Urgent Interventions

Release and dismissal of charges against Mr. Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah


New information

BHR 002 / 1112 / OBS102.1

Release/ Dismissal of charges


November 16, 2012

TheObservatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme ofthe International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World OrganisationAgainst Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgentintervention in the following situation in Bahrain.


The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources aboutthe release and the dismissal of charges against Mr. Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah, Acting Vice President and Head of Documentation Unit ofthe Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).

According to the information received, on November 14,2012, the Public Prosecution decided to release Mr. Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhahand drop the charges of “participation in illegal protests” that had beenpending against him since November 2, 2012. Mr. AlMuhafdhah had been detainedarbitrarily since that day (see background information).

The Observatory welcomes these new developments and thanksall the persons, institutions and organisations who intervened in Mr. SayedYousif AlMuhafdhah's favour. However, the Observatory recalls that two otherBCHR members remain in detention, Messrs. Nabeel Rajab,BCHR President, Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and FIDHDeputy Secretary General, and Mr. Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, former BCHR President and former MENA Director atFront Line, and urges the Bahraini authorities to release themimmediately and unconditionally, as their detention seems to merely aim atsanctioning and hindering their human rights activities.


On November 2, 2012, Mr. AlMuhafdhah was arrested in Durazwhile he was documenting the injury of a man who was shot by bird-shot pelletsat a protest earlier that day. Mr. AlMuhafdhah was transferred to BudaiyaPolice Station where he was interrogated about his presence at the injuredman's door.

In the morning of November 3, 2012, Mr. AlMuhafdhah wastaken to the public prosecution where he was remanded seven days of detentionon charges of “participation in illegal protests”. Mr. Said denied having takenpart in the protest and stated that he arrived on the spot after the end of theevent in order to document the case of the injured protester.

On November 10, 2012, the public prosecution decided toextend Mr. Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah's detention by seven additional dayswithout providing any grounds or justification for this decision. During thesession, Mr. Almuhafdhah denied participating in said protests.

Moreover, on September 23, 2012, Mr. AlMuhafdhah and otherBahraini human rights defenders who cooperated with the United Nations (UN)received threats of reprisals while they were in Geneva to participate in the21st session of the UN Human Rights Council. The pro-governmental newspaper Al-Watan accused Mr. AlMuhafdhah andother human rights defenders of “defaming Bahrain” and labelled them as“traitors to the country”.


The Observatory urges the authorities of Bahrain to:

  1. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Sayed Yousif AlMuhafdhah, as well as of all human rights defenders in Bahrain;

  1. 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;

  2. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular:

- its Article 1, which states that“everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization ofhuman rights and fundamentalfreedoms at the national and international levels” ;

- its Article 6 (c) whichstates that “everyone has the right, individually and in association withothers to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in lawand in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, throughthese and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters” ;

- and its Article 12.2which states that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure theprotection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and inassociation with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de factoor de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as aconsequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in thepresent Declaration”.

iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for humanrights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rightsstandards 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 ForeignAffairs, Tel: +973 172 27 555; Fax : +973 172 12 6032

· Cheikh Khalid bin Ali AL KHALIFA, Minister of Justiceand 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 17390000. Email:

· Permanent Mission ofBahrain to the United Nations in Geneva, 1 chemin Jacques-Attenville, 1218Grand-Saconnex, CP 39, 1292 Chambésy, Switzerland. Fax: + 41 22 758 96 50. Email:

Please also write to diplomatic representations ofBahrain in your respective countries.


Paris-Geneva,November 16, 2012

Kindly inform us of anyaction undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH andOMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aimsto offer them concrete support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory,call the emergency line:

· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 143 55 18 80

  • Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29