Washington, D.C. – A verdict in the Twitter case of prominent human rights defender Said Yousif Al-Muhafdah of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) is expected on Monday, March 11.
“Said’s prosecution appears to be part of a pattern of judicial harassment and imprisoning of Bahraini human rights activist,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “These politically-motivated charges should immediately be dropped.”
After he allegedly tweeted about police using birdshot against protesters, Said Yousif was arrested in December 2012 for “spreading false information on Twitter.” He told Human Rights First that he has not been allowed to bring defense witnesses to his trial. His trial follows last year’s jailing of Nabeel Rajab, President of the BCHR, and of human rights activist Zainab Al Khawaja in February 2013.
“If Bahrain keeps jailing peaceful leaders of protest, it will soon find only the violent ones will be left. It’s time to allow peaceful dissent and stop these prosecutions,” said Dooley.
Meanwhile, the appeal of 23 medics, each sentenced to three months in prison after treating injured protestors in 2011, continues. There is another hearing scheduled for March 21. A verdict is expected at a date soon after.
The BCHR was the recipient of the 2012 Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty, awarded by Human Rights First.