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Act Now: Bahraini Shia Activists Being Tortured

Act Now: Bahraini Shia Activists Being Tortured Two human rights activists, detained in December 2007 demonstrations in Bahrain, collapsed on 26 March 2008, after three days of hunger strike. Ahmed Jaffer and Isa Al-Sarah were reportedly taken to the hospital after they fainted. The detainees are protesting against the bad prison conditions and treatment meted
out by security guards, and calling for medical treatment urgently required by
some detainees. The detainees have not been visited by the medical team assigned by the judge in the court session of 17 March 2008, to carry out necessary examination of the detainees and to investigate whether the detainees were tortured while they were held at the Criminal Investigation Bureau. The medical team is to present their report to the judge during the next trial session scheduled to be held on 16 April 2008.

URGENT ALERT: BAHRAIN – Human Rights Activists Collapse After Hunger
Strike

1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letters

1. Summary
Two human rights activists, detained in December 2007 demonstrations in Bahrain,
collapsed on 26 March 2008, after three days of hunger strike. Ahmed Jaffer and
Isa Al-Sarah were reportedly taken to the hospital after they fainted. The
detainees are protesting against the bad prison conditions and treatment meted
out by security guards, and calling for medical treatment urgently required by
some detainees.

Detainees like Mohamed Al-Singace (brother of Abduljalil Al-Singace from the HAQ
Movement of Liberties and Democratic Bahrain) urgently require medical treatment
but the prison authorities are reportedly reluctant to provide the necessary
care. His back was injured while he was previously tortured and he suffers from
anaemia as well. Other detainees such as Abdulla Mohsen and Mahmood Saleh
require urgent attention as well. The detainees have not been visited by the
medical team assigned by the judge in the court session of 17 March 2008, to
carry out necessary examination of the detainees and to investigate whether the
detainees were tortured while they were held at the Criminal Investigation
Bureau. The medical team is to present their report to the judge during the next
trial session scheduled to be held on 16 April 2008.

For background information about this campaign and links to previous alerts,
please visit: http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3248

IHRC requests all campaigners to send letters to the respective authorities
mentioned below and urge them to immediately release these human rights
activists.

2. Background

Several human rights activists and protestors were arrested in the wake of a
demonstration held on 17 December 2007 to commemorate the killing of two
protestors 13 years ago. One protestor Ali Jassim Meki was killed in clashes
with security personnel on 17 December. Of the fifteen protestors still
detained, some are well-known human rights activists, including

• Maytham Bader Jassim Al-Sheikh, Hassan Abdelnabi, Abdullah Mohsen Abdulah
Saleh and Ahmad Jaffar Mohammed Ali, who are members of the Unemployment
Committee,

• Naji Al-Fateel, member of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR),

• Mohammed Abdullah Al-Singace, Head of the Committee to Combat High Prices and
brother of human rights activist Abduljalil Al-Singace, from the HAQ Movement of
Liberties and Democratic Bahrain

• Ebrahim Mohamed Amin Al-Arab, founding member of the Martyrs and Victims
Committee

All of the detainees, especially the above-mentioned notable activists, have
been reportedly abused and subjected to torture at the hands of the security
forces.

The detainees have been charged with rioting, possession and theft of weapons
and setting fire to a police vehicle.

According to the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a
joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), this reported ill-treatment of
human rights activists in Bahrain is aimed ‘at discouraging the Bahraini
society…[from getting]…involved in human rights activities.’

For more details please refer to
http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3180,
http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3078,
http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3148,
http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3179 and
http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=3176

3. Action required

a) Write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in your country, urging him/her to
raise this issue with his/her Bahraini counterpart to ensure that these attacks
on civil liberties are immediately halted.

UK campaigners can write to:

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Fax: +44 20 7839 2417
Email [email protected]

b) Write to the Bahraini Ambassador in your country

UK campaigners can write to:

HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Khalifa
30 Belgrave Square
London, SW1X 8QB

Fax: +44 020 7201 9183
Email: [email protected]

c) Write to the Bahraini Minister of Interior.

