The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Bahrain.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the judicial harassment of Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman, an internationally respected interfaith leader and a human rights defender advocating for religious freedom and countering violent extremism.
According to the information received, on August 14, 2016, Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman was summoned to Hamad police station for questioning, without being allowed to be assisted by a lawyer. He was then interrogated for 26 hours without sleep, before being released on bail on charges of “illegal gathering” in relation to his participation in an open-ended sit-in in Duraz, which started on June 20, 2016, to denounce the arbitrary revocation of the citizenship of a Shia leader, Sheikh Isa Qasim, by the Bahraini authorities.
Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman is currently under a travel ban, and no date has yet been scheduled for the first hearing.
The Observatory denounces the judicial harassment and obstacles to his freedom of movement faced by Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman, which seems to be merely aimed at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities.
Moreover, the Observatory recalls that Bahraini authorities have harassed Sheikh Maytham on numerous occasions, including two separate incidents in 2015 when he was detained for his human rights activities. Similarly, he was summoned earlier this year in connection to the content of a speech he gave on December 27, 2015, the anniversary of the arrest of prisoner of conscience Sheikh Ali Salman, in which he drew attention to the violations of international fair trial standards that took place .
Accordingly, the Observatory calls upon the Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally drop all the charges against Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman, and to put an end to any act of harassment against him - and in general against all human rights defenders in Bahrain.
Until all charges are dropped against Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman, the Observatory urges the Bahraini authorities to ensure that all judicial proceedings against him are conducted in full compliance with his right to a fair trial, as provided for under international law.
The Observatory urges the authorities of Bahrain to:
i. Put an end to any act of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman and against all human rights defenders in Bahrain;
ii. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Maytham Al-Salman and that of all human rights defenders in Bahrain;
iii. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular its Articles 1, 6 (c) and 12.2;
iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Bahrain.
• Cheikh Hamad bin Issa AL KHALIFA, King of Bahrain, Fax: +973 176 64 587
• Cheikh Khaled Bin Ahmad AL KHALIFA, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fax: 00973 17 21 05 75; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Cheikh Khalid bin Ali AL KHALIFA, Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, Fax: +973 175 31 284
• Lt. Gen. Cheikh Rashed bin Abdulla AL KHALIFA, Minister of Interior, Email: email@example.com
• Permanent Mission of Bahrain to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: + 41 22 758 96 50. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• H.E. Ahmed Mohammed Yousif Aldoseri, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Kingdom of Belgium, Fax: 0032 (0) 26472274; E-mail: Brussels.email@example.com
Please also write to diplomatic representations of Bahrain in your respective countries.