Justice Human Rights Organization

Bahrainis Muzzled as Government Interrupts Internet

Bahrainis Muzzled as Government Interrupts Internet

Activists in Bahrain, as well as Human Rights Watch groups, have been facing a growing threat to freedom of speech and expression these past few days as the government took action to silence them. According to reports from the BBC and Yahoo!, the government of Bahrain suddenly imposed an internet curfew. Cellphone carrier internet or any mobile internet is being blocked by the government in hot towns such as Duraz where protest activities are highest. Though the internet is not permanently barred, the muzzle comes down without warning and usually when civil unrest occurs.

Duraz is hometown of Shia Cleric Isa Qassim whose citizenry was revoked by the government on June 20th for allegedly serving foreign interests, sectarianism and violence for his activism for civil and social rights for the Shia population. Protests have risen after the Isa Qassim was stripped of his citizenship, an added fuel to the fire of unrest in the country. These protests among others were targetted and blinded by the Bahraini government through the internet interruptions. Blockades and Checkpoints by police have also been appearing more frequently to control crowds.

This practice of internet censorship is condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Council since July this year. Nations such as China, Vietnam, Turkey and Russia have been the primary targets of internet censorship by the United Nations, but that does not exclude nor forget other nations like Venezuela or Bahrain who have used the internet against its citizens.

The internet blocks currently happening in Bahrain are covered as technical breakdowns, but the timing and repetitive occurrences of these interruptions are blatantly clear that these are not mere accidents. Exact times on a precise schedule and immediate internet silence during protests are too frequent and obvious to be credible in passing as accidental technical problems.

“In authoritarian regimes such as Bahrain and the other Arab dictatorships, activists have often regarded the internet as a double-edged sword,” Christopher Davidson, a researcher at Durham University, told the BBC. “On the one hand, it helps them organise, but on the other, a well-resourced state can use it to monitor and surveil their activities.”

For now, no signs indicate whether the internet censorship will stop or increase. This threat radio silence for activists and Human Rights groups is unnerving as it removes the capacity for people to assemble and share information about the violence and Human Rights violations in the small nation.

Nabeel Rajab Trial Postponed, Faces Prison Over Tweets

Nabeel Rajab Trial Postponed, Faces Prison Over Tweets

2 August 2016 – The High Criminal Court in Bahrain today postponed for the second time the trial of prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab until 5 September 2016. The charges against Rajab amount to a serious violation of his right to freedom of expression. The judge again refused a request made by Rajab’s lawyer for his release on the basis of his poor health and the lack of evidence presented by the prosecution. The undersigned NGOs strongly condemn the ongoing harassment of Nabeel Rajab and the further extension of his detention. Continue reading →

Independent and Impartial Investigation Needed into the Death and Alleged Torture of Detainee

Independent and Impartial Investigation Needed into the Death and Alleged Torture of Detainee

The undersigned NGOs call on the government of Bahrain to immediately launch an independent and impartial investigation into the death of 35-year-old detainee Hassan Jassim Hasan Al-Hayki amid credible allegations of torture. Officials must prosecute and hold accountable anyone found to have caused or contributed to Mr. Al-Hayki’s death. These torture allegations also raise further concerns regarding the inability of the Ministry of the Interior’s Ombudsman and the Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission (PDRC) to prevent ongoing abuses in Bahrain’s detention centers. Continue reading →

44 NGOs to Bahrain: Rights of Nazeeha Saeed and all Journalists to Report Must Be Respected

44 NGOs to Bahrain: Rights of Nazeeha Saeed and all Journalists to Report Must Be Respected

We, the undersigned, express our deep concern with the Bahraini Public Prosecution’s decision to charge Nazeeha Saeed, correspondent for Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya and France24, with unlawfully working for international media. We consider this an undue reprisal against her as a journalist and call on Bahrain’s authorities to respect fully the right of journalists to practice their profession freely. Continue reading →

NGOs: Bahrain’s New Expansive Press Regulations a Threat to Journalists

NGOs: Bahrain’s New Expansive Press Regulations a Threat to Journalists

27 July 2016 – We in the Bahraini human rights community condemn the recently expanded press restrictions in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Decree 68/2016, issued by the Minister of Information, Mohammed Al Rumaihi, constrains what little press freedom remaining in the kingdom by increasing government oversight on the dissemination of electronic media and empowering the state to easily target content producers with prosecution. Continue reading →

Continued Crackdown on Clerics and Freedom of Religion and Assembly

Continued Crackdown on Clerics and Freedom of Religion and Assembly

27 July 2016 – The Bahraini government has intensified state restrictions on the right to freedom of religion for the country’s Shia majority. While the authorities have obstructed and prosecuted Shia religious practices, they have simultaneously escalated their use of repressive measures against the country’s religious clerics. The government has targeted Shia clerics with summons, arrests, and judicial harassment, and has rendered leading cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim stateless. Continue reading →

The Role of Women for Change in Bahrain

The Role of Women for Change in Bahrain

In the fight for Human Rights, Peace and Politics often women are either silenced or ignored. The Nuremberg Trials had few women involved as men believed their supposed wailing would prevent men from working, and though this element of our past we look upon with a judgemental eye: women are still prevented from sharing the same rights and liberties as men all over the globe. Thankfully times are changing, women are taking the lead once more in the revival of the feminist movement and men are joining the cause for equality. Despite the restrictions women face all over the world, they now have tools to express themselves without which they would not be heard. This case is the reality of the women of Bahrain who due to social and legal pressures cannot express themselves politically in the public as men do. The key for Bahraini women is social media. Continue reading →

Further Repression of Freedom of Association: Bahrain Dissolves Al-Wefaq, the Largest Political Society in the Country

Further Repression of Freedom of Association: Bahrain Dissolves Al-Wefaq, the Largest Political Society in the Country

Today, 17 July 2016, the Bahrain High Civil Court ordered the dissolution of the largest opposition political society in the country, Al-Wefaq Political Society, and the liquidation of its assets. We, the undersigned NGOs, strongly condemn the escalation of the Bahraini government’s attacks on political societies, and its repressive acts against all forms of peaceful dissent. Continue reading →

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