BIRD Weekly Newsletter #49: UN-CAT Questions Detention of Nabeel Rajab

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Wednesday, 03 June 2015, Issue #49

BIRD Weekly Newsletter

In this Issue

 UN-CAT Questions Detention of Nabeel Rajab    Zainab Al-Khawaja sentenced to 9 months    NGOs Urge EU to Call on Saudi to Release Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr  














UN-CAT Questions Detention of Nabeel Rajab

2 June 2015: The Committee against Torture, the UN body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Convention against Torture, requested that the Government of Bahrain investigate possible acts of reprisal against human rights defender Nabeel Rajab. Rajab who was arrested by the Government of Bahrain in October 2014 and again in April 2015 for defaming government bodies and spreading rumors during wartime, had previously cooperated with the Committee in documenting allegations of torture, and there is substantial fear that the government arrested him in retaliation against his human rights work.

Read the full communication from the Committee here

NGOs Urge EU to Call on Saudi Arabia to Release Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr

29 May 2015:  Washington, D.C. – 11 human rights and multi-faith organizations sent a letter to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, urging the European Union (EU) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to call on the government of Saudi Arabia to cancel the death sentence of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr and release him immediately.

Read the full statement here

NGOs & Individuals Call for Protection of Religious Freedom for Bahrain 13

26 May 2015: A group of 15 NGOs and individuals sent a joint letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to call on Government of Bahrain to protect the religious freedoms of a group of high-profile political prisoners known as the Bahrain 13. As the letter states, “[t]he Bahrain 13 are representative of the systemic crisis of religious discrimination in Bahrain.” The letter requests Secretary Kerry to call for their immediate release from prison.

For the full letter and signatories click here

Take Action

Amnesty International:
Campaign to Protect freedom of expression in Bahrain

Insulting the King, the country’s flag and institutions or even a foreign country can lead to seven years imprisonment in Bahrain. One activist, Zainab Al-Kawaja, faces three years in prison for tearing apart a picture of the King. Another, Nabeel Rajab was sentenced in January to six months for ‘insulting public institutions (Ministeries of Interior and Defence)’ on twitter and is currently arrested on a separate investigation. Student and son of a POC Ahmad Mshaima is now serving a one year prison sentence for reading a poem considered offensive to the King. The list goes on, with tens of prisoners of conscience continuing to be held behind bars since 2011 for peacefully expressing dissent.

Sign Amnesty International’s petition here

Updates from the Ground

19 arrested including 5 children

17 sentenced to 145 years in prison

90 trials postponed

 2 death sentences upheld

Activist Zainab Al-Khawaja sentenced to 9 months in prison

 Security forces continue the use of force and excessive use of tear gas against peaceful protesters


 Weekly Highlights


Nabeel Rajab: Tyrannical regimes like Bahrain’s are buying the silence of democratic governments

Uprising strong, economy dire in Bahrain,
say activists

News & Commentaries

Bahrain Center for Human Rights: Nabeel Rajab’s Speech at the 2015 Oslo Freedom Forum: Delivered by Said Yousif Almahafdah
Yahoo News: Bahrain court jails six police for torture
Amnesty International: Bahrain: Further information: Court upholds death sentences of two men
Amnesty International: Bahrain: Drop All Charges Against Hussain Jawad Urgent Action Appeal


Take Action & Email Your MP to ask that they urgently raise the case of Dr Abduljalil AlSingace


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