Prominent activist Maryam Al-Khawaja arrested in Bahrain

Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

Civil Rights Defenders calls on the Bahraini authorities to immediately release leading human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja, who was arrested on August 30 at Bahrain International Airport. Security Officials at the airport informed Maryam Al-Khawaja that her Bahraini nationality had been revoked and that she was no longer welcome in the country.

Maryam Al-Khawaja is Co-Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organisation that works to provide support and protection to human rights defenders in the Gulf region by promoting the role of the media and networking with international organisations.

“The Human Rights Council should immediately act to condemn violations and protect Human Rights Defenders such as Maryam Al-Khawaja who tirelessly advocate for basic human rights in a country that severely restricts them. All countries dedicated to democracy and rule of law should bring Bahrain to bear for its absolute failure to commit to international human rights standards says Robert Hårdh”, Executive Director for Civil Rights Defenders

Maryam Al-Khawaja has been charged for; 1) insulting the King on social media 2) the “Wanted for Justice” Campaign and 3) assaulting a police woman. She has been denied all access to Legal Counsel and has received no explanation or documented proof as to why her nationality was revoked even though she holds Bahraini identification.

On 25 August 2014, her father, Abudulhadi Al-Khawaja began an open-ended hunger strike to protest his on going arbitrary arrest and detention as result of his courageous human rights work to promote freedom and democracy in Bahrain. Maryam was arrested by authorities at the airport as she attempted to visit her father.

Maryam Al-Khawaja’s arrest comes months after a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council  in Geneva made by 46 states expressed serious concerns regarding the human rights situation in Bahrain. Many of the concerns dealt with the on-going harassment and imprisonment of people for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and the continued oppression of protestors at demonstrations.

Categories: News and Statements.
Tags: Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, Bahrain, Gulf states, Human rights, Maryam Al-Khawaja, Middle East, and Robert Hårdh.