Beginning tomorrow, Monday 26 February, ADHRB will be participating in the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. We will be live tweeting, and active on Facebook and Instagram. Follow us on Twitter at @ADHRB and on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/adhrb/
- to stay up to date as the Council session gets underway!
Beginning on Monday 26 Feb. ADHRB will be at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council 🌍 where we will raise concerns about human rights abuses in #Bahrain, #Saudi Arabia, and the #GCC. Updates will be posted to Twitter 📲
On 29 January 2018, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation confirmed the conviction of death row detainee Maher Abbas al-Khabbaz. Because the Court of Cassation is the country’s highest court, he can no longer appeal his death sentence, and his execution is now at the discretion of the king. The court’s decision comes in spite of credible evidence that al-Khabbaz was tortured, as well as United Nations Special Procedures engagement with the Government of Bahrain that articulated serious concern with regards to due process violations and the validity of the original trial. His sentence could be carried out at any time. Read the full post here: http://www.adhrb.org/…/bahrain-maher-al-khabbaz-awaits-imp…/
Although Saudi Arabia’s seat on the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council does not expire until 2019, several British lawyers have recently launched a campaign calling for the kingdom’s removal from the Council. The two lawyers, Rodney Dixon QC and Lord Kenneth Donald John Macdonald said that the removal of Saudi Arabia would “act as a major lever for the [Saudi] government to clean up [its] act and make a proper new start,” referencing the kingdom’s poor human rights record. Among the concerns they have raised is Saudi Arabia's involvement in the war in Yemen, with numerous civilian casualties and famine conditions.
Seven years after the Arab Spring protest movement brought tens of thousands of Bahrainis to the streets, we continue to stand with the people of Bahrain and their struggle for human rights, democratic principles, and an end to corruption. Join ADHRB as we stand in solidarity with the people of Bahrain.
On 31 January 2018, the Bahraini government announced that the Military High Court of Appeal postponed yet again the case of 13 men convicted by the Military High Court on 25 December 2017. After appeal hearings on 10, 14, and 31 January, the case is now adjourned to 21 February, when the court is expected to issue its verdict.
The case – Terror Case/2017/1 – marks the first trial of civilians before a military court in Bahrain since the 2011 National Safety Courts, followin...g King Hamad’s April 2017 decision to amend the constitution and expand the jurisdiction of the military judiciary. The use of military courts to try civilians violates international fair trial standards and the government must immediately vacate these sentences and restore the constitutional prohibition on such trials. Any further legal proceedings must occur in civilian courts and abide by all fair trial norms.
ADHRB has started a petition calling on the Bahraini government to release Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace immediately. Please sign if you can!
Dr. Abduljalil al-Singace is a Bahraini academic, blogger, and human rights defender sentenced to life in prison after he called for democracy during Bahrain’s 2011 Arab Spring protest movement. Along with twelve other leading human rights and political activists that would come to be known as the “Bahrain 13,” Dr. al-Singace was tortured b...efore a military court convicted him on baseless charges stemming from his right to free expression. Despite international criticism and formal calls for reform, civilian courts upheld the “Bahrain 13” rulings and confirmed his life sentence.
Now, Dr. al-Singace is spending his 56th birthday in prison – his sixth behind bars since the start of his unjust life sentence.
22 January 2018 – Today, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council conducted the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) cycle of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dozens of states issued recommendations to the Emirati Government, urging human rights reforms on a variety of thematic issue areas ranging from free expression and capital punishment to migrant labor rights and human trafficking. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) welcomes all productive recommendations addressing critical human rights issues and calls on the Government of the UAE to unreservedly accept the recommendations and to actively work toward their implementation.
Read our newest Profile in Persecution on Ali Habib Saleh, a 25-year-old Bahraini citizen. Ali has been arbitrarily detained, tortured, and denied healthcare by the Bahraini government. he has been arrested five times and tortured before being tried, charged, and convicted in absentia to a total of eight years in prison. In addition, government officials have refused to give him necessary medical care during his detention. http://www.adhrb.org/…/profiles-in-persecution-ali-habib-s…/
#ICYMI read our latest Profile in Persecution on the Kuwaid brothers, Husain Ebrahim, Hasan Ebrahim, Khalil Ebrahim, Jaafar Ebrahim, and Mahdi Ebrahim, who are Bahraini citizens who have been subjected to various rights abuses. Between September 2014 and March 2017, Bahraini authorities arrested and detained the five brothers. Officers beat and tortured them to extract false confessions denied them necessary medical care, and convicted them in unfair trials. Four of the brothers are currently being held in Jau Prison. Read more:
In the aftermath of the Bahraini government’s violent suppression of the 2011 pro-democracy protest movement, the United States (US) temporarily suspended arms sales to the kingdom’s major security and defense institutions. A key military ally, the US purportedly sought to prevent the further use of American weapons and equipment in bloody attacks on peaceful demonstrators. By 2015, the administration of former president Barack Obama would lift most of these restrictions on t...he Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) and the National Guard, citing nominal reforms that the Bahraini authorities would soon reverse. But, as noted by the Congressional Research Service, the US government has continued to maintain informal holds on weapons transfers to the Ministry of Interior (MOI) police forces, which have also failed Leahy Vetting requirements for certain assistance programs due to evidence of human rights abuses. The only explicit exception to this de facto ban is the Bahraini Coast Guard – the division of the MOI tasked with patrolling the kingdom’s waterways – on the grounds that such a force is unlikely to be deployed against protests or political targets. Read more:
Yesterday, on 10 January 2018, a Bahraini military appellate court postponed the appeal of 13 men who were tried before the Military High Court on 25 December 2017. The appeal has been postponed to 14 January 2018. This case marks the first trial of civilians before a military court in Bahrain since 2011, after King Hamad amended the constitution to allow for this measure on 3 April 2017. These measures violate international fair trial standards and Bahrain’s international obligations. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) condemns the ongoing trial of civilians in Bahraini military courts, and calls for these rulings to be immediately vacated, and all of the defendants to be released. Read our statement here:
On 9 January 2018, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called for the immediate release of Saudi journalist Saleh al-Shehi, a columnist for Al-Watan who regularly reported on topics including the government’s economic policies and its treatment of expat workers. Al-Shehi was reportedly detained after accusing the Saudi royal court of corruption during an appearance on the Rotana Channel’s show Yahalla on 8 December 2017. Al-Shehi joins at least seven other journalists currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, including Nadhir al-Majid and Wajdi al-Ghazzawi. To read more about free expression and free press in Saudi, read our blog, http://www.adhrb.org/…/saleh-al-shehis-arrest-shows-that-r…/
In advance of the UAE's 3rd cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 15 - 16 January, ADHRB along with 18 other individual or joint stakeholders provided evaluations of the Emirati government's attempts to implement its 2nd cycle UPR recommendations. ADHRB assessed the UAE's adherance to international treaties and human rights mechanisms, rights to free expression, association, and assembly, and reform of the criminal justice system. The UN cited ADHRB's evaluation nine times..., utilizing the submission's information on the Emirati government's failure to combat discrimination, protect the free press and expression, guarantee rights while countering terrorism, permit access to UN human rights experts, abolish the death penalty, end torture, improve accountability for abuse, reform cybercrime legislation, and facilitate the work of journalists, human rights defenders, and other civil society activists. Read more here: