Tuesday, January 13, 2009

IFEX-Bahrain:Activist prevented from speaking at mosque after criticising ruling elite

FEX - News from the international freedom of expression community


12 January 2009

Activist prevented from speaking at mosque after criticising ruling elite

SOURCE: Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), Manama

(BCHR/IFEX) - For two weeks in a row, reforms activist Hasan Mushaima has
been prevented from reaching the Al-Sadeq mosque in the capital city of
Manama, where he used to deliver a speech after the Friday evening prayers.
Heavily armed foreign mercenaries were deployed to take over the area of
the mosque, preventing its caretaker from opening it for prayers and
blocking those who attend the mosque from entering its parking lot.

Mushaima is the secretary general of the HAQ Movement for Civil Liberties
and Democracy, a civil society organisation that is calling for respect for
human rights, the combating of corruption and political naturalization, as
well as good governance. In his speech, Mushaima speaks about human rights
violations, economic rights, prisoners of conscience and human rights
defenders. He also calls for democratisation and is a loud critic of
corruption and the role of the ruling elite and the Executive in the
misappropriation of lands and administering a change of demography plan.
Mushaima participates regularly in an event on human rights and political
developments in Bahrain sponsored by Lord Eric Avebury, the vice chairman
of the Human Rights Parliamentary Group in the House of Lords, an activity
fiercely attacked by the Bahraini authorities-controlled media.

Nabil Rajab, the president of BCHR, has been near the Al-Sadeq mosque and
has witnessed the heavy security presence that was put in place to prevent
Mushaima and those who want to pray from coming close to the mosque. Rajab
stated: "The action of the local authorities to prevent Mr Mushaima from
addressing the public is a blatant violation of freedom of expression as
stated in Article 19 of the ICCPR ratified by Bahrain on September 20,


Send appeals to Cabinet Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman
- calling on the Bahraini authorities to show respect for human rights, in
particular freedom of expression
- urging the authorities to stop using force to silence activists and to
allow Mushiama to continue addressing public issues without hindering his
rights and the rights of those who attend the Al-Sadeq mosque and listen to


His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa
Cabinet Prime Minister
Fax: +97 3 1 721 1363

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

For further information contact Nabeel Rajab, President, BCHR, Manama,
Bahrain, tel: +973 3963 3399 / 3940 0720, fax: +973 1779 5170, e-mail:
nabeel.rajab@bahrainrights.org, info@bahrainrights.org, Internet:

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