Bahrain: Arbitrary detention of Mr. Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah
URGENT APPEAL -
BHR 002 / 1112 / OBS
November 5, 2012
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 new arrest and arbitrary detention of Mr. Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah, Acting Vice President and Head of Documentation Unit
of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).
According to the information received, on November 2, 2012,
Mr. AlMuhafdhah was arrested in Duraz while he was documenting the injury of a
man who was shot by bird-shot pellets at a protest earlier that day. Mr.
AlMuhafdhah was transferred to Budaiya Police Station where he was interrogated
about his presence at the injured man's door.
In the morning of November 3, 2012, Mr. AlMuhafdhah was
taken to the public prosecution where he was remanded seven days of detention
on charges of “participation in illegal protests”. Mr. Said denied having taken
part in the protest and stated that he arrived on the spot after the end of the
event in order to document the case of the injured protester. His next hearing
is on November 10, 2012.
The Observatory recalls that, on September 23, 2012, Mr.
AlMuhafdhah and other Bahraini human rights defenders who cooperated with the
United Nations (UN) received threats of reprisals while they were in Geneva to
participate in the 21st session of the UN Human Rights Council. The
pro-governmental newspaper Al-Watan
accused Mr. AlMuhafdhah and other human rights defenders of “defaming Bahrain”
and labelled them as “traitors to the country”.
It is to be further recalled that, on December 5, 2011, Mr.
Adel Fleifel, a former official from the State Security Services who is close
to the Prime Minister, had threatened Mr. AlMuhafdhah and other Bahraini human
rights defenders via a tweet which thus read: “do not think that because now
I’m not in the Ministry of Interior, I will shut up about you”.
The Observatory strongly condemns the arbitrary arrest and
detention of Mr. AlMuhafdhah, and calls on the Bahraini authorities for his immediate
and unconditional release, as such acts seem to merely aim at sanctioning and
hindering his human rights activities.
Observatory more generally reiterates its call on the Bahraini authorities to
put an end to all acts of harassment – including at the judicial level –
against all human rights defenders in Bahrain, and to comply with all
international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by
Bahrain, in particular the United Nations (UN) Declaration on Human Rights
Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998.
The Observatory urges the authorities of Bahrain to:
- Guarantee the physical and
psychological integrity of Mr. AlMuhafdhah, as well as of all
human rights defenders in Bahrain;
- Release Mr. Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah
immediately and unconditionally as his detention is arbitrary since it
seems to merely sanction his human rights activities;
- Put an end to any act of
harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. AlMuhafdhah, as well as
against all human rights defenders in Bahrain;
- Conform in any circumstances
with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in
- 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
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
v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human
rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights
standards and international instruments ratified by Bahrain.
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
· 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to diplomatic representations of
Bahrain in your respective countries.
November 5, 2012
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.
To contact the Observatory,
call the emergency line:
- Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / +
41 22 809 49 29