Saturday, December 22, 2007

Arrest of Human Rights Activists from their Residence


Arrest of Human Rights Activists from their Residence

Reports of Wide Arrests and Excessive Use of Force by Special Security Forces

Friday 21st December, 2007

The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) are highly concerned for the wellbeing of three activists. It is confirmed that today morning Friday the 21st of December, 2007, Special Security Forces (SSF) headed by security officers in civilian clothes have broken into the residences of the three activists arresting them and confiscating their information files and CD’s. The armed security officers did not permit the arrestees or the women residing in the houses to change their clothes. Until this moment their families could not get any information concerning their whereabouts.

The three activists are:
1. Najji Ali Fateel, 32 years, active member of Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR)
2. Maytham Al-Tamar, 33 years, active member of the Unemployment Committee
3. Abdulla Mohsen, 27 years, Political Activist

Other activists have also reportedly been arrested, of them:
1. Osama Ahmed Rabea, 29 years, Political Activist
2. Mohammed Al-Singais, 35 years, Political Activist and Head of the Committee to Combat Inflation in Bahrain
3. Shaker Mohammed Al-Hamali, member of the Unemployment Committee

According to Maytham Al-tamar’s brother Hani, SSF’s forced their way into the residence of Maytham father house, arrested Maytham and seized several computers. Najji Fateels wife informed the BCHR that a similar manner was used in his arrest at around 9am this morning.

Mohammed Al-Singais’s sister informed the BCHR that SSF’s broke into his house this morning, ransacked the house but made no arrests as he was not at home. Later at approximately 2:15 PM SSF’s forced their way into his father’s house where the family had gathered for lunch, lined the men up by the wall at gunpoint and arrested Mohammed.

The activist Najji Ali Fateel, worked closely with the BCHR and the BYSHR in the collection and documentation of arrests and assaults in the previous three years.

Since the beginning of the unrest, his name and mobile number were published in internet forums and community places as a contact person for relatives to submit information to.

The BCHR and the BYSHR would be grieved to find that this was an indirect attempt by the Special Security officers to crack down on activists related to the Centre, in order to cut down the information received on violations, by neutralizing activists who provide reliable information.

Background Information:

This comes after Riot police as well as heavily armed masked officers in civilian clothes blockaded several villages following some skirmishes which took place between some demonstrators and riot police at the end the 3rd day Vigil of Ali Jassim Makki, 32 years, Jidhafs who died, according to reports, as a result of riot polices excessive use of force during a demonstration which took place on Monday the 17th of December, 2007. The demonstration is an annual commemoration of Bahraini Citizens who were killed through excessive use of force and torture during the period of political unrest in Bahrain.

The BCHR and the BYSHR calls on all Organizations and Societies working towards the protection of Rights activists to do all that is in their power and within their means to secure:

1. The unconditional release of the activists
2. Guarantees from the Bahraini authorities that the activists are not subjected to any sort of harassment or human rights violations during interrogation and detention.
3. The halt of these barbaric and overly exaggerated armed arrests which are done with little or no sensitivity towards the privacy of the activists or their family.
4. The protection of other Human and Civil Rights activists in Bahrain who we fear may be arrested as a result of the recent chain of arrests and crackdown