Prominent Bahraini Human Rights Defender Among Dozens Arrested Today in Manama

Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First has confirmed that prominent Bahraini human rights defender Said Yousif Almuhafda was arrested today during a protest in the capital city of Manama. He is the Head of Monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and has been arrested several times during the past few months. “Early reports from Bahrain suggest that police used tear gas and stun grenades to break up the Manama protest and that Said Yousif and dozens of other people were arrested,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “Said Yousif’s arrest fits a pattern of the authorities targeting leaders of civil society.” Today’s Manama rally was organized to mark the anniversary of two protestors who were killed in 1994. Hundreds of people gathered in Manama for the event. “Many of today’s protestors were women. We have reports that they are among the dozens who were arrested. It is my understanding that they are all currently in custody at Al Hoora Police Station in Manama,” said Dooley. The BCHR was selected by Human Rights First to receive the 2012 Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty.  The award was presented at the organization’s annual Human Rights Summit last week to Maryam Al-Khawaja, acting President of BCHR. Nabeel Rajab, President of the BCHR, is currently in prison serving two years for his part in “illegal gatherings.”

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Published on December 17, 2012

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