Bahrain Activists Report Arrest of Human Rights Defender Saidyousif al-Mahdafdah
Washington, DC – Human rights defender Saidyousif al-Mahdafdah was arrested this evening, Bahrain time, at a checkpoint near A’ali, local human rights activists have told Human Rights First. He was with his two small children and called for his wife to come and collect them as he was being taken away. He is believed to be held at the Isa Town police station. Saidyousif is a member of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) a leading human rights organization in Bahrain whose members are often harassed and detained by the authorities. The President of the BCHR, Nabeel Rajab, is currently in jail for criticizing the Prime Minister in a tweet. A verdict is due on his appeal tomorrow. “This appears to be another example of the Bahrain regime’s obsessive compulsive behavior in arresting human rights defenders,” said Brian Dooley of Human Rights First. “Saidyousif is a respected human rights activist and the authorities should either charge him with a recognizable offense or release him immediately.” Human Rights First interviewed Saidyousif a few days ago about his work. BCHR is the winner of the 2012 Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty, awarded by Human Rights First in recognition of the organization’s outstanding work defending and promoting human rights in Bahrain.