Meanwhile, the Bahrain News Agency published on its website the name and picture of the activist Nabeel Ragab, Chairman of Bahrain Center for Human Rights, as a supporter of terrorism; shortly after, the Agency dropped the news from the site, thereby confirming the existence of an official policy to distort the image and reputation of activists, and an insistence on prosecuting and intimidating them to prevent them from practicing their peaceful activities, in violation of the terms and provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Defenders.
Moreover, the authorities imposed the state of emergency, which led to the arrest of over 200 people whose whereabouts are still unknown and who are deprived of contacting their relatives or lawyers -- a violation of the provisions of Article 14 of the same Covenant on the rights of the detainees, who may immediately inform their relatives and defenders.
The Program believes that the acts of the Bahraini authorities are flagrant violations of all international conventions and international legal norms, and that they aim at muzzling and intimidating activists to prevent any advocacy of democratic reform or defense of human rights in Bahrain.
The Program emphasizes that the events in Bahrain, followed closely by coordinators and correspondents of APHRA, are a major rebound from the Kingdom's official political discourse, which is completely different from reality. Furthe, the Program stresses our full solidarity with our fellow activists in Bahrain; we regard what happened as a great crime that should not remain covered up or bypassed; we shall work by all peaceful means to back up the activists and to see that they are released them unconditionally.
The Program calls upon the Kingdom of Bahrain to:
- Release all detainees and human rights defenders and to guarantee the practice of their fundamental rights and freedoms.
- Immediately halt all security prosecution and stop the siege on the Shiite villages.
- Immediately open an urgent investigation on the circumstances of these crimes and to hold accountability those responsible, regardless of their positions and responsibilities.
- Submit the criminals to trial and hold them accountable for what they have done.
The King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa (Prime Minister)
Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa (Minister of Foreign Affairs)
Tel: 0097355527172 – Fax: 0097360312172