Newsletter #137

Bahrain | Updates from the Ground | News & Opinion

Saudi Arabia | Other Gulf States | UN Complaint Program



Bahraini Authorities Arbitrarily Arrest Journalist Mahmood al-Jazeeri

On 28 December 2015, Bahraini security forces arbitrarily arrested journalist Mahmood al-Jazeeri, increasing the number of journalists, photographers, bloggers and internet activists under arrest in Bahrain to more than twenty. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) express their grave concern over the authorities’ ongoing policy of targeting free media and journalists.

Read more…

More from ADHRB

Rebuild the Pearl Roundabout in Washington!

Updates from the Ground

  • Authorities arrested 63 individuals, including 18 children.
  • Criminal and appeals courts upheld, altered, or issued sentences of more than  1,900 years in prison to 133 people.
  • The courts postponed the trials of 17 individuals.
  • Security forces suppressed dozens of demonstrations using tear gas and shotgun pellets.

Click here for the full report.

News and Opinion

Further Harassment of Human Rights and Political Activists
On 31 December 2015, Bahraini authorities summoned activists Sheikh Maytham al-Salman, Khalil Marzooq, Sayed Jameel Khadem, Sayed Mohammed al-Ghuraifi, and Radhi al-Mosawi for interrogation over speeches they delivered in solidarity with detained opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman. Read More

Shiite protesters, police clash in Bahrain after executions
On 3 January 2016, Bahraini police clashed with Shia protesters a day after neighboring Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a leading Shia cleric. The authorities arrested a number of individuals for their alleged involvement in the protests, including Sheikh Ahmad al-Jidhafsi, a Bahraini Shia cleric.  Read More

Bahrain sentences man to death for bomb attack – prosecutor
According to the public prosecution, a Bahraini court has sentenced a man to death on charges connected to a bomb attack last year that killed a policeman and a civilian in Dimistan village.   Read More

Arabic Sources

A Bahraini Court Sentenced Handball National Team Player to Life in Prison and Citizenship Revocation
Click here for a PDF of this article in English

Tear Gas & Shotgun Injuries: Bahraini Authorities’ New Year in Sitra
Click here for a PDF of this article in English

Saudi Arabia


Saudi Government Executes Sheikh Nimr

On 2 January 2016, the Government of Saudi Arabia executed reformist cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, along with 46 other persons. Sheikh Nimr espoused nonviolence in his dissent against the Government of Saudi Arabia and championed equality for all citizens. His execution is likely to stoke already strong tensions between the government and the marginalized Shia population of the country’s Eastern Province, further destabilizing the kingdom. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), and the European Centre for Democracy & Human Rights (ECDHR) condemn in the strongest and most absolute terms the actions of the Saudi government, and call on the governments of the international community to intervene in order to prevent any further bloodshed.

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News and Opinion

Fact Check: The Truth about Sheikh Nimr

Before his execution, Saudi authorities worked to propagate misinformation aimed at degrading Sheikh Nimr’s record as a peaceful opposition figure. A review of his speeches demonstrates that the government’s claims do not hold up to scrutiny. Read More

Executed Saudi Sheikh Nimr was not a terrorist
ADHRB Advocacy Associate Ellen Duthoy writes that the Saudi government has wrongfully conflated terrorism with human rights activism by trying nonviolent dissidents in the country’s national security court and sentencing them to death, as in the case of Sheikh Nimr. Read More

The Saudi Executions: Fury in Iran but Not Here
Thomas W. Lippman argues that the US “has never allowed the Kingdom’s dismal human rights record to interfere with economic or strategic business,” and that this arrangement will not be significantly affected by the recent executions. Read More


Other Gulf States

Prisoner Profile: Salim al-Aradi

Salim al-Aradi is a 46-year-old Libyan-Canadian businessman who runs a home appliance company with his brother in the UAE. On 28 August 2014, Salim and his brother, Mohamed, were forcibly disappeared by the Emirati security services. Though Mohamed was later released, the authorities continue to detain Salim without charge, and both men reportedly experienced torture and poor living conditions. Currently, Salim is on hunger strike after having spent nearly 500 days in prison with only sporadic access to a lawyer or consular services. The government’s treatment of Salim al-Aradi contravenes the UAE’s obligation to refrain from arbitrary detention and violates the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Read more…

News and Opinion

How Sunni-Shia Sectarianism is Poisoning Yemen
Farea al-Muslimi writes that “political differences and conflicts feed sectarian discourse and not vice versa. Ending the current war in Yemen and restoring a political balance must therefore be the first steps toward combating sectarianism in the country.”
Read More

Saudi Arabia’s allies Bahrain, Sudan and UAE act against Iran
Bahrain and Sudan have severed relations with Iran and the UAE has downgraded its diplomatic team after the Saudi embassy in Tehran was attacked in the aftermath of Sheikh Nimr’s execution.  Read More

Qatar swaps Kafala with labour contracts in 2016
Reportedly, Qatar will be replacing its controversial Kafala labor system with a new contract-based residency law by the end of 2016.  Read More

Are you a victim of a human rights abuse in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or other GCC states?

Document your case with the Special Procedures of the United Nations through ADHRB’s UN Complaint Program.

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