URGENT ACTION: Allegations of Treason against Known Human Rights Activists and Calls for their Killing by “Unknown” Sources
Personal Information & Photos of Activists as Well as their Home Addresses being Circulated
BYSHR Accuses Bahraini Authorities of Being behind Groups
The President of the BYSHR Mr.Mohammed Al-Maskati has received numerous phone-calls since yesterday evening of threats to his life as well as insults after his personal information, personal mobile number, CPR number, photo and home address were being circulated through blackberry messenger, forums, twitter, facebook by unknown sources. Mr. Najji Fateel, a member of the BYSHR board of Directors and a torture victim as well as Mr. Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, previous regional Coordinator at Frontline and previous President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights also had their personal information distributed in addition to their car numbers.
One of the messages received read: (apx translation from Arabic) “These are the instigators of disorder and who have organized the movements of sabotage and leaders who are insisting on going to the Royal Court on Friday. The Heads of agitation and disorder in our beloved Bahrain need to be killed and liquidated. Following is the information of the traitors:…”
The BYSHR accuses the Bahraini authorities of directly or indirectly, standing behind these group as some of the personal information being distributed is accessible squarely by government institutions and is not in publicly accessed records, in addition, the phone call campaign is being done in an organized manner and through unknown numbers similar to previous campaigns. This would not be the first time a state sponsored defamation campaign has happened or that government related groups have waged a campaign against human rights defenders, (refer to campaigns waged by pro-government newspapers and radio) one may even claim that it has become a systematic practice in the past 7 years.
The BYSHR has been a major source of information to international human rights organizations as well as international journalists since the February 14th protests. Members have acted as guides and translators to these organizations and have been documenting cases of human rights violations as observers. The BYSHR has distributed information and restarted its non-violence campaign since then in order to raise awareness on non-violence strategies.
The BYSHR places full responsibility for any harm to the safety and well being of active human rights defenders on the Bahraini Authorities and warns that these calls for liquidation and killing if left without appropriate reaction will set a dangerous precedence and compromise the work of human right defenders. The BYSHR calls on international human rights organizations to approach the Bahraini authorities in regards to this latest development and require guarantees for the safety and security of human rights defenders.
The BYSHR will continue, regardless of these intimidation campaigns, in its work of documenting human rights violations and providing international human rights organizations and journalists with information regarding the human rights situation in the country.
Attached: photos that were circulated of the human rights defenders.