Rashid bin Abdallah bin Ahmad al-Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13
Manama, Bahrain

Fax: (973) 2262169

4. Sample letters
——————————————————–

Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model
letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further
details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a
copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is
extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to
our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

——————————————————————————————

Sample letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs in your country (UK campaigners
can use the address supplied)

[Your Name] [Your Address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr. Miliband,

Re: Detained human rights activists collapse after hunger strike in Bahrain

I am deeply concerned about the welfare of several detained human rights
activists and protesters in Bahrain who are reportedly being tortured and
ill-treated. Two of the detainees collapsed after three days of hunger strike.
All detainees are protesting against their arbitrary detention, harsh prison
conditions and treatment meted out by security officials and calling for urgent
medical care required by some detainees.

They were arrested in the wake of a demonstration held on 17 December 2007 to
commemorate the killing of two protestors 13 years ago. They have been charged
with what appears to be trumped up charges of rioting, possession and theft of
weapons and setting fire to a police vehicle.

According to the detainees’ testimonies that they presented in court, they have
been subjected to severe beatings, sexual abuse and psychological torture.
However, the detainees have not yet been visited by the medical team assigned by
the judge to inspect the detainees for signs of torture.

I am further concerned that the detainees’ lawyers are only allowed restricted
access to their clients.

I urge you to raise these issues with your Bahraini counterparts to ensure that
the detainees are treated in accordance with international human rights
standards and an investigation is launched into the allegations of torture.
Further, please ensure that those detained for political reasons are released
immediately and that these attacks on civil liberties are immediately halted.

I look forward to your response on these matters.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature] [Your Name]

Sample letter to Bahraini Ambassador in your country (UK campaigners can use the
address supplied)

[Your Name] [Your Address]

[Date]

HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Khalifa
30 Belgrave Square
London, SW1X 8QB

Your Excellency,

Re: Detained human rights activists collapse after hunger strike in Bahrain

I am deeply concerned about the welfare of several detained human rights
activists and protesters in Bahrain who are reportedly being tortured and
ill-treated. Two of the detainees collapsed after three days of hunger strike.
All detainees are protesting against their arbitrary detention, harsh prison
conditions and treatment meted out by security officials and calling for urgent
medical care required by some detainees.

They were arrested in the wake of a demonstration held on 17 December 2007 to
commemorate the killing of two protestors 13 years ago. They have been charged
with what appears to be trumped up charges of rioting, possession and theft of
weapons and setting fire to a police vehicle.

According to the detainees’ testimonies that they presented in court, they have
been subjected to severe beatings, sexual abuse and psychological torture.
However, the detainees have not yet been visited by the medical team assigned by
the judge to inspect the detainees for signs of torture.

I am further concerned that the detainees’ lawyers are only allowed restricted
access to their clients.

I urge you to ensure that the detainees are treated in accordance with
international human rights standards and an investigation is launched into the
allegations of torture. Further, I urge you to immediately take action to
release those detained and to ensure that these attacks on civil liberties are
immediately halted. As Bahrain has committed itself in the last decade to better
governance, these actions blacken Bahrain’s reputation.

I look forward to your response on these matters.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature] [Your Name]

Sample letter to the Bahraini Minister of Interior

[Your Name] [Your Address]

[Date]

Rashid bin Abdallah bin Ahmad al-Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13
Manama, Bahrain

Your Excellency,

Re: Detained human rights activists collapse after hunger strike in Bahrain

I am deeply concerned about the welfare of several detained human rights
activists and protesters in Bahrain who are reportedly being tortured and
ill-treated. Two of the detainees collapsed after three days of hunger strike.
All detainees are protesting against their arbitrary detention, harsh prison
conditions and treatment meted out by security officials and calling for urgent
medical care required by some detainees.

They were arrested in the wake of a demonstration held on 17 December 2007 to
commemorate the killing of two protestors 13 years ago. They have been charged
with what appears to be trumped up charges of rioting, possession and theft of
weapons and setting fire to a police vehicle.

According to the detainees’ testimonies that they presented in court, they have
been subjected to severe beatings, sexual abuse and psychological torture.
However, the detainees have not yet been visited by the medical team assigned by
the judge to inspect the detainees for signs of torture.

I am further concerned that the detainees’ lawyers are only allowed restricted
access to their clients.

I urge you to ensure that the detainees are treated in accordance with
international human rights standards and an investigation is launched into the
allegations of torture. Further, I urge you to immediately take action to
release those detained and to ensure that these attacks on civil liberties are
immediately halted. As Bahrain has committed itself in the last decade to better
governance, these actions blacken Bahrain’s reputation.

I look forward to your response on these matters.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Signature] [Your Name]

Source: Islamic Human Rights Commission; for more, please visit:
http://www.ihrc.org/

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