U.S. State Department Releases 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
On Wednesday, the United States (US) Department of State released the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) welcomes these extensive reports detailing the wide range of US human rights concerns in Bahrain and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.
Updates from the Ground
- Authorities arrested 22 individuals, including 1 child. 90% of the arrests were carried out during house raids without presenting arrest warrants. These arrests followed the Ministry of Interior (MOI) announcement of the death of a policeman and injury of two others while on duty. Following the incident, security forces launched a mass raid and arrest campaign in the area where the incident allegedly happened.
- Criminal and appeals courts altered, upheld convictions and sentenced 20 individuals to 156 years in prison and charged 31,101,136 Bahraini dinars worth of fines.
- Courts postponed the trials of 30 individuals.
- The public prosecution remanded 3 individuals to 37 days in detention over politically motivated charges.
- More than 45 protests were staged in 26 villages and towns around Bahrain. Security forces suppressed at least 3 protests using tear gas and shotgun pellets.
- The court of appeal postponed the trial of al-Wefaq’s Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman to 30 May, 2016. He is appealing the criminal court sentence of 4 years in prison over inciting hatred against the MOI, inciting hatred against a sect, and disobeying the law.
- The court of appeal postponed the trial of human rights lawyer Taimoor Karimi, who had his citizenship revoked in 2012. An initial court previously ordered his deportation.
- The public prosecution remanded Shia cleric Sheikh Mohammed al-Mansi. He was summoned for interrogation over a speech he delivered during Friday prayer sermons. Bahraini authorities charged him with inciting hatred against the regime and insulting a government body.
- Another prominent Shia cleric, Sayed Majeed al-Mishal, was summoned and interrogated for a speech. He was accused of inciting hatred against the regime for mentioning the UN joint communication report concerning discrimination in Bahrain.
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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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