Bahrain Security Forces Re-arrest Female Teacher
Washington, DC – Human Rights First is concerned for the safety of Bahraini teacher Jaleela Al Salman, who was rearrested in a night raid conducted early this morning. She is Vice President of the Bahrain Teachers Association and reports indicate that she was seized by masked men who entered her home around 3 a.m. The security forces who took her did not show a warrant for her arrest.
On September 25, Al Salman was sentenced to three years in prison. She was convicted following an unfair military court trial and was at home while she waited for her appeal, currently scheduled for December 11. It is understood that neither Al Salman nor her lawyer received an official notice prior to her arrest. She was taken to Isa Town police station and is expected to be transferred to jail today. “I spoke to Jaleela by Skype last week and she told me how she had been tortured during her months in detention. There is a very real danger that she will be tortured again,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “The Bahraini authorities should release her immediately and the United States Government should protest in the strongest possible terms her re-arrest.” The United States has notified Congress of its intention to sell $53 million in arms to the Bahraini government. A resolution of disapproval has been introduced in both chambers of the U.S. Congress and several members are objecting to the sale. The organization said it’s a serious problem if the Bahraini Government believes it can act so brazenly in Al-Salman’s case and still receive weapons — rather than a public call to account for its violation of human rights — from the US Government. “Is now the time that the United States really wants to be seen on the side of the Bahraini security forces when they are abducting women like Jaleela from their homes in the middle of the night? Providing weapons to the dictatorship in Bahrain is a terrible decision, morally and politically,” said Dooley. “If the US wants to salvage its reputation in the region, it should stop this arms sale and demand Jaleela’s release.” Al Salman was originally in prison between March 29 and August 21. Her colleague, Mahdi Abu Deeb, President of Bahrain Teachers Association, was recently sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Human Rights First featured her in a podcast released today. Hear directly from Al Salman as she talks in her own words about the abuse she suffered in custody here.