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1197BCHR: Bahrain - Beating and arrest of human rights defender Mr Abdulhadi Alkhawa

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  • Human Rights First Society
    Apr 9, 2011
      BCHR: Bahrain - Beating and arrest of human rights defender Mr Abdulhadi Alkhawaja
      Link to Bahrain Center for Human Rights

      * Bahrain - Beating and arrest of human rights defender Mr Abdulhadi Alkhawaja
      * RSF report on deporting journalists and forcing others to resign
      * CPJ: Bahrain manipulates daily and deports 2 Journalists

      Bahrain - Beating and arrest of human rights defender Mr Abdulhadi Alkhawaja

      Posted: 09 Apr 2011 03:04 AM PDT

      9 April 2011

      On 9 April 2011, human rights defender Mr Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja was arrested and beaten unconscious by police in Al-Manama, Bahrain. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja is a former Protection Co-ordinator for Front Line and former President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR). His current whereabouts, along with that of two of his sons-in-law, remains unknown and he is believed to be at high risk of torture.

      It is reported that at approximately 03.00 on 9 April 2011, masked police forced entry to the home of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's daughter, where he was present at the time. Upon entry, the police officers – one of whom reportedly spoke English, and no Arabic - proceeded to assault Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, along with Human rights defender Mr Mohammed Al-Masqati, President of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR), who was present at the time. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja was reportedly dragged down the stairs of the house by the neck, and beaten by five officers, who refused to stop despite his claims that he could not breathe. His daughter, Zainab Al-Khawaja, was reportedly assaulted when she attempted to intervene. The women present in the house were then locked in a room and prevented from leaving.

      Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and three of his sons-in-law, including Mohammed Al-Masqati, were then reportedly taken to the lower apartment in the building where they were ordered to lie on the floor and were subsequently beaten severely by the police officers. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja was reportedly beaten to such an extent that he lost consciousness. The police then took Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and two of his sons-in-law, Messrs Wafi Almajid and Hussein Ahmed to an unknown location where they remain in detention.

      Before arriving at the home of Zainab Al-Khawaja, police had reportedly entered Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's own home, which was empty, and the home of his cousin, Mr Habib Alhalwachi, who they also arrested. He was subsequently released.

      Front Line is gravely concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, and believes that he faces a high risk of torture and ill-treatment in detention. Front Line believes that Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's arrest and detention is directly related to his legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights.


      RSF report on deporting journalists and forcing others to resign

      Posted: 06 Apr 2011 11:00 PM PDT

      7 April 2011

      Two Iraqi journalists employed by the opposition newspaper Al-Wasat, Ali Al-Sherify and Raheem Al-Kabi, were arrested by the Bahraini authorities and deported on 4 April. Both had been working for Al-Wasat since 2005.

      Their deportation came one day after the information ministry announced that it was closing Al-Wasat, which was founded in 2002. The national television programme "Media Watch" had accused the newspaper the day before of trying to harm Bahrain's stability and security and of disseminating false information that undermined the country's international image and reputation.

      The Information Affairs Authority, a government agency that regulates the media, later reversed this decision and gave Al-Wasat permission to resume publishing on 4 April. But three of its most senior journalists – editor Mansour Al-Jamari, managing editor Walid Nouihid and local news editor Aqil Mirza – were forced to resign. The board of directors announced the appointment of Abidily Al-Abidily to replace Jamari as editor.


      CPJ: Bahrain manipulates daily and deports 2 Journalists

      Posted: 05 Apr 2011 11:00 PM PDT

      New York, April 6, 2011-

      On Tuesday, authorities in Bahrain deported Al-Wasat's managing editor, Ali al-Sharifi, and columnist Rahim al-Kaabi, both Iraqi nationals, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. Maryam al-Shrooqi, a columnist at the daily, told CPJ that to her knowledge the government gave no reason for its decision. She added that al-Sharifi was only appointed managing editor on Monday, after his predecessor and two other senior employees < href="http://cpj.org/2011/04/bahrain-manipulates-critical-daily-attacks-in-liby.php">stepped down in an effort to save the paper. Obeidli al-Obeidli, who was appointed editor of Al-Wasat by its board this week, declined to comment on the deportations.

      CPJ report on April 6

      New York, April 4, 2011--The Bahraini government continued its attempts at muzzling critical media with the Ministry of Information ordering the country's premier independent daily temporarily shut down on Sunday. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Bahraini government's strong-arm tactics, which effectively forced a change in a prominent paper's editorial management. In Libya, Iraq, and Yemen, independent and critical media continue to be targets for government intimidation and harassment, CPJ research found.

      Al-Wasat did not appear on newsstands on Sunday and its online edition was disabled, according to local and international news reports. The Information Ministry accused Al-Wasat of "deliberate news fabrication and falsification during the recent unrest that gripped the Kingdom of Bahrain," the official Bahrain News Agency reported. On Monday, president of the Information Affairs Authority, Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed al-Khalifa, lifted the ban after the paper's editor-in-chief, Mansoor al-Jamri, Managing Editor Walid Nouwaihidh, and Local News Director Aqeel Mirza stepped down.

      "Resigning was a difficult decision but it is what was needed to safeguard the newspaper and the livelihood of its staff," al-Jamri told CPJ. "The paper has been subjected to a relentless campaign of intimidation by the authorities."

      Bahrain has intensified its crackdown on media since imposing a state of emergency last month, CPJ research shows.

      "Alleging bias in Al-Wasat's coverage without providing credible evidence to support such a claim is laughable," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "Bahrain has previously hurled unsubstantiated accusations of bias in order to silence critical media, most prominently against Al-Jazeera last year when the government wanted to shut the channel's local bureau.

      CPJ report on April 4