Prominent Bahraini Human Rights Defender Arrested
Washington, D.C. – Bahrain’s crackdown on human rights defenders continued today with the arrest of another prominent figure, Naji Fateel. Human Rights First notes that the arrest is the latest in a string of recent events calling into question the Kingdom’s claims of reform and progress.
“Naji Fateel was taken from his home in Bani Jamra at dawn. We hear he is being held without charge at an unknown location,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “Naji joins many other human rights defenders already in custody in Bahrain and should be immediately released if not charged with a recognizable offense. Bahrain cannot expect the world to believe that their nation is peacefully working toward progress, especially when arrests like this reveal the Kingdom’s real intention to carry on its crackdown.”
Fateel is a board member of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) and has been arrested several times previously for taking part in illegal assemblies. His home has been frequently raided by police.
“Naji Fateel was criticizing the authorities because of their human rights violations,” BYSHR director Mohammed al Maskati told Human Rights First. “The authorities in Bahrain believe they are immune from international criticism when they target human rights defenders like Naji.”
Leading Bahrain human rights activists including Nabeel Rajab, Zainab al Khawaja and Abdulhadi Al Khawaja remain in prison in Bahrain, as do several medics sentenced after treating injured protestors.