Re: Unlawful interrogation of Mr. Abdulla Alderazi and travel ban on Mr. Essa Al-Ghayeb violates international human rights principles.
To: King Cheikh Hamad bin Issa AL KHALIFA et al.
Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law internationally by protecting advocacy rights. LRWC campaigns for advocates in danger because of their human rights advocacy, engages in research and education and works in cooperation with other human rights organizations. LRWC has Special Consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
LWRC is concerned by reports of unlawful and unfair treatment of Mr. Alderazi and Mr. Al-Ghayeb. LRWC understands that on May 22, 2011 the Bahrain military summoned Mr. Abdulla Alderazi, Secretary General of the Bahrain Human Rights Society, to the Office of the Military Prosecution and interrogated him for more than 2 hours regarding his human rights activities and interaction with both international and local media networks. He was informed that he might be charged with a criminal offence of “spreading false information about Bahrain” as per Articles 167 and 176 of the Criminal Code of Bahrain, which is punishable by jail and/or fines. Further, since April 17, 2011 Mr. Alderazi has been suspended from his University duties and has received no further details about his employment status.
Additionally, on May 26, 2011, Mr. Essa Al-Ghayeb, was denied boarding a plane by the Bahraini passport control officers and was told that he was banned from international travel. Mr. Al-Ghayeb was attempting to travel to Kuwait, where he was supposed to participate in a seminar on the death penalty in Kuwait.
LWRC calls on Bahrain authorities to immediately halt the intimidation tactics aimed at Messrs. Alderazi and Al-Ghayeb for their peaceful involvement in human rights related activities. LWRC also insists that Bahrain authorities stay Mr. Alderazi’s charges, which stem from his activities as a political and social activist.
LWRC urges Bahrain to observe customary international law human rights standards articulated in a variety of instruments including the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The UDHR and the ICCPR guarantee liberty, freedom of association, movement, opinion and expression, impose on states a duty to protect these rights and prevent violations. The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders acknowledges the right and duty of human rights defenders to engage in human rights advocacy free from interference, harassment and reprisals by state officials and others. LRWC notes that Bahrain is a party to the ICCPR as of September 2006.
Accordingly, Messr. Alderazi and Al-Ghayeb are entitled to the following rights:
Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention.
2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
1. Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.
2. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
3. The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant.
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
LRWC notes that the Bahrain military appears to have violated the above mentioned principles of international law by the above noted treatment of Mr. Essa Al-Ghayeb and Mr. Alderazi.
LWRC urges Bahrain authorities take prompt action to:
1. remedy theses violations; and,
2. safeguard the liberty and freedom of speech and association of Messrs. Alderazi and al-Ghayeb; and,
3. take all measures necessary to protect Messrs. Alderazi and Al-Ghayeb from any further unfair and arbitrary treatment as a result of their human rights activities.