Thursday, March 25, 2010

Arbitrary closure of a nurses' trade-union! - FIDH > Les Droits de l'Homme pour Tous / Human Rights for All

Arbitrary closure of a nurses' trade-union! - FIDH > Les Droits de l'Homme pour Tous / Human Rights for All
Human Rights Defenders

Arbitrary closure of a nurses' trade-union!

25 March 2010

Paris-Geneva, March 25, 2010. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), denounces the arbitrary closure of the Bahrain Nursing Society.
In the morning of March 23, 2010, the Bahraini Ministry of Health changed the locks of the office of the Bahrain Nursing Society (BNS), located within the Salmaniya public hospital. The BNS is therefore de facto closed down.

The BNS intended to organise a meeting on that day, in solidarity with Mr. Ibrahim Al-Dimistani, trade-unionist, Secretary of the BNS, and recognised as a “certified instructor” by the Organisation of American First Aid and the Red Cross.

Mr. Al-Dimistani provided first aid to a protester wounded with live ammunition and fission bullets during a protest in the village of Kazakan on March 14. He then advised him to undergo a medical check-up in Salmaniya hospital, where he was taken care of the day after by Mr. Abdul-Aziz Shabeeb, who carried out an x-ray examination.

Messrs. Al-Dimistani and Shabeeb were subsequently both arrested on March 17 for “hiding and harbouring a fugitive”, under Article 256 of the Penal Code. They were released on March 21 on a 100 BD bail, but charges against them are still pending.

The Observatory calls on the Bahraini authorities to immediately re-open the BNS, as the de facto closure manifestly aims at preventing the union from carrying human rights activities.

The Observatory also urges the authorities to put an end to any kind of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Messrs. Al-Dimistani and Shabeeb as well as against all human rights defenders and to refrain from hindering activities of promotion and protection of human rights, in line with the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Bahrain.

For further information, please contact:

· FIDH: Karine Appy / Gael Grilhot, + 33 1 43 55 14 12

· OMCT: Delphine Reculeau, + 41 22 809 49 39