CJFE gravely concerned about torture of bloggers in Bahrain

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ms. Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo
Embassy of the Kingdon of Bahrain
3502 International Drive NW
Washington, DC

September 10, 2010

Dear Ambassador,

I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world.

CJFE is gravely concerned about the systematic torture and imprisonment of bloggers and human rights activists, particularly Dr. Abdul-Jalil Al-Singace, Sheikh Mohammed Habib Al-Muqdad, Sheikh Saeed Al-Nori, Abdul-Ghani Khanjjar, Dr. Mohammed Saeed and Ali Abdulemam, who appear to have been arrested for peacefully expressing their views and exercising their right to free expression in Bahrain. Dr. Al-Sahlawi is a Board member of IFEX member, Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).

The detainees have reportedly been handcuffed, blindfolded, held in solitary cells, denied food and water for long periods, hung by their hands, their legs tied and their bodies beaten until swollen and bruised, deprived of sleep, and forced to listen to the screams of others being tortured. We believe that at least 200 other people have been detained, most of whom are being held incommunicado and denied contact with lawyers and family members.

By detaining and torturing those working to expose human rights violations in the country, the Kingdom of Bahrain is brutally silencing voices of dissent.

CJFE respectfully urges you to do everything in your power to help ensure the immediate release of all the detainees and an immediate end to the systematic torture by the National Security Apparatus, the dissolution of this Apparatus, and redressing of the victims of its violations. We urge for access to the detainees by international observers, their families and lawyers, and that they be provided access to appropriate health care. Additionally, CJFE wants to see an end of the implementation of the Anti-Terrorist Law that allows arbitrary arrests and unjust trials.

We thank you for your attention and look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Annie Game
Executive Director

CC: The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs
His Excellency, David Chatterson, Ambassador of Canada to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia