2016: Bahrain, Maytham Al-Salman

Norwegian PEN calls on the authorities of Bahrain to drop charges against human rights defender Maytham Al-Salman for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Minister of Interior
Lieutenant General Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa

Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowment
H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdulla Al Khalifa

And Permanent Mission of Bahrain to the United Nations in Geneva

Oslo, 13.08.2016

Your Excellences,

Norwegian PEN calls on the authorities of Bahrain to drop charges against human rights defender Maytham Al-Salman for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Dr. Maytham Al-Salman is an international speaker who has been playing a positive role in bridging good relationships between cultures and religions.

On the 8th of August he was arrested at Manama airport, returning to Bahrain after attending a UN conference, and charged with ‘inciting hatred against the system of government’ and ‘disseminating false news’. He was released, but charges against him still stand, and a travel ban is in effect. Now he has been called for interrogations on Sunday, the 14th of August, and it is reason to fear the worse.

Bahraini human rights defenders risk intimidation and imprisonment on politically-motivated grounds. Bahrain is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016 and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016.

Al-Salman is the head of the Religious Freedom unit at the Bahrain Human Rights Observatory, the founding member and current coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa Civil Society Coalition to Counter Incitement to Hatred and the Director of Bahrain Inter-Faith, a non-profit organization seeking to prevent religious and social discrimination and sectarianism, and working to encourage and support interfaith dialogue.

Al-Salman also serves on a committee of the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. He has several publications in international journals, and published a book after the terror act in September 11th 2001 called «Non-Muslims in the Eyes of Islam».

Al-Salman is an international spokesperson on anti-extremism and anti-violence, and an important driving force in the strengthening of positive relations between cultures and religions. Norwegian PEN strongly condemn the targeting and prosecution of Al-Salman and other writers, journalists and human rights defenders. We call on the Government of Bahrain to end the judicial harassment of Sheikh Maytham Al-Salman, and to drop all charges against him.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Brit Bildøen
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee Norwegian PEN

COPY: The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2015 Bahrain: Abduljalil Al-Singace

His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa
King of Bahrain
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O.Box 555
Rifa’a Palace
Kingdom of Bahrain                                                                         Oslo, 09.05.15
Your Majesty,

Norwegian PEN want to express serious concerns for the health of academic, activist and blogger Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace, Through PEN International we are informed that he is in need of urgent medical treatment. He is serving a life sentence for his peaceful opposition activities. We demand a full investigation into reports that Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace and others are being ill-treated in prison.

We stand behind PEN International’s call for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace and all those detained in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain is a state party.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Brit Bildøen
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee
Norwegian PEN

COPY: The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2011: Bahrain: Zainab Al-Khawaja

His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa
King of Bahrain
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace
Kingdom of Bahrain

Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa
Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
P.O. Box 450
Al-Manama
Kingdom of Bahrain

Dr. Fatima AL-Balushi
Minister of Human Rights and Social Development, Acting Minister of Health
Ministry of Human Rights and Development
Manama
Kingdom of Bahrain

Oslo, 19th December 2011

Your excellency,

The non-political association of writers, PEN International, is protesting the arrest of blogger and activist Zainab Al-Khawaja solely for peacefully exercising her right to free expression. We are also deeking assurances that she is not ill-treated whilst detained.

Furthermore, we are urging the Bahraini authorities to abide by their obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all those currently detained in Bahrain solely for the peaceful expression their opinions.

Thanking you in advance.

Yours sincerely,

Fredrik Giertsen
Norwegian PEN
Wergelandsveien 29
0167 Oslo
Norway

Copy to:
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain
30 Belgrave Square
GB-London SW1X 8QB
United Kingdom

2010: Bahrain: Abdul-Jalil Alsingace

His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa
King of Bahrain
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O.Box 555
Rifa’a Palace
Kingdom of Bahrain

Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa
Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
P.O.Box 450
Al-Manama
Bahrain

 

10. September 2010

 

Your Excellencies,

 

Activist arrested; fears of ill-treatment

Norwegian PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee is seriously concerned by the arrest of academic and human rights activist Dr Abdul-Jalil Alsingace, who has been held incommunicado since 13 August 2010.  He is believed to be facing charges under national security and counter-terrorism laws, although it is widely believed that the charges are politically motivated and that he is targeted for his criticism of the Bahraini authorities. His arrest appears to be part of a crackdown on Shia activists in the run up to the forthcoming parliamentary elections. International PEN is alarmed at reports that he has been ill-treated and tortured in detention. Dr Alsingace is partially paralyzed from polio and requires assistance to walk, and there are mounting concerns for his well-being in detention. International PEN urges the Bahraini authorities to abide by their obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr Alsingace and all those currently detained in Bahrain for the peaceful expression of their opinions.

Yours sincerely

Annaguli Yildam,
Member of Norwegian PEN, WiPC