ADHRB Weekly Newsletter 20

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ADHRB Commemorates the International Day of Nonviolence

October 2nd marked the United Nations’ annual International Day of Nonviolence, founded in 2007 on the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth. A time for appreciating the role of nonviolence in building tolerant and peaceful societies, this holiday celebrates the past accomplishments of people driven to positive action in confronting social and political discrimination while encouraging current and future generations to appreciate non-violent resistance as the most potent and appropriate tool for challenging discrimination injustice. Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain commemorates the legacy of non-violence that has brought respect and recognition to human rights defenders around the world and contributed to freer, more accountable governance.

Nonviolent movements have taken many forms across time and history, but have always held certain principles in common. Described by the UN as politics for ordinary people, nonviolence uses tactics of occupation, protest, persuasion, and non-compliance to achieve respect and empowerment for oppressed people, as in India’s nonviolent self-determination movement as led by Gandhi. These principles and tactics were true for that movement which inspired the holiday, and they are true today of the movement for greater democracy and liberty in Bahrain.

“In spite of the violent examples set by revolutionary forces in the region, the people of Bahrain are dedicated to peaceful reform,” said Husain Abdulla, Director of ADHRB. “Even in the face of brutal discrimination and repression by regime security forces, Bahrainis have rejected violence.”

Activists, dissidents, and human rights defenders are persecuted by Bahrain’s government for their nonviolent acts of resistance. Just days ago, the government labeled dozens of protesters ‘terrorists’ and sentenced them to years in prison on charges fabricated under torture. Those prosecuted include Naji Fateel, Board Member of Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, and other alleged members of the ‘Coalition of February 14’ accused of forming a terrorist cell to disrupt national unity.

“Institutional violence happens at many levels in Bahrain: prosecuting by false charges, disrupting peaceful protests, and revoking nationality are just some of the tactics the regime uses in repressing its own people,” Abdulla explained. “Persecution makes resistance painful, but it proves the resilience of the Bahraini people. Dignity and freedom are possible when the people are moved by a passion greater than the threat of violence; that is the power and promise of nonviolence.”

Wednesday, October 9 | 4 – 6 pm
Does the World Need More Crimes Against Humanity Legislation? (RSVP)
The George Washington University Law School
The Jacob Burns Moot Court Room
2000 H St. NW, Washington DCFriday, October 11 |

2 – 3:30 pm
U.S. Global Leadership in the Second Obama Administration: Priorities & Realities (RSVP)
The Brookings Institution
Saul / Zilkha Rooms
1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC

Tuesday, October 15 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm

“Sectarian Gulf” – A Conversation with Toby Matthiesen (RSVP)
Elliot School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602
1957 E St. NW, Washington DC