'Bahrain silencing rights activists'

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Saturday, 02 October 2010


Maryam-al-KhawajaA member of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights says the Bahraini government has banned human rights activists from traveling to prevent them from giving reports on human rights abuses in the country.

"The obvious reason behind the de-facto ban on human rights defenders from leaving the country is to prevent them from voicing their opinions or any criticism they might have of the ruling Bahraini government," Maryam al-Khawaja of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights

Layla Dashti, a leading member of the Committee of Detainees, was prevented from leaving Bahrain airport on September 18. She was trying to travel to Geneva to participate in a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), was stopped at the border on September 27 and told by authorities that he would not be allowed to cross. He had been on his way to a meeting in Saudi Arabia.

On September 26, authorities prevented Abd al-Hadi al-Khawaja, the former president of the BCHR and the current Middle East and North Africa director for the international human rights organization Frontline, from boarding a plane at Bahrain International Airport. He was to attend a human rights course on transitional justice in Barcelona, Spain.

On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch asked the Bahraini authorities to immediately rescind a travel ban imposed on prominent human rights defenders.


">  told Press TV on Friday.

She went on say that systematic torture was brought to a temporary halt following a program of democratic reforms presented to the Bahraini public in a referendum in February 2001.

However, it later reemerged in the Persian Gulf kingdom, and Human Rights Watch documented cases of torture in 2007, she added.

In 2009, the Bahraini government continued to subject rights activists to torture and human rights conditions deteriorated, she said.

"Everyone who has been jailed and later able to speak to anyone from the outside world has confirmed they have been subjected to torture and mistreatment," al-Khawaja stated.

Layla Dashti, a leading member of the Committee of Detainees, was prevented from leaving Bahrain airport on September 18. She was trying to travel to Geneva to participate in a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), was stopped at the border on September 27 and told by authorities that he would not be allowed to cross. He had been on his way to a meeting in Saudi Arabia.

On September 26, authorities prevented Abd al-Hadi al-Khawaja, the former president of the BCHR and the current Middle East and North Africa director for the international human rights organization Frontline, from boarding a plane at Bahrain International Airport. He was to attend a human rights course on transitional justice in Barcelona, Spain.

On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch asked the Bahraini authorities to immediately rescind a travel ban imposed on prominent human rights defenders.


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