Sunday, October 21, 2007

IFEX-Bahrain:Women's rights defender forbidden from appearing in media

Women's rights defender forbidden from appearing in media

Country/Topic: BahrainDate: 16 October 2007

Source: Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) Person(s): Ghada JamsheerTarget(s): human rights worker(s) Type(s) of violation(s): banned Urgency: Threat

(BCHR/IFEX) - BCHR has expressed its concern about the news revealed by Ms Ghada Jamsheer, a women's rights activist and president of the Bahrain Women's Petition, of the existence of a formal decision preventing her from appearing in any of the Bahraini media. Ms Jamsheer stated that the ban includes radio, television and all local newspapers.
Sources in Bahrain link this media ban to the Bahraini Royal Court and to Ghada Jamsheer's April 2007 letter to the King, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, calling for the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Women, chaired by the King's wife, Sheikha Sabika Bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, due to its failure to promote women's rights and its political loyalty to the Government.
Ghada Jamsheer is a prominent defender of women's rights in the Gulf region and, in 2006, was named one of the heroes of freedom in the Arab region by the American magazine "Time" and one of the ten most influential women in the Arab countries by "Forbes" magazine.
In May 2006, BCHR issued a statement shedding light on the death threats, bugging and harassment faced by Ms Jamsheer in relation to a statement published in local newspapers.


Send appeals to the Bahraini authorities:- asking them to respect women's rights, including freedom of expression in particular- calling on them to cease hindering the access of women and other human rights defenders to the media and other means of public communication- urging them to stop harassing and intimidating human rights defenders in general and women in particular


His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-khalifaKing of BahrainFax: +97 3 1 721 1363
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-KhalifaPrime Minister of BahrainFax: +97 3 1 721 1363
Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

For further information contact Nabeel Rajab, Vice-President, BCHR, Manama, Bahrain, tel: +973 3963 3399 / 3940 0720, fax: +973 1779 5170, e-mail:,, Internet:
**For further information on previous attempts to silence Ghada Jamsheer, see IFEX alerts of 22 March 2007 and 2 June 2005**