of freedom of expression, sit-ins and peaceful picketing continue in different areas in Bahrain, demanding their immediately and unconditional release. Last evening (Saturday), the heavy armed Bahraini Special Forces attacked a sit-in in Tubli area – southwest the capital Manama – in protest to the imprisonment of Dr. Mohamed Saeed Al-Sahlawi (dentist-35 years) and Husain Abdul aziz Al Hebshi (a private company-32 years) which led to injuries, as a result of the use of rubber bullets and suffocating gas, in addition to the arrests among the protesters. Of the detainees, Mohamed Abdullah (24 years), Mohamed Ahmed Al-Ammar (19 years), Mohamed Ali Al-Ammar (17 years), Sayed Ibrahim Sayed Hussein (19 years)-residents of Tubli area, Abdallah Ali Abdallah Ne’amah (20 years)-residence of Sadad – and Mohsen al-Meqdad (40 years), member of the National Committee of the Martyrs and victims of Torture- resident of Jedali. All of them were subjected to severe beatings and torture, before taken to the Department of Public Prosecutions, which ruled their custody for a week pending investigation, except Mohsen Al-Meqdad, who was released this evening.
It worth noting that Al-Sahlawi and Al Hebshi were arrested in public on last November 16th, and were subjected to harassment and torture before being sentenced on last January 31 st, for imprisonment of one year for the first and six months for the second, with charges of possession of publications, downloaded from the Internet, calling for the boycott of the past elections.
On last January 30th, Human Rights Watch called for the immediate release of Al-Sahlawi and Al-Hebshi, and considered “The imprisonment of two Bahrainis for trying to express nonviolent political opinions violates freedoms guaranteed under Bahrain’s international obligations and the kingdom’s own constitution. Bahrain’s persecution of free expression makes a mockery of its membership in the UN Human Rights Council”. Earlier, 49 human rights organizations considered “what Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahlawi and Mr Husain AbdulAziz Al Hebshi did, is not a crime and is not a violation to the provisions of the law or the acceded charters. We, therefore, plea that they are released immediately and unconditionally, setting out a good example of respect and protection of human rights values as expected from Bahrain, a member the UN Human Rights Council”.
On the other hand, the Bahraini Authorities arrested yesterday evening three activists of the Unemployed and Underpaid Committee: Abdulameer Madan (from Sitra), Hassan Abdelnabi (from Maameer)and Ahmad Jaafar (from Daih) on their way from Saudi Arabia back to Bahrain crossing King Fahd Causeway. They were severely inspected, strong insulted and interrogate with individually after being stripped of their clothes , for over five hours which made them lost their temper and quarrelled with the security personels. It should be noted that both Abdulameer Madan and Hassan Abdulnabi were released last September after spending one year’s imprisonment in the freedom of conscience case, dubbed l ocaly as Airport incident on December 25th, 2005. The three will be taken to the public prosecutor on the charge of assaulting security officers.
The Committee of Activists and Detainees c alls the Bahraini authorities to respect its obligations and commitments to the international institutions and release all activists and detainees of conscience and allows for freedom of expression without punishment, as affirmed by the international charters, of which the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), acceded by Bahrain on last September 20th.
Committee of Solidarity with Activists and Detainees of Conscience in Bahrain
February 11th, 2007.