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Bahrain: Police Violence and Arrests

[Arrest of a Female Protestor in Manama. 17 December 2012. Photo from bahrainrights.org] [Arrest of a Female Protestor in Manama. 17 December 2012. Photo from bahrainrights.org]

[The following report was issued by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights on 18 December 2012.]

Bahrain: Peaceful Protests Violently Disrupted by Police, Twenty-seven Arbitrary Arrests, Including BCHR Acting Vice-President Sayed Yousi

* This comes just one day after Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa gave a speech stating that: “Bahrain is a country of Law and Freedom” yet repression continues.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses grave concern with regard to the security forces’ excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests of peaceful pro-democracy protestors, and the continuous harassment of human rights activists.

The 14 February Coalition called for a mass protest in the capital of Bahrain, Manama on 17 December, which has been marked by the people since 1994 as “Bahrain’s Martyrs Day” following the extra-judicial killing of two Bahrainis during the 1990s uprising. As a reaction, Bahrain authorities closed off most streets leading to Manama, not allowing Bahrainis to enter in an attempt to prevent a large number of participants in the protest.

Despite the lock-down, protests started in Manama and were attacked by the security forces with excessive use of force, resulting in the arbitrary arrest of twenty-seven peaceful protestors (three women and twenty-five men). (List of names below)

Among those arrested is BCHR’s Acting Vice President and Head of Documentation Unit Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafdha who attended the protest to monitor and document the situation. The BCHR believes that the arrest of Al-Muhafdha is part of an ongoing systematic targeting, harassment and detention of human rights defenders in Bahrain, and in particular those associated with the BCHR. After the arrest and severe torture of co-founder Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and the sentencing of the President Nabeel Rajab to two years on charges of illegal protesting, now Said Yousif Al-Muhafdha is arrested again after being released last month. Said Yousif will be held until presented to public prosecution. He was charged with broadcasting false information through Twitter.

Despite Hamad Bin Isa AlKhalifa’s claims that Bahrain will always be the nation of tolerance and liberties in his speech on 16 December, (the day he celebrates his “sitting on the throne”), the use of excessive force and arrests continues against peaceful protests.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the continuous crackdown on civilians who choose to exercise their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

The BCHR also calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the UN and all other allies and international institutions to put pressure of the Government of Bahrain to:

1. Stop its use of excessive force in response to the continued peaceful protests, and to consider a meaningful solution to resolve the persistent political issues of instability in the country.


2. Immediately release detained human rights defender Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah and drop all charges against him.


3. Immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience and activists, including leading human rights defenders Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, Nabeel Rajab, and Zainab Al-Khawaja.


17 December 2012, Manama Protest detainees (Name-Village):

Women:

1. Khadija Al-Ghanami - Dair
2. Fatima Al-Ghanami – Dair

3. Mona Abduljalil – Sanabis


Men:
1. Hassan Ali Abd-Ethnashari - Duraz
2. Mohammed Jawad Abdulkarim - Duraz
3. Yasser Abdulhussain Al-Haddad - Duraz
4. Ahmed Al-Omran - Al-Hoora
5. Yaser Al-Haddad – Al-Hoora
6. Adel Salem – Al-Hoora (released)

7. Jabir Al-Haddad – Al-Hoora (released)
8. Said Yousif Al-Muhafdha – Manama

9. Hussain Al-Kkhoor – Manama
10. Reyadh – Manama

11. Haj Majeed – Dimistan/Ras Ruman

12. Abu Jameel – Al-Qadam

13. Hassan Jaber – Dimistan
14. Hussain Abbas – Al-Musallah
15. Abdulzahra Mohammad – Aali
16. Elyas Hussain – Manama

17. Fayadh Mohammed Jaffar – Barbar
18. Hussain Ahmed – Barbar

19. Mohammed Redha Juma – Muhazza

20. Ali Redha Juma – Muhazza
21. Ali Abdulemam Fakhar – Daih

22. Sayd Haidar Ali Al-Ghuraifi – Nuaim
23. Yaser Al-Shuaikh

24. Khalid Sultan Al-Mutawa – 28 years –

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