Newsletter #142

Bahrain | Updates from the Ground | News & Opinion

UN Complaint Program


EU Parliament Adopts Resolution on Mohamed Ramadan & Death Penalty in Bahrain

On 4 February 2016, the European Parliament (EP) adopted an Urgency Resolution on the case of Ali Mohamed Ramadan, a Bahraini sentenced to death despite being tortured and confessing under duress. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), the European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR), the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), Reprieve, Justice Human Rights Organization (JHRO), and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) welcome the adoption of this urgency resolution, as it puts the spotlight on the sharp increase in the use of the death penalty by Bahraini authorities, and on the continuous issues of torture, ill treatment, and partiality of the judicial system.

Read more…

More from ADHRB

Mapping Bahrain’s Human Rights Violations
Photographer Ahmed al-Fardan Imprisoned for Illegal Assembly

February 14 Anniversary Events

Protest: Rebuild the Roundabout!
When: Friday, 12 February 2016, 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: The Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, 3502 International Drive NW, Washington, DC

In February 2011, thousands of Bahrainis gathered for a month-long vigil around the Pearl Roundabout to protest for the government to recognize their rights. One month later, security forces violently assaulted the movement and demolished the Roundabout. To recognize the courage of Bahrain’s pro-democracy movement, and to commemorate those injured and killed protesting for a free and equal future, join ADHRB as we Rebuild the Roundabout at the Bahraini embassy in Washington, DC. Show the people of Bahrain that we stand in solidarity with their cause.

Commemorative speeches will be delivered by:
Maryam al-Khawaja, Bahraini human rights activist
Matar Ebrahim Matar, NED Fellow and former Bahraini MP
Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of ADHRB
Brian Dooley, Director of the Human Rights Defenders program at Human Rights First

Bullhorns, posters, water, and a 12-FOOT INFLATABLE PEARL ROUNDABOUT will be provided! For questions, please contact

The House of Representatives Tom Lantos Human Right Commission (TLHRC) presents:
Bahrain: Repression and the Consequences for Reconciliation
When: Thursday, 11 February 2016, 11:00am
Where: TBA 

Click here for more details.

On the fifth anniversary of the pro-democracy uprising in Bahrain, please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) for an update on the country’s human rights situation. The briefing will examine the evolution of repression in Bahrain over the five years since the uprising and its effect on opportunities for reconciliation in the country. ADHRB will present a brief white paper documenting the pattern of repression in the Bahraini criminal justice system, based on 495 interviews with victims.

Hosted by:
James P. McGovern, Co-Chairman of TLHRC
Joseph R. Pitts, Co-Chairman of TLHRC

In conjunction with:
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) and Human Rights First

Brian Dooley, Director of the Human Rights Defenders Program, Human Rights First
Maryam al-Khawaja, Bahraini human rights defender and Co-Director, Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR)
Kate Kizer, U.S. Advocacy Officer, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)

Moderated by:
Cole Bockenfeld, Deputy Director of Policy, Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

The Bahraini Uprising 5 Years On
When: Wednesday, 17 February, 6:30pm
Where: Thon EU Hotel, Rue de la Loi 75, 1040 Brussels

ECDHR invites you to take part in a discussion revolving around the February 14, 2011 Bahraini pro-democracy movement, which was severely repressed by the government, and to assess the critical situation five years later. Representatives of the European Parliament, European Union officials, the NGO community, and Bahraini activists will be present in the debate.

A Q&A session will be open to the public to foster debate and exchange views. A reception will follow the panel debate and Q&A session.

Keynote speakers:
Ms. Julie Ward, MEP (UK, S&D)
Mohamed al-Tajer, Bahraini human rights lawyer

Failure to Reform: 5 Years of Dissent in Bahrain
When: Wednesday, 10 February 2016, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Where: Committee Room 17, House of Commons

On the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Bahrain uprising, reform has stalled and human rights abuses have continued to be systemic and widespread. With the region in turmoil and abuses on the rise, has the UK’s reform assistance achieved its stated objectives? We invite you to this discussion.

Chaired by Tom Brake MP, the Liberal Democrats Foreign Affairs Spokesperson


Jodie Ginsberg, CEO, Index on Censorship
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy, BIRD
Harriet McCulloch, Deputy Director of Death Penalty Program, Reprieve

Updates from the Ground

  • Authorities arrested 32 individuals, including 3 children.
  • Criminal and appeals courts altered, upheld convictions, and sentenced 15 individuals to more than 43 years in prison.
  • A Bahraini court upheld a one-year sentence against former Member of Parliament Khalid Abdulaal.
  • Courts postponed the trials of 96 individuals.
  • The lower criminal court postponed the trials of Ebrahim Karimi and Dr. Saeed al-Samaheeji to 15 February and 17 February, respectively. Both were accused of “insulting a neighboring country,” and both have denied all charges.
  • The lower criminal court postponed the trial of the owner of the Twitter handle @HajiAhmed to 18 February 2016. He faces charges related to his Twitter activity criticizing the war in Yemen.

Click here for the full report.

News and Opinion

Three-year prison terms for burning tires
Bahrain’s First High Criminal Court sentenced eight suspects to three years in prison over charges of starting a fire and holding an assembly in Salmabad. The Public Prosecution said the suspects started a fire for terrorist purposes on 27 December 2014, putting people’s lives and properties in danger. The prosecution also accused them of participating in a gathering of more than five persons, aiming to disrupt public security, and using violence to achieve their aim. Read More

Armenia refuses to extradite Bahraini activist
The Armenian government has refused to extradite Bahraini activist Fadhel Radhi back to Bahrain. Armenian authorities arrested Radhi on 2 January 2016 in the Yerevan airport on an international Interpol warrant requested by Bahrain. Radhi fled Bahrain to avoid a seven-year prison sentence on charges that human rights groups consider to be politically motivated. Human rights organizations have called on Armenian authorities not to extradite Radhi due to Bahrain’s record of torturing its domestic critics.  Read More

Laudatory comments on women’s empowerment fall short of reality
On 1 February 2016, the chairman of Bahrain’s Institute for Political Development (BIPD) expressed Bahrain’s pride in the achievements of the Supreme Council for Women under the leadership of Princess Sabeeka Al Khalifa, the wife of Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Despite the chairman’s laudatory comments, women’s advancement in Bahraini society falls short of the government’s rhetoric. Read More


Arabic Sources

Continuous campaign of arrests and terrorizing citizens: targeting Masooma al-Sayed and transporting photographer Ahmed al-Fardan to prison

Please click here for a PDF of this article in English.

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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