30 April 2008

Press Release

Torture of Human Rights Activists in Bahrain

The Media Review Network (MRN) and the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) are aghast and appalled at the treatment meted out to human rights activists in Bahrain. The right of any individual to express an alternative viewpoint must always be sacrosanct and therefore respected. Freedom of expression is one of the pillars on which any democracy is founded. To abuse activists for daring to express an alternative opinion goes against all international norms and standards.

Restricting a peaceful gathering is a flagrant breach of Articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights concerning freedom of expression, the press and assembly. It also contradicts Article 23 and Article 28, concerned with freedom of expression and the right to assembly, in the 2002 Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain

We therefore urge the Bahrain authorities:

* To respect freedom of assembly, opinion and expression in accordance with international standards; * To refrain from using, or threatening to use, force in the suppression of peaceful gatherings; * To implement the government promises made during the periodical review of Bahrain by the Human Rights Council that took place in April, especially those relating to freedom of expression, and * To put a timeframe on the implementation of relevant recommendations by UN bodies.

Our Country has a dark history of human rights violations. We have emerged from it with our dignity intact because we chose to address the problem with international support and non-violence. We therefore ask our Government to urge the Authorities in Bahrain to release all activists with immediate effect and to refrain from all extra-judiciary methods to extract information.

Issued By:

Nabeweya MalickPublic Relations OfficerMuslim Judicial Council083 408 1157

And

Ibrahim VawdaSenior Researcher Media Review Network

MRN

Author: MRN Network

The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.