Bahrain: Arrest of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR)

18/02/2015
Urgent Appeal
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The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arrest of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR) on February 16 2015, by masked police officers in plain clothes, who searched his house and confiscated his passport and mobile phone. Mr. Jawad was not informed about the reason of his arrest. After 10 hours of incommunicado detention, Mr. Jawad managed to call his wife and inform her that he was currently detained in the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). He also informed her that he was ill-treated in detention.

BHR 001 / 0215 / OBS 011
Arbitrary detention / Ill-treatment
Bahrain
February 18, 2015

— 

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (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 arrest of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR) on February 16 2015, by masked police officers in plain clothes, who searched his house and confiscated his passport and mobile phone. Mr. Jawad was not informed about the reason of his arrest. After 10 hours of incommunicado detention, Mr. Jawad managed to call his wife and inform her that he was currently detained in the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). He also informed her that he was ill-treated in detention.

The Observatory strongly condemns the arrest of Mr. Jawad, and considers that he is targeted solely for his legitimate human rights activities. The Observatory calls on the Bahraini authorities to immediately release him and to drop all the charges against him (see background information). The Observatory is further concerned by the allegations of ill-treatment in detention, and urges the authorities to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Jawad, as well to open an immediate and effective investigation into these allegations and to bring those responsible to justice.

The Observatory more generally urges the Bahraini authorities to put an end to all acts of harassment – including at the judicial level – against Mr. Jawad, and to comply with the relevant international norms and standards, in particular the United Nations (UN) Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, and international human rights standards and instruments ratified by Bahrain.

Background information:

Mr. Hussain Jawad was previously arrested on November 23, 2013, and was interrogated about a speech he gave at a protest rally in 2013. He was released on bail on January 9, 2014. He is currently on trial for charges of “criticising government institutions”, “insulting the flag and emblem of the country”, “attempting to disrupt public security” and “illegal gathering”. His next hearing is scheduled for February 25, 2015.

Actions requested:

The Observatory urges the authorities of Bahrain to:

i. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Hussain Jawad and all human rights defenders in Bahrain;

ii. Immediately release Mr. Hussain Jawad and drop all charges against him, and against all human rights defenders in Bahrain;

iii. Carry out an independent and effective investigation into the allegations of ill-treatment against Mr. Hussain Jawad, in order to identify all those responsible and apply them the sanctions provided by law;

iv. Put an end to any act of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Hussain Jawad and against all human rights defenders in Bahrain;

v. 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 Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels” ;
- its Article 6 (c) which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters” ;
- and its Article 12.2 which states that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Bahrain.

Addresses:

• Cheikh Hamad bin Issa AL KHALIFA, King of Bahrain, Fax: +973 176 64 587
• Cheikh Khaled Bin Ahmad AL KHALIFA, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tel: +973 172 27 555; Fax : +973 172 12 6032
• Cheikh Khalid bin Ali AL KHALIFA, Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, Tel: +973 175 31 333; Fax: +973 175 31 284
• Lt. Gen. Cheikh Rashed bin Abdulla AL KHALIFA, Minister of Interior, Tel: +973 17572222 and +973 17390000. Email: info@interior.gov.bh
• Permanent Mission of Bahrain to the United Nations in Geneva, 1 chemin Jacques-Attenville, 1218 Grand-Saconnex, CP 39, 1292 Chambésy, Switzerland. Fax: + 41 22 758 96 50. Email: info@bahrain-mission.ch

Please also write to diplomatic representations of Bahrain in your respective countries.

***

Paris-Geneva, February 18, 2015.

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

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